Looking for input on MRC Reflection 17

Can anyone give me any input on the Mad River Reflection 17? I know a little of the history (old Dagger model), but MRC revived it in '08(?).

Are they well made? Do they oil can much? I looked at one today (never used) that was an '09 and the rails were deformed (tilted out) in the bow. The bottom was pretty flat and when I pushed on it with 2 fingers, it deformed in a way I would say was significant. I was guessing/hoping it was just a second and wasn’t molded properly.

I’m in the market for a flat water touring canoe in the 17 foot range. Mostly lakes and slow rivers. No more than a couple of days tripping.

I’m leaning toward Royalex because of the price and I don’t want to cringe every time I hit something in a pricey composite.

Any input/suggestions are welcome.



A very good tandem for flatwater to
mild rapids. Also a good poling boat. Tracks well but maneuverable. It does need to be trimmed level.

I don’t know what to say about that '09 you saw. Maybe MR used a light grade of Royalex to save weight. If I bought a Reflection 17 in Royalex, the first thing I would do would be to install a minicell kneeling pedestal seat so I could paddle it solo, and so that the pedestal would support the Royalex by transferring force to the center thwart. I have done this in an Old Town Tripper and a Mad River Synergy. The minicell pedestal also adds flotation, and supports the hull against wrapping to some extent.

Dagger made the Reflection 17 in an excellent composite/heat cured epoxy layup, but those are very, very rare now.

Still looking for other 17 footers
Thanks for the input. Any other suggestions in the 17 foot range?

Wenonah Spirit II in Royalex has been
well-reviewed, but also might benefit from a minicell seat or pillar between the center thwart and keel to firm up the hull.

You might check to see if Wenonah offers the Spirit II in Tufweave, a glass/polyester mix that is very durable. As I recall, Tufweave adds maybe 150 bucks or so over Royalex, but is stiffer, lighter, and in the unlikely event you damage it, easier to repair.