Dagger Mamba ReviewThis summer with no expectation of paddling a different boat, I ended up in a 2012 Dagger Mamba 8.6. Now over 300 river miles later, I can confidently say that this boat kicks some tail. A long summer road trip to many of the northwest classics between Bozeman and Portland provided me with some insight to strong points of the boat as well as weak ones.
- Speed. Going deep is not an issue. If you plug a hole, 9 times out of 10 you emerge without losing any speed. (especially important on the North Fork of the Payette)
- Edge Design. The edges are sharp from the front of the bow to just under the seat where they taper out to more of a displacement hull. This really gives you the ability to drive the boat with the nose and not worry about catching your stern on an eddy line.
- Overnight storage. Massive amounts of space for gear. I loaded 3 extra pairs of shoes in my boat after I had loaded all of my gear because they wouldn’t fit in other people’s boats. Extremely easy to load this boat down without noticing a difference in performance. On the Ceseesh/ South Fork of the Salmon in Idaho, paddling class 5 big water with a loaded boat was no issue.
- Stability. Since this boat is a little wider, stability is one of this boat’s many strong points. Although many argue it takes away some of the play, I had no trouble jumping from edge to edge on wave trains or transitioning edges on a boof.
- Great single quiver boat. Great at creeking but not a full creek boat. Great at river running. Fun to surf big waves in, and I imagine it would be easy to learn in.
- Not a full displacement hull. If you were to boof a large drop you might feel it a little more than if you were in a Nomad for example.