Hamish Cross, who is our resident kayak fishing expert and a Hobie kayak specialist, was the one we asked to explain why Hobie kayaks are the ideal option for serious anglers and ladies.
As you'll see in the following paragraphs, he is an enthusiastic angler and the proud owner of TWO Hobie kayaks, namely the Hobie Outback and the Hobie Pro Angler 14.
Hamish elucidates the following in this article:
When I was four, I started fishing after a long break from it because I had lived in London for ten years; I regained my passion for the sport when I moved back to Melbourne, which is located in Australia.
If you have ever gone fishing near a major city or a popular tourist attraction, you are probably aware that many fishing spots are overfished and congested with anglers. This means that you could go fishing for a whole day without catching even a single fish. It is considered a successful fishing day if at least a couple of fish are caught by anglers.
You can get away from the busy coastlines and venture out into the open water to fish from a kayak, which gives you access to a greater variety of fish to catch. Some things can only be done in a kayak that is impossible to do in a boat or on land. A school of fish that is approached by a kayak is unlikely to become spooked, in contrast to a school of fish that is approached by a boat, which will frequently cause the action to come to a standstill.
The fishing gear is set up aboard the Hobie Outback, and it's ready for some action.
When fishing with soft plastics from a kayak, you can cast and retrieve while cruising around looking for the location of a school of fish by observing feeding birds, bust-ups, or using your fish finder. Once you find them, you can keep yourself stationary by pedaling at the appropriate speed.
When the wind is predicted to be less than 10 knots, I feel the most at ease fishing, but there are some exceptional cases in which I will go out when the winds are as high as 20 knots. Only in the event that the weather is continuously stable, the wind is blowing offshore, and the species I am looking for are within a few hundred meters of the shore will I consider this an option.
In 2014, I made my first purchase of a kayak, and I vividly recall the experience of shopping for a kayak as being one of the most challenging endeavors I'd ever undertaken. When I was buying a kayak, I noticed that there was a wide variety of options available in terms of length, width, construction material, propulsion system, and manufacturer.
When I was buying my first kayak, I researched to figure out which model best met my needs and preferences. After conducting in-depth research and reading through a large number of forum postings, I was eventually led to a thread in which participants were given the opportunity to vote on the motivation for their kayak purchase.
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According to the results of this survey, 65% of participants owned or intended to own pedal kayaks, 25% had paddle kayaks, and 10% did not own a kayak. A third of respondents had already made the transition from paddling to pedaling, or they were in the midst of making it. Because of this information, I was able to rule out pedal kayaks and concentrate on paddle kayaks as my remaining options.
Today, there are many companies that create pedal-drive fishing kayaks. Some examples of these companies include Perception, Native, Hobie, Old Town, and Wilderness. When I made my first kayak purchase in 2014, Hobie was the undisputed leader in the market for kayaks used for fishing. They offered a variety of models, including the Revolution 13, the Revolution 16, the Outback, the Pro Angler 12, the Pro Angler 14, the Adventure Island, and a few models of paddles.
Each model has its own points, advantages, and disadvantages. In contrast, many of them have aspects in common, such as a pedal drive, roto-molded polyethylene construction, and steering with a rudder that can be positioned with a hand lever.
Operating a pedal drive often does not require any prior training or education. The opposite of this is the paddle, which, when used improperly, may place an excessive amount of strain on the body and, depending on the technique, can be inefficient. Because pedaling uses the largest muscle group in the body (the glutes), a person of ordinary fitness should be able to conduct the vessel for a time appropriate for their fitness level. When actively fishing (trolling, casting lures, etc.), pedaling allows you to maneuver around while fishing, which can be very handy when actively fishing or when you've hooked into a big fish, and you need to move around to get the fish out of snags. In addition, pedaling allows you to move around while fishing, which can be very useful when actively fishing or when you've hooked into a big fish, and you need to move around to get the fish out of it.
Squid trawling is one of my favorite activities to engage in while out on the water in my Hobie. This maneuver, which would be impossible to perform in a paddle kayak, involves me going across the water at a speed of around one kilometer per hour with two spinning rods cast behind me. A double action that brings the rods forward immediately, followed by a gentle drop back as I move ahead while maintaining tension on the line. Another double action follows this. As soon as the tip of the rod reaches an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the kayak, the double action is used to swiftly propel the rods forward again. It is unreasonable for me to count the number of times I have used this method to successfully catch a bag of squid, while others using paddle kayaks struggled to catch even a single squid. If I could only select one type of kayak, it would be a pedal-over-paddle craft because of this single reason.
Since 1996, Hobie has been producing fishing kayaks; since 1997, the company has been selling its pedal system known as the Mirage drive. Their hulls are made in the United States, and many of the first models, some of which are greater than ten years old, are still in use today.
