There are many types of fishing boats on the market, each with their own pros and cons, but which one is right for you? The question is a pretty straightforward one, so why does searching for the answer so often feel like a fishing expedition — and not the fun kind?
One reason is that searches for fishing boats are often far too broad to be useful. With so many fish and fishing boats out there, you need to be more specific if you’re going to find anything useful. At the same time, it can be hard to find the right convergence point between the ideal size, feature set, and price. That’s especially true of boats that are more niche or geared towards certain types of fish, as is the case with a bass boat.
The Pelican Bass Raider 10e promises to thread that needle and sew up everything in a neat little package, but can it really deliver the feature set of the dream bass fishing boat that you’ve been looking for?
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
What Should You Expect From a Fishing Boat?
Before we hook onto what the Pelican Bass Raider 10e offers, let’s cast a wider net and look at which features are most desirable or are must-haves for a modern fishing boat.
For example, you’ll want to consider the type of fishing boat that you want to get. You may think that they are all the same, or at least that the main differences are simply those of size and minor features, but you’d be wrong. Fishing boats, like fish themselves, share a few key similarities but have otherwise evolved for different purposes.
Type of Fish
One of these is, of course, the type of fish for which you are fishing. A tiny dinghy may be OK when going after smaller fish, but if you’re going after swordfish or marlin, to paraphrase Jaws, you’re going to need a bigger boat. It isn’t unreasonable for bass boats to be on the bigger side, however, with total weights around 1500 pounds or more not uncommon. Even so, you also don’t want to get a boat that is pointlessly heavy because you’re still going to have to haul it to and from the water.
So, what should you look for in a bass boat? Size does certainly matter, since bass can grow to sizes of over three feet and more than 20 pounds. Bass boats therefore come with a distinctive design that you won’t find in most inflatable boats or more all-purpose fishing boats. In fact, one of the distinguishing aspects of a bass fishing boat is a wide beam: the wider, the better. This allows you and your friends more room to stretch around and likewise affords you more space in which to stow your gear and any catches. Bass boats also typically have a stockier, boxier build so as to handle all of that weight.
That said, there are still things that any modern fishing boat should have, starting with a comfortable interior. You don’t want to spend hours on the water only to emerge cramped and sore. However, different types of boats realize this idea of greater comfort differently by spacing the seats out, elevating them so as to offer more room, adding cushioned seats and seatbacks, etc. You’ll also want to strike a balance between size, durability, and portability.
Finally, as mentioned, bass fishing means fishing for big fish, which means having a lot of storage space. That isn’t always the same as having a lot of interior space, however. You need to make sure that the bass boat has space set aside specifically for storing gear, holding fishing rods, and generally housing other fishing essentials.
Features of Pelican Bass Raider 10e
With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the main features offered by the Pelican Bass Raider 10e:
- Measures 122” x 50” x75” and weighs in at 145 pounds
- Has a carrying capacity of 600 pounds, ideally for five people at maximum
- Includes an onboard battery compartment with a 12-volt electrical outlet
- Is sonar-compatible
- Includes a motor mount for those looking to attach a rear engine to the boat
- Stainless steel bow tow
- Four mooring cleats
- Winch hook
- Comfortable seats situated in an elevated position relative to the bottom of the boat
- Can cast from anywhere onboard
- Fold-and-lock seat backs for added storage space
- Two removable foldable swivel seats
- Multiple storage containers
- Drain plugs
- Drink holders
- Two vertical rod holders for keeping fishing rods in place
- Design that provides extra stability and tracking ability
There are a lot of intriguing things about that feature list, not the least of which is its overall size. As mentioned, bass boats are supposed to be on the larger side. This model isn’t the behemoth that some other bass boats are, but it’s still nicely sized at 122” x 50” x 20.75”.
You can also check a great video review by Bass Brothers Fishing DMV here:
Weight and Capacity
The weight situation is interesting. On the one hand, this model has a carrying capacity of 600 pounds, which is fantastic for a fishing boat. On the other hand, this model is still best when used with “only” five people. Let’s be clear; five people is nothing to sneeze at for a fishing boat. Still, some of the top-level options can host a few more. That said, this model still offers good weight capacity given its overall size.
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Onboard Electrical System
The fact that this model has an onboard electrical system is another nice touch. This kind of feature is certainly a must-have if you are keen on using electrical systems as part of your fishing experience. That is especially true if you want to hook up an electrically powered engine, though naturally this is going to require a lot more power than just 12 volts. Still, things such as the mooring cleats and motor mount make the engine situation easier.
Seats and Comfortability
You can take it easy yourself, thanks to the alignment of the seats. The seats of this model are elevated well above the floor and sides of the boat. That gives you a lot more legroom. The seats are also nicely spaced apart so as to give you plenty of room to cast a line or kick back and relax. Add to that the comfortable seats, the fishing rod holders, and the fact you can fold a couple down to give yourself even more room, and this is one of the most comfortably spacious bass fishing boats that you’ll find for its size. (And, hey, you get drink holders — who doesn’t want those in their big fishing boat?).
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Tracking and Stability
The design also allows you to cast from anywhere on the boat. Finally, this model offers good tracking and stability, which isn’t always the case with a boat of this size or shape. As mentioned, this boat has a boxy build and so isn’t the kind of thing that you’d associate with speed or tracking ability. Still, taking that into consideration, this model strives to compensate for that as best as possible. It won’t win any awards for speed, but this model is a bit faster than you might expect. Add to that the stability offered by this model, and it makes for a smooth boating experience.
Pros and Cons
The benefits of this model have already been well documented above. The size and weight of this model may not make it the biggest and boldest bass fishing boat on the market, but it’ll get the job done and then some. The weight capacity is solid, and while five people may seem like a bit too few, it’s more than offset by the spaciousness and good storage options. The seats are comfortable and can easily be folded down or removed entirely, giving you even more space.
Reports of light hull damage are mildly concerning. Granted, most of these reports seem to be minor scratches or, at worst, tiny holes that can be easily welded or patched. Still, it’s something to keep an eye on. Likewise, some have reported not getting the full complement of equipment with their order, though this may be due to any number of shipping issues and may not be the fault of the manufacturer.
Is Pelican Bass Raider 10e Worth Your Money?
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
Finding the right boat means knowing what to look for and having the right expectations. The Pelican Bass Raider 10e is a perfect example of that. If you are looking for the biggest bass fishing boat or the fastest option on the market, you’ll be disappointed. However, if you’re looking for a good bass fisher with great weight capacity and comfort along with a ton of extra features, you’re bound to like what you see from this model.
In short, this is a bass fishing boat that makes bass fishing easier and more comfortable, and that’s just the kind of thing that you should want from a vessel such as this.