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Old 11-30-2010, 02:15 PM
SuperFly SuperFly is offline
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Default Fly Fishing Noob Interested in a boat

Okay, so before I post my question let me give you a little background.

I grew up fishing with casting and spinning gear. Used an old bamboo fly rod with my grandfather as a kid. I have recently taken up fly fishing as a serious hobby as an adult.

I am pretty geared out for this trout season, and my casting is pretty good (for a beginner) as I took the summer to do some learning while bass fishing.


What I am posting about is this. I am interested in getting a fishing boat for the Caney Fork (closest, best water to Nashville that I know of) and I am looking for advice on the pro and cons of various boats. I currently have a sit-on-top kayak for the Harpeth and other smaller rivers like the Buffalo, but I use it in the Spring and Summer, and it isn't the style of kayak that I can stand up on (unless I want to go swimming when it flips over).

I have looked at the alumacraft style jon boats and v-hull boats, and have also looked at drift boats (used) as well. I have thought that if I go with a aluminum style boat that I would invest in an outboard jet motor since I have read on this and other forums that they can run in very shallow water with little issues.

I would primarily be fishing the Caney Fork with this boat, but wouldn't hesitate to take it to other rivers in the area as well.

Also, I am in no rush to buy a boat as I have a decent bit of money to save before I can get one so this is likely going to be a purchase for next Summer or Fall. Right now I am trying to get an idea of what to look for and how much money I would be looking at spending.

Any advice that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2010, 04:10 PM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post
Okay, so before I post my question let me give you a little background.

I grew up fishing with casting and spinning gear. Used an old bamboo fly rod with my grandfather as a kid. I have recently taken up fly fishing as a serious hobby as an adult.

I am pretty geared out for this trout season, and my casting is pretty good (for a beginner) as I took the summer to do some learning while bass fishing.


What I am posting about is this. I am interested in getting a fishing boat for the Caney Fork (closest, best water to Nashville that I know of) and I am looking for advice on the pro and cons of various boats. I currently have a sit-on-top kayak for the Harpeth and other smaller rivers like the Buffalo, but I use it in the Spring and Summer, and it isn't the style of kayak that I can stand up on (unless I want to go swimming when it flips over).

I have looked at the alumacraft style jon boats and v-hull boats, and have also looked at drift boats (used) as well. I have thought that if I go with a aluminum style boat that I would invest in an outboard jet motor since I have read on this and other forums that they can run in very shallow water with little issues.

I would primarily be fishing the Caney Fork with this boat, but wouldn't hesitate to take it to other rivers in the area as well.

Also, I am in no rush to buy a boat as I have a decent bit of money to save before I can get one so this is likely going to be a purchase for next Summer or Fall. Right now I am trying to get an idea of what to look for and how much money I would be looking at spending.

Any advice that you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
You got to check TROUTMAN's latest project! It is a beauty. I find that you appreciate things more when you put your time and effort in making them how you want.

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/for...ad.php?t=14472

This guy (LeeRoy) has some great articles on various boat/fishing aspects. His motor repair section is very good with plenty of pictures.

http://www.sschapterpsa.com/ramblings/Ramblings.html
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:59 PM
SuperFly SuperFly is offline
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Thanks for the head's up about Leeroy's website. It looks like I will learn a lot from reading it.

As for Troutman's project, I've actually been catching up on it over the Thanksgiving holiday, and am blown away by how great it looks.

While I am actually really interested in doing something like that at some point, I have never owned a boat other than my kayak, and am not sure trying a restoration project for my first boat is a good idea (although I will take that project on in the next 5 years).

If I were to take a project like that on, what would be some good websites to help me get a plan of action together?

Thanks for your reply.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:08 PM
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JoelO JoelO is offline
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Don't own a boat but alot of guys go to this forum for restoration advice.

http://www.tinboats.net/forum/
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:12 PM
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Troutman Troutman is offline
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The guys over on Mike Anderson's forum http://www.trophyfishingtn.com/smf/index.php like to use the Arkansas style fiberglass jons and Gheenoe style boats on the caney. I've never fished the caney but I'm assuming that it is a slow meandering type of river since these boats are popular. They would not be very good for rivers like the Hiwassee or Pigeon river coming out of the mtns. You would want something like a drifter or raft for those. I would think a flat bottom Jon would be good also. Make sure you get at least a 42 or 48" or wider bottom width jon, the 36" boats are tippy. You'll see a lot of 1436 jons for sale, they are too narrower to stand up and cast without feeling like your going to fall out. Keep an eye on craigslist, there a lot boats for sale right now. Many people out of work and selling or they are upgrading to something bigger or newer. I personally like the v-hulls over the low sided jons. I feel safer in them out on the lakes and rivers.
Talk with Grumpy and David Perry as they spend a lot of time on the middle tn rivers and can give you more insight to those rivers and the type of boat needed.

Joel is right, check out Tinboats for mod and restoration advice.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2010, 12:23 AM
Bfish Bfish is offline
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Gary,
Caney is deceptively swift, just not a lot of rocks to create riffle areas. You're right on the meanders though.

Superfly,
I need to downsize my boat collection. I currently have a 13' Riverhawk (like a Gheenoe), and 14' raft w/ fly frame, and 2 person inflatable pontoon. I need to sale 2 of the 3. For the Caney, the jet jon would be the fastest but too me it is the least fisherman friendly. The Arkansas style jons add lots of space, but storing them is a problem (20' long boat plus trailer tongue equals very deep garage needed). The Gheenoe is a good comprise but you suffer on the draft slightly.

