Fishing...for a canoe, anyone?

Hello. My FI and I are looking for a canoe that is around 14’ for fishing. We were looking at a Sportspal, Aluminum but we may be shying away from that route and today we looked at a Mad River Anger Canoe, 14’ and made of that Royal X material. The canoe was $1000. Any comments or suggestions about this topic will be greatly appreciated!!

P.S. We plan to float rivers and maximum of class II-III rapids.

Where are you? And forget about
class 2-3 rapids, it’s not on the table. Class 1 and occasional class 2 you could do in a 14 foor Sportspal.

Why 14 feet?
Is there a particular reason you decided on 14 feet?

Tandem canoes that short tend to be very fat in the middle (wide). To maintain buoyancy and stability they substitute length for width. This makes them stable, but relatively inefficient to paddle.

You can fish effectively from just about any tandem canoe, but if you want a boat that will maneuver effectively in current and not be a bear to paddle for any distance, you might not want a canoe as short and beamy and straight-keeled as the Angler.

Royalex is good for general durability
It is as heavy as aluminum boats (more or less).

14’ boat for two people fishing can be a bit small. Think of two 6’ fishing rods (12’) and seat positions less than 14’ (likely 9’ or so apart). We’re talking some unintended piercing by fish hook going on.

Cannot speak about class III in a open canoe. I’ve done class II in a 14’ solo canoe and that’s about all I need with that boat.

Perhaps a re-think of the rivers you want to fish. Class II and III can ruin your day if you aren’t skilled/familiar with that environment.



You need a drift boat
Or an inflatable pontoon boat. That is what people use to fish rivers with rapids. A canoe is completely inappropriate. A good oarsman in an inflatable pontoon boat can negotiate even class 4 rapids.

"Mad River Anger Canoe"
I guess the river AND the canoe aren’t making any friends today.

I dunno, I just thought that was one of the cuter typos I’ve seen in a while.

Hmm…still not sure.
We have been researching the Mad River Canoe all day today and we are now down to a 16’ or a 14’ Mad River. We are skiddish about the prices, $1000 - $1200 or so. Can’t find any used and it doesn’t help that we need to get one soon. I was looking at the Old Town’s in L.L. Bean too.

We live in southwestern PA. The rivers we will run are mostly flat water, except for a few Class II rapids (class III @ high water).

We were thinking 16’ because we will have kids someday. Whaddya think?

do you mean the schuylkill river???

You mean ripples and class I

Class II in high water.

Go to dicks and pick out any canoe.

If you really want to spend that much go up to Hamburg and stop in at Cabelas.

Somebody on this site should post pictures of the different classes of waters.

That would really help.

For fishing …
If you’re looking for a way to get down the river I wouldn’t spend anything near that ammount, unless you will be doing a lot of fishing.

For half that price you can pick up a good used canoe, fiberglass or otherwise that can get you through II and even III water. My advice would be a 16 foot with a moderate rocker. Be safe.

Don’t buy into the hype.

trout_lily , if Harrisburg isn’t too …

– Last Updated: Jun-05-09 9:35 AM EST –

...... far for you to consider , a Bass Pro Shop is there . If that store carries some Old Town canoe models as the one in our area does , you could get an Old Town Expedition 16'-9" .

I can't say what they would want for it now , but I think it's around $650. , and they may give you 10% off (1st purchase) if you sign up for the Bass Pro credit card . Might be worth giving them a call to find out .

The Old Town Expedition is a "great" canoe that will serve you well !! It's a fine canoe for the mountain rivers or reservoirs . Safe , stable , tough and handles great .

It is pretty much the same as the Discovery 169 but made just for Bass Pro Shop to sell . If you get one , you will surely not be disapointed !!

Dagger Reflection 15

– Last Updated: Jun-05-09 10:35 AM EST –

No longer made, but look for a used one on the net (I did a quick search and found one offered for $350).

I used the Reflection 15 for years and loved it for fishing and just paddling. It's a short tandem that can easily be paddled solo. In my judgment, you can't go wrong if you can find one in decent condition.

By the way, if you're going to do Class II-III rapids, I'd certainly plan to add some flotation for any canoe that I purchased.

Better Yet …
… If you are near Harrisburg check out the good folks at Blue Mountain Outfitters

They are the largest paddlesports shop in the state and will have many more options as well as much better information than the big box stores.

Where are you?
Topher is dead on.

If your near I78,go west grab 81 south and take 15 north about 3 miles.(rt.15 is your first exit after you cross the river)You cant miss BMO.

Great place to shop or just dream.

They have all their new and used boats on the web-site.If you really need to spend that much go to graigs list and use it on gas driveing all over looking at used boats.

If you say where you are we can really help you better.

OP said S.W. Pa. …

– Last Updated: Jun-05-09 9:24 PM EST –

...... been by Blue Mountain severl times , right there on 11/15 along the river ... probably 15 mins. over from the Bass Pro Shop too ... check them both on same outing ...

the one thing about Bass Pro Shops other than the great price , is their no questions asked return, replace or whatever you want attitude , you choose which ... excellent customer service , you the customer are always right , regardless !!

Fishing canoe
The best advice I could give is use patience. Most of us want what we want now but get a lot of opinions or read as much on here as possible. I dont want to tick off any who sells new boats but if you look around you can by most boats for 1/2 price or less if they’re a couple of yrs old.

Which boat…test paddle
I won’t go into any detailed advice about which boat, paddle, or equipment would be best for you, but I can give some advice on how to go about making your choice. Specifically, the test paddle. The test paddle is one of the most important steps in choosing the boat that’s right for you.

I get a lot of questions from people looking to buy their first canoe or kayak, so I put together a web page to help them. The URL is:

The information is pretty basic, but important. One of the links on that web page is for a PDF document titled “Helping Your Advisor”. It’s about 5 pages long. The last two pages talk about doing your test paddles with a plan, so that you can make fair and accurate comparisons of several different boats. There is even a handy little table to help you record your impressions of each boat. It makes a lot of sense and just might make your quest for your first boat that much more successful.

You can find the “Helping Your Advisor” document at:

Listen with an open mind, consider all the advice carefully, then make your own choice; and above all, have fun!

Here ya go
Looks like an Old Town Discovery 158. Get it while it’s still there.

This would be a great boat (at that price). After you have one, then you can take your time to figure out what the next one should be.

Make sure it’s not cracked, leaking or bent before you go.

Hey thanks…
thanks everyone…

Clarion, I did email about the discovery today, waiting to hear. Thanks.

We have been looking for used, only found SUPER beat-up ones from a rental place @ Ohiopyle State Park.

We didn’t want to spend that much $$$ but it is hard not to get caught up in the hype. Any way I think we will try to buy used but we need one within the next month, we may end up borrowing :(.