02-25-2007, 09:14 PM
Well I have narrowed my search down to three providers.
I am priamry looking to use this for day trips on local waters here in New England chasing trout, sometimes I will be hiking in to remote access spots, and even looking to take minimal gear for an overnight. In addition, I hope to have this acompany me on a plane so weight is also important as well.
Also look for any reccomendations for dealers.....
02-26-2007, 12:56 PM
I've had a watermaster for 3 years that I bought on the recomendation of a friend who has used one for quite some time. I hadn't heard of the other rafts but looking briefly at their respective web sites, they appear to be the same. Perhaps they're all made in the same factory and then simply labeled with the different company's name? I know Abel used to sell a raft that also seemed to be identical to the watermaster.
My watermaster is quite lightweight and portable. I'm quite pleased to have purchased a one-man watercraft of this design instead of the more common catamaran-type pontoon raft. The ease and speed of getting the raft ready to fish or to pack it away is a big advantage for me.
My watermaster is the grizzly model. Another friend has the Kodiak model which is slightly larger. I'm glad I bought the smaller raft as it's more than adequate and I don't see benefits of the slightly larger size of the Kodiak outweighing the extra size and weight. Watermaster also shows that they have an ultralight model (15lbs. !) which you might look into. I don't know anything about this model but the obvious question about one would be the durability of the material.
The guy who makes the winderness access used to work and design for watermaster. I think the waterstrider is also affiliated in some way to the makers of watermaster.
For my money I would stick with watermaster as they have been in business the longest. You want to look at the bruin package which is the lightest and should be great for new england waters. I own a grizzly and it is not something I would pack for overnighters unless it was a short hike.
02-28-2007, 09:49 AM
Cool, thanks for the input. Good to know about the light weight option.......I am planning/hoping on hiking(slowly) up to 1-2 miles in some cases.
02-28-2007, 12:16 PM
My Grizzly model is quite light and easily light enough for me to use for a 1 to 2-mile hike. I don't know what your physical abilities are, but if you're near average in that regard, you'll have no trouble packing a Watermaster Grizzly. If you're going overnight though, you'll have a pretty good load between your fishing tackle, overnight gear and your raft -both in weight and bulk. If you wont be going more than one or two miles, physically able and wont be staying more than a couple nights, the standard Grizzly model might be best. The lightweight model is significantly more expensive and, as I said above, probably less durable. There's also the question of how easy the material is to patch when (not if) you need to make a repair.
The dry bag/backpack that came with my Watermaster is large enough in size to carry other items, e.g., fishing gear, etc. besides the raft/oars/pump. My friend's Kodiak model comes with the same dry bag and, being larger, consequently has much less room in the bag to carry other gear -another advantage besides the lighter weight and lower cost.
02-28-2007, 08:43 PM
Hey Pescafile, Thanks for the feedback on the rafts, and aquasole inserts! It is good to know that you prefer the grizzily over the kodiak, due to the added weight and space within the pack. Yeah it is a bummer on how much these rafts cost, espeacially that new 15lber!?!?!! I am hoping once I get one it will pay for it self in two years. I figure I can paddle my way to your neck of the woods and save on airfare....
03-01-2007, 09:10 AM
Randy- FWIW- I saw a guy back in January floating the Salmon from Compactor to Town in a watermaster- sweet looking little rig. I have had a pontoon boat for years, which I never use anymore and have been thinking about a watermaster- Hi Ho Hi Ho, an EO float we go.:cool:
03-04-2007, 11:46 PM
Yo TG- Yeah from Slamin Salmon to EO there are many options, in our neck of the woods. I am even thinking the Mettawe so I can the finger to anyone that say no trepassing and explore more down to the NY border.
03-15-2007, 12:40 PM
i know id like to check out atlantic or steelie water as a first trip but im sure your thinking bout big brookie water up north. but honestly a great frst trip might be to float the deleware this spring. sick water to get into without trespassing and big browns at night on an overnight itinerary with minimal hiking might just be the thing. let me know if you need less than silent investors as i could scrounge some coin to help make purchase. when will the cuppy cakes be ready.
ps spey pages has a meiser trout spey rod up for auction and the deleware has some grey spey water to boot. times a wastin rand.