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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I had the pleasure of demoing the Sabine Skiff Versatile and Micro. Let me tell you that Sabine Skiffs exceeded all my already high performance expectations. Houstonians, Sabine Skiffs will be at the Houston Fishing Show from February 28th to March 4th, so check them out. I was lucky enough to wet test the yet-to-be-unveiled Micro which is a sweet little skiff, and will be introduced to the public at the Houston Fishing Show. Go check it out. Now to proceed with the review.

To give a little backstory, Sabine Skiffs, owned by fellow fly flinger, Brian Little, is based out of La Porte, Texas. Prior to starting Sabine Skiffs, Brian had been building one-off skiffs to suit the needs of a Texas Coast fly fisherman for quite some time. So when he decided to create Sabine Skiffs he knew exactly what needed to be done to create a high quality Texas poling skiff.

The Texas Coast requires a very unique skiff build in order to withstand the elements (i.e., extremely shallow water, windy conditions, hyper-saline water, and OYSTERS). After demoing both Sabine Skiff models (Versatile and Micro) that Brian and his team have created, I can say that these boats are THE poling skiffs for the Northern Gulf fly fisherman. Duck hunters...this is the boat for you, too! Here is a little overview:

TOUGH!
First off, these babies are made from solid-grade aluminum in order to combat the dreadful-hull-killing oysters that litter the Northern Gulf. These skiffs are freaking tough!
GETTIN' SKINNY!
Any Texas angler knows that to be a successful boat in Texas, they have to get skinny! That's why the Texas Flats Skiff (TFS) reigns king. But you can't effectively fly fish from a behemoth TFS, and you for sure can't pole them well. They are simply too big and bulky to allow technical fishing from the boat. That leaves a bit of an equipment void for Texas fly fisherman, as their needed to be a boat that bridged the gap between extreme shallow water performance, durability (oysters), and technical capabilities that fly anglers require of their skiffs. I feel that Brian has done just that. The Versatile and Micro can get just as skinny as TFS, and still be light and mobile enough to have high poling performance, which I'll get to later. We were running 31-32 mph in 6-7" of water, and had no problem poling in the same depths. Getting back on plane was as simple as spinning the prob. These boats are so light, and don't require huge horsepower to run, so there is little stern squat when trying to get back on plane in the super skinny. Duck hunter's delight!
POLES WELL!
Staying on the topic of poling, I found the poling performance, and stability for that matter, to be really good. The length to width ratio of both skiffs (Versatile is 17'6 with a 78" beam, and the Micro the same length with a 60" beam) makes these boat track really well. I am fairly new to poling, and felt as though I had no real problems getting the boat to do what I wanted, even in the stiff winds that we experienced.
QUIET!
Now I had the same thought that you're having right now..."aluminum seems like it would be loud for a poling skiff". That's the first thing I wanted to know about the build, but I was definitely proven wrong. Brian has designed his skiffs to totally eliminate hull slap and the annoying wave reverberation that usually plagues aluminum boats. I was impressed with how quiet the Sabine Skiffs poled.
HANDLES CHOP!
Demo day was not a day that one would consider prime fly fishing weather, but it was really a good day to test the open-water capabilities of the Versatile and Micro. I'd say they performed really well. Any skiff style boat is going to get a little wet, but Brian has his skiffs dialed in with trim tabs to help mitigate spray. Once we go the trims adjusted appropriately, we were scooting across the choppy bay with little problem. Although Brian's skiffs are flat bottom boat, his incorporation of a sharp bow entry allows them to punch through waves with ease. Obviously, no skiff is going to stay as dry as deep V hull, but I felt as though the Versatile and Micro performed on par with other poling skiffs that I have tested.
FINAL THOUGHTS
Brian has created a unique poling skiff that satisfies the needs of the Northern Gulf fly fisherman. When choosing your next skiff, Sabine Skiffs need to make your shortlist. Brian treats his customers really well. I mean, how many skiff company owners have personally come to the demo and offered to fish with you for several hours during said demo? I've never had it happen before. Sweet little boats!
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Great looking skiff. If the hulls are as tough as my old Weld-Craft, it may be time to ditch the Mosquito:) I look forward to testing one some day soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great looking skiff. If the hulls are as tough as my old Weld-Craft, it may be time to ditch the Mosquito:) I look forward to testing one some day soon.
I really looked at the aluminum design as peace of mind in the sense that I wouldn't think twice about cruising a skinny flat with known oysters beds, because I know the skiff can handle it. Something I might be more apprehensive to do in a glass skiff. And, if it performs on par with other glass tech poling skiffs, that's the best of both worlds right there...technical ability with hardy design.
 

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I think it’s very interesting it will do 32. Was that with a 30? I believe Brian said the hull weight was still about 500#?
 

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1652 G3, & 1756 Lowe tinnys
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I labored over the choice of aluminum vs glass before I bought my recent boat. I chose aluminum, exactly due to the oysters. Looking forward to seeing these boats at the show.
 

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Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!
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Brian Little is good people and builds amazing skiffs. I have not run one or fished off one but went over the hull he had at the Houston Fishing Show last year and it was amazing to see in person.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I know Brian and his work and have fished off his fiberglass skiffs and the versatile.

They are great boats for the Texas flats and marshes. The spray rail design does a good job to keep everyone dry especially for a flat bottom design.

I would agree with most of boca chica’s thoughts.

The micro is going to be a killer skiff. Hopefully I will be out in one soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Is that a tunnel hull in the pics up top? Motor looks like it's mounted pretty high.
It's not, but the grey boat (Versatile) is. Brian was saying that due to the skinny water conditions in TX, he mounts the motors a bit higher that other manufacturers. That thing gets super skinny, too, so he was right on with that raised mount. With the more slender design of the Micro, I don't know if I'd go with a tunnel, and by how skinny we ran it without one, I think we proved that a tunnel isn't necessary on this particular boat. Cool thing about aluminum is that you can add a tunnel no problem if that's something you'd like on your boat. Can't do that on a preset glass molded boat.
 

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anyone strap a surface drive on one yet?

I know they are loud and obnoxious but it seems like it would be a super skinny combo.
Don't junk up that fine skiff. You can't bring Brett anywhere!

I like these boats and am a fan of the concept. Considered purchasing one but ultimately went in another direction. Looks pretty wet from the pictures. In fairness, I got wet yesterday as well.
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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I've gone on a demo run in the Sabine Versatile as well (full size, not the Micro) and it's an extremely impressive rig. We had myself at 6'3" and over 3-bills, my buddy who is considering buying one who is 6'5" and over 3-bills to plus Little and it still was a 7" poling draft. The only time it got loud on the hull slap was when all 3 of us got on the ass end so the bow was out of the water.

As the name implies, the versatility of the Versatile has me contemplating selling the Panga and going with one of these skiffs.

They're just an all around impressive skiff IMHO.
 

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Really fine skiffs and a great man behind them, too. That micro is a game changer. What a sweet rig.
 

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Don't junk up that fine skiff. You can't bring Brett anywhere!

I like these boats and am a fan of the concept. Considered purchasing one but ultimately went in another direction. Looks pretty wet from the pictures. In fairness, I got wet yesterday as well.
What pictures are you looking at?
 
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