If you’re going to do away with something that works and works well, it had better be for good reason. At the Shallow Water Expo in Tampa, Grand Slam introduced its good reason for ending production of its 17-footer – the Silver Shadow. At first glance, you may not notice much difference between the Silver Shadow and the company’s proven 17-footer, but rest assured the differences go beyond small details. To begin with, the hull is brand-new and lighter. Not only is its design improved, but its footprint also is much wider: The beam measures over 7 feet. The added beam provides a stable fishing platform and a responsive and smooth ride, even under less-than-ideal conditions. The lighter weight and the larger footprint also translate into a shallower draft – approximately 7 inches fully loaded.
The redesigned deck includes either a flushed or a recessed foredeck, with just enough lip to effectively keep the fly line out of the wind. Of course, all deck hardware is recessed and out of the way to keep the deck clear of casting obstructions. The company has also improved the undergunwale storage, with space for up to 12 rods. A wet-storage anchor locker, large dry-storage lockers, a redesigned nonskid and an easier-to-access poling platform are also added.
You can choose from a side- or center-mounted console, but most of what you’ll need comes standard. Options include a forward casting platform, lockable hatches and a vertical console-mounted rod rack. Other interesting options include a recessed tackle-storage system in the forward bulkhead to keep fly boxes and other tackle out of the way.
The redesign also took fuel conservation into account. The shape and design of the hull allows for an engine rated between 50 and 100 hp.