I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been fishing in the Bahamas or Caribbean on a stripped-down version of the popular Dolphin Super Skiff and thought to myself, “I wish I could have one of these back in the States.”
For years, the south Florida boat manufacturer exported its Lodge Series boats to some of the finest shallow-water fishing destinations in the world. They became the beast of burden for sight-fishing in places like Walker’s and Deep Water Cay, the Turks and Caicos, Belize and the Cayman Islands.
There was just one problem: The company didn’t offer the popular boat for sale stateside.
Like the song says, “The times, they are a changing.”
Under the new direction of owner Karl Zimmermann, Dolphin has re-tooled its entire line and offers everything from a 16-foot Renegade technical poling skiff to a 25-foot center console. The most exciting offering for fly-fishermen, though, is the Lodge Series, available in both 16-foot Renegade and Super Skiff versions. They offer one of the best combinations of function and value in the skiff market.
Running and Fishing
For years, the Dolphin Super Skiff earned its bones as the choice of serious light-tackle guides in the Florida Keys. The boats are known for their combination of light weight, durability and poling performance.
If you are serious about your shallow-water fishing and hang out in places with names like Snake Bight or Matagorda, you’ll want to take a look at the Renegade Lodge Series. It is an extreme shallow-water version of the popular Super Skiff hull, featuring a small pocket and a nearly-flat 4-degree deadrise. The boat draws an impressive 5 inches of water.
If you make long runs across big water to get to your favorite flats, try the Super Skiff. Featuring a more severe 18-inch deadrise and drawing only 8 inches of water, this boat has a ride much better suited to crossing angry stretches of water like Boca Grande Channel on a dawn-patrol mission to the Marquesas.
**Design and Construction
**What sets the Lodge Series apart from other technical skiffs in the Dolphin line is a no-frills approach to fishing utilitarianism. Both the Renegade and the Super Skiff keep you dry and comfortable during a day’s fishing with an integrated spray rail.
Anglers have as many options as the day is long with these boats. Probably the most personal choice is whether you want to go with a more modern center console or the more traditional tiller steering.
An upgrade to Kevlar construction shaves about 100 pounds off a dry-hull weight of 600 pounds. Renegade owners have a choice of power up to 70 hp. The Super Skiff accommodates up to a 90-hp engine.
As with all Dolphin products, the Lodge Series features 100-percent composite construction – no wood. Each boat is built using three-piece construction and features a 10-year guarantee. Standard colors include white, dolphin blue and light gray. Custom colors and two-tone versions are available at an additional cost.
If you’re like me and have always said, “I wish I could have a boat this simple at home,” then take a look at the new Dolphin Lodge Series. Chances are, you’ll like what you see.
|LOA:||15 ft. 10 in.||MAX HP:||70-hp/90-hp OB|
|BEAM:||6 ft. 0 in.||MSRP:||$23,200 w/50-hp E-Tec|
|DEADRISE:||10 deg.||FUEL:||16 gallons|
|DRAFT:||Renegade: 5 in. Super Skiff: 8 in.||WEIGHT:||600 pounds (500 pounds w/Kevlar construction)|
|_Dolphin Boats Miami, Florida 800-471-7671 _www.dolphinboats.com|