The Thrilling Origins of Round Boats for Bass Fishing

Today’s round boats used for bass fishing and general cruising provide a low-cost way for anglers to safely get out on the water. While these crafts are a modern marvel in terms of their construction, weight and general durability, this type of boat was likely the first form of water transportation devised by man.

Known as the “coracle,” these round boats have served a vital fishing and transportation role for ancient civilizations dating back to at least the Bronze Age, or around 3,000 BC.

Coracles are also known by a variety of names depending on which part of the world you’re in. Although they are more of a novelty or recreational craft in Wales, England and the United States today, they are still used for fishing and transportation in less-developed parts of the world like Vietnam, Tibet, India and parts of the Middle East.

We invite you to continue reading to learn more about how coracles were built and how the concept of the round boat has been harnessed in modern times to provide a low-cost, durable craft for bass fishing and other activities on the water.

The traditional coracle is a round-shaped basket boat made of locally sourced wood or bamboo and quietly moves through the water

Coracle boats in ancient times were made from willow in the UK or bamboo in Asia. While all coracles are round, each type was constructed based on where it was being used. For example, a flat-bottomed coracle was useful for navigating shallow waters and rapids while a deeper draft coracle is more useful for bays and other coastal waters.

In England, Scotland and Wales, the coracle is made from interwoven rods of willow and tied to a large piece of willow bark using animal hair.

To waterproof the craft, the outer layer was typically made from animal skins from horses or cattle.

In Asia, the coracle is made using interwoven bamboo with the outer waterproofing layer consisting of resin, coconut oil or both. Tibetan coracles were waterproofed using Yak hides for example.

In short, the coracle was made from materials found in the area where it was being made and used. Although there are slight differences depending on their use and location, they all share the same round, light and easily mobile qualities.  Due to differences in materials and the conditions of where the coracle will be used, there are over 20 different types of known coracles in the United Kingdom alone.

The traditional coracle was powered using a wide-blade paddle. They were effective for bass and other fishing because of how quietly they moved through the water. Someone skilled with piloting a coracle could easily paddle with one hand and tend to a net at the same time. Due to the fact that they sit on the water rather than in the water, the traditional coracle was unstable, especially when compared to today’s boats.

Traditional Welsh coracles were also light enough that they could be carried on one man’s back. In fact, the Welsh have a saying – “Llwyth dyn ei gorwgl” – or, “the load of a man is his coracle.”

Although traditional coracles in Wales, Scotland and England are mainly a novelty item or tourist attraction, some are still used by fishing guides. A larger, yet similarly round boat is still used today in parts of Scotland while local variations of the coracle are still used for everyday purposes in Vietnam, India, Tibet and parts of the Middle East.

The Coracle Society is a group based in the UK that was formed in 1990 to raise awareness and promote more use of coracle type craft. They hold events throughout England, Scotland and Wales to help maintain interest in these amazing round boats.

Coracles in modern times have morphed into lightweight, recreational round boats that provide a stable and safe way for bass fishing and general cruising

While there are still many traditional coracles made from locally-sourced wood and animal skins, modern coracles or round boats for bass fishing are made from materials many of us take for granted today.

Modern coracles still retain their round shape, and many are still a wooden basket frame made from willow, hazel or other woods. Their outer coverings though are made with a cotton canvas or synthetic nylon and covered with a waterproof paint.

Other round coracle boats are made from fiberglass moulds. After the resin of the fiberglass hardens, the outer shell of the boat is then coated with bitumen or some other waterproof paint. Newer coracles also include a comfortable seat that is installed at the end of the manufacturing process.

Coracle-type craft from Roundabout Watercrafts are manufactured using a light-weight, low density and durable polyethylene material. The entire craft is one piece and requires no sealants or fasteners.

Round boats from Roundabout Watercrafts come in a variety of styles each designed for bass fishing, hunting or general cruising on the water.

We invite you to visit our website, to learn more about our round boat models, photos, cost and more. If you have any further questions or would like to see if a Rounabout boat is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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