Captain's ReportSmoker Craft 171 Pro Bass
By Capt. Rob Smith
On the stern
This model is designed for the latest four stroke engines, like the Honda 90 hp EFI. On the stern, you have room to cast, and without the casting chair, it is easy to move from port to starboard working fish. Stability at the stern is terrific. I was moving around checking her out and felt comfortable even when relaxing with my foot balanced on the gunwales and picking up gear on the docks. Two dry boxes in the stern will keep your gear and life jackets handy. Access to the mechanicals, pumps, batteries, etc. is across the aft end of the stern platform. The fish box is a carry-over from the northern market that southerners will appreciate. The 50” combination pitch box/livewell/baitwell gives you tons of room regardless of the type of fish you seek. The stern platform measured about 40” deep and nearly the width of the beam.In the cockpit
The 171 Pro Bass is typical of most bass rigs I have been on. Three across seating with a fold-down center seat for easy access to and from the stern. There is a little storage under it, not much. I am not a small guy, so I felt a bit snug at the helm. I didn’t feel like I had freedom of movement in the footwell and the throttle didn’t go into full reverse freely as my hip was in the way. Both of these things are simple enough to get used to, just my observation from the driver’s seat. The instruments were positioned well for good visibility, and the low profile windshield offered reasonable protection to the driver. The cockpit measured about 31” by the width of the beam, with a cockpit depth or interior height of 18”.On the bow
The bow casting deck offers 67” by 72” of freedom, and a base to mount a casting chair. The 171 Pro Bass is pre-rigged for trolling motors and has a tilt switch to pick up the big motor when you are ready to begin trolling for the lunkers in the lake. Trolling motor batteries for the 24 volt system are spread between two bow dry boxes to maintain weight and balance. The cranking battery is in the stern aft compartment.
My test rig was set up with a Motor Guide 46 with a tethered foot control that worked quite well. The bow light is stowed in a clip up front so you don’t have to dig under all your gear in the bow storage boxes as the sun goes down. The center locker is designed to stow your rods and is lockable to make sure they are still in there after you go in for your coffee in the mornings on your way to the ramp.Specifications
The 171 Pro Bass is 17’10” length overall with a beam of 6’9”. She tips the scales at 1075 lbs. dry without engine. She has a fuel capacity of 21 gallons and is rated for up to 90 hp outboards. Maximum weight capacity is 1225 lbs. Bottom and side gauge is 0.100 aluminum, all welded.Conclusions
The 171 Pro Bass was easy to drive and responsive. In my opinion, this model is a good choice for those fishermen wanting some of the same creature features of the professional anglers, yet in a package that is affordable, durable and practical in their driveway.
Standard and Optional Features
10 year warranty