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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Fishing Tactics, Tackle, and reviews » Float Tubes, Pontoons, and Equipment Reviews » Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420

Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420

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1Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:16 pm

MASSfisher

MASSfisher
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Since I started float tube fishing I have owned 5 different tubes. By far, the best kind I've owned is the "V shaped" tube. The Fish Cat 4 (FC4) and ODC 420 both fall into this category, and if you own either one you know how awesome and versatile they are.

Today was my first day riding the 420 and I was automatically detecting similarities and differences between this newer one and my old one. Here are some comparisons that will hopefully help future float tubers with their decision:

**Remember, I am comparing the ODC 420 "heavy model" and the Fish Cat 4 LCS float tubes.**


First off, both tubes are awesome. They both sit really high out of the water, are very stable, and have the "v-shape" design that allows you to maneuver quickly and skim over choppy water. Compared to other tubes such as the round or U-shaped ones, these two tubes win hands down. If you can't decide on a tube, get a v-shaped one and you will be forever grateful. If you want to get into specifics then keep on reading.


Basic differences:

STORAGE:

The 420 has pockets, lots of them! I love being organized when I'm on the water and we all know how digging through a tackle box while jabbing hooks into your finger is no fun. With my older FC4 this was a constant problem. Also, it's really hard finding boxes that fit in the FC4 pockets while still taking advantage of every square inch of available space. With my new tube, I finally have the ability to store specific items separately from one another. On today's trip I was able to store my camera, small boxes, wallet/phone/keys, box of weights, bags of plastics, and fish scent in their own compartments....and I still had left over pockets! As times goes on I plan on buying specific boxes for each pocket. This organization is really important for me, when I want a soft plastic or a crank bait I want it now, not later. I need everything at the tips of my fingers, and I hate missed opportunities. The ODC 420 definitely wins when it comes to storage.

VALVE PLACEMENT:

On the downside, the valves of the 420 are located INSIDE the pockets, covered by a fabric flap to avoid damage to the valves. Personally I didn't see a problem with this, but many anglers complain about the "lack of space". I can tell you first hand though, it seems like the 420 still has more room even with the poorly placed valves. In the future my opinion may change, but as of now the many storage pockets make up for this small design flaw. I would have to check actual pocket dimensions (maybe the 420 really does have more storage space) but I feel like being able to store different items in different pockets gives the illusion of more room because you aren't forced to cram everything in two gigantic pockets. Think of it like this: Junk drawer vs. a neatly organized desk. :cool:

HANDLES AND D-RINGS:

The first time I picked up my 420 I went to grab the handles that I always used on my FC4....but they weren't there. These were the two handles located on either side of the seat. Unfortunately I was not able to compare these tubes next to each other, but I did notice that the 420 lacked the above mentioned handles but it did have two extra D-rings located at the front of the tube on each of the separate bladders. I can live without the handles but I really do like these extra D-rings for a very important reason: Drifting live bait for halibut! If you guys have seen my reports before you know I occasionally enjoy drifting dines for butts while hauling around the bait in a bait net. Well, with my FC4 I would have to tie off the net to a d-ring located near the side pockets which caused the tube to spin a lot and constantly got in my way. Hopefully these two d-rings allow for some better and more convenient placement of my bait net.

STRIPPING APRON:

The 420 wins this one. The FC4 mesh goes up to 18 inches and is not 100% accurate (although it is BARELY off). The 420 goes up to 20" (I haven't measured it's accuracy yet) which will come in handy for me this January when I start hauling in the big spotties late at night. The big difference though is that the FC4 apron has some weird plastic "posts" that stick into the tube....you get used to them after awhile but they are annoying. The apron on the 420 goes across your lap and attaches with some velcro. Nice and simple. On the FC4 the plastic posts have a metal "hinge" on them that will rust pretty bad if you don't take care of them. No metal on the 420 so no rust.

DRAINAGE HOLES:

If there are holes on the FC4 I never noticed. Today I took the 420 out of the water and as soon as I got out of the water I lifted it on my shoulder and walked away....and was surprised at how much water leaked out. I will inspect this more on my next trip but it suggests that the 420 either allows more water to come aboard while on the water or it just does a really good job letting the water drain out of it vs. the fish cat. I do remember some holes on the FC4 but don't remember this much water leaking out.

