Colorado Fisherman Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was just wondering what people typically use in CO, WY, UT for river fishing rafts? I posted a few months back about rafting with kids and have had a few more chances to get on the water and feel more comfortable. Now I'm looking to buy a new or used one in the upcoming year.

I have only rowed a 14" cataraft and was wondering other rafts people here use and where you usually float.

Thanks,

Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Okay a serious answer...the fly fishing show and the International Sportsman's Expo are both next weekend. If you go you will find a half dozen different raft companies with fly fishing frames there. The best I would recommend if you are looking new is AAA Inflatables right in Denver. They will custom build a frame to fit the raft you need for the type of rafting you will do.

Their stuff looks sturdy and really well built. I have a dory, and if I ever get rid of it I plan on going straight to them to buy. And they seem like really good guys.

here's their website:

http://www.aaainflatables.com/

And you can always look on Craigs list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I have an AIRE Super Duper Puma (14ft) with a Downriver frame. Its super maneuverable which is handy on many Colorado rivers, and roomy enough for extended overnight trips. The Downriver frame is awesome. I looked at AAA, but thought the downriver was better, they are both great companies (also add in Riverboatworks.com down in Salida), just comes down to preference.

I really researched a ton of raft companies and frame builders. I'm really happy with the set up that I have and looking back, I wouldn't change anything.

PM me if you want to check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
I have a 13" Maravia with a frame that is great on my rivers back here. Purchased from streamtechboats.com in Idaho. Great service and price. I wound up getting a raft with an inflatable dropstitch floor over a drift boat for commando access. I have rowed class III with no problem. O0
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Riverboat Works in Salida makes the best truly custom fishing and whitewater frames in the state. AAA is by far the most getto, and downriver makes a decent product, but they are cookie cutter frames and are really designed for there boats. RBW frames are incredibly thought out and have some very nice toughes that really make ther boats stand out. Little things like the hornes on the leaning bars are semi circular insted of strate out this keeps your line from snagging on them while casting. Really you should look at all of the options in your area to decide.

www.riverboatworks.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Oh yeah and any self bailing raftin the 12-14 foot range will work. Just depends on how many people and how much geer you want to carry. Will you be doing any non fishing float trips? Are you going to get into white water? Different boats row differently due to tube size construction and materials, cats perform more like drift boats, but need more water to draft than rafts. There are so many variables it's hard to answer in a post. If you pm me I will give you my # and we can chat it may be more usefull.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
As for rafts, Hyside is worth mentioning. I have never owned one, but oared and fished out of several, multiple times. Very, very tough boats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,844 Posts
sorelips said:
Oh yeah and any self bailing raftin the 12-14 foot range will work. Just depends on how many people and how much geer you want to carry. Will you be doing any non fishing float trips? Are you going to get into white water? Different boats row differently due to tube size construction and materials, cats perform more like drift boats, but need more water to draft than rafts. There are so many variables it's hard to answer in a post. If you pm me I will give you my # and we can chat it may be more usefull.
Chris,

My raft is not self bailing.. Does Riverboats Works make a frame for non bailers that has a way to stand in the front? My frame now has folks sitting in the front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I got a drift boat & 14' SB Vanguard. Picked up both on Craigslist. Found both of them in neighboring states. There seems like somebody is always dumping there stuff for some reason. Whether to upgrade or need fast cash. Hard times means good times for others. So I would definately look there first before buying new. If the rubber has been maintained and stored correctly used is just as good. I use my vanguard for both whitewater and fishing trips. It is not quite setup for fishing as I like. Having the drift is holding me back. But if I was you I would buy good rubber and frame/oars. Things that you need to get out on the water. Wait on the accessories. You will find with a few trips what you need and what you don't need. It can become very expensive. Especially if you are looking to use it on multi-day trips. The amount of gear that you need is crazy. A self-bailer is more expensive but if you have a small chance that you might get into whitewater, which you probably will, becomes it opens more waters, go there. Non self-bailers are fine if fishing Class I-II. Even Class III is ok if you got buddies and buckets. I have a buddy who has a non-SB and ran whitewater canyon with it. It worked just fine, just had to bucket like a mad-man before the next rapid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Oyey said:
sorelips said:
Oh yeah and any self bailing raftin the 12-14 foot range will work. Just depends on how many people and how much geer you want to carry. Will you be doing any non fishing float trips? Are you going to get into white water? Different boats row differently due to tube size construction and materials, cats perform more like drift boats, but need more water to draft than rafts. There are so many variables it's hard to answer in a post. If you pm me I will give you my # and we can chat it may be more usefull.
Chris,
My raft is not self bailing.. Does Riverboats Works make a frame for non bailers that has a way to stand in the front? My frame now has folks sitting in the front.
Jason they can probably do something for you. There may be some issues mounting to your curent frame, but they are really good and I think we should have you talk to ron the owner and get your best options.

As for this thread RBW will be at the fly fishing show in denver so come see there boats. And not to bag on non bailers, but they are old technology and have limitations that a self bailer does not. Most companies don't even sell nonbailing rafts anymore, but if it meant the difference between floating or not I would get one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the comments. I plan on going the the Expo next weekend to take a look at a few options.

After doing some more research and looking at the rivers I would float with kids and the other rivers for fishing without kids, I think I am going for the 13' self bailer with the fishing frame. With more experience I don't see the need for floating more than Class III WW.

If the cat floats like a drift boat, I'll settle for the more maneuverable raft(if that's the case). I have rowed drift boats in MI (Au Sable and Pere Marquette).

I'm not planning on multi-day trips as of yet until a few more years down the road.

I'm looking for used boats at the moment.

With this proposed setup, is a trailer a necessity or do most people setup at the river?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
a trailer is an absolute must. from now into spring is a great time to find a used boat. Remember with companies like BRW you could always find a good used raft and they could still build you a frame. they build them so you can add other parts later. Initially I just bought a rowing frame and front leaning bar the rest has come over the last five years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Another vote for Ron at Riverboatworks. I bought my raft and frame from him 5 years ago at the Fly fishing show, a Jack's plastic Dragonfly 14 footer with custom frame. Love it!

SH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
In the market for a fishing raft as well (14' or 15' - ideally a Fishcraft Supercat but they are hard to find used). Haven't really seen much on Craigslist. Lots of driftboats though.

Do the outfitters typically offer raft package deals at the fly fishing show?
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top