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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m gonna get one of these two boats (unless I’ve missed something in my slightly embarrassing amount of searching). I currently have a Mangrove Bay Ibis, and it’s great for skinny water and poling, but I want something more river friendly. I’ll fish with one of my sons usually(8-11 yes old) and mostly fish rivers and lakes here with occasional Florida trips. I’m probably going with a prob, not a jet, and will just row/pole when I get to water that skinny. Probably getting a rowing setup and poling platform either way.

What am I missing here? Any words of wisdom you owners / users of either would be willing to share?

Towee: honestly those rod storage trays on the Towee make more sense than anything I’ve seen on a boat. It’s nice and skinny for slipping between rocks on the river, the factory where it’s made is 2.5 hrs from my house and I could take it up to get fixed if I ever screw it up. It sounds like it can handle the occasional redfish trip in the bays and channels of the FL panhandle, and still cross a little water if I have to. Storing bags, vests, gear, etc may be tight. Having a rowing frame that’s easily removed and replaced with a pole is a great feature in my head.

Hog Island: would probably be better crossing open water just for the beam, and can get banged up in the river and keep on trucking. I also love the bong-on nature of those in-hull accessory pucks for grab bars, leaning braces, cooler ties, etc. it’s a bigger boat and would need a bigger motor to boot for more weight. I really like that I can man-handle my current Ibis if I need on the trailer, or stuck on a high spot to just get out and push/pull it. Having more space for gear and kids is a real plus though. I worry about longevity of the rotomold maybe warping, but bring foam filled is a pretty nice feature.

anyway, any experience, advice or recs?
 

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Brandon, FL
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If I am anticipating bouncing off rocks on a semi regular basis I would get the plastic one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Towee does offer a “river armour” for their bulls if you want, and I’d try not to hit rocks, but there are times it’s just gonna happen...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And I see those guys all over Tennessee and the mountain rivers there running them hard, even jetting them, and they sure seem to hold up. IDK...plastic would sure make it a non-issue I’d guess.
 

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Brandon, FL
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Towee does offer a “river armour” for their bulls if you want, and I’d try not to hit rocks, but there are times it’s just gonna happen...
I don't know anything about the river armour. What I do know is it is fiberglass and will not take a beating like plastic.
 

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How wide is your Ibis? A push pole and bow mount would probably do what you want on rivers. I fish the musky creeks with that set up. Have never been in a spot where oars would've improved my day.

Neither of those 2 boats was designed to row. Putting a rowing frame in a boat doesn't make it a rower. They are popular because of the price point.

The Shawnee boats may be an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's interesting - I have a pole and bow mount now - but almost no freeboard. The oars (in my mind) would just help with quick adjustments and back peddling when fish hit vs actually rowing - though I supposed a bow up stream with TM could get me close....
 

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I've fished from both. But, have spent way more time fishing out of a Hog(20 days) than a Towee and own a Gheenoe. Here is my take on them. Both boats are awesome for rivers especially if you want to cut out the need for a shuttle and just want to motor up and drift back down. My buddy has a jet on his Hog and we have run some extremely shallow water. His boat is pretty bare bones. Cooler in middle and TM ipilot up front. Running the TM allowed us both to fish while we drifted down river etc. As far as rowing goes it wasn't terrible as long as all you wanted to do is slow yourself down or positioning while drifting down river. I wouldn't want to ever have to row up river for any distance. Moving around the hog is a breeze since the layout is so open. Towee's feel more confined to me. If I could afford a jet, ipilot, and outfitting the Hog would be the route I'd go. I'm sure ppl with more experience with both will chime in. If you can test both I certainly would. Good luck on the search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks man - this is super helpful. I'm working on getting out on each and just limited on options for the moment. Your description of running up river and trolling back down is a big piece of how I'd like to use a boat, and then also being able to pole around flats/mouths of rivers, or marshes on Florida trips.
 

