Drift Boat vs Fly Fishing Raft

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by BackwoodBows, Jul 26, 2014.

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Drift Boat vs Fly Fishing Raft

  1. Drift Boat

    10 vote(s)
    37.0%
  2. Fly Fishing Raft

    17 vote(s)
    63.0%
  1. BackwoodBows

    BackwoodBows New Member

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    Just wanting to know I currently own a raft but want to know the advantages to a boat and I want to see some argument ;)
     
  2. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Having both, in my opinion the raft is more versatile while the boat is more comfortable.
    Last weekend we dumped a raft over an 8-10" cliff to launch, wouldn't have wanted to do it with the boat.
     
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  3. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    What Old406Kid said covers it for me too. I too own a raft (Streamtech - as nice as rafts get), and am happy with that decision as are my two co-owners.
     
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  4. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Depends on the water you'll row and whether you have friends with a raft or a boat.
     
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  5. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    Another consideration: Do you have a place to store a boat and trailer? I've fished a 12 1/2 foot raft for many years and the only disadvantage I've found is the difficulty (sometimes impossibility) of rowing upstream.
     
  6. TonyZ

    TonyZ Member

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    I too own both, a 16ft river sotar cataraft with walking deck and a clackacraft ffb. The drifter can hold its spot and maneuver much better, but I can pound the hell out of my SOTAR raft In places I wouldn't dream tacking the clack. I intended on getting rid of the raft once I bought the drift boat, but that is no longer a consideration, in my world I like the options and don't need to worry about storage space. I'm a bit of a gear whore too, it's an addiction, I like manual float craft.
     
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  7. Old406Kid

    Old406Kid Active Member

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    Thinking about this more, my raft has a shallower draft given the same beer load.;) I'm also a lot more willing to let
    less experienced friends get some oar time unless the river is really technical or has a lot of fractured rock. Good training
    for using the boat later or just learning how to read the water and control the boat for fishing. Lots different when your in the rower's seat.

    On the downside, a raft has a more limited lifespan especially if left out exposed to UV. That being said I've seen some pretty
    sorry looking drift boats that were treated with the same care (lack of)
     
  8. steelydan

    steelydan Newb seeking wisdom

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    If I had the storage, I'd own both.
    If I had the storage and had to pick one, it would be a drifter with a 15hp long shaft four-stroke on the transom for lakes and rivers and the occasional crab pot.
    If I didn't have the storage, like now, It would be a two-person pontoon.
     
  9. Denny Wagenman

    Denny Wagenman Active Member

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    i bought a raft some 25 years ago and the wife and Ifished from it for 10 years. I bought it because someone told me that I would be better off with a raft on the Yakima than a drift boat. Well it turns out I haven't fished the Yak that much. We had great times, but I got tired of having to put everything in dry bags. I trailered the raft and every morning I woke up on our trips I was happy some idiot with a knife didn't feel he had to punture it. I think it was the last show in the Kingdome that I bought a drift boat from the show. I can't tell you how happy I have been with the boat. No more dry bags. Room for 3 and on and on.
     
  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    If you are talking trout waters, I have come to favor rafts simply because they are quiet, have very shallow draft (good ones anyway), and can take a licking. If you plan to use it exclusively on western WA rivers for steelhead and salmon, then a fiberglass drift boat would be my choice.
     
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  11. JSpecc

    JSpecc New Member

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    I have both as well. I take the drift boat out 95% of the time. The drift boat is just so much more convient to load up with gear and people, and they are just so much more comfortable fishing out of. The raft is more versatile for sure, but for the average water/rower there aren't that many places that a raft would get you down that you couldn't get through with a glass drift boat. Picking one would be tough since I'm a hoarder of all things fishing related, but if I was a single hard core river fisherman I would say raft...you could fish anywhere without much limitaion. However, since I take my 5 year old much of the time, I don't see me getting rid of my drift boat anytime soon.
     
  12. Peyton00

    Peyton00 Active Member

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    I was in a similar situation. I wanted a boat that could cover most of my needs.
    I decided on a 16' x 25" diameter pontoon boat. Its a homemade job that was built to suit my specific needs. It has seats for 3 and a 4th if needed, a hard deck and room to move, no bars or trip hazzards to step over. I have dry storage, extra oar, lean bars, 4 rod holders, rod storage, depth finder, heater, radio, a raised fishing platform and a 15 hp motor for the bigger rivers. I use my electric on the lakes. Its gone down skinny shallow boulder filled water with no issues and its pretty easy to lift and drag over/around river blockage. It doesn't race up the big rivers, but it gets me back everytime.
    Usually while on the boat i think of ideas to update or fine tune it. I am close to mounting a DR, a propane bbq and a stripping apron. I dont know what else there can be.... but i say that everytime i update it.
     
  13. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Plus and minus for both. It will depend on what you float.

    This is one thing you can't do with a driftboat:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Trapper
     
  14. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    one thing you can't do with a raft :)







    please note the flip flops
     
  15. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    ....and shouldn't do with ANY boat. The sound of those chines on the rocks is like nails on a chalkboard.
     
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  16. steelydan

    steelydan Newb seeking wisdom

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    PFFFFFTT....Hitch up a couple of Shires
     
  17. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Rob, you are right about long sustained slides. That would be pretty tough on ANY boat. Now, that being said, I have launched my raft down some pretty sketch inclines that would have absolutely destroyed a drift boat. Like they say its not the fall that gets you, its the sudden and immediate stop. Rafts bounce, drifts break.


    As for which one I prefer, obviously for me it is the raft. I love the shallow draft and quiet of a raft. I can slide down shallow riffles and pull into the head of a run without making any noise. I own a Streamtech and it drafts about as shallow as you will ever see in a raft.

    If I wanted to pull plugs or row upstream on a fast current to retrieve lost gear, then I would own a hard boat.






     
  18. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    I've done some pretty nasty things to rafts like float over barbwire fences strung across a stream. I've always run Avons and they are very tough. When I guided there were a couple of marginal takeouts where I just threw a tow strap around the raft and drug it up a gravel hill with my truck. But, for the most part I tried to be kind to my gear.

    That video was pretty impressive, but sliding down a hill like that in flip flops and knowing that letting go meant the boat was going to shoot out into the river wasn't something I'd do. I may have tied a rope to it and lowered it down the hill though since those aluminum hard sides are pretty tough. I wouldn't do it with a glass or wooden boat though. And yup that is going to dull your chines.

    Trapper
     
  19. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    So, did you get the argument you wanted and find your answer?
     
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