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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Searched the Hewes forum without success. Starting my skiff search. Looking at Hewes. Trying to understand the differences between the Hewes Bonefisher and Redfisher.

My target area to starting fishing for reds is the greater Crystal River and Homossasa area.

Thanks for any input!
 

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You need to be more specific on what years you're looking at….Hewes has changed model designs and sizes of the Bonefisher and Redfisher from the 1990s to present.
 

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The differences go back a lot further than the 90's.... Originally the redfisher was a simpler, lighter version of the bonefisher (back before Hewes sold off and came under the Maverick folks). Early redfishers had a bow platform and storage compartment just like a bonefisher -but the rear deck was a simple affair (and all open underneath so you could slide a cooler or two under it if you needed additional storage..) If I remember correctly the very early redfishers also lacked any inner-liner - and that's a huge weight saving in any hull. Back then, that was the primary means of coming up with a lighter weight skiff (since without the built-ins underneath the rear deck you saved 100lbs or more of hull weight -and even more without the inner-liner ). Of course, no inner-liner means the hull isn't self bailing at all...


Over time the differences became much smaller and the redfisher, while still a bit more "technical" than the bonefisher left the "minimum" philosophy and the two models became more and more similar...

This is just a peek at how things started out. After I went with a Maverick skiff in 1988 (and it was very much like the early redfisher with no inner-liner and no built-ins up under the rear deck) I pretty much quit paying attention to the differences between the bone and the redfishers. I do know that Hewes wasn't sold off to Maverick until after 1988 since when I bought my Maverick (direct and un-rigged - don't think they ever did that again....) that was the only brand they were building up in Ft. Pierce....
 

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I Love microskiff.com!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did a search for the two boats and came up with two examples from 1991 and 1996. Also a comparative from 2006.

Here is a 1991 Bonefisher: http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/bod/4782353561.html

Here is a 1996 Redfisher:
http://gainesville.craigslist.org/boa/4733724385.html

Conversely, here is a 2006 Redfisher:
http://keys.craigslist.org/boa/4798963234.html

As a newbie studying the microskiff forum, reading reviews/comments and watching videos of the boats on youtube, i am trying to formulate an understanding of the various models to narrow my search. Some of the major considerations in my mind are:
a) Can i get to and flyfish within the area where Reds live? How skinny will the boat go with the motor or on pole?
b) How much chop will the boat handle?
c) How wet will the ride be? Or, how much spray?
d) How rough will the ride be?
e) Most of the time i will fish alone, how much will the transom of the boat drop with me up on the poling platform as i weigh 260#

with all that said i should add, I am interested in a moderate to smaller engine.
 

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Its a stupid thing for most but those year range Redfishers have a fold up seat area, so when fishing, its a flat hard deck. If you want to chill, or the wife is with you, flip the back up and you have a nice padded seat with a back rest....

I like the idea of that feature alot..... :)
 

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The differences go back a lot further than the 90's.... Originally the redfisher was a simpler, lighter version of the bonefisher (back before Hewes sold off and came under the Maverick folks). Early redfishers had a bow platform and storage compartment just like a bonefisher -but the rear deck was a simple affair (and all open underneath so you could slide a cooler or two under it if you needed additional storage..) If I remember correctly the very early redfishers also lacked any inner-liner - and that's a huge weight saving in any hull. Back then, that was the primary means of coming up with a lighter weight skiff (since without the built-ins underneath the rear deck you saved 100lbs or more of hull weight -and even more without the inner-liner ). Of course, no inner-liner means the hull isn't self bailing at all...


Over time the differences became much smaller and the redfisher, while still a bit more "technical" than the bonefisher left the "minimum" philosophy and the two models became more and more similar...

This is just a peek at how things started out. After I went with a Maverick skiff in 1988 (and it was very much like the early redfisher with no inner-liner and no built-ins up under the rear deck) I pretty much quit paying attention to the differences between the bone and the redfishers. I do know that Hewes wasn't sold off to Maverick until after 1988 since when I bought my Maverick (direct and un-rigged - don't think they ever did that again....) that was the only brand they were building up in Ft. Pierce....
lemaymiami you are spot on.. Nice hearing someone who knows his South Florida fishing history
 

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Its a stupid thing for most but those year range Redfishers have a fold up seat area, so when fishing, its a flat hard deck. If you want to chill, or the wife is with you, flip the back up and you have a nice padded seat with a back rest....

I like the idea of that feature alot..... :)
Having spent a decent amount of time on an 18’ Redfisher I am qualified to report that this feature comes with a myriad of issues: cleaning the crevices and corners is a major p.i.t.a. (especially if you have hauled a big cast net full of slimy pogies up onto rear deck), and when combined with the self bailing “high floor/shallow cockpit” you end up very uncomfortable at the helm, essentially driving with the steering wheel between your knees.

If I am not mistaken, later on, Maverick/Hewes had 3 different boats for different purposes: Mirages that became carbon fiber HPXs for technical poling, smooth riding, giant livewell, Master Anglers for the live bait crowd, and Redfishers became their “saltwater bassboat” for tournament redfish anglers, fast, unruly to pole, set up to fish under tm power. Pretty sure the 21’ Redfisher hull with different cap became the first Pathfinder bay boat, who’s popularity led to the demise of a handful of skiff manufacturers..
They still had a few hulls that didn’t fit well into their product lineup, the Tailfisher, Bonefisher 16, Bayfishers (cheaper redfishers) and Redfisher 16 (all phased out fairly quickly), the Bonefisher (18’ was made with carbon fiber and was the first HPX 18), before they redid it and “stretched” the 17’ hull into the modern 18’..
 
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