There are lots of bass boats around, and we doubt that one catches fish better than the others – despite boat builders' claims. The fact is that the Nitro Z-6 has all of the fishing amenities and equipment needed to put tournament anglers on top of the bass without draining the last drop from their bank accounts. The Nitro Z-6 costs about $21 grand, including a trailer and Mercury 115-hp OptiMax outboard.
The Nitro Z-6 is a good choice for beginning boat owners, club tournament anglers or anybody wanting to chase fish on a budget. And in case you are wondering, it is one of the best-selling brands on the market.
32-gal. aerated aft livewell with timer and divider
Port/starboard aft lockers with drop-in boxes molded for tackle trays
3-across seating at helm with steps to aft deck
Flush-mounted Lowrance Mark-5x fishfinder
Step to bow deck with insulated cooler
Center bow rod/gear locker for rods up to 7’ long
Bow bicycle seat and aft folding fishing chair
Minn Kota Edge 12V, 54-lb. thrust foot-controlled trolling motor
Custom-matched trailer with Galvashield corrosion protection
Nitro Z-6 (2014-) Specifications
17' 4'' 5.28 m
1,300 lbs. 589 kg
90'' 2.29 m
13'' 0.33 m
22 gal. 83 L
Prices, features, designs, and equipment are subject to change. Please see your local dealer or visit the builder's website for the latest information available on this boat model.
At 17'4" (5.28 m) long, the Z-6 is big enough for two or three people to chase after bass, and stable enough to let anglers wander around on the casting platforms without getting tipsy.
There won't be any arguing over the price as if one was buying a carpet at a Moroccan souk: Nitro's policy is no-haggle pricing, and they publish all prices on their website. Before walking into the dealership, one knows what the boat that they want will cost. Save the haggling skills for buying a new pickup to tow it.
The Nitro Z-6 comes with a 115-hp Mercury OptiMax outboard, a trailer, MotorGuide trolling motor, Lowrance fishfinder, fishing seats fore and aft, baitwell, cooler, stowage – heck, even a paddle – for $20,995 plus prep and shipping.
Bass boats are all about stowage, and the Z-6 has plenty. The lockers on either side of the forward rod locker can also handle rigs to 7' (2.13 m), and are lockable.
Is She Flimsy?
At Nitro Boats, a low price doesn't mean second-rate construction. The Z-6 has a hand-laid fiberglass hull backed up with a foam-filled 'glass stringer system and composite transom. The console is molded fiberglass with sparkly gelcoat, and the cockpit floor and all fishing surfaces are carpeted for secure, comfortable footing. There's a heavy-duty rubrail to protect the hull should you decide to tie up alongside.
There's full instrumentation at the helm, including water-pressure and trim gauges, plus a flush-mounted Lowrance Mark-5x fishfinder.
The Z-6 comes with all the stuff you expect on a bass boat. There's a single console topped with a tinted windscreen; a second console is optional -- given its modest cost ($535), we recommend it. Steering is rack-and-pinion; dual rack-and-pinion, with or without a tilt wheel, and hydraulic steering are all options. Hydraulic adds $395; we'd choose dual rack-and-pinion, no tilt wheel.
Three bucket seats in the cockpit provide comfortable seating enroute to the fishing hole, even though the passenger in the middle seat doesn't have a console or windshield for shelter. We'd let the kid sit there. Both outer seats have stowage underneath.
Three-across seating is standard, but we'd add the optional console to give the port-side seat some protection. Let a kid sit in the middle. Under-seat stowage is handy, too.
There's lockable rod stowage under the foredeck with tubes for four 7' (2.13 m) rigs, plus room for more rigs in side lockers. A drop-in box aft is sized for tackle trays, and a 43-quart cooler lives under the step onto the forward deck. There's easy access to batteries (two are standard: one for the outboard and systems, one for the trolling motor) and pumps, too. A 2-bank, 8-Amp battery charger is standard; upgrading to a 20-Amp charger adds $145.
A 32-gal. (121 L) divided livewell sits on the centerline aft of the cockpit, flanked by two more stowage lockers.
The Mercury 115 OptiMax Pro XS is the only motor available, and 115-hp is the maximum recommended. We haven't tested this boat, but with its almost-flat bottom (12 degrees deadrise aft) and loaded weight of approximately 2,400 lbs. (1,300 lbs. boat and motor, 1,100 lbs. crew and gear), we'd expect the boat to be fast enough, but not nosebleed-fast. Nitro estimates speed at 52 to 55 mph, which sounds reasonable to us. But don't hold us to it; these are not our numbers.
Four 7' rigs will fit in the lockable rod stowage, with room under them for tackle boxes or odds and ends. The carpet is marine-grade, and provides secure, comfortable footing on all flat surfaces.
Extras You'll Want
Aside from what we've already mentioned, there isn't much you really need, but some things you'll want. Adding a second fishfinder on the bow costs $195, and upgrading the trolling motor to a Pro Series is $200. An automatic switch for the standard bilge pump costs $125. Upgrading the brakes on the trailer adds $300; a spare tire, $165. Even if you go crazy, you'll get the boat for around $23,000, plus freight.
Not included in this photo are the folding fishing seat aft and bike seat forward that are both standard, as is the trolling motor with foot switch. We think the Z-6 is a good deal for the money.
What's not to like about the Nitro Z-6? It's affordable, and will get you out where the fish are. Nitro's no-haggle pricing makes it easy to buy the boat, too. Speed demons will want a boat with more horsepower, but if there's any chop at all the 115-hp Mercury will push you fast enough to be uncomfortable, so we're cool with that power. If you really need the speed, check out Nitro's Z-8: With its optional 250-hp OptiMax, it runs in the mid-70s (but costs $39,995 with that power, too.) We'll go slower and save a few bucks.
Standard and Optional Equipment
Nitro Z-6 (2014-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Nitro Z-6 (2014-) Warranty
Nitro Z-6 (2014-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.