As boat prices rise, gas prices soar, and homes with big garages get more and more expensive, options for anglers who want to access the water are becoming increasingly restricted.
Many of us can’t afford to spend $20,000 on a new bass boat, and fewer still have a place to store one where it won’t get beaten up by Mother Nature. But fishing from shore is the pits, especially when you can see all that water just out of reach.
Sea Eagle has the solution: a premium line-up of inflatables for fishing that perform on-par with hard hulls, but at a fraction of the price and space.
If that sounds too good to be true, keep reading.
We’ve really been won over by the inventive tech of Sea Eagle’s FSK 16.
Table of Contents (clickable)
Related: Sea Eagle Stealth Stalker 10 Review
The Sea Eagle FSK16
Capacity: 3 anglers or 1,764 lbs.
Hull Weight: 99.2 lbs. or 110.2 lbs. with transom
Width: 4’ 6”
Interior: 12’ x 3’ cm
Material: 1000 Denier reinforced drop-stitched proprietary
Floor material: double layer 1100 Decitex reinforced
Seams: quadruple overlapping glued
Engine capacity: 10 hp maximum
Speed estimates: Up to 22 mph w/ 1 angler, 11 to 18 mph w/ 2 to 3 anglers
Inflation pressure: 15 psi
Sea Eagle manufactures the FishSkiff 16 from a 1000 Denier proprietary material. This is very tough stuff, and there’s simply no way a knife or hook is going to puncture the FSK 16.
Check out this torture test video:
The FSK 16 relies on three independent chambers that inflate to 15 PSI. When properly filled, they’re rigid and hard, inspiring confidence and preventing the flex that can rob speed from inferior designs.
The floorboard is as stiff as plywood and textured to improve grip. The gunwales are built low to make access to the water for landing and releasing a breeze, but there’s no need to worry about taking on water. The interior is designed to be self-bailing, and any water - from rain to an errant wave - immediately runs to the transom where it passes under it through a cleverly designed system.
Low gunwales make catch and release much easier for large fish.
The drop-in removable transom allows mounting of an outboard as large as 10 hp, and the FSK 16 is capable of speeds of up to 22 mph with a single passenger.
What’s amazing about all of this is that it deflates and rolls up to fit into the trunk of your SUV!
With deflated dimensions of roughly 5’ x 2’ x 1’, there’s space for this boat in almost any vehicle. And with the heaviest component - the hull - weighing in at 99.2 pounds, two people can load and unload this boat with relative ease.
Assembly is quick, and inflation time is approximately 17 minutes.
Sea Eagle’s seating system is ingenious, relying on D-rings and strong straps to anchor as few as one or as many as three swiveling chairs to the deck. They’re comfortable and solid - just perfect for a day on the water.
The bases accommodate Scotty rod holders, providing mounting options that can be hard to come by on an inflatable. This puts your rod in a great position to use, and you’ll have no complaints about the placement.
The front seat leaves plenty of space at the stern for tackle bags, coolers, and other gear, though the bow will probably be crowded by an outboard and fuel.
Sea Eagle has designed the FishSkiff 16 with outboards in mind, and whether you choose a powerful 5 hp Honda or a quiet electric Torqeedo, you’ll be pleased by the hydrodynamic efficiency of the hull and the ease of using the drop-in transom.
A trolling motor transom mount is also available from Sea Eagle.
How does it fish?
This is the question most of us really care about at the end of the day.
The FSK 16’s stability is exceptional, and it’s easy to stand and fish.
Sea Eagle’s FSK 16 has some very strong points on the water. The drought is very shallow compared to bass boats and other small craft, allowing you to access areas that are simply inaccessible to others. And the tougher-than-nails hull encourages you to get in close to rocks when fishing stripers and specks, since impacts are simply a non-issue.
That’s an important point to reinforce: bumping a stump or rock in a fiberglass boat is heart-stopping. But in the FishSkiff 16, nothing is going to happen. Nothing at all.
That allows you to get into places that you’d hesitate to go with a conventional bass boat.
The swiveling seats provide all-day comfort, placing your Scotty rod holders right where you need them. The low gunwales really do make using a landing net for larger fish like reds and stripers easy, and this boat is as stable as they come, even when the water gets a little choppy.
About the only downside of this excellent boat is speed. The FSK 16 isn’t going to win any races, and there’s no question that it’s slower than similarly sized fiberglass or aluminum hulls. If your goal is to race across the lake the second the tournament starts, you’ll be disappointed.
But that’s not what most of us are after, and for anglers who need outstanding portability and who don’t have access to a lot of storage space, this is a revolutionary design.
See our buying guide & reviews for more inflatable boats that make angling even better: Best Inflatable Fishing Boats