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I am new here and signed up to get some pro input. I am searching for a new cat, I do a little fishing but also want a capable whitewater boat.

Now if you go to the fishing forums people are recomending scadden ? i have looked at these and the videos and dave scadden is claiming class v capable. These look like toys compared to the boats you guys are running and these fisherman seem to be stuck on these things and really have no clue about real water. It hardly looks like a craft I would want to be in class v water with. Why does dave rate these like this :confused:

Didn't know if there was an in-between boat that won't get me sunk. I kind of want something made in the usa with good heated seams not an overseas boat. That is why they told me scadden...but some his boats look glued? Why would you glue boats if it is made in the usa? Other than that they have NO help and no other recomendations. What are your guys thoughts on these and is there something better for around 3000. thanks!!
 

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I personally own two cats made by AIRE, and would highly recommend them. Check out NRS.com for some package deals with frames. Do you want a 1 person fishing rig, or something you can row and have a fisher in front, and behind you?
 

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Just curious, but why a cat? I was a fishing guide for years on the Roaring fork and the Colorado. I started with a 2 man cat, but graduated to a raft, and have had several rafts since. To me, they are much more suitable for fishing and easier to switch up to take kids/ friends out, plus you can paddle raft too. Probably 90% of the inflatable fishing boats I see out here are rafts. Rafts have much less frame (added weight), and draft less for a comparable load. cats are great when lightly loaded down, but that is rarely the case when you are fishing. they get really piggish really fast when you load them down. plus for similar capacity, a cat will have to be much longer. because of the huge frames, you really want to be trailering a cat or it will take you an hour to set up and tear down. I have a 13.5ft NRS hypalon raft, with a NRS fishing frame, it fits easily in my Jetta and I can inflate, rig and launch in 20 minutes

I think Scadden has a pretty good marketing campaign to convince non-whitewater folks that his boats are the only way to go for fishing. I think most on the board here will agree that his boats are basically crap when compared to what you can get in a proper raft/cat fishing rig.

as far as welded boats, you are somewhat on the right track. for a PVC or Urethane boat (Aire, Sotar, Maravia) welded is the way to go. definately avoid glued PVC boats (saturn, maxxon, etc) or at least know that your boat won't last as long as others. I prefer Hypalon boats (Hyside, NRS, Avon) because I roll up my boat for storage and don't trailer it. All hypalon is glued and that glue bond is just as strong and long lasting as welded boats (PVC doesn't glue well). Hypalon is relatively light weight, and has a track record of lasting 30-40 years with decent care. lots of opinions here on the matter but for me Hypalon is the best material for what I use a raft for but its also in the top tier of price. urethane and PVC pump up harder (but also don't roll well and you really should store them inflated), You might notice some slight performance differences with an unloaded urethane/pvc raft but the ones that I have owned (aire & tributary) really made no appreciable difference when loaded down with 2 fishermen, heavy fishing frame, coolers and gear.

SO in a nutshell, If I were you, I'd look at a raft with a fishing frame (I like NRS frames for customization, versatility and ease of obtaining parts). if you are rolling it for storage/transportation, I'd go Hypalon hands down, if you are trailering and have room to keep the boat inflated thru winter etc. then welded PVC/Urethane will be an option, try out different boats and see what you like.


(Shameless plug) if you decide a hypalon boat is for you, I am selling a 13ft. Hyside outfitter in great shape with an NRS fishing frame and oars in your price range.
 

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I think the allure of the CAT is with a frame you can get a very stable floor and you can add all sorts of frame add-ons to give you stable casting etc. The other big advantage is it will "lower" the effective class of a river, in general making it safer for someone to manuever etc.

you might check out there was a guy in Redmond on Craigslist has a nice 16' Aire Jag setup. This would make a great boat for you and a couple of buddies.

He's been trying to sell for awhile you might be able to pick up Cat, Frame, Drybox, Oars, Cooler setup. He's asking $2500 but you could probably get it for $2200 I think he might even meet you "half way" as far as driving towards Medford.
16 ft Aire Cataraft with Frame


this may be an Aire you need to check with Aire to see if they made this boat
**Cataraft*** $1800
 

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Well you ar down in medford, so why not try to pick up at sotar of some sort. Anyway, if you are think of fishing the rogue or any other rivers down there and pulling plugs or anchoring with plugs, a raft will perform better, A cat while anchored and plugging has too much side to side movement.
 

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Cats do cut the difficulty of a river down when properly loaded (if its a good cat). But remember, rafts can have all the same floors and lean bars as cats.

I would avoid the Creek Company boats. That was my first cat. Broke a frame weld and the tubes are crappy. definitely not an Aire product (which are sweet boats). the valves are shitty plastic boston valves and the bladders are made out of the same thin PVC material as sevylor boats, with a thin, welded PVC skin. the valves are not attached to the outer skin, rather they have a velcro flap that you open to expose the bladder and valve. Because the valve isn't in the outer skin, the soft, flexy inner bladder will push up through the velcro hole and can cause problems. plus, it is a pain to actually get the valve to line up with the velcro hole.

I had an 2 man outcast (aire) cat after the creek company, and it is a world of difference between the two. I got rid of the outcast when I got a raft (wanted three fishermen without a 16' boat), but the cat would have worked fine for me if I was trailering the boat. Avatard's Aire he listed looks pretty nice, just be aware that you wil be spending a bit more to make it a fishing rig, as it is set up as a multiday rig.

my personal boat progression has also brought me to simpler fishing setups. I used to have a DRE frame with lean bars, floors, etc, and it was so heavy and I found I didn't need all that stuff. my favorite fishing position is actually straddling the nose of the raft, one foot in the water, and roll casting to the edges. better casters can hit any spot from a seated position.

you also have to remember, that nobody is fishing if you are running class 3 and up. you can fish the pools between rapids, but most folks would be holding on and hunkering down in real rapids. most fishing takes place on class 2 and lower.
 

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you also have to remember, that nobody is fishing if you are running class 3 and up. you can fish the pools between rapids, but most folks would be holding on and hunkering down in real rapids. most fishing takes place on class 2 and lower.
say what??? you think the fish limit their habitats to class 2 or lower? cinch those pfd straps down a little tighter and fish!
 

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say what??? you think the fish limit their habitats to class 2 or lower? cinch those pfd straps down a little tighter and fish!
Of course fish are in tougher sections of river too but getting a cast to them and managing your drift while you fly by at 15mph is a bit tough. I fish lots of class 4 water but not from a boat. That's wade fishing for me. Sure there's some studs out there who do float fish class 3/4 but I ain't one of them. I'd also venture a guess that the OP ain't either. Much respect for the studs tho
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Guys

Alot of good info here. I think I will definately pass on the dave scadden as it is kind of cheesy construction. Also 2 of my friends asked for a letter to ensure it was USA made and he just danced around the subject with offers and other crapola and won't give them a letter,which leads me to believe he is grossly mis-representing where his boats are made and doesn't want the proof on paper. When you ask 3000 for something but can take 699.00 on sale there is no american builder that can do that the material is that much on its own is what the big guys tell me!

I will check aire, maravia and sotar. I also like the raft idea but was looking for something lighter.
 

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I think u will end up with a great boat either way fishing forums are good to find our about flies but boating forums are where u want to be for boat info. You have all winter to decide. I'd take the time to learn all you, can about boats. Lots of nuances. Think about what you will use it for and make you decision accordingly. If u can buy used do that as you can usually get UR money back out if you change ur Mind. Lots of people graduate to bigger boats within a few years
 

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Of course fish are in tougher sections of river too but getting a cast to them and managing your drift while you fly by at 15mph is a bit tough. I fish lots of class 4 water but not from a boat. That's wade fishing for me.
I think you're completely correct.

Scadden has some positives for sure (I own one of his boats), but I personally think some of his marketing is grossly irresponsible and borderline dangerous.

J.
 

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I started out with a 10 ft. Outcast Cat, and still have it. Nice boat for single person fishing, and it's what got me started in whitewater boating. As soon as I got hooked (no pun intended) on whitewater, I knew I needed a "real" boat. After 10 years & several boats, I now row a 14 ft. Maravia cat. Either a 14 ft. cat or raft would make a great fishing/whitewater rig with the proper frame. An NRS frame would give you a good amount of flexibility of set-up. I can change up my NRS frame from whitewater to fishing easily. With a decent anchor system, you can park & fish with a cat as well as a raft.
If you intend to do multi-day trips or take friends & family along, then a raft might be a better choice over a cat for gear hauling capacity.
Bottom line ..... go with a major name like Maravia, Aire, NRS, Sotar, Hyside for quality. Work out what all you want this boat to do, then plan out your frame..... NRS, DRE, AAA, etc. all make good stuff.
Have fun !!!!
KJ

PS - We saw a whole fleet of 8-10 foot fishing cats on the Middle Fork Salmon a few years ago. They were having a blast, but they were flipping regularly & had several support rafts & cats along as well.
 

