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Anyone fish from an inflatable.

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I bought an Achilles air floor this past weekend at Defenders sale. I'm going to bring it beach camping with my 5th wheel this season, use it for a tender for the sailboat and just,muck around with it. Anyone ever rig one up for fishing, or seen one done.

Pete

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In the mid 70's I bought a 2 man inflatable with take apart paddles. (calling them oars would be an exaggeration)  I'd partially fill it up at a gas station and stuff it in the back of my 64 chevy.  I'd top it off by blowing into the valve.  At  night i'd use the tide to take me to my destination (the pilings at Louie's pier was a favorite) fish the tide and then when it turned ride the tide back to my car. I used it forflounder, fluke and bass. And if I remember correctly, did not wear a preserver. (not too bright) The best is when you hooked a decent fish and went for a modified Nantucket sleigh ride.  Inflatable are fun but don't get too complicated.  Keep pointy things to a minimum, make sure the current and wind  are not too "sporty" and enjoy.  Don't get too crazy about buying STUFF! And watch those dorsal fins on bass.


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I used inflatables for years! I had several AMI (Advanced Marine Inflatables, now out of business) between 8 and 15 feet long. That was when I was spending a lot of time in southeast Alalska. Bought them in Everett, WA, trucked them to AK, used them for the season and then sold them there!

 

Inflatable have tremendous load capacity for there size, but you will find the interior space more confined than you realize until you use it a bit. They are pretty tough, but punctures and cuts will happen if you do much dragging around on shore - learn to patch it properly and keep the supplies onhand. Gluing these things up is trickier than one might suppose. Temp & humidity control are critical for gluing. Also, most of the cements for either PVC or Hypalon take a full week to cure to 100% strength. FISH SPINES CAN DEFINITELY PUNCTURE INFLATABLE BOATS!!!!!! AND SO CAN DOG NAILS!!!!!

 

After the first few air up/down cycles, most folks keep then aired up all the time. It is a bigger hassle than one thinks till they try it. Seasonal storage can also take a toll if one doesn't take precautions to properly clean, protect and store them. RODENTS LOVE TO GNAW ON THEM, POSSIBLY BECAUSE OF THE MINERALS FROM THE WATER NOT BEING WASHED OFF! I found a "Harken Hoister" system to suspend my inflatables from the overhead in shed/garage very worthwhile if you check the air pressure occasionally. All inflatables will lose pressure over time, some more than others.

 

After you learn to glue these things, there are a million ways to customize it for your personal preferences. I added D-rings, grab handles and even found a glue-on rod holder base pad that lets you use Scotty rod holder accesories!

 

Maintenace? Keep it clean, use a prescribed UV protectant, monitor the air pressure, keep it covered when not in use, protect it from rodent consumption and use it reasonably - its fabric, not cast iron despite whatever Chuck Norris movie you ever saw!

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I used to see a guy fish the shoals of ocracoke inlet from one - him and his dog. He would beach it on a bar and get out and wadefish with sandspikes If you google some of the NC websites, he used to post years ago. Some wild fishing stories. His dog sounded like a trip - I think it's name was mystic warrior.

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About 15 yrs ago my friend Matt and i spent a week in montauk on his family's house boat and went fishing everyday on his 10-11 ft zodiac with a 15 hp and had a great time. I think we used 2 6 gal tanks for the whole week and ate fresh fish every night

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I have two. One is a 143D aire raft with a rowing frame and anchor system. That boat gets tons of use on rivers as well as lakes for lazy chironomid fishing days.

I also bought a 8' SevyMarine in 1990. Not the cheap Sevylor boats you see see today. I use it primarily for lake. It has wood slats in the floor. I fabricated a thin plywood floor for it so I can stand up while fishing. That little boat has been one of the best fishing investments I ever mad.

 

I also had a 12.5" Achilles, but sold it as I was a little to heavy on boat inventory....:p

I really like inflatable boats.

SF

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When I was in the military I had a small inflatable that I used from Alaska all the way to Alabama.   Very stable fishing platform.  I once went 30 miles offshore to an island off the coast of Alaska with a friend on his Zodiac bear hunting.  As with any boat understanding its limitations is the key.  We were in the Russian river fishing king salmon one time and poked a hole in one of the chambers.  No danger of completely sinking but we did take on some water.  The nice thing about the Zodiac is the chambers are easily repairable (within reason) right alongside the river.  



 



Steve


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I have an 8 1/2 foot achilles with the wood floor with a 4hp yamaha that I fly fish off of all the time. I've taken it a few miles into the various bays when conditions are right and I've had a few good sled rides with it. A few suggestions to make it a little easier to fish from:

 

 

  1. Get one of the gas tanks that hangs on the transom under the engine, they make them in a number of sizes and will save a ton of space on the floor of the boat.
  2. Lose the seat if you can, it will only get in the way.
  3. Get a decent little anchor for times you still want to fish from shore, they are a great way to access areas that are normally inaccessible.
  4. Get a longer kill cord for the outboard or make one using some string to ensure you have that attached to you, I didn't for a while and almost got knocked out of the boat when I hit a wake I was not read for and would have had a solid 2 mile swim to get back to shore.

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