View Full Version : Lowe Stinger 195 vs Lowe Stinger 175 vs Ranger 178C

05-08-2018, 12:11 PM
Ok, so I'm hopeful you guys can give me some of your vast experience and opinions.

Looking at getting a boat. Don't have a huge budget as it wont be something I'm using (currently) weekly. Looking to go in with my 75 year old father on a crappie boat. But do want something pretty good just not over the top for what we're doing.

First off we'll be fishing mainly in Lake Eufaula, Ok with the occasional trip to Lake Texoma and some other lakes, but 90% of the time on Lake Eufaula. (I'm also going to ask this same question on the Lake Eufaula forum).

Typically we'll fish out of our Pontoon boat as it does have 2 bow seats on a fishing platform and a live well, but as you can imagine it's not the best "fishing" boat. It's mainly just something we take out for the kids and dogs etc to cruise around.

Today I ran up to Cabela's and they are running some really great pricing on Lowe Boats because they will no longer be Lowe dealer with the merger/acquisition with Bass Pro.

They had the following:

Lowe Stinger 175 with a Merc 60, Motorguide X3 70 Trolling Motor and it has that interior that is the spray in like a rhino spray. $17,200 comes with cover, trailer and a single Hook 5X
Lowe Stinger 195 with the Merc ProXS 115, same Trolling Motor, Carpet, and everything else basically the same $22,500
Ranger 178C with same electronics, same engine as the Lowe 175 etc etc. Frankly it's the same thing as the Lowe for hardware, electronics, but nicer seats and of course a Ranger.

Question; best option of the listed above? the Lowe 195 priced on their website as built at Cabelas is about 7K more, but the cabela's price is low because they wont be carrying Lowe any longer.


05-08-2018, 01:16 PM
biggest boat that fits your budget. Then you will still wish you went bigger

05-08-2018, 06:21 PM
Iíd go with the 195, purely because of the size and stability. Lowe makes a great boat, as does ranger, but I bet the ranger is pretty close to the price of the 195 if I was going to guess. Thatís not a knock on the Ranger at all, itís a fantastically nice boat, but I would go as big as I could afford.

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05-08-2018, 10:01 PM
Iíve got the Lowe 195. Itís plenty big for me. Very stable, big enough for two bugs guys up front spider rigging. Never felt unsafe in rough water

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05-09-2018, 08:16 AM

05-09-2018, 10:19 AM
I think you will love a 195. I have owned a 180 with 115 opti for 10 years and I've fished it almost 800 times and love the boat. No problems to speak of. I can only imagine the 195 is that much better with more storage and ride comfort. I love my front livewell for crappie fishing.

Brian Stucker
05-12-2018, 06:55 PM
I personally wouldnt buy a Lowe. Had a buddy with a brand new 195 stinger. We were prefishing Grenada and some how the welded seam split where the hull starts swooping up.
It was about a 12" split. We were fishing and turn around and look and there was about 3" of water in the floor of the boat. We went and found a boat shop. they welded it up. We salvaged the tournament. He ended up sending it back to Lowe multiple times. He ended up with a new boat. But I wouldnt wast my time with Lowe. I bought a brand new SeaArk it was a great boat but I ended up selling it. I found a 2005 Ranger 620vs used with 40 hrs on it. I was gonna sell it. But I have decided to keep her. My advice is for the money you will spend on a new aluminum boat. you could a really nice used fiberglass boat. With all the trials and tribulations I have been through on the water. I would rather be in a heavy fiberglass boat. Nothing worst than being in an aluminum boat and a serious storm hits. Get's sketchy getting back to the boat ramp.

05-12-2018, 07:58 PM
Sounds like bad luck to me. Iíve beat the snot outta my 2014 195 stinger and havenít had any problems. Iíve been on water I shouldnít have been and had to take it slower getting back to the ramp but never felt unsafe. Sometimes it just luck of the draw

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05-12-2018, 08:04 PM
I loved my lowe bought it new in 1997 sold it about a month ago and ordered a new boat. I would never hesitate to own another lowe

Brian Stucker
05-12-2018, 11:50 PM
For just fishing out of it every now and then your probably OK with a Lowe. But if you get serious about tournament fishing there will so many things you have to fo to it to make it really fishable. The front deck on those are made of really light gauge metal. Alot of creaking and popping goes on. Plus you get blown around on the water like a leaf. If you only fish when conditions are ideal your probably Ok. I am not a professional by any means. I am just sharing my experiences.

skunked again
05-15-2018, 05:39 AM
The biggest you can afford!
What kind of service will you get? Any Lowe dealers local to you? Even if so, when it comes time, you'll be at the end of the list - as compared to someone who bought from them.
Any thoughts on a slightly used one? Then with the extra money, upgrade electronics?
What about Vexus? They look pretty slick.

05-15-2018, 06:36 AM
I have a 17 foot boat and wish it was bigger. I'd go with the 195 also. You will be happy with the extra room and stability.

05-15-2018, 10:26 AM
I don't know what kind of build you are OP, but I have a Lowe 180W and it's a great boat. I love the setup and features. That being said, I would take a glass boat on a bigger lake like Grand or Eufaula just for the stability alone as I'm a fairly big guy. Standing on the gunwale will make the boat lean significantly in my Lowe and if I get a buddy in there...well...wear your PFD. They ride great in rougher water and you won't get blown around as much in the wind either. You know what I'm talking about in OK! I can't personally afford a glass boat at the moment but most likely will in the next 5-10 years and I will never buy a new one. There's too many lightly used glass boats out there for way less than new. Just my opinions.

06-10-2018, 12:15 AM
sure is funny mine never creaked or popped nor was i ever blown around. fished many bass tourneys in mine

06-16-2018, 02:03 PM
Have had a Stinger 195 for 4 years now. Have been happy with it. Love the 39 sq/ft front deck. Plenty of storage.

06-16-2018, 05:34 PM
I've had aluminum and now have glass, advantages to both. If you spend a lot of time on big water, I like glass. Storage, rod locker, stability, handling in rough weather, and stability at rest are the big factors. That said, I've never been this age before and I'm looking at a couple of metal boats for other reasons. I don't fish big water often, don't carry near as much stuff as I used to, and wouldn't mind downsizing the tow vehicle. I've seriously looked at several brands comparing 17 and 19 and the 17 falls short for what I consider a GOOD, versatile boat. Storage in all the 17's I looked at was marginal at best when compared to the 19. That might not sound like much til you put away all the safety and essential stuff and find out you don't have much tackle room. I don't like my tackle in a bag on the deck but use plano boxes in a hatch compartment and switch them out for what I'm doing that day. A newer boat also is much better on fuel and I would go with as big a motor as it will stand. The 115 will do very well and the Pro XS is lighter than a four stroke and did very well on a friends past boat for power and fuel economy. Were I in your shoes I would have the 19 in the yard and be looking for the best price for an I-Pilot Terrova for the nose and never look back. Every Mfg of boats has someone that got a bad one, I wouldn't hesitate buying the Lowe.

All that said, what does your gut say? You can get away from a lot of things but that nagging inside cuz you didn't follow your gut never goes away. Good luck with your choice.

06-16-2018, 09:19 PM
MY 16 foot Lowe stryker has not leaked in 7 years, wish it was a tad bigger, 18 or 19 feet. Fit in the garage with my truck.