We have below put together a handy guide to the best fly fishing boats available on the market today! We have researched all the latest models and provided links below with full reviews.
So you’re looking for a way to take your fishing days out onto the water, rather than simply sitting on the bank waiting for the fish to make their way across to you?
Fly fishing from a boat is a great experience. However, when you start the search for the perfect boat then it can be a little challenging to discover the best type of boat to suit your individual need. And even if you talk to experienced fishermen (and women), each has their personal favourites, and human nature means that we naturally try to persuade others that our thoughts are the best.
There are plenty of different types of fly fishing or small fishing boats to chose from. These include pontoon fishing boats, sport fishing boats , plastic fishing boats and catamaran fishing boats to name but a few.
So how on earth do you choose which one will most suit you? Well, the best way to do this is to first work out your priorities. Features such as the layout of the boat, how durable it is and how easy it is to manoeuvre on the water are all essential to understand before you jump in and make a purchase.
When fly fishing each of us has our own pet ways of laying out our kit and arranging our tackle. So the layout of the boat itself is extremely important for our own personal needs.
Pontoon boats in particular have been designed for fly fishing. And because of this they tend to come with plenty of different compartments that are actually built into the frame of the boat. This gives plenty of options for storage of the various kit you’ll need to carry with you on the water, such as feels, rods, flies, bait and numerous other necessities.
By this we’re talking about how easy the boat is manoeuvre on the water. You should be aware that very lightweight boats, whilst easy to navigate, will by their very nature be susceptible to natural forces such as wind. However, this is something that once got used to, is easy to deal with.
Extra length in any type of boat, be it a pontoon boat or a rigid hull, will make it less easy to manoeuvre. So whilst an 8-footer will be the easiest to move around in the water, if you require extra stability then perhaps going for a 9-footer or more (for a single man boat) might be preferable. This is especially important if you’re of above average weight or are intending heading onto faster moving waters.
Where do you intend to do your fishing? If it’s primarily on lakes and ponds then you’ll need a different type of fly fishing boat to those who want to fish on the moving water of rivers. Pontoon boats are definitely becoming the most popular for many fly fishermen, but inflatable plastic fishing boats offer a low cost option and can provide more room to take others with you. There are also some good catamaran fishing boats on the market that can carry more than one person.
The durability of a fly fishing boat is extremely important, as by the nature of the sport you need a boat that can handle rocks, branches and other hazards that might be found in the water. The material that your fly fishing boat is made of is therefore vital. Whether you go for an inflatable or rigid hull, it’s essential to ensure that the boat is up to the level of use that you intend to put it under.
The last thing any fisherman needs is a boat that’s too heavy to get back to your transport at the end of the day. This is especially important with single man boats, as you’ll need to easily be able to haul it from the water back to your car or trailer.
And whether the boat will fit in your transport is also equally important. Some people transport their fly fishing boat on a roof rack, others in a trailer and still others need a boat that will break down into a small enough size to fit into the boot of the car. There are now plenty of fly fishing specific boats on the market with unique structures that allow them to breakdown to fit inside a car. This does away with the need to purchase extra kit that allows you to easily transport your boat.
Inflatable boats – be they plastic or pontoon style – are especially suitable for those who need a craft that takes little room for both transporting and storage.
Once you’ve worked out what it is that you need from your fly fishing boat, you can then commence your search. There are so many on the market that it makes sense to organise your priorities first, before you begin looking at the boats themselves. This can save an awful lot of time spent reading through descriptions, only to get to a point when you realise you might need a trailer to transport, when what you actually want is a boat that can fit in the back of your car.
Whatever type of fly fishing boat you end up deciding on, the most important features will be very personal to you as a fisherman. It might take a little time to discover exactly how you prefer a boat to be set out. You’ll have to get used to limited room, which is something that can’t be helped when on a boat. But choose wisely, and you really can find a boat that allows you to have the best time possible out on the water.