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Review: Larson FX 1750 TL

Hardcore anglers look upon the Larson FX 1750 TL model with envy, for they can see in its lines and layout that it is designed from the semi-vee hull up for serious fishing. The first clue that the 17-footer is set up for avid angling is the lack of a steering console — let alone a wheel. That's because the TL (for "tiller") model is meant to be manned, controlled and maneuvered from the outboard. What you don't see, unless the boat is on the trailer, is that that hull also carries a unique design, with a straight keel carried forward and special flat chine designed to maximize performance while going forward and in reverse. That's because anglers who use the TL model do as much fishing while the boat is going backwards as they do when the Larson is moving in the more traditional, opposite direction.

It's called "back-trolling," a technique pioneered in the state where Larson began building boats 101 years ago, when Minnesotans targeting wily walleyes wanted to present baits slowly and precisely where the finicky fish were holding. By going backwards, the blunt transom slows the boat's progress through the water, and with the tiller in hand, the operator can react to what he reads on his fish finder and turn the motor — and hence the boat — boat on a dime to remain over the "spot on the spot" where he has located his quarry below.

Tiller-controlled, back-trolling boats are offered across the northern reaches of the Heartland, wherever walleye are pursued with a passion. The FX 1750 TL has proven popular for its practical deck layout and its wood-free, VEC construction. The latter is a building method that produces incredibly precise hulls using a closed-molded composite lamination process that results in a one-piece "uni-body" hull with a strong, integrated composite stringer and transom system. That's important to boaters covering rough, rock-and-wood-studded waters on a regular basis.

It's a "green" building process to boot: the VEC Composite Technology computers control more than 500 variables that reduce styrene emissions by up to 90 percent — a process so environmentally friendly that Larson was awarded the prestigious Clean Air Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Back to the boat: The 1750's hull and deck feature a bow casting platform, integrated fiberglass floor, four fixed cleats and hide a built-in, 22-gallon fuel tank. There are four bow storage compartments, a 29-gallon aerated livewell, lockable command center for electronics, large trolling motor battery storage compartment wired for 12/24 volts under center rod storage locker as well as rod storage for up to three seven-foot rods on the starboard wall — all standard.

The standard dash includes rocker switch controls for the auto bilge pump, horn, navigation/anchor lights, the aerator pump and courtesy lights. Like the other FX fishing boats offered by Larson, the 1750 carries a "Five to Life" warranty for a boat that is NMMA Certified and meets or exceeds USCG Regulations.

The standard trailer is a texture-painted Eagle with a 2,400-pound capacity and LED lights, chrome rims, rear ratchet tie-downs and a swing-away tongue. Several optional upgrades are available.

Available options for the 1750 include: aerated livewell bow (18 gallons), battery charger in bow and stern, boarding ladder, butt seat with pedestal, Air Ride pedestal, lure tray, livewell pump timer, pop-up cleats, snap-in carpet, stereo with four speakers and MP3/iPod port adapter, 36-volt trolling motor outlets in bow and stern, slide track for rod holders and splash guards.

The splash guards fit atop the transom, on either side of the outboard, to keep following waves at bay, and are highly recommend if you intend to put the TL model though all its paces — in forward and reverse. www.larsonfxseries.com

Larson FX 1750 TL
Length Overall: 17 feet, 5 inches
Beam: 8 feet 
Draft: NA
Dry Weight: 1,600 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 22 gallons      
Max. Horsepower: 90 horsepower          
Price: $27,630 w/90-hp Evinrude and splashguards

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