Musky Hunter

The all new Pro Finish Bravo I FS.
The power behind Jim Saric’s 620VS Fisherman Series. Photo credit: Jim Saric.

At Mercury Racing we’re really pumped with the performance of our new Bravo I FS props. With some help from my angling friends, the application of the Bravo sterndrive prop on four stroke outboards was an instant success. We first focused on the single engine applications.

Long time friend and coworker Steve Miller, Senior Category Manager for Mercury, recently fished with Professional Musky angler Jim Saric. We gave Steve a 22″ pitch Bravo I FS for Jim to try on his Verado Pro 250 powered Ranger 620VS.

Video courtesy of Jim Saric – The Musky Hunter Television Show.

Jim’s rig – a Ranger 620VS Fisherman Series with Mercury 250 Pro Verado and 15 Pro Kicker. Photo credit: Jim Saric.

“I finally had a chance to test the new Bravo I FS Prop on my Verado Pro 250 powered Ranger 620. All I can say is I was really impressed. I tested it against my Tempest Plus and the Bravo out performed it in all categories. The Bravo has a better hole shot, as it pushes the boat forward more and onto plane rather than lifting the bow to get the boat on plane. It has a more efficient mid-range and has a better top end. This is the prop for the Fisherman series boats,” said Jim.

Test Results
Date: 11/17/12
Air temp” 49-degrees
Water temp 46 -degrees
Water Conditions: Calm
Boat: Ranger 620VS
Engine: Verado 250 Pro
Fuel: 40 gal in boat
Load – Driver & one passenger

The Musky Hunter Jim Saric with a prize catch.

BRAVO I FS 22-Pitch
Max PRM: 6200
Max Speed:  61 MPH
Not as much bow lift and faster on a plane
Mid range: 11.5 g/h at 40 mph, RPM 4100

Max RPM: 6400
Max Speed: 59 MPH
More wetted surface at top speed, not as fast
Prop lifts bow before getting boat on plane
Mid range: 13.5 g/h at 40 MPH, RPM 4500

Jim summarized his experience by saying, “the Bravo I FS is an awesome prop. You should encourage others to put it on the Ranger 600 Fisherman series boats as well as similar models.” Requests for left-hand rotation Bravo I FS props are ramping up. Stay tuned for a future post regarding Bravo I FS performance on multiple  engine outboard center consoles.


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35 thoughts on “Musky Hunter”

  1. Wondering how Bravo I FS prop would perform on a 621Ranger with a 300 XS. What type of speed difference also when compared to 300 Verado Pro with same prop?

    1. Good questions, John. Let’s focus on the latest outboard propellers available from Mercury Racing. The Bravo I FS is designed for Four Stroke outboards including standard and Pro Verados. The Bravo I XS is designed for standard and Pro XS OptiMax outboards as well as the Racing’s 3.2 Liter OptiMax 300XS. The 620 or 621 Ranger with a 250 Pro XS or 250 Pro Verado would run the 22″ pitch prop. The OptiMax 300XS with 1.75 gear ratio could run the 23″ pitch Bravo I XS and a 300 Pro Verado with 1.85 gear ratio could run the 24″ pitch Bravo I FS.


  2. will this prop run on a 300 xca Yamaha, I run a 209 tfx ya craft, with a 21 M prop, it performs poorly 58mph at 5800rpm just one person and 20 gallons of fuel trimmed all the way up.

  3. I tried the Bravo 1 it would only turn at 5400rpms and 54mph on my 209 tfx with a 300 Yamaha xca. Will the Bravo 1 FS perform better or the same?

    1. Marcus,
      What pitch was the Bravo I that you ran and what gear ratio is on your engine? Also where do you want your engines rpm at wide open throttle?

  4. I tried the 22 pitch, I would like the rpms to be at or over 6000 with two people and a full load, fuel and livelwells, 6200 is redline. Gear ratio is (21:12) 1.75:1. The 21 M I have on it know has an amazing hole shot but no top end speed and doesn’t hold to the water very well, it turns 6000 rpms and does 60mph empty one person. Maybe there is another prop that would be better for me then the bravo FS. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    1. Marcus,
      Expect to gain 150 to 200 rpm with the 22″ pitch Bravo I FS versus the standard 22″ pitch Bravo I. Looks like gaining 200 rpm will not be enough to reach over 6000 rpm. If you had a jack plate you could take advantage of raising the engine to maximize your performance with the 4 blade. The Bravo I FS likes to run higher and 3 blades run better deeper in the water. Wish we had a lower pitch Bravo I for you to run.

