Help with Drify Boat selection

#1
For those of you have a drift boat, I am looking to buy one and would like to know the best and the worst of them,
Should I get a Hyde, Clacka, fish rite, Willie??
Hull should it be Aluminum, Fiberglass, combinations etc
I will be using it for streams , and small lakes but want one that will last
Thanks for any suggestions or opions
 

ibn

Moderator
#2
This subject has been discussed many times, if you use the search function I think you will find quite a bit of info.

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/search.php?
Put in "drift boat"

I would make a list of requirements or features that you'd like then check if each manufacturer can meet your requirements.

If it was me, I'd buy a Hyde aluminum boat, only because my buddy has one, and it's f'ing sweet.
 
#6
I have been on the sticks of Clackacraft, Hyde and Willie Boats. They are all the same, but different. If you can get out on a couple of boats and see how they fit, then I would recommend doing just that. I fell into a New Clack last year after fishing from a friends for years. I just fell in love with one with the perfect specifications for what I like to do.
Check out Jason Deckers post. There are some good insights there. If you were in my side of the country, I would invite you out. Sorry, it is a long drive to Illinois.
 
#8
Bill,

No sweat. I was pretty impressed, too. Keep in mind both clacka and lavro are solid, hand-laid glass, there are a couple other makers out there as well. The gel coat gets dinged on them but it's nearly impossible to put a hole in them. Clacka is the only one of the two with a tunnel hull which helps with tracking a lot.

Good luck on your search. Get in as many boats as you can before you buy.

Best,

-John
 
#9
Drift boats are sweet, there's no doubt about it. However, If you want maximum portability, performance, and overall chick-getting ability, get a quality raft with a fishing frame, preferably an Aire Super Puma.
Seriously, though, I'm sure that many drift boat lovers will take a shot at this reply, each trying to sell you on the convenience, superior fishability, and lifetime guarantees that come standard with most high-end driftboats.
Rafts have many advantages, not the least of which is their potential for fun. You can run whitewater, pack the boat in to remote areas, and perhaps most importantly, throw a bunch of family members and friends into the boat and pinball your way down the local river.
In an ideal world, you would have both, in addition to your jet sled, v-hull, canoe, and pontoon craft:thumb: .
 
#10
Looks like Clackacraft leads in customer service, Hyde is second.
Any other input.?

There is a fly show in Michigan next month Clacka will be there so I will be able to compare.

What do you think about the "Gulfstream " bottom?
Needed ? or Techno confusion?
Thanks
 
#11
Eightweight2,

I haven't rowed a boat with the gulfstream bottom. If you can row both to compare, that would be ideal. For recreational use, it might be hard to tell the difference, so if cost is an option, you might not want to go out of your way to pay more for the bottom. However, if you're a gear junkie who wants the latest and greatest, or if you'll be using the boat a lot and need every advantage in rowing, then perhaps it would be worth it.

Highfly -

You're right, there are serious advantages to a raft or cataraft, and for a lot of people a better option than a drift boat. I have a lightweight 2-person cataraft that is ideal for the situations you mentioned - putting in tough spots, bouncing down the river on boney class 3's and 4's, etc. Every tool has it's job. Given the option though I much prefer fishing out of and rowing my drift boat. In other words, I only use my raft when I have to (low water, boney water, tough put ins). The drift boat is just a better rowing and fishing platform. For boats like yours the line becomes much more fuzzy, because those bigger aires track really well and have great rowing platforms. So for the nicer rowing rafts vs. drift boats, it then just comes down to personal preferece.