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Hog Island(former owner of one) - Bulletproof, open space, put a jet on it and can go anywhere, tracks surprisingly straight and not terrible to row at all...I guess the cons...jack of all master of none(could be a pro), when rowing you'll be inches away from the angler in the back(the bench layout could be better), not great in open water(compared to a regular skiff).

Towee - small, layout is way more thought out, lighter, prettier, easier to row.

Really just depends of types of river you run. I had to have the plastic boat with a jet for the rivers I ran in TX, but also took it up to the Ozarks quite a bit and had no complaints up there. Faster than the shawnee type boats they use up there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hog Island(former owner of one) - Bulletproof, open space, put a jet on it and can go anywhere, tracks surprisingly straight and not terrible to row at all...I guess the cons...jack of all master of none(could be a pro), when rowing you'll be inches away from the angler in the back(the bench layout could be better), not great in open water(compared to a regular skiff).

Towee - small, layout is way more thought out, lighter, prettier, easier to row.

Really just depends of types of river you run. I had to have the plastic boat with a jet for the rivers I ran in TX, but also took it up to the Ozarks quite a bit and had no complaints up there. Faster than the shawnee type boats they use up there.

Do you mind sharing why you sold it? Having ran the HI, do you think the Towee would've held up to the river fine looking back? Did you run it with a jet? I figure running a prop for lakes/flats would maybe make me slow/careful enough in rivers not to have that much hull wear... maybe that's naive thinking
 

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I have the Towee and my good friend has a HI. They both have their pros and cons. The HI has the edge for family trips. It’s bigger. More space for kids to hang and move around. You’ll never worry about the HI getting scratched or dinged inside or out. He’s out in west Texas and using this on lake Amistad/devils/pecos. Hard country. We’ve pushed it thru limestone channels that would eat the Towee’s gelcoat for breakfast. His also has gunwale mounted oar locks (one did break on him so check the welds or ask for extra duty). Definitely need 30 or 40 hp. And it doesn’t pole as easy as my Towee but you’ve already got that base covered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have the Towee and my good friend has a HI. They both have their pros and cons. The HI has the edge for family trips. It’s bigger. More space for kids to hang and move around. You’ll never worry about the HI getting scratched or dinged inside or out. He’s out in west Texas and using this on lake Amistad/devils/pecos. Hard country. We’ve pushed it thru limestone channels that would eat the Towee’s gelcoat for breakfast. His also has gunwale mounted oar locks (one did break on him so check the welds or ask for extra duty). Definitely need 30 or 40 hp. And it doesn’t pole as easy as my Towee but you’ve already got that base covered.
This is great, and kinda what I was thinking too, thank you. Where would you give your Towee the edge?
 

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This is great, and kinda what I was thinking too, thank you. Where would you give your Towee the edge?
It’s lighter, leaner, faster. It poles easier. A little less affected by wind. It drafts less. The rod trays are awesome. It’s prettier. But most of all it’s better because it’s in my driveway.
 

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If the Towee factory is so close to you I would definitely go with Towee. I had a HI and while there were many things I loved about the boat, the very limited dealer network and lack of responsiveness from the manufacturer would keep me from considering again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the Towee factory is so close to you I would definitely go with Towee. I had a HI and while there were many things I loved about the boat, the very limited dealer network and lack of responsiveness from the manufacturer would keep me from considering again.
Big Frank Outdoors deals HI and has been awesome to work with all around. It’s about 50-50 for me with access to Towee or BFO thankfully.
 

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I have a Hog Island with a jet. Before getting it I was also seriously looking at a Towee. As others have pointed out, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Both boats can draft in very shallow water. The towee poles easier but the hog island poles really well. I have oar locks on my boat, but haven’t tried drifting and paddling with it yet. I have an I-pilot TM and use it while fishing and drifting down river. For me it came down to space, storage, stability, and durability when bouncing off rocks.
 
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