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Aire 156R & Super Puma
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I wanted to say that I just pulled the trigger and bought a new AIRE Super Puma with the intentions on making into a low water Middle Fork boat. I should be getting it delivered this weekend and I'll update this thread next week sometime when I get it blown up for the first time and get the floor laced in and the perimeter line installed.

Any suggestions on what small frame to use on the Super Puma? I have a YETI 65 that I'll plan on using, but any suggestions on a drybox to fit? Any do's or don'ts when it comes to rigging the SP? 8' oars? etc

Thanks for any input!
 

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Low water MF rig. Yea.

Fun, fun, fun. How are you going to do your perimeter line. Just asking.

Your frame choices in some respects may be limited by backlog at some sources. Since you are in ID go NRS. There is also a backlog on quality dry boxes in some areas so good luck. Please update me if I'm wrong.

Forgive me for being stupid, is SP seat position? Sorry Super Puma.

Eight foot oars depends a bit on your frame. If you do a slightly wider frame making it compatible with a future/previous larger raft then 8.5(9.5?) is not out of the question. But I'm not getting into that discussion except that I have a barrel full of 2 piece 9's essentially unused I'd love to sell here in Colorado. They are Carlisle but you should go better.
 

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I have a super duper puma that I use to run week or so long trips. I have a 4 bay NRS frame and it works just fine. Dry box was the hardest to find, and unless you have it custom made, Frontier Play is the only source I found for a 30" dry box. I have 9' or 9.5' oars (been skiing all winter I can't remember). The Canyon Outfitter 75 cooler fits perfect but the Yeti should be fine. I'm currently toying with the idea of adding sideboards and would be curious to see how other folks rig their Pumas.
 

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#WildFood
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I run my Super Puma with an older 3 bay DRE Gunnison fishing frame. 8.5' oars.
I change it up on a lot of trips, but for a few nights with limited fishing, I keep the drop bag in the front bay under the poly deck, add taco pad on top for comfort, and just fill it up with smaller dry bags, pump, etc, then I fill up the back with my bags and strap on two smaller dry boxes, one on either side of the captains seat (missing on this pic). Just added some small poly decks on the side of captains seat to better mount the dry boxes.
The Yeti 65 should fit ok, think I used to have one, but not sure on the 75, may be tight.
Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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I'd always go DRE but that requires thinking ahead. True quality and perfect custom fitting requires getting in line.

You are likely going to have to satisfy at this time for less.
 

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Nice setup EatFish4Life! My setup is constantly changing to match the trip and whether I'm fishing or not.

I looked around and found a photo of my boat rigged for a 5 day Smith River trip. Added the captains box and a 25L Yeti and left the fishing seat on.
63977
 

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If you struggle finding a frame and dont want NRS and dont mind taking a trip or 2 to salmon hit me up. My brother in law "lol as bad as that sounds" does some frames. Right now he's getting busy doing a lot of repair work for a couple the river outfitters in town. look up Engle custom fab there is a facebook page. one pic of a super puma or super duper puma raft frame and some pics of the most beautiful sweep boat frame i have ever laid eyes on. looks like your in Boise so not a short trip by any means but you could hit some rivers along the way.
 

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As I said, take what you can get. A quality DRE perfect purpose frame would have been a drive or shipping. Best of luck.

There are several whack offs of DRE frames built on the east and west slope of colorado to consider.,
 

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Last year was my first season with a Super Puma. We ran it on a 6 day main fork Salmon with a DRE frame that was 54 inches wide and 68 inches long (this is the size of frame that DRE recommends for the Super Puma) and 8.5 foot oars. The setup felt perfect to me for oar length as far as gearing and maneuverability. A few weeks earlier we took it down Alpine Canyon on the snake with 8 foot oars and that felt fine too, but the 8.5 foot felt much better. On the Salmon we used my friends Yeti 65 as the oarsman's seat and it was perfect, and a Canyon Cooler 55 as the front seat.

Fun stuff. I mostly row the Aire 143R and my wife rowed the Super Puma, but whenever I switch and oar the Super Puma I feel like I am flying around on that thing.
 

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I ran a super puma for many years on small water. It’s a grease boat and is awesome. My two cents is to go with as long as rails as possible. Mine were 78” and allowed me to trim the boat well for varying loads and maximize storage options. The frame was a nrs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for your helpful replies and suggestions! I would love a custom frame but since I don't really know how I want the boxes and gear arranged yet I'll probably end up going with a pieced together NRS frame for now. I picked up some 8.5' oars last week at Cascade River Gear for 10% off. Now onto some pictures (since everyone loves pictures, right?!:

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Here is the large box that was delivered! Let the happiness begin!

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Everything was neatly packaged inside.

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The boat, floor, 2 thwarts, and the patch kit.

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Rolled out for the first time.

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Inflated enough to hold it's shape.

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Flipped over and floor suspended with straps to help with the lacing. The boat came with white rope, but I like to be different. I used grey rope to lace in the floor. No one will ever know it's there... except all of us.

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Floor laced in. Not hard and only mildly time consuming. It maybe took about 45 minutes?

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Flipped back over.

Next up: Even though I primarily purchased this to turn into a low water Middle Fork boat I will also use it to have a good time on the Main Payette (or are we calling it "The Spork" now??). I will be laying out and installing thwarts later today. I have a decent system that I use on my 156R using carabiners and Sharpie'd straps to make future removing and installing thwarts a breeze. I'll try to document that as I go along. After thwarts? Figuring out and building my frame!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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I installed the locking carabiners in the lacing for the thwarts.

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Thwarts have been installed and the straps have all been marked with a Sharpie. Now I can pull them out and install them back in the exact same location with ease.


Next up: Perimeter line (3/4" PolyPro rope) and eventually NRS frame. I don't have all the pieces I need yet and some of the crossbars are sold out locally in the size I need. I'll probably end up buying what I can cutting them to size. I also need to track down a small drybox to sit on. Does anyone have any leads on a small (maybe 30" wide) box? How decent are Frontier Play boxes? Or, do I need to fork out $500+ for a box that will fit this?
 

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How decent are Frontier Play boxes? Or, do I need to fork out $500+ for a box that will fit this?
You get what you pay for? They're decent for a chinese made box. I know several folks who have used them for years and I think a couple had to get some cracks welded after several seasons of heavy use. My box seems decently made and haven't had any issues with it and planning on getting a second this year. If you temper expectations I think they are worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You get what you pay for? They're decent for a chinese made box. I know several folks who have used them for years and I think a couple had to get some cracks welded after several seasons of heavy use. My box seems decently made and haven't had any issues with it and planning on getting a second this year. If you temper expectations I think they are worth it.
Thank you for the feedback! I ended up getting a River Rat dry box from Cascade River Gear this morning. I believe they are made in Oregon. It's a true 30" box so it'll be a tight fit but will maximize what little space there is between the tubes. Sometime when I feel more ambitious I'll pick up some material from AIRE and glue it on the inside of the tubes to act as a chafe strip between the box and the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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I picked up some NRS frame materials today. Naturally, the sizes I needed were not in stock and no time frame on when they would be, so I got what I could. The foot bar was the only thing that was the size I needed. As seen, the crossbars and rails were all too long and needed to be cut down.

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Here is the progress after the crossbars were cut down to size. Everything is just loosely siting in place while I figure out spacing. Once I get that dialed in I'll cut the railings down to size. 78" rails are too long due to the rocker of the boat. I still need to get that damn perimeter line installed also. I don't know why I keep putting that off..
 

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Beautiful job! After you cut the tubes how did you drill the holes for the LoPro attachment bolts? Thanks.
 
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