Fishing on the NRS GigBob
I recently had
the opportunity to try the NRS GigBob
Personal Fishing CataRaft. When I
arrived at the ACK store, I saw that it was still in its box. I was asked if I
wanted to put the craft together in the store, but I said that I wanted the
complete experience of taking it out of the box, putting it together,
transporting it to the river and fishing from it. I loaded the 70 pound box
into my car and headed out. I figured that since it was a frame-less craft, it
would be fairly simple to put together. I own two Hobie 75 pontoon boats that
I really enjoy. In my mind, the GigBob
had a tough row to hoe, but I would test it with an open mind. I was excited to try out a new
When I opened
the box, I saw that the craft was already in a large carrying bag/backpack. I
immediately put the pack on my back. I was able to carry the bag with ease even
though it was a bit bulky and about 65 pounds. It is small enough to be checked as baggage on an airplane. I was able to fit the boat into the
trunk of a Toyota Corolla as well as in the back area of a Honda Element.
The GigBob was
very easy to assemble. Since there is no frame, all I had to do was use the K-Pump 100
to fill up the two bottom pontoons and upper sitting attachment and deck. The first time I
put it together my father helped me. We put it together in an hour, though we
took our time and looked over all of the features. Most of our time
was spent on pumping it up. A mistake that we made was not adjusting the air
valves to accept air properly. Once adjusted, the air bladders took air easily.
We detached the
upper section from the bottom pontoons. This was easy to do. An angler would
have to detach the two sections if he or she wanted to use the upper section as
a small and light kick-boat. Putting the two sections back together was easy,
but slightly awkward. However, with a little practice, it should only take a
couple of minutes to attach the two sections back together again.
oars was simple and only took a couple of minutes. Adding the seat, gear bags,
and stripping basket was also very simple. The directions that come with the
are easy to follow. One could most likely put the craft together without
After we put the
boat together the first time, we took it apart and packed it back in its
carrying case. I wanted to put the craft together by myself. I put everything
together in 21 minutes. Most of my time was spent pumping up the pontoons and
the kick-boat (upper attachment). It took 140 pumps for each pontoon and the
upper attachment. The craft pumps up easily.
I was able to
load the complete boat into my Toyota Tacoma with ease. There are many places
on the boat that allow it to be strapped down easily. I drove to the San Marcos
River. I found that at the put in, I had to lower the boat down about three
feet to put it in the water. I was able to jump on the back deck and actually
walk around. The craft was very stable and soon I had no fear of tipping. I would not have been able to do this in my Hobie 75. There was plenty
of room and the back solid deck keeps belongings high and dry.
Once in the
river, I found that I liked the way the boat handled. Compared to my Hobie 75,
it tracked better and did not spin as much in the current. I was in good
position for fishing throughout the day. I am not a big fan of using the oars.
Even in my Hobie 75, I do not use the
oars. I feel that they get in my way
while fishing. When I am in moving water, I tend only to use Force Fins for
propulsion. I am constantly moving and fishing downstream. It is a way that I
have learned and I am able to keep up and even beat folks to the takeout who
are fishing and floating from canoes and kayaks. However, during this trip, I
fished with the oars attached. I was spin fishing and fly fishing and I found
that the oars did not bother my casting. It would have been easy enough to
detach the oars and strap them to the back of the boat if I had felt they were
in my way. I found that the oars really move this craft. The GigBob
speedier than I thought it would be.
One thing that I
noticed is that you're at the perfect height for casting a fly rod.
The craft does not sit as low in the water as a canoe or kayak. With some
casting skill an angler is easily able to keep his or her backcast off the
water. The GigBob
is also a great height for looking down into the water. Much
of my fishing involves sight casting. I was able to do some sight casting from
a sitting position. I did not cast standing up, but it would be easy. The
GigBob in my opinion can be better for casting in a sitting position than a kayak
or a canoe.
I also tested
getting back into the GigBob
while in deep water. I jumped into water that was
about eight feet deep. I was able to get back in the boat with ease. There are
several handles on the boat that allow a person to pull the boat around or help
him or her get back in the boat. Again, I saw that the craft was very stable
and I had no fear of flipping it.
A few days later
I took the boat down the two mile stretch of the Comal River. I took my six
year old daughter along for the ride. We went down two chutes and the GigBob
was a very dry ride. We also used the boat as a diving platform. We had a great time and my daughter loved being able to walk around on the back deck. I
met at least ten people while floating on both the San Marcos and Comal Rivers and all of them complimented the boat and said it was beautiful.
All in all I am
pleased with the GigBob. I think I found a new boa to add to the fleet.
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