We asked Hamish Cross, a kayak fishing specialist, to explain why Hobie kayaks are ideal for professional anglers and ladies. He's an avid fisherman and proud owner of TWO Hobie kayaks, the Hobie Outback, and the Hobie Pro Angler 14, as you'll see.
Since I was four years old, I've loved fishing, and after a ten-year gap owing to a move to London, I rekindled my passion when I returned to Melbourne, Australia. If you've ever gone fishing near a large city or tourist attraction, you'll know that many spots are overcrowded and overfished. For example, you may spend an entire day fishing and only catch one fish, and this is considered a fantastic day if you see a couple of fish.
Kayak fishing lets you get away from the busy coasts and into open water to pursue a more excellent range of fish. You can also accomplish things you couldn't do in a boat or from a kayak. When approached by a kayak, a bust-up of fish will seldom scare, and a ship approaching a bust-up will often stop the movement.
You may cruise about casting and retrieving soft plastics from a kayak, seeking a school of fish by watching for feeding birds, bust-ups, or using your fish finder (check out our advice on reading a fish finder). You can remain stationary by pedaling at the correct rate if you locate them.
I prefer fishing when the wind prediction is less than 10 knots, but I will go out in exceptional situations when the wind is up to 20 knots. This will only be feasible if the weather is calm, the wind is blowing offshore, and my target species are within a few hundred meters.
I purchased my first kayak in 2014, and I recall thinking that deciding which kayak to purchase was a difficult challenge. I bought my kayak, and there were various lengths, widths, construction materials, propulsion techniques, and manufacturers.
Before buying my first kayak, I researched which model would work best for me. My thorough research and forum threads ultimately led me to a forum post where users voted on why they chose a kayak.
In this survey, 65 percent of participants had or desired to own pedal kayaks, 25% had paddle kayaks, and 10% did not possess a kayak. Almost a third of respondents had switched from paddle to pedal or where doing so. I ruled out paddle kayaks with this knowledge and focused my search on pedal kayaks.
Today's pedal drive fishing kayak manufacturers include Perception, Native, Hobie, Old Town, and Wilderness. Hobie was the leading force in the kayak fishing business when I purchased my first kayak in 2014. Revolution 13, Revolution 16, Outback, Pro Angler 12, Pro Angler 14, Adventure Island, and a few paddle types were available. Although many models share pedal propulsion, rotomolded polyethylene, and steering with a rudder operated by a hand lever, each model has its unique pros and drawbacks.
The majority of pedal drives do not need any training to operate. The paddle is the polar opposite of this, and when used poorly, it may impose unnecessary effort on the body and be ineffective. The pedal uses the body's largest muscle group (glutes). Hence someone of ordinary fitness should run the vessel for a respectable amount of time. Furthermore, pedaling enables you to move about while fishing (trolling, throwing lures, etc.), which may be beneficial while actively fishing or when you've hooked onto a considerable fish and need to move around to pull the fish out of jams.
Trawling for squid is one of my favorite things on my Hobie. I'm going around 1kmph across the lake with two spinning rods thrown behind me, which would be impossible in a paddle kayak. While I go ahead, I use a twofold action, pushing the rods forward fast and then slowly lowering them as I maintain line tension. The rods are immediately propelled forward with the double action once the rod tip achieves a 45-degree angle to the kayak. I've used this approach several times to get a bag of squid while paddle kayakers struggle to catch a single squid. If I could only have one kayak, I'd choose a pedal kayak over a paddle kayak.
Since 1996, Hobie has manufactured fishing kayaks and the Mirage propulsion pedal technology 1997. Their hulls are made in the United States, and many of the early versions, some dating back more than ten years, are still in use today.
Since its introduction in 1997, the Mirage drive, a propulsion technology that has been synonymous with many Hobbies, has undergone several improvements. Kayakers can go through shallow waters and pass over submerged objects thanks to the drive, which only draws a few inches at idling and a few more inches when feathering.
