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Discussion Starter #1
so ill be back stateside in august and was going to pull the trigger on a skiff soon. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas good or bad about these two. I know there is a lot of info about the shadowcast, but not a whole lot on the salt marsh. Thanks for the input!
 

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The two skiffs are very different. The ShadowCast is an excellent poling skiff. I have poled it to within a fly rod's length of Tampa Bay reds (see smartest redfish thread). It does take a chop pretty well for its size and really performs well with a 20 HP Tohatsu. The knock on it for me is the beam. Those that are adept to being on skiffs, it is no big deal. Those that are not skiff savvy, it can be a challenge. The 1444 gives up some length but makes up for it in the stability department. The new deck configuration allows for a standard rear hatch which adds an element of dry storage that the ShadowCast does not have standard. Fishing in areas like bayous where oyster bars may come into play, the Kevlar hull on the 1444 is attractive. Both boast a 5" draft so you can pretty much go anywhere you want. I am excited to get my 1444 and really put it through its paces and turn it into a TB backcountry fly machine. When you are ready to pull the trigger, let me know. I can get you pricing and draft up a quote package for you. Feel free to text me with any questions you may have. 863-860-7250
Jon
 
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I own a 14 and have spent a lot of time on a shadowcast 16. The above information is accurate. I like the way the 14 handles a bit better because it's more stable; however, it might not handle a smaller chop quite as well as the 16. Both have some hull slap, I think the 14 is a little worse. 16 runs a little bit skinnier with the small tunnel, but poling draft is comparable. Both extremely capable skiffs and catch a ton of fish!
 

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I live and fish in Destin. When ordering my boat, Erin recommended not getting the Shadowcast because of the Choctawhatchee Bay. So I opted for the Native SUV 17. It eats the chop in this bay up to a certain point. Sometimes the waves in this bay are too much for my boat. Now, keep in mind, I keep my boat in a lift behind my house, so when I want to fish somewhere I might have to cross the bay. If you are launching yours, you can drive to the area you want to fish and launch there. But as far as running across the bay in those 2 skiffs, there might be days when that will be impossible.
 

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I had a Salt Marsh 1444 that was amazing. When I spoke with Mel, he said he preferred the 1444 over the shadowcast for everything besides poling. I used my salt marsh pretty frequently in Tampa Bay, and while it wasn't the best all around skiff to be in a large bay in, I never felt unsafe. Poles shallower than you would ever need and the kevlar is nice around oysters. 20hp mercury 4 stroke was perfect for it.
 

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I’m very happy with my 1444. It poles great for a 14’ skiff. Feels like a longer boat with the tracking and I can turn it around in tiny creeks that I would be worried about going into with a longer boat. You can literally push it through mud (no turing of course). It rides surprising well in small chop if you keep the bow down. With a small boat you just have to slow down when it gets rough a little sooner than a larger boat so I just leave the house 15min earlier if conditions aren’t great
 

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Depending on budget, the SM1656 may be an attractive option as well. Very nice little skiff and has good storage and layout options for a boat that size.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks everyone for the input! so i have settled on the salt marsh... i figure that since the majority of the places i fish are around oyster beds and the kevlar really made me want to go with that. i have the ability to drop at any ramp (so there is no need to even attempt to cross anything major). i am also new to poling so something with more stability is something i will need.
 
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