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Thread: Fish Cat at Sportsman's Warehouse

  1. #1
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Question Fish Cat at Sportsman's Warehouse

    Seriously contemplating a purchase of the "Sportsman's Warehouse" version of the 10-foot Outcast Fish Cat.

    It's selling for $549.99 right now, which is $50 less than lowest price I can find online for a cataraft with the same specifications.

    Based on the quality of the materials and construction, this pontoon seems like a good value for the investment.

    I'm leaning towards the 10-foot model because I've heard that bigger is better on the Kenai and other large rivers. Also, it would allow me to transport more gear. However, I'm a bit concerned about fitting an inflated boat this size in the bed of my Toyota Tundra truck -- especially with a canopy on top.

    Truth be told, I've never used a cataraft, but have plenty of friends and co-workers who rave about them as a great way to get away from the crowds.

    Before pulling the trigger, I'd like to hear about other folks' experiences with the SW model. Wondering whether anyone owns one of these Fish Cats and if they would recommend it to others. Thanks.

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    Default

    I have the 9 foot and I would recommend it. I've taken mine down rivers 3 day trips, and on lakes and never had any issues.

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Here's a link to an old thread on this subject.

    Lots of good info here:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ortsman%27s+10

    You won't be disappointed, just read this thread and be cautious with the vinyl bladders in the cold.

    Good luck.

    Scott

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    Member Legospam's Avatar
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    I have a 9' Fish Cat and I love it.
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    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sold!

    Scott / All,

    Thanks for sharing your insight and experiences. The link to the previous thread was most helpful.

    For the most part, I'm a fair weather fisherman so the risks associated with exposing the air bladders to cold temperatures isn't much of a concern for me. However, storage could be an issue since I don't have enough room in my garage to keep a pontoon inflated over the winter.

    Regardless, you've convinced me that I need to make a trip to SW on Saturday. My preference is the 9-footer, but as I recall it's actually more expensive than the 10.

    By the way, any trouble keeping the oars in place? Read some posts about folks experiencing difficulty with the oars popping out of the locks on a frequent basis.

    Also, are there some "essential" pontoon accessories that would be wise to purchase -- such as an anchor and rope. Not positive, but I think it comes with a rod holder. Obviously, a life vest is a priority.

    Tom

  6. #6
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Occasionally

    I have had one of the oars pop-out a few times. The oarlocks can be bent a little tighter with a vice, or you can replace them. It's never been a real big issue for me.

    As for storage, we recently downsized, so my shop is now our whole house with a very small garage. I just leave the frame together under the back deck and deflate the pontoons so they'll fit on a shelf in the garage. They take-up very little room. The integrated anchor system works well, but you will need to purchase 20-30 ft of 5/16- 3/8 (I think) anchor line. I just use a 9lb anchor, but I never actually hold in current. I pretty much use it to hold me in lakes, or to hold the boat after rowing to shore. It does fine to stop the boat in the shallows so I can get-out without the current ripping the boat out from under me. I store the anchor line in one of the pockets that comes with the boat. They are open at the end, so the line snakes out really nice when you drop anchor and it doesn't get all wrapped-up in your other gear. Mine came with a rod holder, which works great, but I added another one (a different brand that has a strap that wraps around the pontoon) to hold an 8 wt in case I see some silvers to chase.

    Outcast/ Aire is a fantastic company, and in my experience, even with the less expensive SW boats, they back them 100% for at least the five years. The boat will come with very little documentation or warranty info, but if you email outcast, they'll help you with anything you need or questions you might have.

    BTW I don't think you'll have any trouble transporting the 10 footer. It's actually a little less than ten anyway. I can haul mine completely inflated in the back of my long bed with a shell and close the tailgate and window (most of the way.) I just leave a foot or so of the anchor rope tied to the d-ring at the end and tie the hadle of the window to it. It keeps the window closed and most of the boat is kept inside. As I said earlier too, it would be a big deal to inflate the pontoons when you get to the water and just haul the frame as a unit. I've rowed several different sizes and I definitely like my 10 footer better than the 8's and 9's.

