A while back I posted an article (Float) on personal flotation alternatives, such as belly boats, pontoon boats and the like. Well I finally made up my mind to go out and get one since I’m currently motivated by the upcoming trout season here in Argentina.

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Pontoon float

I did quite a bit of research and found that there were many sellers out there selling the same products, so I guess you’d have to say that they were actually re-sellers. What was surprising was that the existence of a “middle man” didn’t necessarily mean an inflated price. The prices were all over the place for basically the same items.

I was eventually able to procure the object of my desire, and did so from a reseller (CoverBonanza.com) and not directly from Classic Accessories. I paid about $329 dollars for my sage/grey pontoon float and another $68 dollars for shipping to my father’s place in New York. Since I live in Argentina, I had to include it with my checked baggage at the airport. I’d called ahead and was told I’d have to pay $100 for oversize baggage. Getting through customs in Argentina turned out to be easier than I thought. I guess they were tired of hassling passengers that day. Anyway, since I’m not an Argentine citizen I wouldn’t be subject to tax, but that doesn’t always stop them from giving you a hard time on the off chance that you might palm them a $20 peso note…

YES!In the end my purchase cost me about $500 dollars from purchase to my home here in Buenos Aires. Some of you might think that’s pretty steep, but considering that the closest thing for sale in Buenos Aires is at least three times as expensive, and pales by comparison in form and function, I’m THRILLED!! (Ok, maybe “thrilled” sounds a little too light in the loafers…) I’m PUMPED!!

Last week I decided to get it out of the box for the first time and test out putting it together. I didn’t want to wait until the first time I actually planned to use it. It was quite easy to assemble. My six year old daughter even enjoyed filling the pontoons with a foot pump I picked up for $10 bucks (was not included with the unit).

Colorado Pontoon Float

Classic Accessories Colorado Pontoon

We met my fishing pal Claudio downtown at a park in Palermo near the planetarium. He gives fly fishing lessons down there on Saturdays. It was also his birthday, and I had a raincoat for him, so we surprised him with a visit. The kids got a kick out of practicing their fly casts and riding in the old Land Rover.

It was a beautiful day and all the better for getting that fly fishing Jones going.

Using the foot pump got boring pretty quickly for my daughter, so she and my son were back casting again while I finished the assembly, only this time they decided to put on a fly and go after a large Carp that was doing flips in the pond nearby.

Jacaranda

Jacaranda

I must have stopped the assembly about 20 times in order to respond to the words “Dad, I’m stuck again…” since the pond is surrounded by Jacaranda and the flies just kept getting stuck up in those darn branches. In order to catch that Carp, he would have had to sprout wings and chase those flies up into the purple haze. These trees are really wonderful and all over the city. The smell gets me thinking of spring, which gets me thinking about fly fishing… there are actually a lot of things that make me thing of fly fishing, now that I think about it.

The assembly and break down were very quick and easy, and the layout of the craft is practical. There are plenty of pockets for storing gear, and the foot supports are adjustable in length, which will certainly add comfort. The seat is very sturdy and the seat padding comfortable, but I’ve already started thinking about re-upholstering the seat with a tight mesh that will easily dry in the sun, but not be slippery when wet. I haven’t tested that aspect of it, but I’m guessing that chest waders and leather-textured plastic upholstery won’t mix too well. We’ll see…

Anyway, the kids continued to have a great time and made me promise to take them fishing “for real” very soon and try out our new portable craft. I get the feeling they’ve got plans for this thing…

Fishing Kids

'Tooners

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