I don't do this often, unless I think it's worth talking about. Most of you know I'm (along with Joni) a stillwater fisher. Love streams and rivers, but in the summer, or from ice off to hard deck it's stillwater fishing. You may also know that I have a Scadden (NFO) Outlaw X5 kickboat. Inflatable, framed unitrac kickboat, with a 5hp Nissan (Merc) outboard. Love that boat.
But this review is about Going Commando!
No motor, no frame, unbelievable stability, class V whitewater rated if you got the cojones. 9' long, 15" diameter tubes and tips the scale at 28 lb. with a weight capacity of 800 lb.
No frame meaning it has no aluminum, steel, carbon fiber etc. frame. The 'toon is a single toon with two chambers to inflate. "U" shaped.
The inflatable seat portion has a built in "pop off valve". Inflate it too much and the valve pops and releases the excess air. (It's also thermally welded to the toons.) I use a LVM pump to inflate the boat and top off the toon's with a K-Pump (3 psi) but I don't inflate the seat any more than that. That way it's perfect for my keister comfort. It's big enough you can straddle the seat and the back, stand and sight fish.
The clip-on seat is called the F16, and it's like some of the stadium seats or kayak seats I've seen, but damn it's more comfy. It just clips to the built in straps on the inflatable seat.
The boat is bladder-less, has thermally welded seams (not sewn) and the fabric is pvc coated- I'm not sure of the weight. It also has extra "skid" plates- of the same material on the bottom of the toon in the right places. So if you drag your boat, or beach it, you're utilizing the skid plates. And from what Dave told me, they're replaceable if you get too careless.
The oar system has integrated oar locks and NFO calls it 'rack and pinion' although I'm not familiar with this type of 'rack and pinion'.
It's easy to row, and the oars that came with it are lightweight Alcoa 6061 T65 2 piece aluminum oars 5' long. Myself, I want some longer oars with a larger paddle area. the boat has a built in oar keeper on each side that the oars clip to and they stay out of your way. The way the oar lock is set up, the oars fold up against the side of the boat and stay there anyway, but I can see where the locks come in very handy. Just a little something extra that's nice to have.
The side bags are insulated, pretty much water proof and double as rod holders. They hold quite a bit of what ever you want them too. I usually take 6 fly boxes, and extra spools of sinking lines with me. A couple of drinks, cameras, GPS, walkie talkie, spools of leader/tippet material, munchies etc. It all fits in these bags. They're pretty much the standard Scadden side bag that he's had forever it seems, and I can't find a whole lot wrong with them. I guess it's a '' If it ain't broke, don't fix it" thing.
Easy set up. It takes less than 3 minutes to inflate and in 5 minutes you're on the water. Clip on the side bags, clip on the seat, the foot bar, and put your rods in the side pouch's of the bags and add water.
This boat is very easy to kick around. According to my GPS, casually kicking I'm averaging .8 mph. Not bad. Very easy to move on the water and just as easy to turn. When the wind kicked up, it didn't take much to keep myself in place.
When I'm using my X5, I usually (99% of the time) wear hip waders. The first time I tried the Renegade I wasn't sure of where my arse was going to be in relation to the surface of the water, so I put my chest waders on. From now on it's the hippers. I figure the bottom of the seat is at least 4+" above the water, and if my butt does get wet, it's going to be some storm that I'm fishing in.
Well that's about it for this time. Just one little thing extra-
It'll deflate and you can pack it into an airline specific travel bag- about the size of a standard suitcase or a 36" duffel (that's why the 2 pc. 5' oars) Take it on the airplane with you or in a rental car.
I don't work for Dave Scadden or NFO. I've had a lot of NFO kickboats and tubes over the years, and they just keep getting better. I've owned and fished out of different manufactures toon's and tubes, but I have to say I haven't found anything that can match them, let alone better them. They do cost more than the average kickboat, and in my eyes, well worth it. If you stillwater fish a lot, look into them at Northfork Outdoors index
or call Dave or Larry Tullis 801-392-5404
and talk to them. Tell them I sent you.
They're made/built in Ogden, Utah, USA- just 35 miles north of me. Lifetime guaranteed. And damn fun to fish out of.
Edit- November 7-Had the boat on the water now 4 times now.
Yesterday at Strawberry from 8:30 am to 2:30. Couldn't believe my butt wasn't sore or my back and I can't believe how much I like this boat.
So here's some more pictures on the driveway.
Clip on the F16 seat
Oar locks and oar clip
Install the side bags- insulated, water resistant and you can use the pockets for a rod holder (works good too) .
Clip on the foot bar- I put a couple links of chain on to lengthen it out. Average height people won't have a problem with the stock set up. I use S biners.
That's pretty much done. These next ones are the additions- anchor mount made by Scotty and a rod holder by Scotty. The side bags hold a rod in each one, but this way I can have a rod right up front to get to. It's out of the way of the oars when I row. AND it's pretty easy to row this thing.
All done- quick set up and on the water in a flash.