Since it was first introduced in 1997, the Mirage drive, found on many Hobie boats and responsible for their propulsion, has undergone numerous iterations of improvement. The drive enables kayakers to navigate shallow waters and pass over submerged obstacles while only drawing a couple of inches when the kayak is idling and a few additional inches when the kayak is feathering.
The most recent models of the Pro Angler allow for movement in both the forward and reverse directions. They have also developed a device that automatically "kicks up" and protects the drive if it comes into contact with an object.
The development of the Hobie brand over the course of more than 20 years has resulted in boats that are exceptionally stable. Because of the kayak's primary and secondary stability, you may be confident that it will not flip over quickly, and in some situations, you'll be able to utilize the kayak as a platform from which to fish (standing).
After much consideration, I settled on getting a Hobie Outback as my first kayak. Size, weight, and price were the primary considerations that led to my decision. Even though it is lighter and more affordable than the Pro Angler models, the Outback is still a fantastic fishing platform, and it just doesn't have the same name.
This fishing rig is outfitted with everything you could possibly need for a successful outing on the water, whether you're trolling the deep sea in search of monstrous gamefish or hunting bass in your go-to spot for freshwater fishing. The sport of kayak fishing has evolved thanks to Hobie's creation of Kick-Up Fins, which automatically retract when they are hit.
It did not occur to me at the time that a Hobie Outback with an upgraded rudder would be more maneuverable than a Pro Angler, and I was unaware of this fact. I didn't realize how slow the big beast is to spin until much later when I bought a PA 14 (for more information, check out our review of the Pro Angler 14 here). In order for the model to be effective, forward momentum is required, and it typically takes a few seconds for the PA 14 to get moving. Not only is this helpful when fishing around structures, but it is also highly vital when fishing in rough weather. In predicaments like these, you need to swiftly adjust your position to take advantage of any waves moving in your direction. Due to the Outback's smaller size and lighter weight, I find that it is much simpler to perform beach landings with it than with the PA14.
After having the Outback for close to five years, I had been keeping an eye out for PA 14 with the goal of purchasing it so that I could take my children fishing or lend it to our mutual acquaintances. One day, I received a notification of a listing significantly lower than the typical price listing, and I called the owner immediately. After a short conversation about the owner being a professional tournament fisherman, I got in my car equipped with cash. It picked it up, kept it at a friend's house overnight so he could inspect the hull, and then put it in the water a few days later.
After fantasizing about owning a Pro Angler for a good number of years, it wasn't until I actually went out on the lake that I realized how massive the kayak actually was. It was much more difficult for me to move from the trailer to the water and back again since I had to stretch to reach objects that were normally right next to me.
The greatest advantages, of course, are the increased stability and the additional living space. You can rig up a second seat behind the primary seat, 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 simpler in the Pro Angler 14, whereas doing so in the Outback calls for a little more talent.
My friends have been able to participate in activities that I enjoy because I have a Hobie PA 14, which has already shown to be very useful to me. When compared to the thrill of watching a close friend reel in their first truly impressive catch from a kayak, the experience of catching fish on your own is a mere drop in the bucket. It is also fantastic to see friends who have previously owned fishing kayaks purchased from eBay comment on how solid the Pro Angler is compared to the $300 kayaks they no longer hold.
The original Pro Angler fishing kayak has a revolutionary, forward, and reversing MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Turbo Fins. It also has six horizontal rod lockers, enough tackle compartments to empty a store, the Guardian Transducer shield for optimal fishfinder performance, and enough tackle compartments to open a store. All of these features allow for extreme fishing utility.
Hobie is a brand name recognized worldwide and has more than 20 years of experience producing kayaks and propulsion systems.
Choose an Outback kayak if you have limited ability to stand, no desire to bring children with you on the kayak and if money is not an object 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 slightly more constrained.
Consider purchasing a Pro Angler 14 if you have space for storing a boat trailer, have a high budget, or have a large waistline, and you want to have the ability to stand with ease.
The Pro Angler 14 has rod storage built into the hull, which enables the rods to be stored in a flat position. This indicates that this can significantly serve you if you are fishing in places with low bridges, low tree growth, and the like. When carrying a kayak, bringing sensitive rods with you is not a good idea because doing so increases the likelihood that the rods will break if you encounter significant potholes or bumps on the road.
Additionally, there is sufficient room behind the primary fishing seat of the PA14 for a second, smaller 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 need to drag the kayak across sand or other soft terrain, the PA14 is not the right kayak for you, and Beach launches are not recommended for this model. If you want to be able to stand up in your kayak while sight casting with the help of polarised sunglasses, or if you want to have a lot of storage space, the PA 14 is an excellent option that you should think about purchasing.
The Outback must be on your radar if you want 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 own both!