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Old 03-28-2013   #1
Wilson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
How do I start? first raft

I am obsessed with fly-fishing and enjoy any time I get on the water. I also really like to raft. An old ex taught me how to row awhile ago and I put in a lot of river miles. Unfortunately the relationship didn't stick but my need to paddle did. A while ago threw in for a truck knowing I wanted to pull a boat behind it in the future. Well, I'm taking the summer off to fish and my trip could only be complete with a boat. I have been looking at used 13 -14 foot self bailing rafts with fishing frames.
What does Leafield C-7 valves mean?
What kind of oars should a beginner get?
How do I start to understand what is right for me?
Should I take a swift water rescue course?
Should I even own a boat?
any advice would be helpful.

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Old 03-28-2013   #2
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
You could rent a boat and try that set up, see if you like it and go from there. c-7 are the standard ad-1 ad-2's and military are what you will find on older boats. Oars, you can do a search and find lots of oar threads. SWT course is a good idea. 13 footers are good for fishing because they are nimble and can go down at lower flows when the fishing is good but theres not as much h2o. I love my 13' maravia spider with fishing frame. Big enough for weekend overnighters or longer trips with bigger boats to haul kitchen ect. welcome to the buzz, lots of good stuff here just use the search. Dont count out a cat boat either. they make good fishing rigs too

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Old 03-28-2013   #3
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I've been rafting for about 15+ years and I also like to fish. I have a 14 ft. Cataraft for longer whitewater trips, and just got a 12 ft. Hyside raft for fishing. I'm using an NRS frame with a stern anchor system. I would agree that the 13 ft. raft is a good size for fishing. Carlisle oars would be fine to start, or has good deals on Cataract oars from time to time. A good place to start would be to watch the MB gear swap or NRS gear swap for a used boat & frame. Something near you so that you can look at it. If you have a rafting friend who can go look at it with you would be great. This is a good way to pick up a starter boat, especially if it comes with a frame, oars, and extras. Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-28-2013   #4
East MT, WestMT, Both sides of the Yellowstone
Paddling Since: 09
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,112
On another note, if I had not found my Maravias at a good price in good used condition I'd be in a Rocky mtn. and put my own frame together. Finding a used boat that is geared up is the way to go as far as money goes. Starting from scratch will nickle and dime you into a 6000$ boat real fast. Storage is also an issue< you can go with the stiffer boat made of pvc or urithane but those boats dont roll well and you need to keep them covered on a trailer or a hypalon boat and roll/keep in your apt. route.
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Old 03-28-2013   #5
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 14
Welcome to the dark side Dasboat! First advice, find a friend (should be easy) because it is not easy to row and fish at the same time. Second, think about renting a couple of times to avoid buying things that you may not want or need, simple is generally better. Third, Find a club to join, lots of good info and help not to mention access to some really cool trips that you may not be able to put together yourself. As for boats, I like 14'. smaller is great for fishing low flows and tight rivers but can get crowded on a longer trip if you have someone with you b ut there is no shortage of opinions on this ( or anything else for that matter ).

Good luck, see you on the river!
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Old 03-28-2013   #6
Renaissance Redneck
LSB's Avatar
Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
How much can you spend?
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 03-28-2013   #7
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
Are you primarily going to use it to fish in and around JH? If so I'd get a drift boat. The real answer though is that you don't need a boat. Everybody in the valley has one so just make friends.

Leafield C-7 is the type of valve on the raft chambers. It is a quality valve.
Do a search for info on oars, length depends on the size of boat you have.
Everyone should take a swift water rescue class.
The bottom line is that you don't need a boat to get into great fishing and candidly my favorite places to fish in JH aren't accessible by boat.
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Old 03-28-2013   #8
Wilson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 2
I am looking to spend under 3000 for boat+frame. I know I want a raft vs a drift boat for the versatility. I am from MT and plan on moving back there but am moving out to the PNW in the fall so I want to be able to easily store and move with the pieces. I have rowed 13ft in the past and really liked it but I seam to find more used deals on 14ft. there are a few over in ID that I have been scoping, 13ft Vangard and a 14ft Saturn. The vangard comes with oar frame and oars for 2200. Seams like an good fit. It is stressful wishing but I have been talking about how much I want a boat for a long time now and part of me just thinks I need to buck up and do it.
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Old 03-28-2013   #9
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
PM sent about a nice boat on NRS gear swap that's close to you. Good luck with your quest. $3000 should get you a decent starter set-up. Have fun.
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Old 03-28-2013   #10
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 390
My first boat was a 13' self bailer with a fishing frame. Great for day trips but a little small for 2 adults and fully loaded for an extended trip. I never did find a decent dry box or good size cooler that fit.

One of the learning curves I had with my first boat is that while I had budgeted for the boat and frame I hadn't considered all of the other items I needed for an overnight trip. Dry bags, life vests, fire pan, spare oars, Z drag kit, air pump, throw bags, spare valve parts, raft repair kit, medical kit, cam straps, river toilet, water jugs, ammo cans, etc. I nearly spent half as much on the accessories as I did on the boat!

You can look at the river regulations for some of the rivers you might like to float for a list of 'required' items or do a search on the Buzz for a more detailed list of what is needed for self supported trip. There is some truth to the old adage 'a boat is a hole in the water that you fill with money'.

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