Hyde Drift Boats has released their newest model drifter the Hyde XL Low Profile. This boat has a center line of 16’ and can be configured with a walk through interior, which is my favorite design. The walk through interior saves friends and clients from seat hopping as they move to different casting platforms within the boat. However Hyde Boats are a modular design and can be configured over a thousand different ways to accommodate the owner.
The new side storage boxes give a total amount of 25.37 cubic feet of dry storage, in the walk around style boat. In my mind if there is a space to carry something….there has to be something to carry in that space. However to keep the boat neat, I like things to be in a storage unit or a cooler and side storage boxes provide even more storage.
The XL has an increased footprint. In layman’s terms the bottom of the boat’s surface area has been increased to allow the boat to float even higher in the water. This will let the boat float through shallower water, which allows it to slide across an increased number of the shoals on low water.
Sometimes water gets into the boat from entering and exiting the river. The recessed floors keep water off the rower’s feet during the summer months when it is warm enough to wear sandals. This doesn’t seem like a big deal unless your feet have been in water all day with sandals while you are rowing. If this has happened to you then you know exactly what I am saying. The Hyde design, top and bottom, is extremely well thought out for the anglers as well as the rower.
While we are on the subject of what is under foot, Hyde has spent a remarkable amount of time and money researching and developing the G4 bottom. The G4 “shoe” as it is call by many is made of a slick polycarbonate that fits the bottom side of their boats. For those who aren’t crazy about bottom maintenance, after a season of running rocky rivers, the G4 shoe is certainly worth the money as well as peace of mind.
All of Hyde’s boats come standard with recessed reverse rod storage. The tubes are lined with marine vinyl to protect an angler’s rods. The tube is also divided so you can easily store two fully rigged rods on each side. There is also still room in front of the rowing station to put the cooler, which is extremely important for longer and warmer days.
For those who have fished with me you know I use and some say abuse my Hyde. The construction of these boats is second to none. In short the XL is certainly worth considering for folks who might be in the market for a new boat. The features of the Hyde XL are well thought out and constructed with the quality that Hyde Boats have been know for.
Thanks to Jeff Etnyre, Matt Hyde and Hyde Drift Boats for your help with the information and photos for this review.