  5. I run a 2010 ranger 621 with 300 verado…. with a tempest plus, run around 6050 rpm and 60 mph. average hole shot. do you think the bravo IFS would work better? if so what would you recommend?

    1. Dan,
      Many Ranger owners are switching over to the 4-blade Bravo I FS. The 4-blade minimizes bow rise during planing and enhances handling in rough water. Mid-range fuel economy is improved along with enhanced speeds over the 3-blade in medium to heavy loads. If you want to keep the same rpm at wide open then move up 1″ of pitch. At the current engine height, the Bravo I FS works well. It really shines if you have the ability to adjust your engine height to take advantage of 4 blades. You’ll see improved performance when running the 4-blade .5″ to .75″ higher than the 3 blade.

  6. This is a repeat from another blog entry. I have a 1760 Tuffy and am running a 150HP Verado with a 19 pitch Tempest plus at 3.5 inch cav plate above keel bottom. With just myself the boat performs well across all ranges and tips out at 50 mph at 6200rpm. If I add my fishing partner and his gear the boat takes long to plane and even then seems to drag. On plane the cav plate is submerged with the extra load. What do you suggest?

    1. David,
      Your engine height seams appropriate for the Tuffy and your speed. The Tempest is giving you good numbers at the top so what can be done to help you at the bottom? The Tempest have the PVS vent system. Have you tried taking one black fitting out to see if that improves your planing? If not – try again with two out. The vent holes direct engine exhaust into the propeller blades. The goal with venting is channeling the right amount of exhaust to improve planing. In some cases, you can vent too much. Save the fittings so you can replace them – if necessary. Sure would like to see how the 20″ pitch Bravo I FS would work on your rig. The Bravo I FS is a work horse of a prop. It really helps with heavy loads. If you’re interested in the Bravo I FS, have you local Mercury dealer contact me to discuss.

  7. Looking at the Bravo 1 Prop for the Nitro ZV 21 with a Vrod 300, what pitch should i run or do i stick with the stock prop?

    1. James,
      What style (Tempest?) prop and pitch do you have? Also – what are the performance rpm and speed numbers with your regular load? Is the information you provided related to a medium to heavy load (all your gear, partner and full fuel)?

  8. So what would the top end be on a 2015 Ranger 621FS with a 300 Verado, using the Bravo I FS? And also the Bravo on a 2015 620 FS with a 250 Verado..? I have a 2014 620 with a 250 Pro XS and love the top end…I am able to run about 62 mph. I am either going to order a new 620 or 621FS. My buddies are running the 300 Verado with the standard prop and are only able to run at 55 mph…I really don’t wanna lose that top end…Please help…

    Thanks much!

    Erik Hamre

    1. Erik,
      The new FS Rangers are throwing all of us a curve ball but it appears the Bravo I FS is coming out to be the best prop for maximized performance. Here’s some data Jim Sarric the Muskie Hunter provided us a few weeks back. Start with into the wind, 3 passengers and gear:

      Prop Style Into the Wind With the Wind
      19 P ECO 5950 55 6200 56
      20 P B1 FS 6100 56 6250 58
      21 P B1 FS 6100 54 6250 57

      The 20″ pitch Bravo I FS offered the best planing performace and ride. I would like to raise the engine (1) hole to maximize the overall performance.

      The 2015 FS is a beautiful boat but I’m sure your 2014 VS is faster. If you’re about speed you might want to keep your boat.

  9. We have a 2015 Ranger 620 FS/Merc 250 Pro XS with a 23 pitch Tempest Plus.( No Jackplate) Just received our Bravo I FS 22 pitch today. Bravo came with the full plugs. Should we start with these in or remove? We fish lake Erie 90% of the time. Overall top end speed is not our thing. We want mid range handling and rough water performance. (most times we are running 20-30 mph) Boat came with the Tempest, when purchased dealer would swap at no extra charge and I wanted the Bravo. It finally arrived today.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Jeff,
      Sorry I couldn’t answer you sooner, we are fortunately swamped with orders. The Bravo I FS, when used on a two stroke, may need to have all four solid vent plugs removed. This will maximize exhaust venting – allowing the engine to spool up in rpm while planing. Once on plane the vent holes don’t do a thing. I’m hopeful you’ll achieve the needed venting. For some applications additional venting is needed for the Pro XS. For those – we offer the Bravo I XS which features (8) PVS vent holes. The Bravo I FS and XS are both designed for increasing (1) inch of pitch to achieve similar rpm to the 3 blade. For example, If your engine reaches 5800 to 5900 rpm under a heavy load with the 23” pitch Tempest you could run the 24” pitch Bravo I XS and achieve the same engine operating rpm. The 22” pitch should offer you an additional 300 rpm if needed. I’ve tried all kinds of props over my 20 years of fishing Lake Erie. Nothing performs as good on big water as the Bravo.
      Have fun,

