Buying a pontoon boat is a big deal. It's a large purchase, and there are lots of things to consider when researching about the boats themselves and the manufacturers. I know I always read reviews whenever I'm looking at new products or services, so I figured if you're considering purchasing a small pontoon boat in the near future, you would probably love to see an honest review of a Pond King pontoon boat.
.....Well, you're in luck!
I recently had a phone conversation with Todd, who has a couple of our small pontoon boats, and he was going on and on about how awesome they were! I asked him if he'd do me a favor and write a little bit of that down, and he said he'd be happy to do so! I sent over a few questions for him to answer, and here's what he sent back:
When and why did you buy your Pond King boats?
My name is Todd Clement. In 2008, I bought a small ranch in North Texas which had two lakes – 12 and 23 acres – that I hyper-aggressively manage for bass I have fished 20+ days a year all my life, the first 10 years from various plastic bass busters, the next 10 from Xpress and Skeeter bass boats and since 2010 from Pond King Pros. After buying my ranch, I used a plastic bass buster for 3 years on my lakes, but really missed the comfort and room a bass boat offered. I researched every available “pond” boat and even considered building a ramp and boat barn for a conventional bass boat, but soon recognized there was only one boat that met all my needs, the Pond King Pro. I bought it from a local dealer fully rigged, they put it in the water in 2010 and it has not been off my lake since. It is the ultimate pond bass fishing boat. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a second one directly from Pond King for my other lake three years later and it has remained there since.
Todd the day he took home his 2nd boat in 2013
How satisfied are you with the overall quality of your pontoon boat?
The quality is amazing. 13 years on the water, completely encased in ice for weeks in 2021, huge floods, untold wind, hail and rain storms with heavy winds banging them against my docks (I do have bumpers) and they are in near perfect shape. In fact, I welcome the rain as it is like a boat car wash. The only sign of wear is some of the “Pond King” stickers have worn off. My Minnkota trolling motors are still originals and I usually leave them on year round as I fish year round. Last week, I spent the first money I have spent on my first boat since 2010 – the seats finally burst and wore out after 13 years and I replaced them with 2 Tempress all-weather seats for about $200. That is the only money I have spent on my original Pond King Pro in 13 years. I have spent nothing on the second one.
How does your pontoon boat handle on the water?
From the outset, I have used a rudder and a powerful front trolling motor and both are absolutely necessary. That combo gives good handling in the water even on windy days. I am considering ordering a spot lock trolling motor if mine ever goes out to add even more functionality. I use a wireless remote that I can put on my wrist and operate the boat from anywhere. I had always used a foot control, but this hand control is second nature. The trolling motor is all you need on lakes like mine.
How comfortable is the seating and layout of your pontoon boat?
My Pond King Pro is very comfortable. There is plenty of room to stretch out your legs and walk around. You are not constantly in your fishing partners business. My Pro is large enough to use as a barge to plant brush piles which I have done hundreds of times.
How easy was the purchasing process, from finding the right boat to finalizing the sale?
Purchase was an easy process, phone call followed by payment and delivery soon thereafter.
How has the customer service been from Pond King?
I have asked for advice a few times over the years and every time there was someone who was knowledgeable and responsive.
What features do you like most about your pontoon boat?
My favorite part of the boat is that it can sit out, 24-7, and be perfect every time I use it. I secure my boat and especially the trolling motor with cables and locks and have had no theft problems. Even with undoing the locks and cables and carrying down the battery, I am still fishing 5 minutes from the time I pull up. I also love the stability while walking around or standing fishing.
Are there any drawbacks at all?
The boat is heavy and if you do not have a dock, you have to pull it up on the bank a good ways in case it rains. Always be sure you secure your boat with a 50 foot tow strap as we learned the hard way after a flood caused the bungees to break and deposited my boat 300 yards away from the water after the water subsided. The solar chargers petered out within a year or two due to the wires being damaged either by animals or while the boat was dragged on the shore (pre-dock construction) and eventually, the electrical cords from the battery box malfunctioned requiring direct wiring. This occurred on both boats. Because of that, we don’t use the live well any more either. If these are ‘extras,” and you plan to leave your boat on the water, I would not pay for them. In my opinion, without an outboard, it would be a pain to get these boats on and off a trailer on a regular basis. They are best when left in the water. I bought a trailer that I have used once – to go get the second boat.
Would you recommend this pontoon boat to a friend or family member? Why or why not?
I imagine I have sold at least a half dozen of your boats by recommendations to friends. I recommend the Pond King Pro to anyone who has a 5 acre + body of water they want to regularly fish comfortably and safely. I would not recommend it for “big water;” however my CPA to whom I recommended it 5 years ago says he regularly uses it in his 40 acre cove at Possum Kingdom and loves it.
How does this boat compare to others in its category?
Out of curiosity, I have regularly surveyed the marketplace to see if there are any real competitors and I have found none. The only pond competitors are plastic bass boats in all their varieties. I have fished hundreds of days out of those plastic boats and there is no comparison. They collect water, the Styrofoam gets soggy, they are still heavy to get in and out of the water and the fishing is cramped.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your experience with Pond King?
I have also bought a Pond King floating fish feeder which has performed flawlessly for 5 years.
In closing, if you are going to leave your boat on your lake as I recommend you do because you will use it more, buy the all aluminum models. If you regularly fish 2 people or more, get the Pro. The extra length makes the extra cost worth it. The Pond King Pro is a premium boat at a premium price point that meets the needs of private water fisherman like no other. I have very few things in my life that I am more satisfied with than my Pond King Boats.
Todd enjoying catching fish on his Pond King Pro in 2022
Todd, thank you for taking the time for share your experience with our products. We appreciate your continued patronage, and we're so happy our products have been able to help you enjoy your time "Down at the Pond".