registered text offender
Join Date: Oct 2010
rafts- on longevity- pvc (aire) hardens and gets more brittle with age and UVs but is more slippery. you can often do a quick patch on just the bladder w/ tape, but removing the bladders is still a pain. Hypalon is more maintenance free and more straightforward tho time consuming to patch. lasts a lifetime for most. bucket boats are cheaper, save a tiny bit on weight, but I would never want one.
raft frames can get much heavier with more bells and whistles. a busy frame is full of line snags, and can make your raft heavier than a drift boat. for a swinger, what do you REALLY need ? KISS
driftboats are easy on-off the trailer but not as versatile (low water) and more limited on access, drier ride in whitewater, but not near as forgiving as inflatables. tracking is much better (think wind and flat water). nicer to fish from (fewer line snags) things don't get knocked out of the boat as easily.
rafts and studded boots- get heavy rubber stall mats and cut to shape to protect floor. DO NOT STEP ON FRAME- studs will put a gouge in there most every time that will eventually rip your waders.
rod holders- gear ties. rubber coated twist ties. better yet break them in 1/2 and Velcro-strap sections together first. simple and very fast once you get used to it. I do this every time on brushy rivers if I cant see the next run I plan on fishing.
i've owned aire, nrs and hi-side rafts, tho I wouldn't buy another pvc boat, aires are quality boats. drift boats are more dodge-chevy-ford but there are also a surprising number of crappy yugos, and kias, and don't forget ford escorts. beware of any companies touting there bells and whistles, a quality, well designed hull is what matters. wood is pretty and hi-maintenance, glass is cooler/warmer and slick, aluminum is recyclable. all can be strong. or not.
small personal inflatables have all the obvious benefits and limitations.
insta-release not Insta-gram !!
Dog is my co-pilot !