Advice on rafts for fishing

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Poff, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. Peyton00

    Peyton00 Active Member

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    I have oared wooden, aluminum and glass drift boats,including the streamtech.

    I was very much impressed with the streamtech, it spun like a top and moved like a cat.

    I wanted one of each, but had to compromise......

    I built a 16' toon. Its a little sluggish, especially when fully loaded and carrying 3 big adults.
    I float the Yakima and smaller rivers. I fish big rivers and lakes with my gas/electric motors. On the big rivers its a long.... slow..... trip back up to the boat launches with a 15hp motor.:(

    My boat doesnt have a 5 star rating for any single body of water, but I can fish just about anywhere, and i am comfortable and safe.

    Cons:
    The inflatables (the vulnerability factor) which has subsided somewhat, since i have used it so much and the toons are quality built.
    Its trailered.
    It doesn't have gunwales/sideboards for safety and support.
    It moves easy in the wind/ no protection from wind either.

    Pros:
    Its my own creation
    It can float same water as DB's and rafts
    It can motor up big rivers
    It can be carried by two guys (void of gear) pretty far if needed.
    100% welded.. no nuts and bolts.
    Its paid for.:D
     
  2. Peyton00

    Peyton00 Active Member

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    I was drinking when i made the last post. I dont really know what my point was.... beside the compromise part, i think i went on a booze filled rant.
     
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  3. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    You got your point across a whole lot better than I used to be able to. ;)
     
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  4. Arlen

    Arlen New Member

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    I hope you folks don't mind if I jump in here and ask a question of those of you with Streamtech or Maravia boats. I've been a member here for quite a while, and I know some of the other members, but somehow haven't posted anything until now. Anyway, my question relates to the floors of the Streamtechs. They are described as "drop stitch" floors, virtually rigid. Do you have any problems standing on them to fish? And are they tough enough to withstand studded boots? I get out of the boat a lot to wade fish, and here in western Oregon most of the rivers really require studded boots to avoid busting your rear on the slippery rocks.
     
  5. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    You're going to want a hard floor for those studs. No way around that regardless which raft you're in.
     
  6. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Get some 'Shoe Ins', 'Yuleys' or old fashioned rubbers/overshoes.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. pbunbury

    pbunbury Tights Lines

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  8. Steezn290

    Steezn290 Member

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    I have heard that these boats row better than a raft but I would wait longer to see what durability/safety is like over the first 5 years or so of production. They are a new product and I'm curious to see if they will last 20 years like a raft.
     
  9. Arlen

    Arlen New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback, guys. I've had a Fishcraft Supercat raft for about 8 years, and it has hard (tough-coated plywood) inserts for the floor. I've had no problem wearing studded boots in this raft. The studs don't hurt the floor, and I'm always careful when I'm getting in and out not to put the studs on the raft itself. That may not be possible on the StreamTechs though, which is why I asked.

    I guess if I get a StreamTech, I may have to buy some sort of slip-over stud protectors like Freestone mentioned. Thanks for that suggestion, I had not heard of those before.
     
  10. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Anti-fatigue mats, like sold at home improvement stores, can be cut to fit the floor. I keep them with me for occasions where guests have studded boots. Much less lighter weight than wood or metal floors - why add weight, maintenance?

     
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  11. Arlen

    Arlen New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, Derek. You are right about the weight of the wood floors, a downside to my current setup.
     
  12. Poff

    Poff Member

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    So here's another raft related question - what experiences have people had with the two different Aire floor systems? standard floor pocket vs. sealed floor pocket?
     
  13. saffman

    saffman Member

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    Depends on what you're doing and the water you run. I've had both in the past few years. There's not a huge handling difference between the two but I do think the standard floor ballast is a plus in big water. Had a 143D when we lived in Southern Oregon with sealed pocket floor and loved it. Picked up a Super Duper Puma with standard floor when we moved to SW Colorado and love that boat. Big enough to handle most anything but narrow and great handling for our small technical waters. The standard floor seems to track better and is a plus on windy days as well as it doesn't get blown around as much as the sealed pocket floor boats. Reading your initial post sounds like primarily tailwater with very little big whitewater if any. That being the case you may be happier with the sealed pocket floor if frequent wind isn't an issue and you don't mind spending the extra $450. Keep in mind the standard floor does not really hold that much water if the floor is pumped up tight.
     
  14. Poff

    Poff Member

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    Thanks for the information and input on the Aire floors. I've heard mixed comments on how much water the standard floors hold, so it's good to hear it's not much with proper inflation.
     
  15. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    I own a Streamtech Salmonfly. Ok with that being out of the way, let me say this.

    Floor: Maravia floor is as close to a hard boat floor as you are going to get. I have had clients that were amputees above the knee say that the floor was amazing. As for the cleats issue. I use cheap computer chair mats and they work wonders. I always wear cleats.

    Performance: My boat I would argue performs better than any other inflatable on the market for size. I can personally attest that safety and durability in a hairy situation is amazing. Maravia makes a tube that is indestructible.
     
  16. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    Derek's suggestion of adding anti-fatigue mats is right on. We did an extra tweak on our Salmonfly: Buy a few pool noodles (the long ~5" diameter foam float toys for kids) and install them in the side channels of the floor under the anti-fatigue mats. You cut the pool noodles and mats to size, and you get a relatively large and flat standing surface front and rear for standing casters.
     
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  17. nutsack angler

    nutsack angler newb

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    Hey Lugan, could you maybe attatch a photo of your foam modifications? Link told me about this years ago but I couldn't wrap my head around the pool noodle concept. More of a visual learner myself. Thanks!
     
  18. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    I'd like to attach a photo, but the foam pool noodles are buried and totally invisible from above (due to the non-skid mat zip-tied above) or below (due to the raft bottom). So let me try to walk you through it instead:

    Get in your raft and look down at the floor at the front or rear casting stations. On my Streamtech Salmonfly, there is an inflated bulge covering the center of the floor that creates a flat surface to stand on. However, that flat surface does not extend from the very edge of the Maravia tube. Instead, there is a channel between the floor bulge and the Maravia tubes.

    Now think about how you'd extend the floor to make it larger. You'd want to fill in that channel between the Maravia tubes and the floor bulge. Looking at the shape of that channel, it's easy to imagine a foam pool noodle filling that gap in to even out the floor.

    So you take your pool noodles, and you cut them to the right length to fill that gap from the front (and then the rear) of the raft to tuck under the first frame member.

    Next, you cut the non-skid mat to fit the shape of the floor at each casting station front and rear. Just place the cut mats on top of the inflated floor bulge and pool noodle.

    Finally, you need to secure the pieces to the raft. We used tandem zip ties and basically had one of us in the raft and the other underneath (did this on the trailer in a well-lit garage) and kinda jerry-rigged it by looping the zip ties through the big eyelets in the self-bailing floor. It isn't super neat, but sturdy enough and won't damage the boat or hinder performance. After about 10 or 12 days on the water, it's still all intact.

    Let me know if anything is unclear.
     
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  19. nutsack angler

    nutsack angler newb

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    Thanks Lugan. I appreciate the detailed description. It sounds like you're just filling in the edges with noodles where the tube meets the drop stitched floor to extend the standing area but you're not necessarily building up the floor itself with noodles towards the center to level it out? It's that inflated rocker that bothers fisherman in my boat and I would like to get rid of it without welding in casting platforms if at all possible. I'll definitely give the foam method a try.
     
  20. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    Yes, that is exactly right.
     

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