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#108372 - 02/20/01 03:16 PM Steelheader by Skookum Products
Spoony Offline
Fry

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 26
Loc: WA
Im leaning on one and ready to purchase. Are they any good?

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#108373 - 02/20/01 05:17 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
GreenSauks Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 03/11/00
Posts: 127
I've had a 9'Steelheader for 5 years now and really like it. I use it primarily for low flows on some smaller streams, but I've run some pretty serious stuff with it as well. Bill engineers and produces a fine product. I would recommend it highly!!

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#108374 - 02/20/01 05:26 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Spoony Offline
Fry

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 26
Loc: WA
GreenSuaks - The boat looks good to me also. Thanks for the input. Have you used any other s for a comparison?

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#108375 - 02/20/01 05:51 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
GreenSauks Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 03/11/00
Posts: 127
I haven't tried any others to date, really didn't see the need. Another thing to consider would be that you can't really pull plugs or divers with them,it's too much work. They're just a fun way to float a river.

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#108376 - 02/20/01 11:01 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
stilly bum Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/19/01
Posts: 250
Loc: SnoCo
What features make the steelheader better than the others such as Buck's Bags?
_________________________
If anybody needs me, I'll be on the river.

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#108377 - 02/20/01 11:58 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Steelheader69 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/14/99
Posts: 817
Loc: Tacoma WA
Hey, a subject I know well. I'd go with a steelheader. They're the best boat for the money.

Ok, I have owned about 5-6 different cats (I still have my 9ft Steelheader and 16ft Aire). I've owned a couple different Outcasts and a few no namers. I've run Buck's Bags and a couple Misc... There are some big differences in them.

The big thing is overall design. All the other boats out there (except your true whitewater type catarafts like Wing, Aire, Maravia, Sotar, NRS, and the likes) are built on a different style tube. They will run water ok (even some whitewater) but in a stability scale they're very low. When I say this, I mean in an anchoring up way. In no other boat (except your bigger Outcasts) can you fish standing up. My Steelheader will sit in pockets (even pretty hard rushing water) while at anchor and I can stand up safely and fish. My outcasts were merely vessels to get me from point A to point B. The bucks I used were about the same. Then when you come to serious whitewater the steelheader well overlooks the others. It's extremely stable and runs rapids like the big boys. I'd never own anything less. Plus it's a boat made for fishermen. From the way it's made to come apart to the anchor systems and standing platform you're set. I've even run plugs on my Steelheader, though it's not easy.

I'd say go for it. But if you really have the money, buy up to the II or III. You get more boat that can cover more water. Plus you can safely take passengers too. But, for the money, I'd say if you want a 9' go for the Steelheader. If you want a bigger boat, let me know. I can send you in the right direction....

------------------
you haven't lived til you've rowed a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
_________________________
Cataraft Pro Staff
Team OkieWhore
Fly Tiers Anonymous Pro Staff

Northwest River Fisherman

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#108378 - 02/21/01 03:34 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Spoony Offline
Fry

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 26
Loc: WA
Thanks.....Solidifies the opinions I have made by studying the other brands you mentioned....Im gonna do the deal. Look for me on the upper ...chee.

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#108379 - 02/21/01 06:52 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
stilly bum Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/19/01
Posts: 250
Loc: SnoCo
I have a Buck's, and I'm sure the Steelheaders are good boats, but for $1000 I can buy a 12' fiberglass drift boat. I guess it depends on your storage and vehicle situation along with personal preference.
_________________________
If anybody needs me, I'll be on the river.

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#108380 - 02/21/01 07:22 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Spoony Offline
Fry

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 26
Loc: WA
Good point Stilly Bum....But, I have that covered already with a Buddy and like the flexibility and mobility of a breakdown light weight rig. I really want to be able to get where I cant normally get. The fact I can store it easier doesnt hurt...It is a lot of money (which I shouldnt be spending on this) but I do believe you get what you pay for. - SS

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#108381 - 02/22/01 01:49 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
stilly bum Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 02/19/01
Posts: 250
Loc: SnoCo
I don't have a Stealheader but the whole pontoon idea is great. Perfect for bar hopping down the river.
_________________________
If anybody needs me, I'll be on the river.

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#108382 - 02/22/01 02:32 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
salmontackler Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 285
Loc: Sunny Salmontackler Acres
I have rowed both, personally I say save $500 and go with the Buck's. The casting platform on the steelheader gets in the way more than it does any good. Plus the Southfork weighs only 43 lbs.

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#108383 - 02/23/01 01:08 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Steelheader69 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/14/99
Posts: 817
Loc: Tacoma WA
Hey Spoony, you really need to decide on what you want the boat for. As salmontackler had said, the buck's bag is less money and lighter. If you only plan to use this boat for floating from point A to B on slow/mod rivers then maybe that would be your best bet. I personally like to be able to fish from my boat without having to beach and fish. (I've caught fish in my boat standing up, found it's easier to fight standing up then from the seat) But if you want a sturdier more durable boat that's good through just about any condition you can find then I'd go with the Steelheader. Also if you actually want to fish from the boat, you'll want the Steelheader.

