smith fly and flycraft questions

#1
Yeah, still haven't pulled the trigger. My latest jones is for the smith big shoals raft, or the flycraft, as they look interesting in a compromise sort of way. Transportable, yeah, generally light, yeah, pretty good shallow water boats or so google says. Decent 2-3 person capability for day trips. I'm not doing the grand canyon here, so deep whitewater performance is not m my musts, but I would like a quality boat.

Yeah, well, google 'em and get an opinion or two. Done it. What say you? Any owners here? Are they in fact Saturn rafts with snazzy frames? Do they row, are they reasonably dry on rivers without named rapids?

Last, and I'd like some input on this question as well from those of you who own inflatables...tell me about your dog. My dog's gotta go, and if he and the tubes are natural enemies, i'll just stop pining away now.

Thanks for your advice my friends.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
I rode in a Flycraft last summer. The raised front seat is nice for fly casting, but it's wobbly, like being on a raised seat in the front of a canoe. Took a little getting used to. I think the Flycraft should be about 4" wider for stability and added space for gear. Otherwise near perfect for select applications. I was floating the upper Madison in it.
 

Shapp

Active Member
#3
I had a good look over the fly craft last year at the sportsman show. I just googled the smith big shoals raft. My 2 cents is that for the price, they a piles of dung compared to real boats. Compare to Catchercraft new price, or good used outcast raft setup.
 

Darby

Active Member
#4
I’m also looking into these two along with Stealthcraft’s Hooligan. My reasons are more that I want to transport without a trailer. Either car top it, bed of a truck, or deflate and trunk it.

The thing that I don’t like about the Flycraft is the third seat has a max capacity of 100 lbs, so it’s just a two man raft. Talking to raft owners that also considered these three models said the Hooligan is too heavy for a single person to car top, so that knocked out of the running for me. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Smithfly. First off, when you call them the owner, Ethan Smith, answers the phone and is willing to answer all your questions. He encouraged me to call owners of his boat and get their opinion. I did some research and found a shop that has some of his boats. Talking to them, I got some other owners name. Called them and grilled them on the boat. Everyone had good things to say about Smithfly. Last week I called Greg Senyo, and spoke in length to him about the Smithfly BSR. He said they have beat the sh*t of them on a daily basis and they’ve held up. Matter of fact they’re buying some more.

Now all that being said, everyone I’ve talked to who once owned a raft and now owns a boat say don’t waste your money...get a boat and give ten very good reasons why. However, in other threads I’ve read on here some people love their rafts and would never get rid of them, so who knows. My reasons are as stated, ease of transport.
 
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#5
I just went through this decision, and after kicking the rubber on the stealthcraft hooligan, I put a deposit on it this past weekend (weird timing, as I lurk on this forum from afar as it's one of the few I've seen good conversations about fishing rafts).

I've not heard the best things about flycraft, mainly its stability. I also can't get over that they are marketing "reverse lean bar" technology... as if jamming your feet under the side tubes and slightly leaning back against the seat is some kind of technological breakthrough.

It really came down to the SmithFly and the Hooligan... and basically I was able to check out the hooligan last year at the flyfishing show circuit. Without the ability to poke around the smith boat, I decided to go with the hooligan.
 

Darby

Active Member
#6
Please keep us updated or PM me when you get your Hooligan. It was number one on my list until I started hearing about the weight thing. Would really like to hear you've got to say...thx.

Steve
 
#7
My brother owns a Flycraft. It floats in four inches of water with the two of us. Not a lot of storage room so edit down how much extras you want to take along. It is very stable as long as you aren't trying to stand up to fish out of it, because it has a relatively narrow beam. We fish seated and it is just fine for that. The narrow beam makes it more like a fat canoe and a little more difficult to maneuver in fast water. We are not experienced enough to take it through white water. It is great for a more sedate rivers that have class two rapids. It is also a great stillwater boat and standing up to fish is easy without the support. He has a small outboard that really makes it fly. He can easily get this on top of his Explorer by himself with the help of a rope and a roller type carrier. The two of us have picked it up and carried it fifty yards without too much strain. I am guessing it weighs about 120 lbs. or less.
 
#8
Please keep us updated or PM me when you get your Hooligan. It was number one on my list until I started hearing about the weight thing. Would really like to hear you've got to say...thx.
Will do. I plan on either putting it in the bed of my tacoma or on the roof rack (in that order) until I get a trailer.
 

Shapp

Active Member
#9
There are lots of smaller very stable rafts that are way less than 120 pounds that fit inflated in the back of a pickup. For example an aire puma in the back of my Tundra:



But sounds like you all are wanting something more along the lines of an inflatable canoe. If you want something that is even more compact, and even more whitewater worthy, can take 2 people with a ton of stuff and is very stable and that you can either paddle like a canoe or row like a raft, get a Soar inflatable canoe. Right now they are on sale and the cost of a 16' soar with the additional rowing frame/oar saddle comes in a lot under either of the fly craft or the smith "boats"

https://soar1.com/soar-16/
https://soar1.com/accessories/
 
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Freestone

Not to be confused with freestoneangler
#10
Come on, @Shapp, you know that fly fishermen must only use boats specifically designed for fly fishing! It doesn't matter if they are cheap Chinese glued boats or not, as long as they are designed and marketed for fly fishing. One simply can not catch fish in a boat not marketed for fly fishing. It is a known fact. Get with the program!
 

BDD

Active Member
#12
I have said it like 47 times on WFF...anybody who wants to take our 10.5' SRB self bailing raft with a drop stitch floor down a test float on the Yakima, just let me know. I don't know about the Smith raft but I'd bet nobody would by a Flycraft after doing it. For about the same weight, you get much more comfort and more stability, and more options but less money.
 

BDD

Active Member
#14
SRB Dropstitch.JPG

Fits in the back of a truck fully inflated (with the tailgate down obviously) but stable enough to fish while standing and enough anchoring power (Leelock unit) to stop when needed, along with a safe way to store rods in the mean time. Plus with the raised seat, you actually have some leg room. Add some quality oars and your still well under $3000 even with the whitewater seats (front one swivels too).
 
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