Stacer Boats have long been a favourite with Australian anglers who fish a wide spectrum of waterways. However, if you were to look at a breakdown of where most anglers spend the majority of their time, you’d find the answer is at most fishing rivers, estuaries and lakes, therefore it is no wonder that up until recently the number one selling boat in the Stacer Range was the 399 Proline – it has now been narrowly overtaken by their popular 429 Seaway model. To keep up with customer demand and feedback, Stacer have revamped their larger Proline boats by introducing the Proline Striker series for 2016.
I recently had the pleasure of experiencing what Stacer is offering in the new Striker Series first-hand at a media day held on the picturesque Broadwater at the Gold Coast. In true Stacer fashion, the day revolved around a theme, this time the day consisted of a poker run. Starting at Sea World we headed north to Wave Break Island adjacent to the Southport Seaway and then up the Nerang River making several stops to draw cards before tying up the Stacers at The Isle of Capri for lunch and to see who had the best hand. I certainly wasn’t going to win with only a high card but along the way I made the most of every stop getting a ride in each of the new Prolines.
Included in the Striker series line up are the 399 and 429 Prolines, as well as the 409, 429 and 449 Proline Anglers. It is worth noting that there is no longer a 399 Proline Angler in the range; the 409 Proline Angler has superseded that model. The new series sees some significant changes to what has previously been a popular hull design. So how exactly did Stacer improve their number one selling boat?
The keel has been relaxed by 7% meaning that the bow has less of an angle that is likely to ‘bump’ into a chop but rather skip over it. Match the relaxed keel with a now deeper entry point and the result is you have a hull that is going to deliver a softer ride.
Across the entire Striker Series you will find the chines are now wider delivering more stability both at rest and underway. The wider chines are also effective for providing a dry ride. In the moderate 12 knots of breeze we had while testing the Striker Series I cannot recall copping any spray other than a little bit caused by pretty ordinary boat driving skills from another journalist.
A very noticeable point of different between the Striker Series and the previous Prolines is that at no point do the chines actually meet up with the centre line on the new models resulting in an ‘arrow’ shaped bow that, from a bird’s eye view, gives these boats a sporty new look. It’s not all for show though, it provides anglers with 11% more space up front for the 399 and 429 Proline and an extra 11% fishing space on the front casting deck for the Proline Angler range.
The barebones 399 and 429 Prolines handled very well, especially seeing as there was very little weight in the way of a fit out. Stacer offer an upgrade option of having 2mm bottom and sides on the 399 Proline and with this upgrade, increases the maximum outboard rating from 30-40hp. I couldn’t wait to get on the 399 fitted with a 40hp E-Tec and, as expected, it turned out this thing was a rocket ship.
While the 399 and 429 Prolines serve their purpose, the Proline Anglers offer keen fishers a ready to go fishing package at an affordable price. Across the Proline Anglers you will find front and rear carpeted casting platforms, the very comfortable Stacer Sea Pro seats with six seating positions, side decks, rails, a transducer bracket and a quality Stacer paint job. The extra room on the front casting platforms offer ample room for two anglers up front throwing lures. There are also the usual popular options available to go with the Proline Anglers, such as a side console, bow mount plate, bimini top, live bait tank, live well transom step, underfloor fuel tanks and a flash rod storage pocket.
After spending several hours jumping between the different boats and giving them a test drive, including stopping for a sneaky cast at a school of trevally to ‘test’ its fishability, I can now certainly appreciate the benefits of the changes in design. The R&D team at Stacer have not just tweaked the design but actually significantly improved on something that was already a proven success. You can expect a softer, drier and more stable ride from the new Striker Series.
All boats that we tested throughout the day were fitted with Evinrude E-Tec outboards that performed effortlessly getting each boat onto the plane quickly, even when loaded with four people.
The word on the street is that the Striker Series will be rolling out of the factory to dealers in early January so contact your nearest dealer to find out more.
The 409 Proline Angler replaces the 399 Proline Angler.
One difference in the Striker Series is that the chines no longer meet in the centre line providing better stability.
The new bow design provides anglers with 11% more casting platform to work with.
Gold Coast angler Mick Horn demonstrates the fishability of the 409 Proline Angler.
The 429 Proline Angler rode nicely even with four on board.Reads: 1275