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diyj98 07-02-2007 03:34 PM

Help picking raft for river fishing.
I'm looking for an inflatable for fishing rivers with up to class II rapids. I want something big enough for two men, yet I can handle it by myself. The ability to somehow mount seats with backs is needed. I've been looking at the Sea Eagle 9 and the Sevylor Fishmaster 325. Any opinions on these models? Is either brand of higher quality? How hard would mounting some sort of a seat with a back be on either one? I may mount an electric trolling motor, but I'd most likely be rowing primarily.

Eric 07-02-2007 05:13 PM


You live in a state famous for white water rafting, and you could pick up a good, used raft and rowing frame at a very reasonable price. Generally speaking, rafts aren't the easiest crafts to fish from, but they are extremely forgiving when you plow at speed into a mid-stream boulder. Bit more so than a drift boat.

You can reconfigure the rowing frame to meet your needs for seat backs, etc. Personally, I did not like seat backs for my rowing seat, since I like to slide over quite a bit and move back and forth a lot depending on what leverage or angle I want on the oars. But this is a matter of preference. Many people really like them.

I'd go for a raft at least 13' long if you want to fish two people. Fourteen to 16' would be even better.

If you are planning on running real rapids on your fishing trips, go for quality. You don't want to run the risk of puncture by buying a cheap boat.

Up tails all,


diyj98 07-02-2007 06:40 PM

I worked as a whitewater rafting guide for seven years, but I don't need that kind of quality (or price) raft for what I need to do. A good quality used raft and oar frame is going to run a couple thousand at the cheapest. I'm trying to stick to under $500.00 or so. I've floated the Greenbrier with a 10 ft boat and two men can fish o.k. I was hoping to find someone with experience with the two models I'd mentioned.

juro 07-04-2007 12:26 PM

I went with the buck bag bronco, a solo rig. Sorry no experience with those models.

Since you know rafting I dont have to tell you not to anchor up in any small light raft.

Barryven 07-28-2007 03:31 PM

A 8 1/2' to 9' pontoon boat works good on rivers. It's not too big for controlling withn fins and many of them are big enough to handle up to class II fairly easily .. Mine is a Water Skeeter low profile.. has an electric motor mount and an anchor. I can carry 9' oars, a cooler, extra gear, large net, stripping basket and two fly rods.

Depending on the river, I usually fish from it and and can effectively guide it and keep it oriented in the direction I want by finning and have both hands free for fly fishing. You just have to keep aware of what's ahead of you and be prepared to go to the oars as needed which is easy to do On some rivers..especially the ones with curves, fast currents, sweeps, rapids, big rocks, etc., I just use the boat with oars for transportation from one place to the next and get out an wade. The fins I have fit over my boots and are easy off - easy on.

I usually fish with a friend. Rather than having a two man raft where someone has to row and can't fish, we use our pontoons and stay fairly close together and use walkie talkies as well. We can haul two in the bed of a full size pick up for shuttling..don't need a trailer. Or, if I'm fishing alone, I just hire a shuttle service...many rivers that are floated often have that service available.

It also works very well on lakes as a kick boat.

Hope this is helpfull.

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