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Inflatable Pontoon or Kayak?


MikeO1181
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Hey Guys,

 

First off I just wanted to say Hi to everyone as I just joined! You guys from what I have read seem to be a great bunch of guys who like to fish as well as help out the environment which I think is wonderful.

 

Now I have question for you guys regarding inflatable kayaks, and pontoons. I am thinking about buying an inflatable boat yet I am unsure as far as what would be best to get to fish lakes, ponds, and rivers. The reason why i am choosing an inflatable is that I drive a Mustang, which equal no room for a boat. Any thoughts or opinions on this matter both pros and con, and if you have any brand recommendations please let me know. Thanks for your advice.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mike

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what would be best to get to fish lakes, ponds, and rivers.

 

 

Either a belly boat or a kayak works just fine until you include rivers. Never felt safe in a belly boat on a river, much prefer a pontoon craft.

 

You can control a belly boat with fins and fish at the same time, but you sit a little lower in the water.

 

A pontoon boat keeps you up off of the water a little more, and you can control it with either fins or oars but the wind can have a negative effect at times when you are sitting higher.

 

There are proponents of each of the type of craft you have described on this Board, they'll chime in soon.

 

Talk to Mike "Flyrodder" Miller out at BPS in Bolingbrook. He can show you some nifty pontoon craft that fit into the back of your Mustang.

 

Joseph

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Welcome aboard, Mike! I'd say it's time to buy a yak and trade in the Mustang! ;)

 

It sounds like pontoon would be the best option, but even that might be a chore in a Mustang. I've never tried an inflatable yak

but if the price is right, what the heck? I suppose even an inflatable yak would get you to just about any spot a standard yak could. Handling might be a lot tougher, but it would still be a nice diversion from wading.

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for inflatable I agree with others, pontoon. You can do a 'yak(rigid) on roof rack, I carry mine on a Toyota Matrix. BTW, many forest preserve waters don't allow inflatables, something to consider if you plan to fish any of them.

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For fishing rivers, the pontoon is my favorite method. Extrememly stable, a great platform to fish from. When you want to stop and wade, you just stand up. On ponds and lakes, unless you like rowing, a trolling motor is a wise addition.

With the Mustang, the pontoon even deflated and taken apart along with all your gear, will it up pretty full. You also have to consider put-in and take-out on a river. You won't be able to row the pontoon upstream to get back to your car. If you fish with someone who also has a toon, you won't be able to get both of them in the Mustang for sure.

Ditch the pony car and get yourself a pickup!

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Pontoon's have a couple of other advantages: 1) see better down into the water for sight fishing. 2) makes much less noise bouncing off rocks. 3) stop? stand up.

 

My Beef with Pontoons over kayaks: You have to inflate them and assemble them at put in and dissasemble at take out. That's a least 30 minutes more you could have been fishing in a kayak.

 

You'll have to portage much more. 50% wider and higher than most rec kayaks

 

No going upstream to free snagged lures, or paddling upstream to fish. Kayaks do this easily.

 

Pop the toon- you're up a creek. Minimal is time out to repair.

 

I guess there is no perfect watercraft.

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Mike,

I have paddled and fished from an inflatable pontoon (Fish Cat 9), An inflatable kayak rigid yak.

 

The inflatable yak was fun in fast water(class III) but a disappointment to rig and use for fishing. Too low, not hook friendly and doggone slow in falt water.

 

 

The pontoon (Fish Cat 9) was a great platform to fish from. I was a bear to handle in the wind or attempting to paddle upstream. I used to carry mine inflated on the roof. I took the platform structure out and made two tube to connect the float together using an aluminium tube drilled to match the pontoon frame and the snap rings.

 

The choice for a small rigid, recreation kayak give many additional frature and options the inflatables don't. You maybe a candidate for a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak. There are several smaller one should fit your needs.

 

I'll throw in the thought of a smaller solo canoe. I have a 13 ft Old Sawyer Classic fiberglass solo canoe that weighs 44 lbs. and is a blast to handle in and out of water.

 

OH! The last two are a little more forgiving of an errand hook set into the side.

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Mike,

 

Thule and Yakama make racks for almost any vehicle sold here in the U.S.

