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Thread: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

  1. Default Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    Alright, I've been looking at boats for a year and haven't found exactly what I want. I am from northern Nevada so not a lot of rivers near by to justify a drift boat but the setup is just so fly fishing orientated. I fly fish from my buddies bass boat but I'm not sure I need that much boat, and it's not ideal for the fly guy. My canoe is great but i really like to stand up. I have my little pontoon boat but that doesn't get a buddy, or my dad, or my soon to come little niece/nephew (it will be a while before they can go with me, but I want to be prepared!), out with me.

    So I'm leaning towards a larger low profile drift boat, maybe years down the road putting a little motor on it to troll the little ones around. Is this a poor decision? Does anyone have any experience with drift boats on still water? How is wind drift?

    My only other option I was thinking was to do a large Jon boat and build casting decks and storage into it, but I'm not sure about the stability of that setup.

    Opinions please!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    I cannot comment on drift boats for stillwater fishing.

    I have been on a few Jon boats. Some were very spartan. Some were really decked out. Configured correctly, they make for great fly fishing boats for lakes and some rivers.

    Dennis

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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    I can understand your reasoning to have a boat that you can stand in and will hold mulitple people, and I guess that is why I used to use my drift boat in stillwaters. Nowdays I use my pontoon boat and gave up on the idea of standing to cast. Before you take the plunge, I urge you to read Denny Rickard's book "Stillwater Presentations". His method of working stillwaters is to use a small float tube or pontoon, where he controls the movement of the boat with his fins. So basically, he gets out aways from shore, casts and retrieves, then kicks 6-10 ft and repeats and does that until he covers the shoreline he is targeting. With a drift boat that is difficult, you either have to anchor up or let the boat drift with the wind, not ideal, unless you have someone on the oars to postion the boat as the others fish.
    Larry


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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    We looked a a Hyde drift boat last weekend. It was like looking at a work of art. It is an ideal fly fishing platform with tons of useful amenities built in. Out here on the south fork of the Snake River it would be a dream to fish from.
    On a lake ? Nope. Heavy, cumbersome to load and unload and more boat than you probably need. A nice bass boat, wide and flat on top, with room to walk around would serve you well now and when you take others out later. A regular aluminum jon boat may be a little narrow, and does not lend itself to having a group all trying to cast at the same time.
    Just my opinion, based on 50 years of boating and fishing experience. Take your time, and if you can, borrow or rent a few different kinds of hulls. Got friends with boats ? Offer to buy the gas and lunch in exchange for a little fishing trip.
    Enjoy the process
    " I'm just a cook " Casey Ryback, Under Siege

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    Taking into consideration that you’re getting this opinion from a guy on the other side of the hill, whose just a couple of options away from hammering out a deal on his next drift boat.
    Here’s my advice, go try and find an aluminum Semi V / Mod V hull( size 1548 or 1654 ) and a solid trailer and then power it with a small ( gas sipping ) transom mount four stroke and a bow mount trolling motor. If cost is a factor, make due with a used two stroke until the funds improve.

    Then go visit tinboats.net and go crazy with all the ideas those dudes have on the subject. You’ll be able to tailor it to your immediate needs and to your families eventual needs as they arise, at a very low cost.
    On the other hand, if you’re planning on spending a lot of time on the those seriously wind swept eastern slope large lakes and impoundments, I’d probably lean more towards an old Gregor Baja V hull ( V with a tall transom and lots of freeboard ) those things were made for parting the seas, from a full on beach launch. I still see them pop up from time to time on Craiglist over on the coast and delta areas.

    Happy Hunting, TT

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  8. #6
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    Lightbulb Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    A light drift boat gives you 'options.' Still water, why not, I used to do it. Then you want to fish 'elsewhere,' you have 'options.'

    But back on topic. Most 'Newbies' have no idea what it takes to row a dirft boat in moving waters. Pull on this oar, back off on that, PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT! What did/didn't the boat do? (Edit: Position the boat, damned little you can do trying to row up stream.)

