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I'm leaning towards an NRS raft (Otter 130 or comparable), but still keep wondering about the merits of a glass boat. For anyone who went through this decision, what did you end up with and why? Majority of use will be Montana/Idaho.
 

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I spent four days in MT in early May, three days on a big river, the guide floated us in his Clackacraft and it was very comfortable. The final day we fished a small river from his raft. I didn't personally like the raft - for me it was uncomfortable (I couldn't stand and had to stay in a swivel seat. But the raft benefited in super skinny water... I guess OldMontanaKid's advice is right on. Besides, all guys like (and need?) multiple boats, right?
 

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Besides, all guys like (and need?) multiple boats, right?

Agreed...Would you be willing to explain this to my wife?:D
Suggest explaining it to the attorney, then once solo buy the boats you want.
 

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Agreed...Would you be willing to explain this to my wife?:D
Suggest explaining it to the attorney, then once solo buy the boats you want.[/QUOTE]
Ya have to take what I said with a grain of salt (what does that mean?) since I've been thinking about that "bigger" boat now for a long time but would like to keep the 14-footer too. And since I wear the pants in the family sometimes, I just keep thinking about that bigger boat.
 

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Kinda depends on your water. I sold the drift boat and sled when we moved out here as we have small bony water. Hard boats are way more comfortable but not really practical a lot of the time. I row a 14' Aire Super Duper Puma with fishing frame that I can fish just one up front or one front and one rear plus oarsman. Great boat for three and the narrow beam has come in handy on many occasions. My son in Durango has a 13' Aire Super Puma set up for the oarsman and one up front to fish. Amazing difference in handling. The Super Puma is like a sports car on the water. Incredibly responsive and maneuverable on technical water. Both are great on high water to play as well. Any rubber boat with 3 in it will sacrifice handling and can be a pig in the current. Two in the right raft is great from my perspective. If you are going to do strictly a two man setup I'd strongly consider a Super Puma if you need a little extra room. Alternately as a minimalist approach look at the Hyside Mini Max with a RiverBoat Works (Salida, CO) BWO frame or modification of same. Hugely popular out here and amazing performance. I'm adding one to the fleet this summer. That's my experience so far. Others will have different opinions for sure. Regardless, a day on the river is a good day! Best of luck on your decision.
 

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For use in Montana and Idaho for trout fishing, I think the choice is a no brainer. Go glass. Clack eddy is what I would be looking at. The new 360° layout is so sick. For the vast majority of your fishing you will be very happy you went with a more comfortable fishing platform. There will be some water you will limited by your ability or comfort level but for the rest of it, you may as well have the best.

I have both. A clack and a super puma but it's Washington and the rivers here a bit more dynamic on the reg.
 

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My experience with river boats is limited to an aluminium canoe, aluminium 1971 16ft drift boat and newer 16ft fiberglass clackacraft with dimpled flexible floor. No experience with rafts, but they look like fun on skinny water too small for a rigid boat.

I love the drift boats. both have advantages. old boat is beat up so i concentrate more on the fish than worrying about damaging the boat.

I love having room in both drift boats for all gear and comforts such as extra rain gear food and any tackle rods I want to bring.

Clacka's best feature was it's interior. I liked adjustable seats so you can level the boat out depending on passengers and load. downside to fiberglass was it was beautiful, so any banging on exposed rocks put nasty scratches in it. Also had to polish was the fiberglass to keep it purdy. the clack seemed heavier than my old, plain aluminum drift boat. It may have been because the clack had lockable storage, so more gear ended up being stored in it than was necessary. For example, lights are not needed for river runs, only on lakes but we kept them in it year round. Same thing for life jackets, we tended to keep more on the boat than were needed. Where as my old boat has no lockable storage so only items needed for daily float are loaded into it. The rest stays in the drift boat Rubbermaid containers in the garage.
 

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Seeing you are of retirement age and are going to be doing a lot of fishing, I'd go with the comfort and utility of a drift boat. If your fishing water to skinny for a drift boat, walk and wade or use a pontoon.
 

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IMO the boat for comfort and longevity, the raft for versatility.
A man just can't have too many floating devices (except for inveterate bachelors . . . then there's always room for 1 more.). My next step will be leaving a pram back home in Montana (probably at the small-but-comfortable house that Sue will eventually get, along with my Superfine 1 weight, lol.).
 

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Dead horse here. But depends on the rivers you float.

I used to row a Streamtech Salmonfly (14' raft) It was a great boat for low water and water with lots of boulders. You can also drop them down steep embankments without worry of destroying your floor.

I only guide rivers that are pretty broad and deep, so I have moved to a glass boat Clackamax. The glass boat is more comfortable and can be loaded down with more gear. There are definitely times when I would love a raft thought.......Hmmm good thing I still have access to my Streamtech :p
 
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A man just can't have too many floating devices (except for inveterate bachelors . . . then there's always room for 1 more.). My next step will be leaving a pram back home in Montana (probably at the small-but-comfortable house that Sue will eventually get, along with my Superfine 1 weight, lol.).
Hey don't forget I'm left handed, if your giving you stuff away ! Lol
 
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