 

I love pontoons on the White River in Arkansas but for our waters, as previously written, to slow and hard to manuver. Besides the time needed to set up and tear down.

 

A Royalex material solo canoe is an excellent choice for our streams.

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I'd say skip the inflatable and buy a rack-even if just foam blocks to begin with-for the roof of the mustang.

I have a question for RICK or anyone who has used fiberglass canoe: How does it hold up in rocky shallow streams, especially if your idea of an anchor is to ram it up on a sandbar?

I have thought I'd love one of those 20 pound adorondack canoes, but am afraid I'd sink it by gouging a hole in the bow.

Gregg

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I'd say skip the inflatable and buy a rack-even if just foam blocks to begin with-for the roof of the mustang.

I have a question for RICK or anyone who has used fiberglass canoe: How does it hold up in rocky shallow streams, especially if your idea of an anchor is to ram it up on a sandbar?

I have thought I'd love one of those 20 pound adorondack canoes, but am afraid I'd sink it by gouging a hole in the bow.

Gregg

 

Gregg, I have been using a 14' 6" Kevlar solo for 3 years and believe me it has not been babied at all. The shiney jellcoat is off the bottom and the fibers do show but I dont think its structurally damaged. I have been thinking about contacting Wenonah and ordering the mix and recoating the bottom. No reason why you couldnt do the same thing with fiberglass when you get to that point. Who makes the boat you are refering to?

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Welcome aboard, Mike! I'd say it's time to buy a yak and trade in the Mustang!

 

JB had a similar comment and I more or less agree. A field beater has a lot of advantages over taking a nice car into the boonies. BUT...

 

...a Yakima roof rack (about $350) looks pretty sporty, even on a mustang. You can throw just about any small boat up there and that gives you a world of options that a pontoon cannot. In less than 2 years I've had my kayak on lakes, large rivers, creeks, the Gulf of Mexico (it was awesome in the bays AND I used it for surfing there...whoo hooo!!). Something like that or Steve's kevlar canoe (26 pounds total weight!!) is adapable enough to be incredibly useful in a lot of contexts for a very long time.

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I can appreciate having a Mustang. I have an older vette and Z28 but I've got a high mile 97 malibu with a rack for the yak or canoe..

 

A yak is much more versitale. An ODC excels, over a yak sometimes, in medium sized rivers with plenty of current and very few slow areas. You can stop and turn much easier by putting your feet down while a yak will just float on by unless anchored, and that would be on the verge of DON'T ANCHOR. There is also a river in KY that has some white water where I could use an ODC when it's high or cold or both. I plan on adding one to the stable.

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2 Cents.

 

Consider that some parks and forest preserves do not allow inflateables. They require rigid hulls. Consider if you want to be able to fish them. A rigid hull kayak wins in that scenario.

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Steve,

I didn't really have a specific brand in mind. If you search under Adirondack canoes you find solo canoes as light as 18 pounds.

I love the idea of having something I don't mind hauling out to water or throwing on the roof of the car. I would get out more often! I just didn't know if they were suited for repeated "beaching" or bottom scraping as they were designed for walk-in lakes.

Hornbeckboats.com carrries canoes as light as 14 pounds Kevlar and/or carbon fiber

Gregg

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aren't canoes like that in the $3000.00 neighborhood?

 

A few reach that stratospheric level MSRP if you get the carbon fiber models from top of the line manufacturers. Most are less than half that. Used boats will cost even less. Still, considering that you can get 2 or 3 injection molded kayaks for $1,200, a kayak could be a good starting point for rivers and small lakes. Upgrade and/or specialize from there.

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All craft have advantages and disadvantages.

 

One issue not yet discussed is what to do with the proposed craft when you are not fishing it. Unless you have some extra garage space and an understanding spouse, ( I missed the boat on both counts :wacko: ) a pontoon wins.

 

Joseph

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More of a ClackaCraft guy than a Hyde guy but the Big, Old Brunette won't have either.

 

Gotta keep her happy. As her stepson (my child) used to say, If Momma ain't happy....ain't nobody happy.

 

Joseph

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True! I hang my yak on the wall of the garage but it takes up a lot of wall space.

 

I use a pulley system to hang my Pungo from the garage ceiling. Takes up zero space.

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