BACK STORAGE:

Both tubes have a decent amount of room in the rear to store gear. Be advised, anything you put here will get wet. I learned this the hard way when I put my sweatshirt back there on my very first trip. The 420 does have more room though (the 420 is bigger) so you can use this extra space to store a small cooler, your life preserver, a sweatshirt in a dry bag etc.

SIZE:

For me this isn't that important but I did notice that the 420 is bigger than the Fish Cat 4 but smaller than the Fish Cat Deluxe. How is this important? Well, it probably adds stability to the tube which is great for those who use it for salt water fishing. One thing I really like is how I'm not forced to rest my arms on the pockets of my new tube. The FC4 is a bit narrower and I was forced to rest me forearms on the pockets when I started to get tired....which is great at night for breaking your sunglasses that you tucked away. Been there done that.

BLADDERS:

This is an important factor. The FC4 has awesome, thick bladders and I never had a problem with mine. However, I do know some people who've had small leaks, but never anything that couldn't be patched up. I have heard that the 420 has bad bladders, and this does make me a bit nervous. As soon as I unboxed my new tube I checked to see if this was true and the bladders do feel a bit "thinner". After doing some searching online it seems like an equal amount of problems have occurred with FC4 bladders and 420 bladder so I have my fingers crossed. Until then I will continue to deflate my tube when not in use and will make sure I don't over inflate it when on the water.


PRICE:

Originally priced at $229.99, the ODC is currently $159.99 on amazon.com (which was a huge factor in buying this tube...that's a $70 savings!!!). On the other hand, the FC4 is currently $199. The way I see it, I paid less for a tube that is "worth" more. I'm happy with that.


WEIGHT & Capacity:

The 420 weighs 16 pounds vs. the Fish Cat's 14 pounds, but at 300 pounds the ODC 420 will carry 50 pounds more than the FC4. Definitely something to consider if you are a bigger guy or like to lug a ton of tackle around with you.


WARRANTY:

From what I've seen the FC4 has a 5 year warranty and the ODC as a lifetime warranty. Either way, I have heard AMAZING things about customer service from both manufacturers, and rarely is a warranty ever needed. I know some guys who've had their tubes for years and years and use them way more than "normal people" do.
Specifications taken from manufactures website:

THE 420:


Individual 14 gauge PVC bladders with high volume Boston Valves.
Tough 420 denier nylon upper cover.
30 oz. PVC bottom cover for added durability.
Thick foam seat and adjustable seat back for all day comfort.
Rear storage area.
D-Rings for Optional Pack Straps. (not included)
Doe's not come with a pump.
Overall Weight - 16 pounds.
Weight Capacity - 300 lbs.
Packed Dimensions - 22x19x12 inches.

FISH CAT 4:

Inflated Size: 44" x 54"
Tube Diameter: 12"
Fabric: 420 PC/500 PVC
Material Weight: 30 oz/sq. yd.
AireCell Material: Vinyl
Seam Construction: Sewn
Warranty: 5

Valve Type: 2-Boston
Weight: 14 lbs.
Load Capacity: 250 lbs.


For more information:

Fish Cat 4:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

ODC 420:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]




CONCLUSION:

So far I like my 420 and it seems to be better than the FC4. The fish cat is a tank though with really thick bladders. In the end I think the winner is the ODC simply because I got it for cheaper (even though it sells for more) and the storage on this thing is amazing. Valve placement on the 420 isn't ideal and the bladders don't seem to be as thick....but I know guys who've ridden old Caddis float tubes around for years with no problems. I give this win to the ODC 420 but remember, this could change in the future and my opinion is probably leaning towards the 420 because I just bought it and don't want to have any buyers regrets :cool:


https://www.youtube.com/user/brian21x

2Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:18 pm

MASSfisher

MASSfisher
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Any feedback is welcome guys. Hope this helps some of the newer guys when it comes time for them to buy their first tube or upgrade to something a bit "sturdier".


If I find any more differences as I go along I'll be sure to edit this as needed.

https://www.youtube.com/user/brian21x

3Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:50 pm

.:LOLLY:.

