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Discussion Starter #1
I've been fly fishing for a few years and just completed fly fishing guide school in Colorado. I have roughly 50 hours on the river rowing a 3 person 14 foot raft in guide school. However, I'm looking for a raft which will be mostly used to handle a rower and an angler, maybe two anglers max. What suggestions for brands and size do you recommend? I've been able to get one pro deal in a certain brand and was hoping I could use it to get a raft in my price rangex which would be under 3k. Fishing in colorado.
 

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Where are you planning to fish? What are the guides on those stretches of water using? Trailer? Room to store an inflated boat?

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Discussion Starter #3
Looking to fish the Colorado, Arkansas, lower blue, and roaring fork. I only have 50 hours on the river so I'm looking to get more hours. I recently bought a forester so my towing capability maxed at 1,500 lbs. I would like to keep it on the trailer when not used but I'm having trouble finding a place to store. I could store a deflated raft in my house for the time being. I think 70% of my fishing will be an angler and myself, but I want to be able to fit an extra person if need be. Since the majority of my rafting will be with two people I'm looking at a 12 or 13, but I wanted to reach out to see what you guys think ?
 

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I have a 13' raft myself. It's a nice size for CO because you can go light for day trips with 1 or 2 anglers, but it's big enough to take on multi-day trips. In terms of being able to run rivers in CO at low water, an extra foot probably does not make as much of a difference as the weight of the boat (when loaded up). I've never had a 12'er, but I would imagine the gear space is somewhat limited. That might not matter if you're only interested in day-tripping, but multiday trips are the bizness.
 

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Look for used Aire super puma or 13' NRS otter.
do not be too picky, most 13' self baileys make great fishing rigs. Used will save u money for frame and junk. You will have no problem towing one raft and frame with gear....the trailer will be heavier than the boat.

13' or 14' raft is the way to go.. 12' is a little tight
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've been looking at rocky Mountain rafts lately. Anyone have feedback on them or how they compare to others?
After doing guide school on the Colorado, it was an eye opener seeing all the camps along the river.
 

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Hi, I am the Hyside Guide rep for professional guides here in Colorado. I just sent you a message with my contact info. Feel free to give me a call. Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've narrowed it down to an hyside 13, rmr 13, and trib 13.

Has anyone rowed the rmr 13 and nrs trib 13? The specs look almost identical, so any feed back would be great.
 

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I've been looking at rocky Mountain rafts lately. Anyone have feedback on them or how they compare to others?
After doing guide school on the Colorado, it was an eye opener seeing all the camps along the river.
I think they make a much better fishing platform than the otter. With three guys and an anchor, the rocker on an otter makes it pop wheelies. I've spent a lot of time in both.
 

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Jacks Plastic makes a really nice 13' with a low profile, long waterline and a drop stitch floor. Designed specifically for fishing.

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13' rafts are like jeeps.... you put 2 people, a cooler, and a dog in one and they are Full.... I'd look at a 14'....just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Jacks plastic looks real nice but a little out of my price range. I just don't want to go to big because I will be mostly using it myself or with another angler. I'm almost thinking I should get a 10.5 and a 14ft
 

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Jared
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I think the RMR with a drop stitch is great. 13's and 14's are great, but I think in the long run you will be happier with the 14. A 14 will draft a little less water than a 13 with a given load, and will give a little more space. I think the added width that a 14' raft gives over most 13's is really what you will notice. I have some friends (probably lurking on this post) who started with a new 13' RMR and moved up to a used 14' Maravia with a drop stitch floor.
We also have a friend with a 14' drop stitch RMR, and the floor is much more stable to stand on than my Sotar I-beam floor. Sotars get pretty stiff when aired up too, but the I-beam floors just don't stiffen like the drop stitch floors do.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I plan on doing overnights here and there but it will prob just be two people in the boat for the majority of the time. Do you think 14 is really the best choice for that? I've never used a drop stitch floor, one of the guides at guide school didn't even know what one was. Will a drop stitch floor still drain like an I beam floor ?
 

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Jared
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I don't think you will see a functional difference in how they drain. From what I've heard, they handle a little different. DS floors are flat on the bottom side too, so the "keel" affect of I-beams goes away. The terminology is tracking, an I-beam floor is supposed to track better. Aire floors are I-beam too, but the I-beams are inside the floor pocket, so they are flat and slick on the bottom also. Personally, I haven't been able to tell much of a difference in tracking between the two. I don't fish, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I think 14's are great overnight boats, and even paddle boats. I think 13's are great paddle raft boats, or light overnight boats. I think you could be happy with a 13 foot boat 95% of the time, and a few times you would want a little more capacity. Other than the extra cost of a 14' raft, I don't see much of disadvantage. The weight difference is minimal. Most 14' rafts fit 40" dry boxes and 40" coolers. Your passengers have more seat space. You can haul more weight and draft less water. You might want to rent some 13 and 14 foot rafts and see what fits you best. In fact, that might be money well spent. Making friends who boat helps a lot. Are there any clubs around your area? You can go with people and observe what works for them and what you might like for your own rig. I still learn. I still have a lot to learn. We all do.
Oh, I run a 14' Sotar ST raft year round. I row sometimes and paddle team sometimes. I have a wife and 2 kids. We can fit enough stuff for us for a few days right now, but my kids are young ( 5 and 7) and don't take up much space. I want a 13 just for paddling and keep my 14 for a rowing mostly. I don't fish from my boat, so I don't have much advice to give there, but plenty on the Buzz do.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Wow thanks for the reply. I rowed a down river 14 foot I beam raft for guide school and it just seemed huge. We always had 3 people on it and I had enough room in the rear seat. It just seems a little overkill especially when I plan on jut using it myself or with another person for 80% of the time.it seems I could save money in the long run with drop stitch because I wouldn't have to buy platform to stand on. I love the sotar strike but it's a little out of my price range. That's why I'm currently stuck between the nrs trib and the rmr. If my financial situation changes, the sotar and Hyside will be the top choices.
 

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I prefer a drop stitch floor- but here's something to consider: most anglers are using cleated wading boots these days. You may not be able to take advantage of that drop stitch, since covering it with a floor will protect it from those cleats. You can throw a carpet scrap over it- bit it's a little ghetto and no guarantee that your angler won't manage to get a boot around that protection and screw up your floor fabric.

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13' aire d or aire puma is what you want for guiding/fishing/camping whitewater. Great nimble boats that track amazingly, impenetrable warranty, great for white water, and 1-7 day over nighters. Also made in 'Murcia. I have had two boats and rowed many more in all shapes and sizes, have an 13' aire d now and it really is the best boat I have ever rowed. Well in my opinion aire in general are the best boats, have friends with aire 13-16'ers and they really seem to be the lightest on the water, and track the best. Also bomb proof. Jus my ol grizzly 2 cents.


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