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Old 10-22-2014   #1
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 117
Looking to purchase first raft- fishing


I'm looking into buying my first raft for fishing primarily and over night trips. I've been looking for the past few weeks and looking closely at the rocky mountain and NRS rafts. They both seem like good companies, I just need to find the right raft. I will mostly be rafting by myself, but want the space and frame to handle two people if needed. I'm pretty set on the 12 and the 13 for both companies. Just wanted to get your guys opinions and suggestions. I don't have a truck so I will be deflating the boat for transportation and securing the frame to the roof. I live in Colorado so I need something that can handle rapids, Don't imagine myself doing anything more then class three. Just looking for a real versatile raft.

PS. Any deals or sales going on?

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Old 10-22-2014   #2
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 29
I just bought a nice used (2009) 13' DRE raft with a full fishing frame on Craigslist. Look at the classifieds here on MB and on Craigslist, and ask knowledgeable people about whether a particular boat is a good deal. My boat was $4900 for rubber, frame, oars, and a few extras, and I spent close to another grand to get it properly set up with safety gear and gear for multi-day trips.

I also de-rig/deflate the entire boat and throw it in my truck and on the roof. It sucks and the constant set up and take down really bangs up the frame parts. Trailer is on the Xmas list this year for sure.
For fishing, you will want a floor (at least in front), which probably means you will be breaking the frame into pieces for transport.

Also, going by yourself is not much fun, but if you plan on doing that a lot I would suggest an anchor set up so you can actually fish.

And don't worry about learning to row - totally overrated. Being able to fish is much more important.

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Old 10-22-2014   #3
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,659
There are lots of discussions on this topic already so search the buzz and you'll find a lot of answers, as well as more questions...

First off you don't have to have all the bells and whistles to fish out of a raft. If you're disassembling it every time at the ramp my suggestion would be to keep it simple. If you end up with more folks add a raised front seat, you can run that way indefinitely, and there are lots of merit to simple set ups. Biggest one is less shit to tangle.

There is another active thread that addresses the brand issue see it here: Need advice on Vanguard raft and trailer. There are many more if you search but basically the two companies you mention will work fine, as will many others. Spend some more time researching this forum, then come back with specific questions.

edit - I forgot to second an anchor... I would infinitely rather have an anchor than a floor, casting braces, rod holders, basically that would be my first "luxury".
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 10-22-2014   #4
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
802, Welcome to the Buzz!

I just moved your post to the rafting gear talk section & hope you don't mind. Feel free to peruse the other posts as there's a lot here in the rafting gear talk forum to get you going. You can also use the search function to find whole discussions on all kinds of topics, like pumps, frames, different boats, etc.

Good luck finding the boat you need, also don't forget to check out our sponsors that sell rafts and gear in our Partner's Directory.

Also, Riverboat Works may still have some great deals on their RMRs right now as well Aire and Hyside that have deals going - take a look in the Partner's Forum for some great sales.


Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 10-22-2014   #5
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
I'd look for a used rig WITH a trailer- bottom line is that you will use it more. Doing all that work by yourself gets very old, very fast. Add the shuttle....all that packing and unpacking- and then row in the sun all day. It's a big endeavor.

As for the boat- the chance that you will build the perfect set up right out of the gate are pretty slim- everybody narrows in on what works for them, and that generally means a few different boats as you grow and your needs sort themselves out. Don't sweat the details too much- get on the water and start the process of figuring everything out as you go.

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Old 10-22-2014   #6
FishVailStevo's Avatar
Minturn, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 72
these guys

The guys who have responded to your post know whats up. I'm currently in the same position as you except I'm looking for a little boat. Greg at timberline tours here in Vail valley contacted me about some good deals on boats. Id send him an email through their website.
Also- the past few months i have been emailing local rafting companies here. Id recommend giving that a shot.
Sage, timberline, nova.... i know timberline also has frames and stuff. Good place to start.

I think I'm pulling the trigger this weekend so good luck and ill see ya out there.

If your interested in a Creek Company 2 man cataraft (ODC1220 and XR12) Ive got one i may be willing to part with. Heck of a boat- especially for our area.
"Yeah I called her up, she gave me a bunch of crap about me not listenin' to her enough, or somethin'. I don't know, I wasn't really payin' attention."
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Old 10-22-2014   #7
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 117
Do we get a discount through our partners for rafts?
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Old 10-22-2014   #8
Western Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 86
I have a 13 foot RMR with a full fishing frame that is trailered, so easy to hit the river and minimal clean up at dusk when we are done. I have had to break down part of my frame a few times to accommodate more folks than the standard 3. Maybe I am spoiled but sure seems more work than at first glance. I am glad that I don't have to do that before and after each float. So I echo Osseous in looking for a trailer soon even if it means waiting on other extras as you will enjoy it more and spend more time casting rather than turning a wrench. Nothing worse than rigging up and seeing the fish going nuts. If you are going to roll and load your raft each time and load into your truck beware that the RMR are beasts and very difficult to lift solo. They are bomber but that comes as extra weight. If you want to drive this way I would be happy to take you out fishing here. Just PM me.
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Old 10-22-2014   #9
East of the Pine beatle, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,362
Free rowing lesson on my boat....all the time you need to get it down- just stay casting distance from the bank!

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Old 10-22-2014   #10
dafewillis's Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 143
If I were shopping, I'd go look at this yesterday (the way I rear it, the listing includes trailer!):

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