.:LOLLY:.
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Sweet write up. Thanks for the info

4Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:14 am

MASSfisher

MASSfisher
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
No problem man. Like I said before, both tubes are awesome but each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully somebody finds this review helpful.

https://www.youtube.com/user/brian21x

5Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:25 am

jeffcpr

jeffcpr
Admin
I miss the handle for transporting with my 420 also. And the pockets I wish the were just a little bigger in the openings some times I think there opening are just a little undersized. Now I don't have the experience of the FC4 but I still this the cost and over all design of the 420 still is better that the FC4 thanks for the write up should help people out when they are getting ready to purchase.


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6Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:57 am

phishinghookz

phishinghookz
Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Great review man...

7Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:11 pm

Chomps

Chomps
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Nice write up massfisher ...I was outside smoking and look at my car tire it had 420 then I remember my license plate also had 420 I guess I was ment to be a odc 420 owner lol


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8Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:10 pm

Lok Dog

Lok Dog
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
I like pockets,.. lol

https://www.facebook.com/lokey.rincon

9Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:03 pm

ydoc


New FTFF Member
New FTFF Member
I have both the ODC420 ("heavy") and the Super Fat Cat. Still, your comparison is right-on!

I had my ODC420 first, so IT was the benchmark for me... so along side of the original posters comments, here are a couple that I noticed:

1) The 420's valves are under flaps, inside the pockets. This is not a big deal - UNLESS (like me), you transport your tube in the trunk of a compact car (Honda Accord) and need to inflate/deflate the tube multiple times - to travel to lake or pond/to fish/to travel again home. Taking the stuff out of both sides to accomplish this is a REAL PITA!

In contrast, the SFC fills up/deflates with ONE valve - OUTSIDE of the pockets. It's still a PITA to inflate/deflate so many times (for my usage)... but at least I don't ALSO have to empty the tackle from the pockets each time!

2) Although the 420's pockets are big (and numerous), the openings are mere "slits" in the center of the pocket - and they don't even run the full length of the pocket! If you're stuffing little stuff in there... no big deal. But I too like to be organized and my PLANO boxes had to be the smaller size just to get through the openings; as when you spread the single slit opening width-wise, you're also - effectively - shortening the opening length-wise.

In contrast, I can FIT multiple 3700 Plano's into the double-zipper openings of each pocket (although the 3600's fit better.

3) Price... yeah, here's the kicker. As noted, you can get a new 420 for $150-$200 on eBay/Amazon, whereas the SFC will run you over $300... and closer to $400. That's a BIG difference to pay for the pocket and valve "advantage" (although there ARE other benefits too). But if you're on a budget - and who isn't these days - the ODC420 is one heck of a tube for the money!!

Bob

10Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:12 am

FishinPhil

FishinPhil
Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Good review.

11Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:18 am

MASSfisher

MASSfisher
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Thanks guys.

Definitely correct on the pocket issue. I never noticed it because I was using small boxes that easily fit in the openings. Bigger boxes would be a PITA to get in and out...so ill stick with smaller, more organized boxes.

https://www.youtube.com/user/brian21x

12Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:22 pm

JsFishSlayer

JsFishSlayer
FTFF Member
FTFF Member
I've been.debating between the two, I found a good deal on a Fish Cat 4, but the only thing that bothers me about it, especially after reading this, is the weight capacity, I'm pushing 220 and I've never been one to pack light gear wise. Should I just wait and save up for the ODC or Deluxe FC, or will the Fish Cat 4 be alright for my first tube?

https://www.facebook.com/FishSlayerJoshS

13Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:18 am

jeffcpr

jeffcpr
Admin
All i can say it i am just over 220 Embarassed and my odc works great so far


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14Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:42 pm

JsFishSlayer

JsFishSlayer
FTFF Member
FTFF Member
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:All i can say it i am just over 220 Embarassed and my odc works great so far

It has a bigger capacity, I would hope so. Haha, I'll look around into both a bit more just to be sure.

https://www.facebook.com/FishSlayerJoshS

15Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:13 pm

bassfishing24/7

bassfishing24/7
Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:All i can say it i am just over 220 Embarassed and my odc works great so far

It has a bigger capacity, I would hope so. Haha, I'll look around into both a bit more just to be sure.
If ur worried about weight capacity look into the cumberland.its weight capacity is 350 lbs & they have a 15% discount thru one of our sponsors cover bonanza. Thumbs Up nothing against either tube,just another option for u.....

16Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:34 pm

dayhut

dayhut
Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Nice review from a real working angler. This is much appreciated, as it is hard to get real information from ad hype.
I am getting my first tube sooon, and Im leaning on the ODC. My budget is around $200 and this nails it.

Again, thanks for this great comparison.

https://palmettoflynfish.blogspot.com

17Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:53 pm

Guest


Guest
Well I Choose the ODC 420 as I got an amazing deal on one  , replacing my fish cat  .. we shall see how it works out

18Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:11 am

dayhut

dayhut
Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Well I Choose the ODC 420 as I got an amazing deal on one  , replacing my fish cat  .. we shall see how it works out
My choices have come down to the Cumberland and the ODC.
For now Im still absorbing info.
Thanks for the reply

https://palmettoflynfish.blogspot.com

19Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Creek Company not all it's cracked up to be on Thu May 12, 2016 3:43 pm

salinefly


New FTFF Member
New FTFF Member
In my experience owning a ODC420 for 2 seasons they are pieces of junk.  Yeah they have pockets, yeah they are stable, no the bladders are not made of quality material.  I mean the material is solid but the design stinks , I have had two blow outs at the seam now while on the water.  I pack light and I am nowhere near the 300lb rating, I also don't overfill the bladders.  I emailed them this last time for a RMA replacement of the right side bladder I also sighted the first time they took 7 weeks to send me a new bladder because the customer service guy said he never received the failed cut out section of the bladder he made me snail mail to them even though tracking said it was received. I also sighted outcasts great replacement policy and 5 year warranty and this was the reply I got.  

Dear Brian,
I am sorry you are so upset with the Creek Company. It sounds like it would
be best if you purchased an Outcast product as it appears they are the best
company for you to work with.
Thanks,
Dave

Customer Service
The Creek Company
PO Box 773892
1280 13th St Unit A
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
970-879-5221


So I took him up on his advice and purchased a Fish Cat 4 LCS ... it just arrived and is about to go on it's maiden voyage but so far it's a very quality build ... we'll see how it fares over the long term but everyone I spoke to said I won't regret it. FYI ODC pricing really went through the roof recently and I was able to get a fish cat 4 on amazon for $220 with free shipping which is 80$ cheaper than the Creek Company product that will let you down for sure. I know a guy that got 3 creek company products all of which have sprung mystery leaks.

20Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu May 12, 2016 3:53 pm

jeffcpr

jeffcpr
Admin
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:In my experience owning a ODC420 for 2 seasons they are pieces of junk.  Yeah they have pockets, yeah they are stable, no the bladders are not made of quality material.  I mean the material is solid but the design stinks , I have had two blow outs at the seam now while on the water.  I pack light and I am nowhere near the 300lb rating, I also don't overfill the bladders.  I emailed them this last time for a RMA replacement of the right side bladder I also sighted the first time they took 7 weeks to send me a new bladder because the customer service guy said he never received the failed cut out section of the bladder he made me snail mail to them even though tracking said it was received. I also sighted outcasts great replacement policy and 5 year warranty and this was the reply I got.  

Dear Brian,
I am sorry you are so upset with the Creek Company. It sounds like it would
be best if you purchased an Outcast product as it appears they are the best
company for you to work with.
Thanks,
Dave

Customer Service
The Creek Company
PO Box 773892
1280 13th St Unit A
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
970-879-5221


So I took him up on his advice and purchased a Fish Cat 4 LCS ... it just arrived and is about to go on it's maiden voyage but so far it's a very quality build ... we'll see how it fares over the long term but everyone I spoke to said I won't regret it.

Great let us know how the new tube works for you, so sad to hear your report on the ODC 420 and Creek Company. But I think it is important to stay on top of this stuff, especially for new members looking to purchase. Thanks for sharing tight lines.


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21Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 Empty Re: Review: Fish Cat 4 vs. ODC 420 on Thu May 12, 2016 5:53 pm

Jerdon

Jerdon
Moderator
The Creek Company has not had good reviews on their customer service or quality on this forum.

Thanks for sharing guys.


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