Salmontackler, which river did you try the Steelheader on and what was the problem? I guess my history with cats sprung from actually whitewatering, not fishing, so I prefer whitewater boats. The tubes and frame on a buck's isn't as sturdy or built to cut water like a whitewater boat. Their tubes are too rounded. Makes great maneuverability, but bad stability. As I've said, and Os will back me up, you get what you pay for in inflatables (cats, kayaks, and rafts). You rarely get a good boat for cheap (and it's rare to get a good all around quality boat for under $1000 that's brand new and whitewater rated with durable frame). I've owned enough and have priced them to know. A good quality set of smaller tubes from any major manufactures will run you nearly $700 (I'm talking in 7-8ft length). Your top quality Outcasts are built by Aire. But, so people don't say then why do you say don't row Outcasts. I'll explain. Aire makes tubes for a few different companies, but they build them to the companies specifications and with a lighter material usually. That's why the bigger Outcasts have the same diameter (and same smaller diameter frame) as the little boats.

In the end, it's your call. You need to decide what you want this boat for and what you have to have in features.

------------------
you haven't lived til you've rowed a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
_________________________
Cataraft Pro Staff
Team OkieWhore
Fly Tiers Anonymous Pro Staff

Northwest River Fisherman

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#108384 - 02/23/01 10:28 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Spoony Offline
Fry

Registered: 03/09/99
Posts: 26
Loc: WA
I have developed a similar opinion about the quality of the different boats. Even having not been in the river with any of them, the Steelheader is by far the best built and has the most features that I personally feel are important. I am an Engineer by trade and design and build stuff (aircraft/space...you can guess where) and verify that your opinions are correct with regard to the quality of the Steelheader.

I want to fish as much as I can from this boat. I want to do it all and dont want to worry about not having enough boat to handle it. I certainly will spend some time getting expereince and building up to more daring waters but am certain I will be running some higher class waters with whatever I buy.

Thanks to all of you for your inputs. I have gotten everything I wanted from this post and your experiences. I will be posting more when I have been on the water a couple times with more questions. Thanks again...SS

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#108385 - 02/23/01 11:45 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Osprey Offline
Spawner

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 956
Loc: Osprey Acres /Olympja
Hey Spoony,if you're serious about about running higher class water,you might want to look at a larger boat at least a 10' but a 12' would be much better,by the time you put all you're gear on a 9' boat you lose alot of you're control.it's a diference between night and day.Frame design really comes in effect when you're talking whitewater,here is where the steelheader lacks IMHO,if you're gonna spend the bucks shop around,my.02.....Os
_________________________
[/b]The less I give a [Bleeeeep!] the happier I am[/b]

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#108386 - 02/23/01 11:46 AM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Double Haul Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 03/07/99
Posts: 1558
Loc: Wherever I can swing for wild ...
If you go with a south fork, make sure you upgrade your oar lock system and go with 61/2' oars opposed to the 6 footers it comes with. I will be safer and row better.
_________________________
Decisions and changes seldom occur by posting on Internet bulletin boards.

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#108387 - 02/23/01 09:12 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Steelheader69 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 12/14/99
Posts: 817
Loc: Tacoma WA
I'll agree with Os, and in fact I said above you may want to go bigger.

He's also right in the whitewater aspect. The Steelheader is an excellent boat, and can handle whitewater well if you're experienced at it, but it is kinda small for the inexperienced. (Actually, anything less then 12' is too small for serious whitewater in my opinion) But it will handle it. I've run my Steelheader through class 4's and was AOK. Just not alot of room for mistakes. Now talk about my 16', well it'd take one heckuva mistake on a class 4 to topple it (not that I haven't seen it happen, but not myself personally).

Good luck, and let us know what you get. I know Bill will take care of you. He took care of me when I bought my Steelheader from him (I only wish he had the bigger boats then).

Mind you, comparing the Steelheader to a Bucks Bag, Outcast, or JWoutfitters is like comparing apples and oranges. The steelheader is actually a fishing craft that you can fish from (not fish from the seat). I know, I've had others....

Jerry

PS, Hey Os!!!!! Tax return is coming shortly, get that pipebender ready and have the tubing available. I'm gonna have me a frame built!!!

------------------
you haven't lived til you've rowed a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts.
_________________________
Cataraft Pro Staff
Team OkieWhore
Fly Tiers Anonymous Pro Staff

Northwest River Fisherman

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#108388 - 02/26/01 03:15 PM Re: Steelheader by Skookum Products
Osprey Offline
Spawner

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 956
Loc: Osprey Acres /Olympja
No prob. "J" had to do some welding this weekend for the neighbors,let me know,I've got a couple new ideas I want to try on you ....Os
_________________________
[/b]The less I give a [Bleeeeep!] the happier I am[/b]

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