The Hobie Float Cat
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Here the sturdy molded plastic backrest is folded down for easy storage and transportation.

 

My Absolute Favorite Fishing Accessory

If you were to ask me what my favorite piece of fishing equipment is, I would respond that it is my Hobie Float Cat.

The Float Cat is similar in purpose to a float tube.  Though it is made of two pontoons, though unlike most pontoon boats this one is designed for still water.  My model is the Float Cat 60, which is 60 long and 43" wide. It weighs about 21 pounds and can hold a person as large as 250 pounds. Shoulder straps for hiking to your destination are also available. If you want something larger, there is a 75 version, to which you can add oars, an electric motor or even a cooler.  The "60" is a great size to slide into the back of a truck, or in my case the back of my van.  I just fold the seat down an slide it in.

What I especially like is that there are no tubes to fill with air.  The hollow pontoons are constructed of polyethylene. This not only makes it always ready-to-go, but gives me greater peace of mind when sitting in it.  I have no fear that I will loose air and sink.

The Float Cat keeps you pretty high above the water, which can be good or bad.  Good when the water is cold, as only your legs below the knee joints is submersed.  Good too in that with my Force Fins flippers I can move it along very smartly.  But unlike some float tubes (especially the original designs which were fashioned around a truck inner tube) your higher profile in the Float Cat can present positioning problems when the wind picks up.  Not a deal-breaker, but something to be mindful of.

The Float Cat is not cheap.  I bought mine in 1995 for $500.  The apron is separate, but essential.  It is what holds you in, like a seatbelt.  It also keeps your line orderly when stripping. The two zippered pockets (one on either side of the apron) are essential for keeping your gear stored.  You can see the pockets hanging down from the apron in the photo below, full of gear. The pockets are enough so that I don't feel I need to wear my fishing vest.

I have had mine for nearly 15 years.  It is a very sturdy design and has held up superbly.  I highly recommend it.

Check out the Hobie 60 at the Hobie Web site:

http://www.hobiecat.com/fishing/models_floatcat60.html

I bought mine at Feather-Craft, but I see that they no longer carry the Hobie line.  If you are interested in finding a dealer, I would enquire through the Hobie Web site.  Good luck!

Peter Frailey

July, 2009

 

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