While I’ve fished or been in just about every bass boat out there, I had a lot of decisions to make once I settled on aluminum. I reviewed just about every aluminum boat out there. Ultimately I chose an X21 Pro from Xpress Boats out of Hot Springs, Ark.
I’ve been around Xpress Boats a bunch working with their pros and at their events and was able to pick a lot of people’s brains about the boats before hand. I’ve been able to run their boats since they were created and have liked that they drive like performance speed boats but are also built to withstand rough water. And we all saw what Bill Lowen and Jason Christie did in those boats this year on tour.
I actually ordered my boat last year before Christie and some others came on board this year. So I was already looking forward to making the switch before Bill and Jason showed the world what those boats could do.
Xpress builds an all-welded aluminum boat, with the original padded hull, so you can handle rough water and hang big motors on them. And every year they are incorporating more innovations and improvements into their boats spurred by on the water experiences. They have tons of storage, handle rough water really well, and drive like race cars. Not to mention they were the originals offering an all-welded boat with padded hull and a SeaDek option.
They also come with theYamaha VMAX SHO, and I was excited about the prospect of running the new SHO. That motor has already been very impressive, and I’m barely through break in.
The boat tows, launches and loads really well and I’m already enjoying that part of it. I actually drove to Arkansas and got it and brought it back to my dealer, The Old Bait House in Paducah. So it’s had some miles on it already. As an aside, I don’t recommend towing them with the dealer cover on them. Talk about halving your fuel economy.
I chose a custom color and custom SeaDek for my boat. I outfitted the boat with a Garmin Force Trolling Motor, Garmin GPSMAP units with Livescope and the new GT56UHD-TM HD transducers for maximum image quality. I also added Dakota Lithium 12V 100AH batteries to power my trolling motor and Garmin electronics.
The boat is sleek, functional and fun to drive and fish. I love its low sides, making casting and swinging fish a lot easier and more fluid. I knew I was going to be getting up and down 50 times a day on some days, and I’m already loving how easy it is to hop around, make a few casts and takeoff in this boat to run a bunch of water efficiently.
I’ve only been in the boat a couple weeks, but I’m already very happy with my purchase. I buy my boats. I don’t do memo deals and swap every year. I liked to buy a boat and motor and run it for a while and own the boat so I can set it up how I want and catch a lot of fish out of it before having to mess with changing and rigging again. Plus I think this is how most fishermen operate and it makes my content more genuine if it’s my boat and I paid for it.
I’ve already had good fishing luck catching some giant crappie including one of the bigger hybrid crappies I’ve ever caught on my first couple of outings. So I’m excited to see what comes bass fishing and crappie fishing this fall and winter.
So that’s how I came to my boat buying decision and what I factored into that decision. I’m really happy with my choice and my purchase and am looking forward to sharing a lot of fishing content with folks in the new rig. Hopefully this experience helps others get through the boat buying process a little easier.
Read More:Why I Went Back to an Aluminum Boat for Fishing