Reverse and sideways movements are included in the newest Pro Angler models. They've also produced a type that protects the drive by "kicking up" if you hit anything. The stability of today's Hobbies results from more than 20 years of hull design experience. Because of the primary and secondary strengths, you may be sure that the kayak will not readily roll over, and you may be able to use it as a fishing platform in some circumstances (standing).
Full-Circle Navigation: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 360
The Hobie Outback was ultimately my choice for my first kayak, and my decision was influenced mainly by dimensions, total weight, and price. Even though it's smaller, lighter, and more affordable than the Pro Angler versions, the Outback is still a great fishing platform.
At the time, I was completely unaware that a Hobie Outback equipped with an upgraded rudder is more maneuverable than a Pro Angler. It wasn't until much later, when I bought a PA 14 (you can read our review of the Pro Angler 14 here), that I realized how cumbersomely sluggish the giant beast is to spin. For the rudder to function, forward velocity is required, and getting the PA 14 to move may often take a few seconds. This is helpful when fishing around structures, but it is also crucial when under harsh circumstances. In predicaments such as these, you'll want to rapidly pivot into any waves that are traveling in the direction you are going. Because it is more compact and lighter than its competitors, the Outback is, in my opinion, a better choice for beach landings than the PA14 is. This is something that I have discovered from my own experience.
After having the Outback for close to five years, I kept an eye out for PA 14, intending to purchase it to take my children fishing or lend it to our mutual acquaintances. One day, I received a notification of a listing far lower than the typical price listing, and I phoned the owner right away. After a short conversation during which it was said that the owner was a professional tournament fisherman, I got in my vehicle equipped with cash. It picked it up, kept it at a friend's house overnight to inspect the hull, and then put it in the water a few days later.
After fantasizing about owning a Pro Angler for many years, it wasn't until I went out on the lake that I realized how massive the kayak was. It was much more difficult for me to go from the trailer to the water and back again since I had to stretch to reach objects typically right next to me. The most significant advantages, of course, are the increased stability and the additional living space. You may rig up a second seat behind the primary core, and in this seat, your younger fisherperson can go along with you on days when the waves aren't too rough. In addition, standing up is more straightforward in the Pro Angler 14, whereas doing so in the Outback calls for a little more skill.
My friends have participated in activities that I like because I have a Hobie PA 14, which has already shown to be very useful to me. Although it's great to catch fish, nothing compares to seeing a buddy reel in their first awe-inspiring catch from the cockpit of a kayak. It is also fantastic to watch friends who have previously had fishing kayaks purchased from eBay remark on how solid the Pro Angler is compared to the $300 kayaks they no longer possess.
Hobie is a brand name that is recognized all over the globe and has more than 20 years of expertise in the production of kayaks and propulsion systems. Choose an Outback kayak if you have limited capacity to stand, no desire to bring children with you, and money is not an obstacle in the decision-making process. Rod holders, your fish finder, and everything else should be within arm's reach on an Outback. Consider purchasing a Hobie Compass or Passport if your budget is more constrained.
Consider purchasing a Pro Angler 14 if you have space for storing a boat trailer, have a high budget, or have a wide waistline, and you want to have the ability to stand with ease. The Pro Angler 14 includes rod storage built into the hull, enabling the rods to be stored in a flat position. This indicates that this may be of excellent service to you if you are fishing in places with low bridges, low tree growth, and the like. When carrying a kayak, it is not good to bring sensitive rods with you since doing so increases the likelihood that the rods may break if you encounter significant potholes or bumps on the road.
Additionally, there is sufficient room behind the main fishing seat of the PA14 for a second, more petite person, such as a youngster, to fish alongside the primary angler. Caution and expertise on the water are required before doing this, and you should also be aware of the constraints that kayak fishing places on you in terms of things like the weather and other environmental factors.
If you want to launch your kayak from the shore and drag it through sand or another soft terrain, the PA14 is incorrect. If you're going to stand up in your kayak while sight casting with the help of polarised sunglasses, or if you're going to have a lot of storage space, the PA 14 is an excellent option that you should think of purchasing. The Outback must be on your radar to launch from beaches, atop a kayak, or have tight turning circles. Or you might take the plunge – assuming you have the financial means to do so – and acquire both!