If you were given the choice between a:
Dagger Reflection 16
and Mad River Eclipse, which would you choose?
All are $500 or less within 2 hours of me. I’m looking for a tandem canoe with enough rocker to handle a little whitewater that has stability and durability to handle West Michigan’s submerged logs.
Thank you in advance for any advice
If you were given the choice between a:
If you’re thinking of some whitewater, I’d put royalex boats ahead of fiberglass ones. While the Sawyer 190 is a good boat, it wasn’t available in royalex, so I’d put that one at the bottom.
I’d probably go MR Eclipse, Dagger Reflection 16, Discovery 164, and then Sawyer 190. For lake paddling, I’d put the Sawyer first though.
Interesting. What if the MR is Royalex Lite (it is, I believe)? They say no evidence of cold cracks, though…
(Also, the MR is only $200)
Had a 190. fast lake boat
Glass not for rocky rivers
I’ve got a Swift Dumoine in Royalex lite. Beat the crap out of it, broke a gunwale, broke the thwarts, the hull has held up fine. Got a Reflection 15 as well, my first and after 18 boats, once again my “go to” canoe (poling/paddling cl. 2). Good, solid royalex, and the 16 has better lines than the flat bottomed 15 iirc. Disco’s are good boats, but the construction is prone to warpage and oilcanning which I’ve noticed at rental places, and they’re real heavy.
Hard to beat the MR for 200…assuming it has decent gunnels etc.
Fwiw many folks have no idea their canoe has cold cracks… some folks have more attention to detail than others.
I would shy away from the Dagger Reflection 16 for use on whitewater. It is a seriously asymmetric hull with no rocker to speak of and a small skeg to boot. I view it as a fast, hard-tracking flatwater boat. I own and paddle one.
I’ve never seen a skeg on a Reflection. Could you post a picture of yours?
Okay, so the MR is a no-brainer. Which of the other three boats are you also going to buy?
A few years ago I came in third in the OC-1 class of one of the Southeast Regional downriver races held on the Class II-III Nantahala River. The winner of that class was Payson Kennedy, co-founder of the Nanatahla Outdoor Center. He was paddling a Dagger Reflection 16.
His pedestal was an inverted milk crate that he had attached to the hull bottom with duct tape. Just to show that the Reflection 16 is capable of handling whitewater in the right hands.
Yes, canoes are versatile. And a competent paddler can take a Dagger Reflection 16 through white water. Any paddler who can beat pblanc downriver while riding a milk crate is more than competent. My reply was just to suggest that this would not be my first choice.
This is a picture of the stern of my Reflection 16 showing the skeg.
P.S. Also own a Dagger Reflection 15. It is also asymmetric, but without the skeg.
My Reflection15 was my sons and my first canoe, and at year 2, was strictly a ww boat. When I bought the Dumoine, it was my then 11 years olds solo ww boat. Not the best choice, but he “got it done”, even running some 4-5’ drops and staying somewhat dry. After the fleet of C1’s and OC1’s and the Whitesell OC2 arrived it became his ww poling boat, the Dumoine was mine. After he left it became my primary ww poling boat, and favorite cl 2 boat in general, making long runs comfortable on old knees, and allowing poling and paddling. I find weight transfer helps manueverabily greatly in the Reflection, so solo paddling has me leaning way back making turns, and poling makes weight transfer easy. The bow likes to catch, so getting it raised helps the flat bottom make a turn. It’s fulfilling learning and overcoming a designs shortcomings. Soloing the Dumoine, 16’4" high volume and beamy, was a bit humorous, but learning to dip the chine away from the direction I wanted to go made even fairly tight cl. 3 rivers manageable. Think autocross in a school bus lol.
There is no doubt that the Reflection is no whitewater play boat and I certainly wouldn’t expect to be catching any tiny eddies in it. Furthermore, downriver racing is all about getting downriver as quickly as possible so the goal is to do as little maneuvering as possible.
But the OP said he was looking for something that would handle “a little whitewater” and the Reflection can certainly do that. It has enough depth to remain reasonably dry and still retains decent flat water efficiency. It might fit the OP’s needs for a compromise hull.
Thank you for understanding what I was getting at. And near my home in Ludington, “a little” means certain stretches of the Pine and the Little Manistee – 11 to 14 feet of drop per mile with mostly fist-sized gravel and downed wood as obstacles. The real obstacles are the turns and the speed at which they come at you. There’s also some rocky twisty stretches on the upper White near Hesperia. I’m leaning more and more to the Reflection as the MR seller seems to have vacated the planet. Wish I had leaned this way yesterday when I was an hour closer to it!
Go for the Reflection - although the Disco would work but be a bit heavy. Don’t worry too much about materials. I’ve paddled those rivers and most of the others in West Michigan in composite canoes - Wenonah Jensen 18, Sawyer Cruiser, Mad River Independence, Wenonah Rendezvous. I will say the the run to 6 mile on the Little Manistee is about as tough as you will find in the Lower Peninsula.
Thanks all, I picked up the Dagger Reflection 16 for $450 yesterday. There are a couple cold cracks on it that have been repaired in what seems to be the appropriate manner with G-Flex. He threw in some G-Flex with it. It will be a day or two before I can get it on the water, but it looks the part. I’m interested to see how the integrated keel helps with tracking. The front rocker is not as noticeable as I thought it would be in comparison to my Wenonah Fisherman. It’s light enough to shoulder alone, though, which puts it ahead of the few Old Towns I looked at.
I would recommend a 16’ Buffalo Canoe. Based on your description, this would be what your looking for. Go to buffalocanoemanufacturing.com or find it on this site.
Well, even with the conversion rate of Arkansas dollars to Michigan dollars, $1,895 is way more than $500. I appreciate the suggestion for a next canoe, though.
Funny someone should mention a Buffalo 16. I own one but we rarely hear about them on this board. The boat is used almost daily, mostly as a solo, on a small pond. Occasionally I will load it on a car and do a mild white water run. It is only occasionally because it weighs 77 lbs. It is well suited to that. I followed the link above to the Buffalo site and I was surprised to see that the new ones made of T-formex are about the same weight. It is a tough, stable and predictable boat.
We are really loving the Dagger 16. Have taken it down the PM and the Little Manistee from Six Mile to the Weir and it’s just the boat we need right now. Haven’t soloed it yet, but that’s coming soon.