I looked at a new one this summer but ended up buying a Ranger. After negotiating the price difference with everything I wanted out the door was only $1,500. Wife liked the deeper bow of the Reata for her and the kids to ride and sit in.
I had a '98 stratos 201 fs before buying a ranger this year. Not going to compare the two but I liked the stratos for ride and layout, not very deep though. And spider cracked everywhere by the motor and found out later they had that tendency. It had a 200 Johnson and could really move but you needed to hold the wheel tight with both hands because it liked to fight with just cable steering.
Fished out of one a lot in the early 90's. Nice stable bass rig/90hp Johnson. Believe it or not, the wind does sometimes blow in Ga,we did fine in 2ft waves. Fished a lot of smaller lakes, used to go as far upwind as possible and throw spinnerbaits on the drift back; just blind casting. Those were actually some of our more productive days. LOTS of hydrilla so the whole place was a target on such days.
The older Stratos boats before the merger with Ranger were great boats. I'm not sure exactly when that was though. Around 2005 maybe? Since then, the company made a lot of changes to how Stratos was made and kind of put them on the back burner.
I have been driving a 326XF for the past two seasons. Absolutely love the boat. Big and roomy. Rides well. Very dry (came from aluminum for 14 years). Have not had the little penny ante things go wrong either.
I would disagree about the boats going backward after Ranger took ownership. I owned a 1989 Stratos early in my career. That boat was a tank. Owenrship changed hands a few times and they seemed to cut a lot of corners to stay a float. When Ranger (actually Fishing Holdings) bought them they put a lot of Ranger R and D into Stratos.
They are not built in the exact same manner. If you are interested in the differences, just ask me and I will share. However, they are built in the same plant by the same hands. Craftsmanship, fit and finish, etc are the same. Many people get in my boat and ask me what model Ranger it is. Yes, you can see the Ranger touch all over the place.
If anyone ever wants a ride in the 326, just get in touch with me. Glad to take you out for a ride.
I have been running a 386xf with a 200 verado this past year and am very happy with the rig. Definitely disagree with comments about ranger influence. It has been a very good thing for Stratos as well as Triton. The 386 XF layout is much like the Reata but has much deeper shoulders up front and will not take water over the front line me the Reata will. Fit and trim is greatly improved from even a 2014 model. The 2015 is the proven 2014 hull with an entirely new cap and interior. Gone are the windshield issues and leaking rod locker issues of past. I don't like the fact that putting longer rods in the locker tubes requires you to slightly bend the rods to get the rod handles to go down into the locker. I also am not a fan of the plastic passenger and drivers dash (ranger dash). Other than that it is a fantastic boat! Impressively handles big water and is amazingly smooth in chop. It is a heavy boat with a broad shoulders as I said earlier but does pretty well powered by 150's. I've heard mid to upper 40's. I'm getting 53 gps alone with average load and 3/4 tank of gas. 51 with live well full and two people.