choosing the right drift boat [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: choosing the right drift boat

08-29-2004, 12:46 AM
any one have opinion on the different manufacturers of driftboats such as clackacraft,hyde(those two companies bash eachother), willies ,fishrite,alumaweld,or vaugn .
ive been in inflateables for over ten years now and have had enough.
air is for breathing.had a couple close calls in some places that could have been avoided .the thing i hate the most is actually picking up a lost fishing hook,looking down in the water to see the bubbles with eight hours of river left was the last straw,plus the wife said i could, but i have to tough it out for one more winter.i can hang. (just remodeled the kitchen,could have bought two driftboats for what that cost me.)
do you guys up north(pnw) prefer aluminum over fiberglass and if so, why? and vice-versa.
i've rowed a few driftboats ,a couple of them were wood-kit jobs that handled like complete turds that made your feet wet ,so i know i dont like those.
i rowed a 16' aluminum but not for very long,and liked it .
havent been in a fiber glass boat yet.
any input is greatly appreciated

08-29-2004, 11:20 PM
Watch the video on their web site. The video somewhat speaks for MOST QUALITY fiberglass boats.
I got my 2001 WF Clack from Clackacraft in Oregon, awesome deal and condition! They clean their used boats to new condition status! Marty at Clacka in Or is awesome, he hooked me up BIG TIME but I cannot mention on how.
PS: If it comes down to deciding between a Clack or Hyde, they are pretty close as far as value,options,etc. but in the loooong run, the Clack will ALWAYS have a better re-sale value. Kinda like comparing a Honda to a Toyota, comparable but the Honda will ALWAYS have a better resale value.

Good luck!


08-29-2004, 11:30 PM
thankyou for the tip.
will check it out ASAP.

08-30-2004, 01:18 AM
i'm going to have one,,it's only a matter of time,i'll have to build it,,and it'll be a `Rogue River Special',why!?,,well,,they have strait sides,,no `hotshotting' from side to side in fast water,they have;a huge amount of room in the back,,equal to,,at least,the front floorspace in any other boat,the sides have more `flair',,they `wedge' down in the current=everyone can stand on the same side of the boat,anchored midriver,,the `hotshotthangagain',one thing the current range of builder's don't seem to recognize as an important wich makes their boats `corkie',drawbacks;huge boat almost 18 ft long,tast heavier /longer/slower handling than you'd like for fast,heavy water,,,,but a flyfisher's dreamboat once you're aboard,wood floats well,and has a feel unlike any other, :tsk_tsk: ,the front-n-rear setup used for flyfishing is why i'll have one,,i use a 15.5 version,,,fantastic boat,,,but,,never enough room,,well,i guess you'd simply have to float in an old `Hood' to figure it out,DAMN theyre sweet!,,,,hmmmnnmm,maybe you better get one of the new breed boats,,join the crowd,go on now,,,,no,,,no RRSpecials around,,nope,haven't heard,haven't seeen, :mad: ,,nosir,go down there,,take a left,----- :hihi: :devil: or,,get a RiverWild,,,small custom builders in GP,,,guide after guideboat goes by,,label says```RiverWild' they must be doing something right :confused:

08-30-2004, 01:24 PM
thanks for the tip . i'm learning a lot from you guys and i appreciate the feed back. theres a lot of boat builders out there for sure,to stay competitive in to days market place you cant sell junk.its like boobies,no such thing as bad boobies,just some 'er better than others.
for me wood is definitely out. too high of a maintenance factor take the montana boat builders for example they are beautiful, infact exceptional, but too expensive.wood kit boats are out heres why, there is no warrantee on something you build your self. a friend of mine has a woody and it stops leakin after its waterlogged and the bilge pump has been stroked a few times and by then it rows like a complete turd.
aluminum boats are looking good but they paint an unsavory picture of dents, wrinkles,and sharp edges in my mind.
ive been a weldor/steel worker for more than twentyfive years, third generation.
so i actually know quite abit about trying to weld and/or repair aluminum sheet metal with serious mineral contaminatin from scraping rocks and such.i work hard there for i play even harder. im dedicated to my family,my fun, and my flyfishing .
im just looking for the right tool for the job.
as far as the crowd goes ,i base my decisions on facts not what the crowd has to say.good luck on your woody and have fun.
you have to check out the lavro site its actually quite amazing :)

08-30-2004, 01:59 PM
For what it's worth the guides that I used on the Missouri used Lavor boats. It's been a long time since I've been out Westand been in a drift boat.
Will have to get out there soon.
FishHawkj :D

08-30-2004, 03:41 PM
just throwing a different outlook at you,,,,i use an aluminum boat,,best all around,,for here,,my river varies so much as to where on the river,,what conditions etc.,,,certainly a woody is not for everyone,,the big woody,setup to flyfish,,,,awesome fishing platform,three ft. longer than what i row now,,so,it wouldn't be for yearound use,,just those summer steelie flyfishing trips,around grants pass ore.,class 1-2 max,,,glass,you can't hardly sell them around here,,,bad trip for me,,,,lost a lot of money on the one i had,,,turd,,,every aspect,,once i tasted how a well,,,dr--- ---ft built boat rowed,,,,i was done!,,if the boat has a banana bottom,,,,,, :tsk_tsk: row some boats,,please,,,,seriously,,take beer or whatever,,hit the neraest boatramp,,surely you can find a thirsty fellow who's tired of rowing,,,,,, :smokin:

08-30-2004, 04:06 PM
One thing to remember about big heavy drift boats.