  7. #7

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    I cant comment on the SW models, but I bought a 10 foot outcast last spring and I love it. I'm a bigger guy so I went with a 10 instead of a 9 footer for weight capacity. As for the oars popping out, I've had it happen once on the Kenai right before Preachers rock. It went in the water and first grab I got it. Water was up to my elbow before I got it. When I got home I bent the oarlock a little tighter with a vise and it seems to be fine now. I recommend some oar leashes to make sure they don't fall out of the boat.

    And yes, I believe the anchor system takes 5/16 rope. I have 40 feet. I tried the 3/8 but it was too large, so now I have an extra 40 feet of rope with me just incase I need it for something.

    If the SW models are made by Aire/outcast/fishcat they should have a 5 or a 10 year warrentee, which is great. Thats why I chose outcast over fishcat, for the 10 year, and the heat welded seams.

  8. #8
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Oops

    [/QUOTE]BTW I don't think you'll have any trouble transporting the 10 footer. It's actually a little less than ten anyway. I can haul mine completely inflated in the back of my long bed with a shell and close the tailgate and window (most of the way.) I just leave a foot or so of the anchor rope tied to the d-ring at the end and tie the hadle of the window to it. It keeps the window closed and most of the boat is kept inside. As I said earlier too, it would be a big deal to inflate the pontoons when you get to the water and just haul the frame as a unit. I've rowed several different sizes and I definitely like my 10 footer better than the 8's and 9's.[/QUOTE]

    Oops, sorry, this should read, " it wouldn't be a big deal to inflate the pontoons when you get to the water..."

    I also have a 14ft round boat for which I don't yet have a trailer and it only takes me about 30 minutes to completely inflate it with a combination of a battery operated and double action hand pump.

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    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    Do yourself a favor and install BladeRites's (or OarRites) and Cobra Oar locks. I continually bent the regular skinny oar locks and the cheap little rubber dounuts on the oars would never stay in place. The BladeRites bite onto the oar better and wont slip, plus they keep your blades perpendicular to the water. The Cobra Oar locks are very stout and will not bend as easily if you torque them hard. Its a little spendy (about $80 total), but makes a huge difference.

    http://www.flyfishusa.com/outcast/02...-boat-oars.htm

  10. #10
    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Oar rights

    My Sportsman's 10 came with hard plastic oar stops that are tightened down with screws and seem to work well. I've tried oar rites on other boats and I wasn't a real big fan. I like to feather my oars often times and the oar rights don't allow it. There are lots of folks with more experience than me who swear by 'em though, so to each their own. I've considered upgrading my oarlocks but I haven't gone there yet. Truth is, ever since I bought my round boat, it seems like I always have someone who wants to go with me so I don't get to use the pontoon anymore. I should take it out one of these days just for fun.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default tiny or large cobras

    which size for a 7' standard oar on the cobras? Your link shows two sizes, but I am not sure which fits the fishcat size oars.

  12. #12
    Member Ridgerat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    which size for a 7' standard oar on the cobras? Your link shows two sizes, but I am not sure which fits the fishcat size oars.
    The mini's fit my oars, and I think they will most of the other pontoon oars too. The large's are for a full size oar.

  13. #13
    Member AK Tubes's Avatar
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    Default oars/locks down side

    I think they're a fine boat for the money. A friend of mine has one and he's 300#+. IT floats him just fine. His oars were garbage and the oarlocks kept opening up. Much like the other posts say, that is their weaknes. We fixed the locks with a couple of rocks several times throughout the day and then he went and got something a litlle beefier.
    ...been on a search to top my 30x18 rainbow for 13 years now...I guess it's game time!!!
    13' Aire WildCat, 9' 7wt SAGE RPLXI, 10' 5wt SAGE XP, .300 RUM Zeiss 3x9 when all else fails

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