In this episode, we chat with Justin Waayenberg from Adipose Boatworks to delve into the groundbreaking world of resin infusion in drift boats, offering anglers the ultimate guide to navigating the transformative trends in boat durability and weight.y fishing journey to new heights, all while emphasizing conservation and the deep-rooted passion that connects us to the rivers we cherish.

Show Notes with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats. Hit play below! 👇🏻

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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Episode Chapters with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats

3:05 – Justin discusses Adipose Boatworks’ dedication to producing high-quality, top-tier boats, comparing their brand’s quality to well-known companies. A significant focus of the discussion is on the adoption of resin infusion technology, a method that Adipose has been researching and perfecting for over three years. Additionally, he touches on the environmental considerations of their manufacturing process and how it compares to using materials like carbon fiber.

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The future is now. #resininfusion #adiposeboatworks #madeinmontana (Photo via:

14:37 – He talks about their range of models and the design philosophy behind them. Adipose offers three main models: the Flow Skiff, the Runoff, and the South Fork Skiff. The Flow Skiff, their flagship model, is designed for the specific needs of western Rocky Mountain rivers, offering stability, low draft, and maneuverability in shallow waters and windy conditions. It’s particularly suitable for fishing with three people, a common scenario among fly anglers.

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The Runoff model caters to those needing a boat that can handle bigger water and class three rapids, featuring a larger bow for more significant wave trains while maintaining maneuverability. Unlike traditional dory designs meant for navigating big rapids rather than fishing, Adipose’s designs aim to provide a versatile solution for anglers.

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The third model, the South Fork Skiff, is a traditional design dating back to the late ’80s, characterized by its flat bow (pram design) and low sides, making it ideal for two anglers. Despite not being a big seller, it has a cult following among those who appreciate its design for specific fishing conditions.

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21:57 – Justin highlights the thoughtful design considerations that go into each model, such as optimizing space for gear storage, ensuring stability, and enhancing maneuverability. These skiffs are not only capable of handling multi-day trips on rivers like the Smith River in Montana but also excel in efficiently utilizing space to accommodate gear and providing a stable fishing platform.

29:24 – We talk about his home waters. His go-to river is the expansive Missouri River, stretching from Tosin and Three Forks to Fort Peck and the North Dakota border. This river offers a diverse fishing experience, from fly fishing for trout to casting for pike and carp.

He also highlights Helena, Montana, as an ideal spot for anglers due to its central location. From Helena, numerous renowned rivers like the Blackfoot, Big Hole, Yellowstone, Madison, and others are within a two-hour drive, offering a variety of fishing experiences based on weather conditions and target species.

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32:49 – For those seeking guidance or local insights on the Missouri River, Justin recommends several fly shops, notably Headhunters in Craig and Trout Montana in Cascade, known for their expertise and willingness to share information with anglers. Other notable mentions include Montana Fly Goods in Helena and Wolf Creek Angler. These shops are praised for their knowledgeable staff, extensive fly selection, and up-to-date river reports, making them invaluable resources for anyone fishing the Missouri River.

34:34 – Justin tells the optimal times and strategies for fishing the Missouri River. Early spring, particularly mid-April to late April, is recommended for experiencing significant dry fly hatches, with the river temperature climbing into the high forties and low fifties.

For those willing to brave the colder temperatures, Justin notes that fishing conditions on February 19th, for instance, could allow an angler to catch a hundred fish in a day. The conversation also covers the importance of following weather patterns and choosing fishing techniques based on seasonal changes. Justin mentions that as the season progresses, anglers can expect a variety of hatches, including PMDs, Tricos, and Caddis, but advises caution in late summer and fall when weed growth can complicate fishing.

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40:35 – The conversation touches on the geographical and ecological transitions around Helena, the Continental Divide, and the historical significance of areas like the Gates of the Mountain, described by Lewis and Clark. Justin highlights the rich fishing experiences available across different water types in Montana, from tailwaters to freestones and reservoirs, underscoring the state’s commitment to natural river management and the absence of river stocking since the mid-20th century.


45:19 – We talk about an upcoming drift boat clinic organized by Adipose Boatworks, scheduled for April 27th. This clinic, offered in collaboration with Mending Waters Montana—a Helena-based veterans organization—aims to educate participants on all aspects of drift boat handling. Mending Waters Montana is dedicated to supporting veterans through fishing trips, rod building, fly tying, and offering access to exclusive private waters and popular fishing destinations like the Missouri River.

The clinic covers a comprehensive range of topics from the basics of drift boat design differences, preparation and launching techniques, to rowing strategies and fishing from a drift boat. The event is free, with attendees encouraged to donate to Mending Waters Montana. Those interested in participating in the clinic can contact Adipose Boatworks via email to register.

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May 5, 2022 “The Drift Boat 101 Clinic was a great success and everyone had a great time. We also helped raise a little over $2,000 for Mending Waters Montana. Thanks to all those that came out and those that supported us.”
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48:41 – We dig into safety tips for drift boat handling, which are crucial for anyone attending their drift boat clinic or navigating rivers independently. Key safety advice includes:

1. Always Pull, Never Push: Justin emphasizes the importance of pulling rather than pushing to slow down and maintain control of the drift boat. This technique gives the rower more time to react to obstacles by slowing the boat’s speed, allowing for better maneuverability.

2. Avoid Tying Knots in the Anchor Rope: A common mistake is tying knots in the anchor rope to prevent losing the anchor. However, Justin advises against this because, in situations where the boat starts behaving unpredictably, it’s safer to let the anchor rope go to avoid the boat capsizing. The cost of replacing an anchor is minimal compared to the potential loss of the boat or, more importantly, a life.

3. Don’t Drop Anchor in Fast Water: Dropping an anchor in fast-moving water can lead to dangerous situations, including the boat getting lodged and potentially sinking. Justin recounts a tragic incident on the Missouri River where a boat capsized and resulted in a fatality due to the anchor being dropped in fast water. He advises rowers to anchor in calmer water or eddies where the bottom can be seen and the risk of getting the anchor stuck is minimized.

4. Floor Release Anchor Systems: Most drift boats come with a floor release anchor system. In case of emergency, rather than reaching for a knife or attempting to untie knots, the best action is to simply release the anchor by stepping on the floor mechanism, allowing the boat to free itself from the anchor’s hold.

53:26 – Justin provides a variety of restaurant options in Helena ranging from casual to slightly more upscale, catering to different tastes and budgets. For a local beverage after fishing, Justin suggests visiting one of Helena’s breweries, highlighting Lewis and Clark Brewery as a nationally recognized establishment.

56:27 – Justin emphasizes the appeal of Helena, Montana as a family-friendly town with plenty of outdoor activities, devoid of the college town atmosphere. He also highlights local attractions like the state capital building and Blackfoot Brewery, and emphasizes Helena’s growing scene that caters well to families and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

You can find them on Instagram @adiposeboatworks.

Facebook at Adipose Boatworks

Visit their website at

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WFS 187 – The Fiberglass Boat and River Skiff with Adipose Boatworks Justin Waayenberg (Drift Boat Series Ep. 6)

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

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Conclusion with Justin Waayenberg on the Future of Drift Boats

To learn more about their offerings and plan a memorable fly fishing trip, visit Adipose Boatworks and discover the beauty and challenges of fishing in Montana.