New Fishing Tools and a Sporty Cat Frame
At NRS we strive to design and build new products that meet specific needs for you, our customer. NRS speaks “fishing”. Our raft and cataraft fishing frames are praised by fishermen everywhere for their excellent features and modular adaptability. And we keep coming up with new ways to make them even better.
Mountain West Wholesale Rep Jim MacAllister is a longtime fishing guide who’s prowled the rivers of the western U.S. and Alaska for years, guiding clients and flinging flies himself. I won’t say he’d rather fish than drink good whiskey, but it’s possible.
One day in the fall of 2010, a group of us met in the NRS Frameshop for a frame R&D session. We brainstormed and hammered out a few good ideas to try. After others left, Jim, Frameshop Manager Rob Gleason and I hung around to continue the conversation. Rob is one of those amazing craftsmen who can visualize complex shapes and thinks in angles, degrees and fractions. When he starts telling me something, I’m forever having to say, “Slow down, Rob and draw me a picture. I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
Jim wasn’t satisfied with our thigh bars. He and Rob kept batting ideas back and forth and voila, right before my eyes they came up with the Frame Casting Platform for Front Thigh Hook and the Front Thigh Hook to attach to it. The casting platform attaches to an Angler Seat bar. If the front fisherman wants to sit on a cooler, we can attach the platform to a crossbar. You can stand with both legs locked inside the thigh hook or just hook one leg inside. You’ve got solid, stable footing and there’s very little to snag a fly line. And we’ve built the Rear Thigh Hook to clamp on a crossbar for a fisherman in the back of a raft. Or, you can attach it to a yoke on a cataraft frame. Jim’s happy as a pig in poop; his personal Otter 140 now has the combo installed.
NRS has stepped up to the world of sporty catarafts with the new urethane-fabric Revolution Cool Cats. With their rockered ends and smaller-diameter tubes, they’re maneuverable and lively on the water. And they’re light! The tubes on the 13-footer weigh a mere 40 pounds and the 15-foot Cool Cat tubes top out at 45 pounds.
To get the most out of these lightweight wonders we’ve designed a new frame for them – the Sport Cat Frame. It features a Deluxe Footbar that solidly locks you in when the going gets rough and a plush High-Back Drain Hole Seat for rowing comfort. It’s a great set-up for day-float action; or you can hang a cooler or dry box between the crossbars, strap on some camping gear and you’re good for a multiday.
This frame is light! At 76 pounds, it’s our lightest cat frame. Throw a pair of 13-foot Cool Cat tubes under it and you’re only up to 116 pounds. Heck, some small personal fishing pontoon boats weigh over 90 pounds.
It’s an excellent frame for the Cool Cats and other smaller diameter cat tubes, like the AIRE Ocelot. If you have tubes with a top flat section shorter than the stock 88” frame length, we’ll customize the top rail and drop rail lengths, at no extra cost.
With the lower “drop” side rails adjusted so the top side rails are at the center of the 23” diameter tubes (or just a couple of inches further out) you have the same ~40.5” between the tubes as you have with one of our 72” yoke-style cat frames. Plenty of room for a full-size cooler or dry box.
The Revolution Cool Cats, with the Sport Cat Frame, are lively, versatile cats that are a blast to row. It’s a fun kind of Revolution.