They take big heavy strokes on the oars, so that means you better have big heavy shoulders.

In heavy water they can be very cumbersom, if you get into trouble you may not be able to row your way out.


08-30-2004, 05:20 PM
For what its worth, I own an old Alumaweld Guide model (this was made by Willie before he left to form Willies). I have spent a fair amount of time in a number of boats though. I would shy away from Hyde but that is just me. Clacks are good boats but would not make my top two. If I was going glass, I would go Lavro. Ron makes a super boat and they are slick as snot when it comes to low summer flows where you need to slide over rocks. If I was going aluminum, it would be a Willies hands down. Regardless, pay the extra money and get a good set of oars, they are worth it in teh long run.

08-30-2004, 07:44 PM
I spent three years looking, comparing, and talking to others before I bought a drift boat 2 years ago. I decided after the first year that wood was out because of the maintenance it takes and because it is more prone to puntures that glass or aluminum. After the second year I decided aluminum was out because it is noisey, cold in winter, and hot in summer, although it is as tough as nails. The third year I decided it was between Hyde and Clakacraft because they are wider than Lavro, thus making them more stable, although Lavro is probably the strongest hull in the business and if they made a 16' boat that was 54" wide, I would have probably got a Lavro (their boats are only 48" wide).

I finally got a Hyde because I can change the configuration of the boat simply by buying a different front seat, bench, or pedestal; rear pedestal, bench or seat; rower's seat or bench and changing them myself. The Clakacraft and Lavro front and rear seat pieces are molded into the boat when it is made and can't be changed. I also like the flat floors of the Hyde, which keep your feet out of water you can't help getting in the bottom of the boat. I also like the sharp chines of the Hyde.

One thing I would recommend anyone get for a drift boat is high-quality graphite shaft, counter-ballance oars (just like sinktip recommended). They are well worth the extra money.

09-04-2004, 05:16 PM
:D i guess you don't row those `tubs' every day,heheheheeehooieeee :chuckle: :hihi: :hihi:

09-06-2004, 03:02 PM
I guess if I were a guide I might look at it a little differently. Like the boat is only a tool. And as such I sure as hell wouldn't want to have to worry about anything other than wheel bearings and tires.
But I am not a guide. I just like what I like, kind of like some guys prefer blondes. :D
Wood boats are the blondes of the boat world. They will get looks, even in the parking lot. But beyond that, wood floats naturally. A wood boat will float higher and get through shallower water. And unlike aluminum, wood is quiet. It is also lightweight, agile and responsive. The wood that boat is made from was once a living thing. It has been hand crafted into the boat it now is with a lot of TLC. It has been reincarnated. It has a soul!

09-28-2004, 08:17 PM
The rivers I fish are quite tame in comparison to the big water out west. 100+ feet wide and not many obstructions to manuever around. I do like to fish when the water is high though and most folks are safely indoors tying flies. Although no - I wasn't out in the 150,000 cfs+ that we had last week ;)
I have a Hyde High Side Combo. My perfect drift boat would be my Hyde with a bigger footprint to sit higher in the water. I would stretch it a foot longer and make it wider like the Clack 16' WF. I like the layout of the Hyde but it's a little cramped for me. (6'3" 275 lbs.) And two brothers just about as big.
It's a good looking boat, good warranty, well made,I really like the flat floors over the other boats, the storage boxes and rod holders.
It turns on a dime and the only other draw back I see is (which is a big one for me)
It can't "hang" in the current like the WF Clack. No comparison
It's fine in the flat water but trying to hold it back in a stiff current while throwing streamers to the fish up in the grass during high water is hard work.
I like the glass boats because they don't transmit the cold like the tin boats do in the winter.
A lot quieter also.

09-29-2004, 07:36 AM
i looked at the Hyde boats online recently,,,they took the Rogue style bottom,and renamed it,, :tsk_tsk: i'd take a good hard look at what they offer in aluminum,if i didn't already own the perfect boat for my waters, :smokin:

09-29-2004, 08:57 PM
if you are looking at new glass boats clackacraft and lavro are the best boats available ( not including small custom builders of which i am sure there are many)

if you are looking for used boats brands to look for are clacacraft,lavro east side and sliderite..

I have heard lots of complaints about hydes and the video on lavro's website will put an end to you wanting a hyde

properly built fiberglass driftboats are built to be abused ( again watch the lavro video)

Now if you are fishing in a location where you always have nice launches and you never hit rocks or rapids i am sure a hyde would be just fine.. but if you want something to be aggressive with to use abuse and put away wet and never do any maintenence to then get a clacka or lavro.. If you did something to destroy one of these boats you probably either died in the accident or won't want to row a boat ever again

09-30-2004, 01:04 AM
get a `Clack' or a `Lavro',hit the first chute going into the Rogue canyon@Graves creek, :hihi: ,well,i wonder how many glass boats ARE down the canyon,in one piece :devil: ,,,,`tri-hulls' ARE the ultimate fishing boat :razz: