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Nitro Z21 Bass Boat Review – Tournament Ready

Kyle W by Kyle W Updated on April 23, 2021. In

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To a bass tournament angler, the boat is considered sacred ground. In the quest to come up with the perfect boat, Nitro compiled input from seasoned anglers and used the information to manufacture the bass fisherman’s dream boat, the Nitro Z21.

It is 21’2” long with an average package weight of 4,050lbs. Its person carrying capacity is four people with a maximum cumulative weight of 825lbs. It is designed to haul up to 1,800lbs in total inclusive of passengers, gear, and motor weight. The total deck space is 45 square feet, which is covered with a padded anti-fatigue mat.

Nitro Z21

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Power

It is powered by the Mercury 250 horsepower Optimax ProXS $ stroke motor, which guarantees speed, great acceleration, and fuel efficiency.

This is connected to the MinnKota Maxxum 80lbs 52″ trolling motor. This trolling motor combines one of the most responsive intuitive steering with GPS powered automatic boat control. It links to your fishfinder with accurate results, enabling you to instantly spot and lock down fishing spots.  The 80lbs thrust power is more than sufficient for the boat’s weight, making it swift, silent, and efficient.

MinnKota Maxxum trolling motor

The trolling motor is connected to the Lowrance Elite FS fishfinder with a fishing system that combines fish-finding tools like ActiveTarget, LiveSonar, ActiveImaging, and preloaded charts to give you a real-time view of the target.

You can upgrade this to your preferred fishfinder with a little extra investment. Nitro has a list of the available options and their cost on their website.

The boat is powered by one Interstate cranking battery and two heavy-duty interstate trolling batteries. The separation ensures you are not stuck when you troll for long periods as the battery may get used up. The Nitro Z21 has a failsafe in the form of a built-in E-start emergency jump start system. It enables cranking from the trolling batteries in case your cranking batteries die.

Livewells

The Nitro Z21 livewell

It has two 19gal insulated Guardian livewells with digital timers, independent pumps, and a tournament ruler and holder. The Nitro Z21 livewells are fitted with FirstFish technology with dual remote controls.

This is a system for adding water and blending fresh with recirculated livewell water, pumping oxygen into the water, draining the tank, and managing the water levels. This system maintains the balance that keeps the fish alive and healthy for efficient culling.

Storage

The Nitro Z21 storage

The Z21 offers an abundance of tackle and rod storage space. It has three cavernous rod lockers with lift assists at the port side, starboard side, and the bow. These can hold rods as long as 8ft. It gives the option of separating your rod combos according to usage, type, or preference for efficiency during tours. The port side rod locker has tapered tubes to protect the tips of the rods.

There are three other large storage lockers at the bow’s center with a magnetic lure organizer under the lid. These are more than adequate for baits, hooks, sinkers, jigs, culling tools, and flares.

It has a pull-out storage drawer below the console that can store personal items like cameras, sunglasses and sunscreen, flashlights, and spare leader lines. It also has a massive 86 qt cooler with a snap-in sandwich tray that keeps your snacks dry when the ice melts.

Successful bass anglers are usually heavy packers to ensure they are fully loaded to tackle any situation that arises. The legendary Kevin VanDam, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro, said when asked why he carried so much during his Z21 review, ‘You never know when you’re going to need something.

Control Panel

The Nitro Z21 control panel

The digital touch screen switch panel controls the livewell, FirstFish functions, storage locking, navigation, locker lights, ventilation fans, bilging, and power. It has a key fob remote that can also perform these functions.

Console

The new console design has added leg clearance with seats that can be adjusted forward and aft so short and tall people can reach the footrests. The seats have heavy-duty shock absorbers for extra comfort and stability.

It has a built-in cell phone holder that protects your phone from rain and shields it from the sun. It is placed close enough, so you actually hear the phone ring even as the engine is running.

Pledge to Pitch

The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS) came up with the Pledge to Pitch It movement to commit to the proper disposal of soft plastic lures. They have pledged to pitch it in the trash or a recycling bin, but never in the water. The campaign started as a reaction to a potential ban on soft plastic baits, to build awareness and educate anglers on the potential hazards of littering.

The Z21 comes with a removable trash receptacle, which should be utilized to hold your worn, plastic baits awaiting proper disposal.

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