Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Creek Company Voyager

- published May 2016

83

2016

RATINGS

Weight/Portability
7
Capacity
5
Durability
8
Moving-water Performance
6
Still-water Performance
10
Versatility
7
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$995.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Durable
  • Great still-water performance
  • Compact and portable
  • Good price

THE BAD

  • Lowest carry capacity in the class
  • Standard oars short and flimsy
  • Heaviest in relation to boat size/capacity

THE VERDICT

The Creek Company Voyager HD excels in still-water angling thanks to its ability to stay on a straight track when trolling, and its low center of gravity for easy finning. The Voyager’s single-chamber PVC design is durable and low maintenance, but it is a bit heavy, especially when compared to its carrying capacity. And it’s open-bow design makes it less river friendly than the Watermaster of Outcast boats.

FULL REVIEW

The Creek Company Voyager has been substantially redesigned since it was first introduced more than five years ago. The new horseshoe-shaped Voyager HD model features three PVC air chambers: Dual tubular raft/pontoon chambers and a decking/floor chamber.  The side tubes meet in the stern in a traditional oval raft shape, but the bow is open, with pointed pontoon-type ends to the tubes. 

For the open water of lakes and ponds, this design works wonderfully. The open bow lets anglers work comfortably with the heavy sinking lines, and weighted fly rigs commonly used in deep water. The pontoon-ended tubes allowed me to drag heavy woolly buggers and weighted nymphs and chrominids set-ups in close for easy adjustment since the open water started right at my knees. 

The closed stern section helped keep the boat on top of wind waves and boat wakes while the lack of rocker on the tubes themselves kept me on a straight course.  The two pin-through oars let me quickly power out into the prime fishing locations, where I could then switch to simple kick-fins for effective trolling and basic directional control. 

The Voyager HD was less effective in swift water. The open bow allows rocks and sweeper trees to catch the boat, causing problems with course control and increasing tipping concerns.

I was also a bit disappointed with the carrying capacity of the Voyager. Though it’s 8’6” length feels sizable for a solo craft, it lacks much storage space. I found I could stash a small gear bag and a lunch-sized cooler on the boat, but there wasn’t room for much else, and certainly not space enough for my dog. Both the Watermaster and Outcast offered much better carrying capacity. 

Still, the Voyager earned the highest marks from our testers for its performance in lakes and ponds.

How We Tested It

A number of testers—including both male and female anglers—used all the boats in this test on lakes and ponds in Washington—from a couple acres in size to a couple thousand acres in size. I also floated sections of the Yakima and Naches Rivers in them, on water ranging from Class I to low Class III. 

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Dan Nelson

Dan Nelson

Dan Nelson is the fly fishing editor of Gear Institute.com. He is a veteran outdoor journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. Follow him at Google+.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$995.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Weight/Portability
7
Capacity
5
Durability
8
Moving-water Performance
6
Still-water Performance
10
Versatility
7
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
83

Specs

  • Length: 8'6"
  • Width: 54"
  • Capacity: 375 lb

Weight

35 lbs

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