Stratos 486SF: Cast for Bass, Give the Kids a Blast

While most bass boats are dedicated to one thing and one thing only, this Stratos makes it possible for the family to enjoy other watersports, as well.

11th July 2013.
By Lenny Rudow

If you love bass fishing, bass boats are your natural choice. But what if your kids enjoy water sports like wakeboarding or water skiing? The solution to your problem is a boat like the Stratos 486SF, which is designed to function as a serious bass fishing machine yet still provide the ability to enjoy other forms of water-play.

stratos 486sf

Can a serious bass boat do double duty? Stratos says yes, and that doesn’t mean you have to put up with the down-sides of a Fish N Ski.

Wait a sec—is it really possible to take a dedicated design like the bass boat and fit it out to do other things? Sure, and the 486SF is not like some middle-of-the-road Fish N Ski. Instead, it tilts much more towards fishing and the sacrifices are minor-league. Look at the foredeck casting platform, the premium fishing spot on any bass boat, for example. It’s rigged with a standard 12-V Minn Kota trolling motor, and has two large stowage compartments under a pair of forward-facing bow seats. What you give up is some of the casting deck standing space, but what you gain is a pair of lounge-style seats plus stowage.

Length 18’6″
Beam 8’0″
Draft 1’6″
Deadrise NA
Displacement 1,750 lbs
Fuel capacity 30 gal.

At the aft deck, the trade-off is much the same. The deck is a hair smaller than usual, but in return you get more cockpit space which results in a second pair of bucket seats. Along with the passenger’s and helm seats, that means six people can ride in comfort. And when the kids are among those six, you’ll be happy for the extra protection they get. At 27″ the cockpit is much deeper than usual for a bass boat, and instead of the usual minimal windscreen and the console, the 486SF has a full-width wrap-around windshield with a fold-over middle pane. The design is clearly borrowed from the Fish N Ski sect, but Stratos’s bassing version is lower and sleeker.

A final nod to the family comes in the form of a ski locker in the sole, and an optional tow-eye. There’s also an integrated, insulated cooler, and we dare you to find a spot on this boat that isn’t within reach of a cup-holder—it simply can’t be done. And yes, of course the boat has an aerated livewell. There’s also a standard-issue Piranha Max 160 fishfinder, but serious anglers will probably want to upgrade from this basic black-and-white unit. Following the bass boat tradition, Stratos also includes a custom-matched trailer with this rig. It has oil-filled hubs, submersible lights, integrated tie-downs, a swing-away tongue, hydraulic surge brakes, chrome wheels, and Road Armor coating.

Performance Data
Test conditions: Light winds, 2 POBTest data courtesy of Yamaha. See the full performance report for more info.
1000 4.3 2.0 2.2
2000 7.4 5.5 1.4
3000 28.8 8.3 3.5
4000 40.4 12.4 3.3
5000 50.9 18.7 2.7
5500 54.4 20.1 12.7
Power Single Yamaha V150TLR, swinging a 14.5″ x 23″ three-bladed prop.

This is an all-composite boat, with molded glass stringers and a composite transom riding on one an Alan Stinson racing hull, but it does carry a slightly lower horsepower rating than some other bass boats of this size, with a maximum of 150. Is that enough power? Rigged with a Yamaha V150TLR, this boat cruises in the mid 40’s and breaks 54-mph. That may not be enough juice for some off-the-hook tournament die-hards, but for the rest of us, it’s more than enough.

So—is the 486SF the right bass boat for you? Unless you’re at the far end of the bass fishing extreme, chances are you’ll feel it gets the job done well. And chances are your kids will also feel that way about the boat, on those occasions when you leave the fishing rods at home.

For more information, visit Stratos Boats.


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About the author:

Lenny Rudow

Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including and YachtWorld. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.
Connect with Lenny Rudow on Google+

2 thoughts on “Stratos 486SF: Cast for Bass, Give the Kids a Blast

  1. I am a wife of 34 years and mother of 2 boys and I know all about the “AVID” Fishermen. We run a tournament circuit known as the Valley Sportsman after years of being a part of it, as participants in tournaments to working the weigh ins, Georgia Classic and Stratos was a big part of qualifying tournaments that came from points at end of year with this circuit. So I know by first hand experience the integrity, challenges, encouragement, self respect, future growth opportunities and so much more that this sport of fishing can positively leave an everlasting legacy and impression on kids, adults, no matter the age. In all our trials and tribunes, I know the difference it makes without it, compared to with it in our life. If you have the opportunity to make a difference, fishing would be it, it’s the best therapy I have ever run across and never get tired of it. I could use alot more of it for my family.

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