    Just you in the boat is one thing, you add another person or two and it gets far harder. Learn on a lake, DON'T learn on the river.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  9. #7

    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    Quote Originally Posted by amertens View Post
    Alright, I've been looking at boats for a year and haven't found exactly what I want. I am from northern Nevada so not a lot of rivers near by to justify a drift boat but the setup is just so fly fishing orientated. I fly fish from my buddies bass boat but I'm not sure I need that much boat, and it's not ideal for the fly guy. My canoe is great but i really like to stand up. I... Opinions please!
    Great topic and lots of options. I've been researching boats for a few years to use on Tailwater to Tidewater (Towee market motto) and perhaps an occasional river. I've narrowed it down to either a Towee skiff or an Adirondack Guideboat. Both have their merits but like you, my requirements vary. I also don't know where I'll live every few years so multi-function is key. Take a look at these two boats as they will open lots of fishing opportunities. FYI, I fish from a canoe and it has it's advantages but sometimes you just need more capability.

    Fish Math
    Towee Skiff - They can be rowed, powered and hold up to three people with coolers and gear. You can also stand on the bow and cast and I mean put your back into it. With a jet motor these things can navigate very shallow water.

    Adirondack Guideboat - Very stable, beautiful boat, fast, doesn't require a trailer (car top transport), designed to hold up to 550lbs of cargo, easy to row, expensive. This boat design has hundreds of years of American history behind it.

    Both are ideal for fly fishermen and can get you to the secret fishing spots where you can dismount and go on foot. The best part is both are made in America by great Americans. Semper Fi.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    After having returned from the gym I realize my reply, boat suggestions, may not be relevant to your question. Do the research, test drive, go fishing. vr
    Last edited by innes; 08-08-2013 at 02:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    I'm with trout trekker. If its a lake boat buy something with a motor and a trolling motor. Lund makes great boats. You can get a 16 foot with a semi V and a tunnel hull that will go like a bat out of hell with a 35 horse and run extremely shallow. It will probably putt around fine with half that. Attach a trolling motor up front and you can stand to fish the shore while steering with your knees. Or go with a pedal operated one and put in a swivel seat.

    Remember, a drift boat is great if someone else is rowing. You can't row and fish at the same time. You can putt along with a trolling motor and fish. To me, that would make all the difference.

    If you want to go cheap, look at a company called Gheenoe. They make a weird hybrid square stern canoe. Its hull has sort of a pontoon shape to it and they are ridiculously stable. I have a 15' 4" model and I can and do stand up on the seat to poll and cast. They're a pig to paddle but it's doable. Throw a 6 horse on the back and a light trolling motor up front and you're set. Plus they're cheap (about $650), and they run VERY shallow.
    Good luck.

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  12. Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    Thanks guys! Looked at the gheenoe and the adirondack guide boat but they both look very similar to the canoe I already have. I'm gonna look through the tinboats site for ideas there on what I can build. That might be a good wintertime project anyways.

    And if I were to go mod v or bass boat I kind of have my heart set on a lowe.

    I understand the limitations of the drift boat and the effort it takes, but I'm also the guy who will get bored and go out and row around for an hour just for the hell of it. I like the rowing aspect. Just never done it in something that will turn as quickly as a drift boat.

    Lot of pondering and wishing to do here.

  13. #10
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    Default Re: Am I crazy for wanting a drift boat for still water?

    Quote Originally Posted by amertens View Post
    Thanks guys! Looked at the gheenoe and the adirondack guide boat but they both look very similar to the canoe I already have. I'm gonna look through the tinboats site for ideas there on what I can build. That might be a good wintertime project anyways.

    And if I were to go mod v or bass boat I kind of have my heart set on a lowe.

    I understand the limitations of the drift boat and the effort it takes, but I'm also the guy who will get bored and go out and row around for an hour just for the hell of it. I like the rowing aspect. Just never done it in something that will turn as quickly as a drift boat.

    Lot of pondering and wishing to do here.
    My advise? Go trout fishing in Montana (or pick your destination) and ask the guide if you can row while he fishes. You might get a discount. Even if you don't it will give you few hours on the water with a good (or good enough) drift boat and you'll have a coach there to help you learn how to use it. Just a thought.

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