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Thread: East TN Smallmouth Floats

  1. #1
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    Apr 2019
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    Default East TN Smallmouth Floats

    Hey there,

    I recently got a-hold of a raft rigged up with a fishing frame. So far I have only floated the Holston proper and section 10 of the French Broad in search of smallmouth, but I am interested in checking out several other rivers in the near future (Pigeon, Nolichucky, BSF and its tribs, French Broad section ?, Little River, Emory River). Do any of you guys have any recommendations on sections to float or productivity on these rivers? Also, do any of these rivers frequently experience low water conditions in the summer that will render them non-floatable?

    By the way, I'll gladly take someone out in exchange for knowledge and advise.

    Thanks,
    Clay

  2. #2
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    How big is your raft?

  3. #3
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    Apr 2019
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    14' long, 3" draft loaded.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekinit View Post
    14' long, 3" draft loaded.
    Not trying to offend but there’s not a raft in existence that only draws 3” of water.

    with a boat that size you’re somewhat limited. BSF is doable, as is the Chucky. The pigeon on high water would be fine but take out will be an issue. Don’t even think about the Emory as it would be a brutal day. The large rivers like the French broad are fine of course. One smaller river that can be excellent is the lower part of tellico, below tellico beach. Another one is the Holston in Kingsport, little pigeon in sevierville, Cumberland above Cumberland falls, Collins in middle tn and depending on your sense of adventure the new river in Virginia

    those are the rivers I would recommend and I’ve done them all. Some are better than others and all are unique trips.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    Not trying to offend but there’s not a raft in existence that only draws 3” of water.

    with a boat that size you’re somewhat limited. BSF is doable, as is the Chucky. The pigeon on high water would be fine but take out will be an issue. Don’t even think about the Emory as it would be a brutal day. The large rivers like the French broad are fine of course. One smaller river that can be excellent is the lower part of tellico, below tellico beach. Another one is the Holston in Kingsport, little pigeon in sevierville, Cumberland above Cumberland falls, Collins in middle tn and depending on your sense of adventure the new river in Virginia

    those are the rivers I would recommend and I’ve done them all. Some are better than others and all are unique trips.
    Thanks for the info! I have not thought about the Cumberland, Collins, or lower Tellico. Tellico seems like it would be an interesting trip. As for the New, I am definitely open to that but I want to tap into the local waters first. Do you have a specific section or put in and take out you would recommend for the Pigeon, Chucky, and BSF?

    No offense taken, but there are definitely rafts with a draft of 3". I urge you to do a quick google search to verify, but you should find that the average raft draws ~2" naked, and most draw 3"-5" when handling a regular load.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekinit View Post
    Thanks for the info! I have not thought about the Cumberland, Collins, or lower Tellico. Tellico seems like it would be an interesting trip. As for the New, I am definitely open to that but I want to tap into the local waters first. Do you have a specific section or put in and take out you would recommend for the Pigeon, Chucky, and BSF?

    No offense taken, but there are definitely rafts with a draft of 3". I urge you to do a quick google search to verify, but you should find that the average raft draws ~2" naked, and most draw 3"-5" when handling a regular load.
    I am basing my opinion of draw depth based on three decades of rowing literally every raft made and scores of frame components. Google doesn’t replace real river experiences. You can see for yourself but if there was a boat that only draws 3” of water I’d own it and be ecstatic to have it. I don’t know of any raft, drift boat etc that draws less than about 5” of water.

    bsf blue heron to Yamacraw is my favorite
    chucky I like the gorge in upper in east tn, badass float
    pigeon the only float that’s doable in a raft is from Newport to the French broad on low water. I’d put it last on any list as the runoff from the tomato fields has had some really bad effects

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekinit View Post
    Thanks for the info! I have not thought about the Cumberland, Collins, or lower Tellico. Tellico seems like it would be an interesting trip. As for the New, I am definitely open to that but I want to tap into the local waters first. Do you have a specific section or put in and take out you would recommend for the Pigeon, Chucky, and BSF?

    No offense taken, but there are definitely rafts with a draft of 3". I urge you to do a quick google search to verify, but you should find that the average raft draws ~2" naked, and most draw 3"-5" when handling a regular load.
    Good information and interesting perspective. Boat draft is scientifically supported and a boat design can have a draft of just an inch or so. However; that does not take in consideration of a river's affect on the center of balance. This will change a boats draft. A convex rocker is one of the best designs to address this issue and that is why McKenzie Style drift boats are so effective.
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  8. #8
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    Apr 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadisonBoats View Post
    Good information and interesting perspective. Boat draft is scientifically supported and a boat design can have a draft of just an inch or so. However; that does not take in consideration of a river's affect on the center of balance. This will change a boats draft. A convex rocker is one of the best designs to address this issue and that is why McKenzie Style drift boats are so effective.
    Very good point. Definitely something to consider.

    Quote Originally Posted by waterwolf View Post
    I am basing my opinion of draw depth based on three decades of rowing literally every raft made and scores of frame components. Google doesn’t replace real river experiences. You can see for yourself but if there was a boat that only draws 3” of water I’d own it and be ecstatic to have it. I don’t know of any raft, drift boat etc that draws less than about 5” of water.

    bsf blue heron to Yamacraw is my favorite
    chucky I like the gorge in upper in east tn, badass float
    pigeon the only float that’s doable in a raft is from Newport to the French broad on low water. I’d put it last on any list as the runoff from the tomato fields has had some really bad effects
    Thanks again. I'll have to check a few of these off the list soon.

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