Inflatable Rafts for Fly Fishing : Reviews
There are a wide variety
of inflatable rafts available today, many of which work well for
both fly fishing and recreational floating. These inflatable rafts
vary from small inflatable rafts that are ideal for 1-2 people to
frame rafts that are designed to hold a dozen people and thousands
of pounds of gear. This section of fly fishing gear.info will concentrate
on the smaller sized inflatable rafts - those which anglers floating
in solo or in small parties will enjoy. If you are interested in
a larger raft designed for serious whitewater or for group floating
and fishing, see our Whitewater and
Fishing Raft section.
I own a Sea Eagle 8
inflatable raft which is reviewed below. This inflatable raft
serves as my
primary means of transport on float trips (along with my Sea
Eagle 380x Inflatable Kayak). Read about the many
Inflatable Raft Benefits for fly fishing
and floating on the bottom of this page.
For additional information
about inflatable rafts, be sure to read our Inflatable
Rafts Buyers Guide for much more information. Also read our
reasons on the bottom of this page why to avoid cheap
inflatable rafts which are all to common these days.
of the inflatable rafts shown below are available through Sea
Eagle. For additional information, simply click on any
of the links or images. All Sea Eagle inflatable rafts have
a 30 day on-the-water trial period and a 3 year warranty.
Inflatable Rafts : Benefits for Fly Fishing
- Affordability : Sea Eagle inflatable rafts are extremely affordable.
Prices range from $300-$500, depending on model chosen and how
many accessories are loaded up on it. In short, anglers will
have a difficult time finding a more versatile fly fishing boat
for the price paid.
- Versatility : These inflatable rafts are incredibly versatile.
Some of the models have the option of having motors attached
to them, using a motormount. Floor boards can also be attached,
allowing anglers to stand up straight without fear of capsizing.
Bench seats can also be attached, greatly expanding boat storage
space and making for a comfy fly fishing platform. Unique and
fun things like sun canopies and windshields can also be added,
among other things.
- Capacity : These inflatable rafts have a mammoty capacity -
up to 1100 lbs in the case of the Sea Eagle 9. As such, you can
cram a huge amount of gear into these boats and have no fear
of sinking or capsizing. The huge capacity also makes things
nice for extended river trips, too.
- Portability : All of these inflatable rafts are extremely portable,
easily breaking down and fitting into a carrying case that easily
fits into any trunk. These inflatable rafts also take less than
15 minutes to fully set up.
- Casting : It is extremely easy to cast from these inflatable rafts,
especially if you put in the floor boards, which allows you
to stand straight up. But even without them, either using the
bench seats or by using the fishermans high seat, the angler
is well off the water, making casting quite easy.
Cheap Inflatable Rafts : Reasons to Avoid
A word needs to be said about the cheap inflatable rafts that
you probably see from time to time floating around your local department
stores such as Target, Walmart and others. The reason these inflatable
rafts are so cheap is because they are made out of the cheapest
materials one can find. Consequently, these cheap inflatable rafts
just don't hold, quickly developing irritating holes and, worse
yet, torn seams (once a seam develops a hole or tear, that's the
end of the boat, since it cannot be properly patched). Additionally,
these cheap inflatable rafts have cheap fabric that gets breaks
down under UV Rays, develops mold and punctures remarkably easy.
While these cheap department store inflatable rafts are fine for
the kids to take floating around on a local pond somewhere, never,
never use them for floating down a major river - especially through
remote terrain. The odds are all too good that that cheap inflatable
raft you just bought will develop problems, potentially leaving
you stranded a very long ways away from anywhere.