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Thread: For a novice on the oars, what is best?

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    Default For a novice on the oars, what is best?

    I am looking at options to buy something to fish out of, non-motorized. Primarily on rivers, some on lakes. I am not a thrill seeker (and don't like to be an unintentional thrill seeker).

    I think I want a drift boat, but what is the best thing to fish from and learn to row?

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Probaly the best thing to learn on is a Cat. You can mess up and go through shallows sideways and not get dumped like you can in a drift boat.
    They are more stable than a drfit boat in that sense and they are more maneuverable and easier to fish from than a raft.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Need more info man. Many choices. Raft (bucket or self bailer), inflattable canoes, pack canoes, kayaks, canoes, catarafts, driftboats, etc.. Where do you plan on fishing? Be as specific as you can. Got a tow vehicle? Fishing on the road system or do you plan on doing any remote fly outs. How many people do you plan on taking with you? Price range (generally speaking).


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I do have a vehicle to tow with. Mostly it will be me or me and the wife with two daughters age 12 and 10. I live in Knik (valley trash west, thats me!!) so would spend a lot of time in the Parks streams and the lakes around the valley. I would like make several trips to the Kenai, but they would not be as frequent as I would like. I want a fishing platform, I am sure they (the family) would like to be able to play on some mild whitewater every once in a while. (All my logic tells me to avoid the driftboat, but I kinda like them, for whatever reason)
    I guess I need the safest thing to take the girls on and still be able to fish off of. All the info when I do research is overwhelming, and I find the best information comes from people who do the same things I like to do.
    How do the various craft handle differently? Is a raft, cat, or drift boat more responsive? Which provides a bigger margin of error? (not that I want to make errors, but they happen)

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Maybe before you jump in with both feet you might think about renting a couple different rafts for a weekend and see if you even like it. If your not into thrills this might not be for you as even a small stream can have some great thrills. Alaska raft and kayak is just one place you could rent and try something out for a weekend. Just an idea!

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Now that I know you want to fish the valley streams and lakes mostly I don't think you want a drift boat. The take outs are hard with a drift boat on most of the streams in the valley. For lakes you might be better with a cheap lund or some lake type boat. No one boat will do every thing you want great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Maybe before you jump in with both feet you might think about renting a couple different rafts for a weekend and see if you even like it. If your not into thrills this might not be for you as even a small stream can have some great thrills. Alaska raft and kayak is just one place you could rent and try something out for a weekend. Just an idea!
    Power--thanks. That is probably a good idea. My thought was that if I do get something, I would like to get someone to teach me a bit about rowing (I row a leaky boat in Knik Lake for my girls to fish out of, but that is not the same, I know)
    I guess when I say I am not a thrill seeker, i mean I don't like stuff beyond my current ability. As my skills progress, I get braver!! I went with Nova this summer, and wish I would have went Lions Head instead of the Matanuska run, because the guide knew what he was doing. I don't know if any of that makes sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    No one boat will do every thing you want great.
    This is really the bottom line. I had a drift boat before I moved to Alaska and took it through class 3 whitewater with my kids in the lower 48 all the time. I sold it before moving up here with the thought that I would need a raft if I ever did a fly out trip. . . .Now that I'm fishing out of a raft, I really miss that drift boat.

    The nice thing about rafts and catarafts is you can deflate them and roll them up and they take up very little space during the winter. Depending on how the frame is set up, front passengers can get pretty wet on a cataraft.

    Even if you can't rent the various boats to try out you can probably find some open seats with other forum members. But, like power drifter said, nothing will be perfect for everything.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Toby. PM Sent. I own a cat. Have had it 5 years. I just bought a drift boat. They both have thier "uses" Check your PM toby and get my number and call me on tuesday. Im not typing out my thoughts on both. I do use the cat and drifter in lakes and rivers so I can answer some questions for you. Now all I need is the Mid River power boat. Hmmmmm I wonder how June would take that. I did buy her the new drifter and camper.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Toby. PM Sent. I own a cat. Have had it 5 years. I just bought a drift boat. They both have thier "uses" Check your PM toby and get my number and call me on tuesday. Im not typing out my thoughts on both. I do use the cat and drifter in lakes and rivers so I can answer some questions for you. Now all I need is the Mid River power boat. Hmmmmm I wonder how June would take that. I did buy her the new drifter and camper.
    Chuck--will do--thanks!!! Tight lines this weekend.

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