Talk me out of the SOTAR Strike for MT. - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-01-2019   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 80
Talk me out of the SOTAR Strike for MT.

I am looking to buy a raft in the next month or so. I live in Whitefish MT. I have a WF Clacka DB now and use it everywhere from the MO, the ELK in BC, to the main stem of the Flathead River. For the most part it will be me and my wife and dog. I want to get a fishing frame for it, dont plan on getting casting platforms as I want to keep the weight to a minimum and have less things to get tangled on. A drop stitch floor would be nice to stand on.



I am not a whitewater enthusiast who will be searching out class 4+ waves. However, I want to be able to handle the 3-4 class stuff if I have to while I'm fishing. Shallow drafting is more important to me as well as not being a wind sail. The wind tends to come upstream on the Flathead and there are some slow sections you have to row through.



I am looking for something that I can use on the upper parts of the NF of the flathead, south fork of the flathead, as well as to fly into Schafer Meadows and float the middle fork for 3 days. I'm hopeful (arent we all) to draw a Smith or Salmon river permit as well. I tend to camp light and have overnighted out of a Skaggen tandem kayak before with her.



I am leaning hard towards a SOTAR Strike, probably 13-6. My budget is right at $10k so I am hoping to find something used and save some money if possible. There are a few complete packages on FB now for 2 different Strikes as well as a AIRE Super Puma that have caught my eye. My buddy has a Maravia Diablo that I could get a good deal on as well. ALso really like the looks of the AIRE 136 DD.

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Old 02-01-2019   #2
 
GOTY2011's Avatar
 
Ellensburg, Washington
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 82
Have you talked to John down at BRO in Missoula? He's guided anglers out of that boat in MT and has it pretty dialed in as far as set up goes. They are having their annual Gear Swap on March 2nd, I'll be there with the trailer and headed up to Whitefish afterwords to hit the mountain for some knuckle draggin' - how's the snow?
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Old 02-01-2019   #3
 
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
 
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
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The 136DD has similar design goals to the Strike, even though it has a very different looking design. I will be letting mine go pretty soon but loved it. Tons of room inside, and its long flat hull makes it float high in the water so it will do really well for small shallow rivers. I took mine down the Grand Canyon, but I've also used it for day trips and its great for both. I'm not a fisherman, but the only downside I can think of with the 136DD is that its not very tall in the front and so not much for a passenger to lean on when fishing.

SOTAR does make a great raft and its hard not to consider one. They are definitely a bit spendy, but seem to be worth it. Same with the Maravia stuff.

If I'm honest... they are a bit spendy even compared to SOTAR, but after a discussion on facebook with a dude... I was sorely tempted to cancel my order for a 146DD and order a Wing raft. Top of the line Urethane material that will last 3 lifetimes and is super stiff so it is fast, light, and punchy. May be a little overkill for a fishing raft though. At the end of the day, its was gonna be almost twice the price for a Wing vs. Aire...so I stuck with Aire. I may go the Wing route in the future though.
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Old 02-01-2019   #4
 
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
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How many forums are you going to post this too?
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Old 02-01-2019   #5
 
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
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Just call Blackfoot outfitters and ask for John. He invented the strike. Tell him what your intentions are and I’m sure he’ll give you an honest answer on if a strike would serve you correctly..
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Old 02-02-2019   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOTY2011 View Post
Have you talked to John down at BRO in Missoula? He's guided anglers out of that boat in MT and has it pretty dialed in as far as set up goes. They are having their annual Gear Swap on March 2nd, I'll be there with the trailer and headed up to Whitefish afterwords to hit the mountain for some knuckle draggin' - how's the snow?
Right now the snow is less than desirable. Its currently raining up there on the lower half of the mtn, high of 31 on top, and tomorrow its supposed to be -30 with the wind chill. Gonna be nasty.
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Old 02-02-2019   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Originally Posted by walterwhite View Post
How many forums are you going to post this too?
How about 2. One that is a fly fishing forum, and one that is a whitewater rafting forum. Anywhere else you think I should post it?
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Old 02-02-2019   #8
 
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 215
Jut buy a raft and throw a frame on it. Your overthinking it.
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Old 02-03-2019   #9
 
Tres Piedras, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1979
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You want to use a raft designed for a fishing frame, and then not use the fishing frame. You will have a boat that neither excels at fishing nor whitewater. Determine your actual goals. If you want a fishable raft that can do class 4 then what you want imho, is just a regular whitewater raft with big tubes and a whitewater frame. If you want to do class 2-3 fishing trips you can get a strike and a full fishing frame. Easy to brace in say, an avon adventurer with a whitewater frame, and its easy to handle class 4 even 5. Overnight river trips often come with regulations which require certain items that might be better carried in a boat with more carry capacity like a whitewater raft. You didn't say but I would consider RMR, NRS, AVON, Hyside, Wing, Sotar, Aire, Maravia. You can use the DB on the easier water and use a whitewater raft for the rest?
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Old 02-04-2019   #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Originally Posted by newpc View Post
You want to use a raft designed for a fishing frame, and then not use the fishing frame. You will have a boat that neither excels at fishing nor whitewater. Determine your actual goals. If you want a fishable raft that can do class 4 then what you want imho, is just a regular whitewater raft with big tubes and a whitewater frame. If you want to do class 2-3 fishing trips you can get a strike and a full fishing frame. Easy to brace in say, an avon adventurer with a whitewater frame, and its easy to handle class 4 even 5. Overnight river trips often come with regulations which require certain items that might be better carried in a boat with more carry capacity like a whitewater raft. You didn't say but I would consider RMR, NRS, AVON, Hyside, Wing, Sotar, Aire, Maravia. You can use the DB on the easier water and use a whitewater raft for the rest?
I have a drift boat for the majority of my fly fishing trips. The more that I think about it, the more that I think the main use of the raft will be for overnight trips with the wife and dog. I will be doing the most of the rowing, so an anchor system would be really nice so that I can stop and fish when I want. She made a request yesterday for a bimini top because she cant handle being in the sun all day. So that might put some limitations on the fishing frame.
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