  10. Ordered new 621fs with 300 verado. Dealer requested ranger mounts verado in its lowest possible mounting hole as I’m not putting a jack plate on it. Am I going to have problems running this prop? Thanks

    1. Kelly,
      The 621 has had a few changes and the transom is one of them. The dip in the transom has been filled in so the transom is now one level. The dealer may be right by mounting the engine at the lowest hole. Many have added a manual jack plate for set back – moving the engine further aft for enhanced leverage. This is done to balance the boat; countering the placement of the console further forward. You’re also assured you can achieve the appropriate height.

  11. I have a 2016 620fs 250 verado 4″hydraulic jackplate all rigged by ranger I have done some prop testing but still no hole shot. Only way I can get a good hole shot is if the boat has half fuel and empty live wells. When everything is full to get a decent hole shot I have to raise 5″ above pad but when it bows over I can’t lower fast enough and end up blowing out. I’m at 6200 ft elevation.
    21 tempest slow hole shot 6270 60.6
    19 rev4 slow hole shot 6460 57.6
    These where done wit has full fuel and tournament loads with 2 people. What prop pitch would you recommend for me I would like to keep my top end close but need a way better hole shot

    1. James,
      The high elevation does pose a prop challenge but running the 20.5” pitch Bravo I FS should help your situation. In the recent past I would have vacillated back and forth – trying to decide between the 20” pitch (with a chance of hitting the rev-limiter – even at high elevation) or the 21” pitch (without maximizing engine rpm to support quick planing). We’ve since come up with a solution for situations such as yours. The recent release of the 20.5” (part # 8M0118469) and 21.5” (part # 8M0118471) pitch Bravo I FS propellers allows us the opportunity to maximize the engines performance given various conditions. The 20.5” pitch should be awesome for your application.

  12. Hi Scott,
    I’m intrigued by the prop results you received on Jim Saric’s 620 a number of years ago. I just purchased a 2019 620 with a 250 Pro XS 4 stroke. No jackplate. 9.9 Pro Kicker. The boat came with a 22P Tempest Plus. I’m still breaking in the engine so I don’t have much for performance numbers yet. Would you expect to see similar results on this rig with a Bravo FS (or LT?) 22P as you saw on Jim’s?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Patrick,

      Awesome new rig, congrats. So far the Bravo I FS is working great on the 620 with the new engines. RPM at wide open throttle after break-in will determine pitch.


      1. Nick,

        Running a 2019 Ranger 620FS with 250 H.P. V8 Verado.
        Is the Bravo 1 the best choice as far as you know, 22P ?

        1. Tom,

          Yes the Bravo I FS is typically the best performing prop for your hull. What are your current performance figures? That will be the best way to decide on pitch.

          Also, do you have a jack plate? How about a kicker?


          1. Nick….sorry for LATE response.

            Had boat out last year a bit, didn’t push/trim to hard breaking in, currently running 21P Bravo 1 FS, but only getting 55-56 top end,@ 5850 RPM..

            Have since added Atlas 4″ hydraulic jack plate, yes have 15 H.P. kicker.

            WIll check out further when weather breaks and get back to you.

            Initial thoughts on pitch ?
            Friend has 22P on his, swapping out to test that as well.


          2. Tom,

            Sounds right on the money, once you start to push the engine and play with the jack plate, you should have no problem reaching the sweet spot at 6100 RPM.


  13. Thanks Nick.

    Last question for now.
    V-8 Verado RPM range per Merc. is 5200-6000.
    Sweat spot is 6100 RP ?……always wondered with all my Merc. engines through the years, is it okay to be over a bit ?

    1. Thomas,

      Apologies, I was thinking of the 300 Pro XS. The new V8 VRod will have a sweet spot at 5900. With how the new computers work, they pull power once they get close to the limiter, meaning you leave a lot on the table in terms of top end speed when you start to hit 6000. I still think you can pull the 22 pitch since your addition of the jack plate.


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