What pontoon should I buy?

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nativefish

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Jul 21, 2010
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273
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In the tail out, usually...
I really want to purchase a pontoon soon. The main purpose of it is going to attempt to float the clackamas and sandy rivers. I am on a budget, probably no more than 500 and this is going to have to include purchasing a rod holder to mount, some type of anchor if i dont use a rock and rope, a good pump and a life jacket. I want something DURABLE, tough, and function. I will basically use it like a perosnal drift boat targeting steelhead and salmon. I see that i can get the cimmaron for fairly cheap but since im going to be running the river i need a strong pvc coating, correct? My primary accesories i want to have are good oars, strong tubes, rod holder, and accesabile storage to put two or three large trays of tackle and maybe a jar or two of bait in which all should be in reach. I weigh about 150 lbs so i am assuming weight will not be a major factor in which toon to choose from. Any information, tips, companies to check out, lessons learned that you think might help me decide what to purchase would be extremely helpful. Does anyone have a pontoon that they might want to sell? And is anyone currently using their personal pontoon to float the rivers like i am intending to do, or would that just all around be a bad idea? And does anyone know any locations around town where i may be able to go and look at several different modesl, I looked at sportsmans wherehouse (dont want the ten footer), dicks (where i found the cimmaron) and plan on checking out fishermans by the end of the weekend. I saw sports authority might have a few and that is close to my house so i am goonna check that out too. I am just really timid about buying one and finding out it is a p.o.s and would have been completely statisfied if i spent another 100 bucks on a different one.
 
B

Bucknasty

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Jan 18, 2009
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Veneta, Or
I can't make a recommendation in that price range because i generally live by you get what you pay for. But i will say a 10' boat is a good size for a single person wanting to carry as much tackle and equipment as you are wanting (not for floatation reasons but for space reasons). Also the shorter boats get kinda like a rodeo when going through taller standing wave trains (fun, yes but kindof annoying). Also you should plan on paying at least 100$ for a good PFD that you will actually wear in your pontoon and not just set it next to you for the rapids. IMO forget an anchor system and just use your pontoon for extended bank access especially for steelhead. When i use mine i will generally row through pools and bank my toon, fish all tailouts, rapids and runs you want from the bank and then continue downriver in your pontoon. They are a great tool and will certainly open up your fishing access! Sorry i dont have any brand recommendations for you, but i certainly hope this helps you get an idea of what to look for.. also this is just my opinion ; ) Cheers, Bob
 
C

Combat Chuck

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Feb 1, 2008
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586
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Lebanon, Oregon
Outcast (aka fishcat, and store brands) and bucks bags sounds like the type of brand your after. Ive had Fishcat and Creek Company and there is no comparison. For sub 500 I would watch craigslist. I recently got a 8' Fishcat in perfect shape for $200... now that was an awesome deal I wouldnt expect to find again, but you get the idea.
 
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eightweight

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Jan 28, 2011
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Corvallis
I too would agree with the consensus...I have a creek company, fishcat, and have used a bucks bags. I would stick to trying to find a fishcat or a bucks bag in a length you like...I would shy away from anything less than 8 feet for salmon and steelhead river fishing. And like mentioned before dont skimp on a good PFD...theres not much distance between your a$$ and the water in those things. On a usage note I use it much like CC does, but I do a little bit of plugging with mine as well...although its always a gamble if the fish is going to hold while I move over to anchor or get out with just enough drag set....

All in all you should be able to find a good setup sub 500...if its used just remember to ask if it was patched at all.
 
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nativefish

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Jul 21, 2010
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273
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In the tail out, usually...
what sizes of pontoons are you guys using, and could an 8ft pontoon handle class 2 and 3 rapids? I found a 10 ft creek company but its 800 bucks.... thats a lot to spend right now.
 
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Markcanby

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Jul 26, 2009
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Oregon
You can take a 8' in a class 3 but its going to be a wild ride. I love my Creek Company but a Outcast is a real step up.
 
G

GoldFishSlayer

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Mar 24, 2011
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lebanon
check the reg book i think the game cop i talked to last time told me anything over 10 ft gotta buy invasive species permit just something to think about I row around on the Bi mart special in the whole thing maybe 300 bucks. It does okay I eventually would like to upgrade to something of a bit more quality but times were tight and i make it work.as for the anchor i have one on there but seldom use it a short net or folding one might be something to think about i got one after my first experience of a 10 lb steelhead thrashing in between my legs in some deep water
 
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eightweight

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Corvallis
An 8ft outcast or bucks bag is no problem (assuming you hit your line on a class 3)...I wouldnt want to trust anything less on a class 3 where youve gotten too deep and are going to bounce off of a few things...

A ten footer for 800? I havent been able to unload my 13ft for the past month! (granted its 200 more)...

Shop around...it shouldnt be too hard to find an outcast or bucksbag in your price range and under the invasives length...
 
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Markcanby

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Oregon
The invasive species permit is only like 10$ for the year. I wouldnt let that keep me from getting a 10'
 
T

TimberTodd

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Aloha
I just saw a 9' outcast on craigslist for $200.00. It is located in Salem. The add says it has been used 3 times.
Todd
 
B

BobbiDollPDX

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Feb 2, 2010
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Milwaukie, Oregon
My 10' Outcast was on Craigslist for $450 and I got it for $400. Had been used once. Invasive Species was $7 but I got it registered so I could put a motor on it which includes my Invasive Species for 2 years.
 
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GoldFishSlayer

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Mar 24, 2011
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lebanon
wasn't saying it would keep you from getting one just givin you a heads up that they check for it on toons too
 
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