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Old 04-25-2016   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Is this the right fishing raft?

Hi All,

I am an avid fly fisherman and as green as it gets to rafting. I've been looking for the right raft at a budget price and seeking advice. I found the raft for $1,200:

It looks like it's had a long life and I'm wondering if I could get a few good years out of it. It also comes with a separate aluminum frame that looks more basic. Does anybody know the brand of raft this is?

Thank you, in advance, for the help!

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Old 04-25-2016   #2
Strangeville, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 36
Looks like it might be a Campways Hopi, which is pre-Riken. I think they were 12' long and had biggish tubes, 20". Nice boat in their era, but got to be well over 30 years old. Not sure if I would pay more than $700 or $800 for it, and that's if it is in good shape.

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Old 04-25-2016   #3
Great Falls, Montana
Paddling Since: .3
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 845
Bide your time and watch for a good deal on a cataraft
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Old 04-25-2016   #4
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 65
To that end my first fishing boat was an outcast fishcat 13. It was budget friendly, built for fishing, and I could break it down and put in my car in under 15 minutes if I threw the frame on top of my car. Great first boat, used it for years and probably 1,000 river miles. I saved up and bought a boat a few years ago with a trailer but I still love that fishcat. So simple and easy, only downside is it is a 2 person machine. They come up used for sale every once in awhile and they're usually around a grand to 1300.
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Old 04-25-2016   #5
Montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 17
I agree with the Outcast Fishcat by AIRE. Great little boat. I just sold mine here on the buzz. Kinda missing it.
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Old 04-25-2016   #6
Sembob's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 485
Go raft for fishing. Cats work but are not ideal.

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Old 04-25-2016   #7
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 95
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 68
The CampWay boats were pretty good back in the day. I used my dad's 14' bucket from '95 until last year when I bought new, and he bought it used in '80 or '81. Things been down a pretty fair amount of rivers in the west. The frame was similar to the second picture. Could break down into a pretty small size like that one I'll bet could. Was set up so you could stuff it into a bush plane to get into the Bob.

You'd have to worry about the glue deteriorating on that one. My old one started having some of the seams lose their glue and all the d-rings finally pulled off as well. For half the price, I'd consider it - for that much, I'd look elsewhere. That boat could be 30-40 years old.
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Old 04-25-2016   #8
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 30
Looks like the rear bay/cockpit is too small for a fisherman. If you're using it for fishing you may as well have a reasonable 3 person layout, and that typically means a 13' minimum. Also, that frame is set up around the thwarts, which should be removed - if possible, so you may be able to reconfigure things. Does the floor hold air?? .. does the raft hold air?? Air it up firm and swab it down with soapy water. If it's that old and has multiple leaks you very well may be wasting time and money. It is cheap though, because otherwise you're gonna spend around $1,000 just for an old beater piece of rubber - then add frame $, etc
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Old 04-25-2016   #9
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,661
As said, campways Hopi , it's old, it's a bucket boat and it could leak, and it probably does leak or will someday soon. Is that the end of the world? No, for the price it's probably as good as you're going to get and you can always pump a little during the day. The frame seems fairly well laid out and I think the space in back is adequate from the pictures. It probably wouldn't be my first choice given many choices, but I really doubt you're going to find a $1,200 boat that's a whole lot better, but it does seem a bit steep. Maybe 800 bucks? A little more of your in a hurry.

I'm with Sembob on skipping the cat boat. I really don't understand fishing out of cats. I don't see the advantage, at all. Small round boats can make great fishing boats; easy to put it in, easy to take out and small enough to haul into difficult sites.

I have several buddies running similar boats, one we call the SS Hoopty. They work and get their owners on the water, but they were quite a bit cheaper. Maybe my buddies got lucky?

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Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 04-26-2016   #10
curtis catman's Avatar
Rivertown, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 9:45
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 417
Oh no you didn't. Know we are going to have to debate the merits of cats and rafts again. Haha ha

I am an American Whitewater member. One of 6300. There are an estimated 100000 paddlers in the U S. If you are not a member you should join. AW is fighting for our rivers everyday and could use some help.
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