Looking for advice on Cat tubes - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-04-2013   #1
 
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Looking for advice on Cat tubes

I've decided to replace my fourteen year-old 16' Hyside cat tubes (*sniff*) and would appreciate some recommendations. I tend to do 2-4 night trips with one or two passengers, mostly Central Oregon rivers (Rogue, John Day, Deschutes) as well as occasional day trips on the McKenzie and North Santiam. I prefer the cataraft setup over a raft because I regularly use my rig for fishing, and I plan on getting an outboard for the lakes. I'm really reluctant to go longer than 16' given the rivers I float -- in fact I'd love to drop to 14' if I could. That said, the 16x24 Hyside tubes seem easy to overload on multi-day trips. So, I'm thinking bigger diameter 16' tubes are probably the way to go. Right now I'm leaning towards the 16' NRS river cat or 16' Aire Lion.

Aside from "you need 2 boats", any suggestions on tubes would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 09-04-2013   #2
 
Moscow, Idaho
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I have an Aire Jag. I regularly fish it with 1 or 2 people on day trips / over night trips and run Idaho rivers with it. The Jag with a fishing frame makes a great platform to maneuver and fish from (The mount for the NRS yoke makes it easy to put a motor on it). It's also been down the MFSR, Main Salmon, Snake etc. on multiday trips with 1 other passenger or supporting 2 people in kayaks (I take the leaning bars off etc. for whitewater). When it's not loaded its still a good play boat for the Main Payette, Carbarton stretch, Murtaugh (Snake) etc. That said, I have a rafting buddy with a lion and he's only happy when carrying everyone's stuff.
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Old 09-04-2013   #3
 
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Sandy, Utah
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If you decide to go smaller and get a 14 ft. cat, make sure it has at least 24 inch tubes. Anything smaller is great for a day/play cat, but not for a multi-day, multi-people cat.
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Old 09-04-2013   #4
 
Helena, Montana
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Look into JPWINC oversized tubes w/blunt tips. I've been running one for 3 years now on all the rivers you mentioned and more. Lots if flotation, great for lowater and huge water alike.

I have the el tigre & love it. Maneuvers like a 14', hauls like a 16'.
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Old 09-04-2013   #5
 
Bend, Oregon
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Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. Any opinions on how the NRS River Cat or Aire Lion (14' or 16') stack up against the Jag?
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Old 09-04-2013   #6
 
Bend, Oregon
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Tomats -- is your friend only happy hauling stuff because the Lion performs best with a heavy load, or because your friend likes hauling everybody's stuff? Or both?
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Old 09-04-2013   #7
 
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Fresno, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL View Post
Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. Any opinions on how the NRS River Cat or Aire Lion (14' or 16') stack up against the Jag?
Short version...both will haul more gear and take a longer frame. Good for carrying people and all their gear.

Jag will play better-manuver better, but won't carry as much.
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Old 09-04-2013   #8
 
Bend, Oregon
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Justkip: Yup, that sums it up. Wish I could demo a bunch of fully loaded boats so I could better understand the weight/performance tradeoff. I'm not a play-boater, but I need to know I can pull the occasional must-make move on Class IV. No use carrying a bunch of gear if you can't avoid the picket fence.
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Old 09-04-2013   #9
 
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Fresno, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnL View Post
Justkip: Yup, that sums it up. Wish I could demo a bunch of fully loaded boats so I could better understand the weight/performance tradeoff. I'm not a play-boater, but I need to know I can pull the occasional must-make move on Class IV. No use carrying a bunch of gear if you can't avoid the picket fence.
My vacation starts in an hour and I'm heading for the Rogue. I've always considered Blossom Bar to be class III, with dire consequences. I've rowed it in a 16' round boat with a ton in it. Any of the cats you're considering will run it fine, but with 2-3 men plus gear, the fatter tubes (NRS, Lion, or JPW "blunts") will handle better with the load
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Old 09-04-2013   #10
 
Bend, Oregon
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JustKip: That's exactly what I needed to know. Thanks and have a great trip!
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