Inflatable drift boats that work well for fly-fishing will range from the small one-person pontoon boat to the three-person inflatable raft. Learn more about fly-fishing pontoon boats.
The larger inflatable rafts are great for longer expeditions and whitewater because they are very stable. They can navigate shallow, rocky and rough water because they have a very shallow draft and are quieter than the average drift boat.
These rafts are used mostly on rivers. They are not used on lakes because rowing across a lake against the wind is less than fun. They do not track as well on flat waters as other fly fishing boats.
You can transport all of these inflatable drift boats without a trailer. They are portable but the larger ones will weigh in at almost 200 lbs. You can ship the smaller ones to your next fishing destination or stow them in a small airplane.
Do not use a rigid floorboard in a raft. A rigid floorboard can be a problem in whitewater because it may cause a flip when the raft hits bottom. You must have a flexible but sturdy floor on a whitewater raft.
Most offer stand-up casting platforms. This is nice because the added stability of secure footing can make your casting more accurate and safe.
Most do not require tools to assemble and are very user-friendly. They do however require setup time. “George, did you remember the pump?”
All of the larger inflatable drift boats offer multi-chamber compartments. This offers a level of security in case of an accident. Most will come with a repair kit.
Another nice feature available on some rafts is that of a self-bailing floor.
Most wear and tear on inflatable drift boats does not happen on the water. When these boats are inflated and in the water they are very tough. You should pay special attention to how the drift boat is handled and stored after your day on the water.
Common mistakes include: