Being in or on water is what really makes me happy. This past fall I started looking for the next best boat, or in my case, float tube. I looked at catalogues, websites, read reviews and finally settled on a new boat, float tube, pontoon…well it is a little confusing but we will discuss what the boat is a little later, anyway I decided to go with The Outlaw Assault built by Dave Scadden and North Fork Outdoors. Specifically I was looking for a boat that would allow me to travel faster; to get to more water and then be able to use kick fins and fish…and the Assault is just such a boat.
The Assault is an inflatable pontoon, similar to my float tube but it also has an oar system that allows you to put your feet up and row the boat which as I said above allows one to move quickly to another part of a lake and then slow down, put the oars away and fish using the kick fins. The other significant factor is that this tube is rated as a class V white water craft…meaning that if you knew what you were doing you could take this little guy down any river that we have here in the US. Now a quick disclaimer…I don’t believe that there are many folks that could safely navigate the Colorado in the Assault, but let’s be honest you could easily run any river in the Midwest or most of the east as far as that is concerned.
Here is the real advantage to the Outlaw Assault…it is light weight, weighing in at a mere 25 pounds and it packs into a cargo bag (that is provided with the boat) that is 32”X18”X18”. You can take this boat with you about anywhere that you want to go. If you are going on a vacation and need to save space and want to canoe, kayak or float a river, then the Assault is exactly what the doctor ordered. Out of the bag and onto the water in about 20 minutes; that is pretty darn snazzy for a boat that can easily be carried from truck to water or from portage to portage. The Assault also comes with a two way pump that is very efficient and can be used to inflate the two halves as well as the seat that is also inflatable to meet ones specific needs and desires.
Recently while on my trip to Missouri I inflated the Assault and put in on the Niangua which was flowing at a pretty good rate due to the high temps and the snow melt that was going on. I was pleased with the navigability of the Assault and could easily row backwards and stay in place in some pretty fast moving water. What is quite obvious is that the boat rides very high on the water…in fact I would describe it as a water bug as very little of the boat actually sits in the water. I was only on the water about ¾ of a mile but the seat is very comfortable and you could easily travel several miles before getting uncomfortable or tired. I also felt very safe and secure while in the boat and navigating moving water and while I am not an experienced white water person, I could see that moving through even quicker water would not be a problem.
I think the perfect fishing application would be using the Assault on a freestone river whereby you could float and fish a section then quickly pull over and wade fish. The Assault is also light enough to allow fishing from within the boat while standing and wading down the river. For someone looking for an efficient and light option that is durable, the Assault will allow water enthusiasts to enjoy Indiana’s rivers but not have to trailer a boat or deal with cargo racks for canoes and kayaks. If you are looking for a boat to take out west on a vacation but yet not take up loads of space…this is your vessel.
Indiana and the Midwest are full of great waterways that are just begging to be floated. If you have always wanted to…but never have given in to your urges, check out the many high tech float tubes on the market or step up to the new Outlaw Assault and you may just find yourself hooked into a native smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, panfish or trout, all while Enjoying the Great Outdoors.