My inflatable pontoon is to be set up for a motor, however it would be slow compared to the above boats, but would give you the most flexible boat, if you plan to hit other rivers.

Rafts and drift boats are pretty much downstream only boats.

Since you already have a kayak, might want to check out the Jackson Coosa, which would give you the ability to stand-up and it is made here in TN too.

No such thing as a perfect river boat, just perfect boats for certain sections of certain rivers.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:27 AM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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No such thing as a perfect river boat, just perfect boats for certain sections of certain rivers.
Well stated!
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:39 PM
SuperFly SuperFly is offline
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Thanks to all for the great replies. I am starting to realize that I am going to be one of those guys that has a couple boats (if I can bribe my wife enough) for different fishing situations.

I am already doing that somewhat as I have a kayak for smaller rivers like the buffalo and Harpeth, and am looking for something with more power (preferably not man powered) for larger rivers like the Caney Fork.

I also understand that there is no best boat for every situation (or every river even). Same goes for fishing rods (that's why I have 3 fly rods).

Ideally what I am looking for, (I think) is something that I, and a friend (or two at most), can take to the Caney, drop in, float down, and then ride back up river to the trailer when done.

I am taking this season to get acquainted with the Caney and figure out what I need as far as power in a motor and such, and plan on buying a boat to restore in the coming months.

I have talked with a few guys around Nashville about what boat they use in the Caney and I hear a lot of jon boats or the Gheenoe style boats over drift boats because of the possibility that the Caney can get shallow at some spots and if you took a drift boat you would be gel coating it every trip almost.


As far as an outboard jet motor, does that make sense? A lot of what I am going off of what I have researched, and might not be accurate. That's why I have been reading this forum for the past few months, and am now starting to ask questions.

What kind of HP would a jet outboard need to power up river, and is there a website that can give me an idea of cost? I have done some research on cost, but I would love to find a used one if possible.


Thanks again for the great responses. This forum has been very educational to me, and I greatly appreciate it.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:39 PM
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MadisonBoats MadisonBoats is offline
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Default Alum. Boat + 9.0HP Johnson = you are good for river!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post

Ideally what I am looking for, (I think) is something that I, and a friend (or two at most), can take to the Caney, drop in, float down, and then ride back up river to the trailer when done.
You should drive around the back roads and look for a semi-v to flat hulled john boat. The aluminum is very forgiving and extremely light. Add a short shank 9.0HP Johnson Outboard 70s-80s. It will do what you want and you could complete this set up for $600-800 price range. Also, these boats usually sell pretty well and you will break even if you put some work in to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post
I have talked with a few guys around Nashville about what boat they use in the Caney and I hear a lot of jon boats or the Gheenoe style boats over drift boats because of the possibility that the Caney can get shallow at some spots and if you took a drift boat you would be gel coating it every trip almost.
Drift boats are meant for rough water and shallow conditions. That is the idea behind their rocker footprint. Most have HDPE runners to protect them now. Plus, you are looking for significantly more money in purchasing a drift boat for a starter boat. Gheenoes are kind of gimmicky in my view point. They are really best used in narrow creeks and streams; then I would just get a canoe for $100 and save money. Strap a 2 x 4 across ways on the back and mount a small trolling motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperFly View Post
As far as an outboard jet motor, does that make sense? A lot of what I am going off of what I have researched, and might not be accurate. That's why I have been reading this forum for the past few months, and am now starting to ask questions.
If you are looking for a jet lower unit/outboard; you will be spending several thousands. These are not cheap. You can buy regular outboards and the buy a retro/jet kit to build your own. However; it usually just saves a couple hundred bucks for the headache. The best motor for rivers is a 9.0hp Johnson short shank. These things can be tilted up to run in shallow water more than most trolling motors. Just be sure not to run them dry.



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Old 12-01-2010, 05:10 PM
Bfish Bfish is offline
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A jet outboard looses about 30% of the hp (at the head). So a 30 hp outboard when converted to jet, will put out about 20 hp at the foot (ie where the prop used to be). Almost all jets are built on standard shaft motors (ie 20") and even then may require a jackplate or transom work to get them elevated to the right height. Heavier than a prop (for similar output hp) and higher, usually means more stress on the transom. Stronger transom is usually in a heavier thickness of aluminum boat.

A prop (especially an older 2-stroke on a 15" shaft) outboard is a good option if speed is not too critical, especially as your learning the river.

With either power choice, I suggest you motor upstream and then drift back to the ramp. Things happen, water levels could change, motors could break etc, heading back upstream is never a sure thing.

For me, the smallest aluminum jon I would go with is a 16' with 48 wide. Any more narrow or smaller is just too tippy (14' would be okay if you go with only 2 light people). The 10' and 12' jons just don't cut it for me. If you want something that size go with the gheenoe, much more floatation. Although glasswork is messy, it is much easier to repair than welding aluminum IMO. Easy to operate a gheenoe and fish while solo too.

With both boats anything over 5 hp should push you upstream at most flow levels. Larger planning area equal shallower draft and less hp needed. Increase in hp will just get you upstream faster.

I don't have enough experience with Arkansas/Supreme style jons, but understand that the long boats draft shallow and require very little hp.

Golsn.com has lots of "caney" boats. ps my riverhawk/gheenoe is listed on there too
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