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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just can’t come up with a reason for why many, if not most, catarafts have 5-6ft line or webbing hanging from the front (sometimes back) of each tube when floating.

Someone please shed light here because it so obviously seems like an opportunity for rope-entanglement and other hazards, but it’s extremely common.

I’ve never seen anyone tie off with the hanging line, or connect to other boats, or anything that justifies having loose line in the river.

Is it a trailer convenience? If so, is it worth it…? Seems to be quite the hazard for the 4 seconds it take to throw a strap on.

Thanks!
 

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There aren't great ways to grab the cat from the ends other than those lines. Its also nice if one is to swim to be able to grab them.

You may not have seen it, but I tie mine off with them all the time. I actually use a cam strap and I often undo the cam, wrap around a tree or something, and then redo it. I don't even really have a bow line...if I need to I'll tie an extension off to that or just tie my Cat off to someone else that runs a bowline to a solid place on shore (tree, rock, sand stake, etc). I also use it to attach to the trailer or other boats (in a stack) for transport. Slide my boat up on the trailer, undo cam strap, tie down to trailer...and go.

I guess I could see about entanglement, but they are short enough where I've never seen it be a problem but I've seen plenty of times where someone was near their boat and grabbed it allowing them to get to their boat faster (or at all). I could see if it was a big loop of rope, but a short line with no loops or knots isn't super likely, in my experience, to be a major entrapment problem.
 

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I’m usually not a fan of any loose ends, dangling lines, etc. That said, I agree with Electric Mayhem that the risk of entanglement with the length of line that most cats use is very low. It’s a possibility for sure, but it would take some pretty unlikely conditions. I think the safety benefits here outweigh the risks by a long shot. I’m way more concerned about all the straps, nets, etc that so many rafts use to secure all the gear.
Just my opinion obviously. There are always risks involved with whitewater boating; we all should carefully evaluate the benefits and risks of each piece of the puzzle and do our best to mitigate those risks.
 

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A very skilled canoeing friend always used a short webbing painter on one end of his whitewater canoe. Same idea. I've seen several IK paddlers to the same thing. Webbing is supposed to be less likely to get jammed/stuck between rocks because of how it doesn't change diameter when stretched. For sure on cats.
 

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I run the same floating line used in throwbags. It stays pretty high in the water, making it easier to see/grab. Plus it’s cheaper than a strap. I quite often tie off with the tag lines. Both to shore, and on the trailer.
 

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Because they saw it in videos of guys running hard stuff and now they run em on class 3 and plop and drops. Its silly but to each their own.... I mean you got a freaking set of monkey bars attached to a few 1000 lbs of floatation a couple inches above the water line, flipped cats are way easier to reenter than flipped rafts. If you're not swimming head 1st after your craft, just get outta the river and walk.
 

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I don't have anywhere near 5 ft hanging on my phat cat. Couple feet max. I like it mostly for dragging the boat around into a landing or onto the trailer. Not really a hazard at that length. And yknow... FLAIR!
 

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Cat boaters often fall out and need something to try to get back on their horse.
That’s mostly because they’re drunk. On a round boat you pass out and fall into the boat. Much safer! We fall out. It’s even worse if you’re not running a floor…you fall into the boat, but keep right on going.
 

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I've wondered the same for a long time. Its a style thing that people do because other people do it. Super silly. Its not like a raft is any easier to get into/back to and yet you dont see rafts with them.

Maybe folks think its convenient, but it is definitely a hazard. I will say that my disdain for them depends on the context though. High volume, yeah maybe not so bad. But I see a ton of people with them late season on the mf. silly.
 

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I run with 6' tag lines on my cat and they are much more than a style thing. I am mostly by myself in my cat and these give me a shot at grabbing my boat before it heads downstream without me. They are super beneficial when undertaking a fast landing while solo in my cat since I can jump out and grab a line without having to worry about dealing with a bow line. Multiple swimmers have also been glad that I had them attached. I have yet to have a tag line hang up on anything (rock, branch, whatever) in decades of cat boating. For me, they are a valuable safety tool and in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh any perceived risks.
 

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I run with 6' tag lines on my cat and they are much more than a style thing. I am mostly by myself in my cat and these give me a shot at grabbing my boat before it heads downstream without me. They are super beneficial when undertaking a fast landing while solo in my cat since I can jump out and grab a line without having to worry about dealing with a bow line. Multiple swimmers have also been glad that I had them attached. I have yet to have a tag line hang up on anything (rock, branch, whatever) in decades of cat boating. For me, they are a valuable safety tool and in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh any perceived risks.
Not to mention that squirrelly little cats are more likely to dumptruck…leaving you swimming behind the boat…and wishing you weren’t.
No, we realize taglines are supercoool. And that you beater round boaters wish there was a way for you to have them too. Better would be to just join us and get a cat. There’s plenty of cool to go around.
 
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