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maravia spider, super puma, both light fun manuverable boats. I picked up my spider with nrs fishing frame for 1300. I doubt I could find that boat/setup for under 2 grand again but deals are out there right now.
 

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I get cat tubes from Jack's Plastic Welding (made in Aztec, NM) and build my own frames: eight or nine so far. I've been paddling and rowing Jack's boats for 25 years, without even a puncture.

Here's my Stretch Flyer Cat set up for channel mapping on the Snake River in 2010:



And here's the research cat I built for the 2011 season, with 14 ft. fishing tubes:



http://jpwinc.com
 

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I also like the raft idea but was looking for something lighter.
cat tubes are lighter,of course, but overall it will be a wash or heavier with the more involved frame that they require with multiple fisherman or passengers. real whitewater frames like nrs,dre,ect are not light like the cheaper crap like scadden,ect.

also,are you planning to trailer? nearly a requirement if you go with a tricked out cat fishing frame or a tricked out raft fishing frame . something to consider if you don't own a trailer already or are buying on a budget. like whoapiglet suggested for fishing, keep the front simple if you go with a raft. i do the same thing as he does. just lean on the tubes or straddle up front with a bench to sit on for kicking back. i do fish allot of class IV runs and don't like all that extra crap on the boat up front for safety reasons, as well. if you fish someone out of the back too then i would highly recommend a stern mount seat for their safety as well and the rower's safety in any kind of whitewater though.

cats are unique and fun in their way but after rowing on them for a day or so,i'm always happy to go back to my raft. especially for fishing.even more so if it's fishing with a couple people on a multi day trip.

and love the scadden bashing.... a douchebag with a douchebag product. i rowed a friend's 13ft scadden on the ark once. calling it a pool toy is disservice to an actual pool toy. any ww chop at all and you time your strokes with those POS oars just to reach any water at all. super thin materials. each tube rolled up to about the size of a 2 liter soda bottle. total junk. good call to pass on it.

anyway,sounds like you are on the right path. if you go used, a really good idea,btw, then come back and ask what to look for and questions to ask the seller so you don't get screwed or disappointed.
 

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One other thing to consider - if you go with a raft instead of a cataraft - look for a raft with a higher psi/more stable/foam floor if you want to cast standing up. That way you don't need platforms inside the raft.

I think AIRE and Maravia might be good for that reason (maybe some other folks can chime in here with recommendations?), I know my older Hyside would need platforms to make casting while standing easy.
 

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Note: Scaddon is playing with fire claiming class 4/5 capabilitys in a 10' boat. For a one man class 2--3 max [3 if you are highly experienced] boat, his stuff looks similar to the "Watermaster" which I have owned and would probably be just fine. Nice little fishing rigs for easy rivers. Havent oared the Scaddons. Remember to pump them up rock hard or the weak, rubber oar mounts will flex when you least need them to. They both use the same ones it appears.
 

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Note: Scaddon is playing with fire claiming class 4/5 capabilities in a 10' boat. For a one man class 2--3 max [3 if you are highly experienced] boat, his stuff looks similar to the "Watermaster" which I have owned and would probably be just fine. Nice little fishing rigs for easy rivers.
The biggest problem with small fishing cats in whitewater is that the degree of rocker and the short waterline make it impossible to hold a good line. They don't track well, and when they hit a wave they tend to go sideways and then (owing to the high center of gravity) flip. I've seen this happen repeatedly on class II-III.

There are oarframe boats designed for whitewater, such as the Jack's Cuttroat, that cost more but are a safer bet. Not hard to build a fishing frame, for fishing. But you need a boat that will track, and decent oarlocks, for whitewater.
 

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Cats are great if your a backpacker (1st pic is 10ft cat) or if you want to bring it all :) All of our other boats (12' to 20') are rafts.


If anyone wants to tell me the proper way to embed the pics please PM me.
Thanks
 

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New style oar keepers? & small boats

I rather swim a class 4 than ride with your guest.

Getting back to the small boats. Just remember the little rubber oar mounts on the Scaddons and Watermasters are somewhat adequate if the boat is extremely ridged 3-4-5 pounds pressure. and skip on the class three unless your double oar turns are automatic.
I like the small frame less boats because they are easy to transport and get set up and go. No illusions about pounding thru big waves. as the prior post mentioned, small footprint, high center of gravity=easy to flip.
 
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