There’s never been a better time to take up kayak fishing. Whatever your game – freshwater bass or trout, redfish on the flats, or hard-pulling pelagics like kingfish and yellowtail in the big water offshore – there’s a Hobie kayak built for the job.
Every Hobie kayak comes ready to fish from the factory, but some are more ‘fishy’ than others. The current fleet offers deck plans with space to mount rod holders and electronics, hatches big enough to stash extra tackle, and spacious above-deck cargo areas in the stern, the ideal place for an H-Crate storage system or Hobie Livewell.
There are compact boats, deliberately built short. Others are long and slender, or somewhere in between. Hobie’s flagships feature the MirageDrive, an elegantly engineered and time-tested pedal drive that offers a slew of advantages. We also have kayaks you paddle. Let’s not forget the inflatables, and the magnificent Mirage Islands, trimarans with sails that work in conjunction with the MirageDrive.
Variety is good. There is no one boat that fits everyone, or is perfect for each fishery. Every kayak is a compromise. The right one for you depends chiefly on two things: your body size and shape and the use you plan to put it to.
It’s obvious. Bigger people need bigger kayaks. Whether you’re tall or a bit husky, make sure to sit in the cockpit of any Hobie you’re considering. Try out the different Vantage seats. All are comfortable, with industry-leading adjustability. The ST and XT seats that outfit the Pro Angler series are larger and taller.
Don’t forget to check the kayak’s capacity. Take your weight, estimate your gear load, and add in a few pounds for the fish you’ll catch. It’ll help you decide whether a Mirage Outback (400-pound capacity) or a larger Mirage Pro Angler 14 (600-pound capacity) is a better choice.
A smaller person will fit in just about any kayak. A big boat can still be a mismatch. In this case it can be too much of a good thing.
A long, 13- to 16-foot kayak such as the Mirage Revolution 16 is at home on the ocean or a large lake, where its length will help it glide over swells and chop and keep a steady course. The same boat will have a harder time of handling the sharp turns of a narrow, twisting river backwater. It’s a good idea to match your Hobie kayak to the intended use.
In general, shorter kayaks such as the Mirage Sport are easier to turn and pivot but aren’t as efficient for covering long distances. Longer boats such as the Mirage Revolution 13 hold a straighter course. Wider boats such as the Pro Anglers feel stable and support more weight, whereas narrower boats glide with less effort.
Every one of our rotomolded polyethylene models comes with molded-in rod holders. They are ready to fish straight from the factory, but if you’re a serious angler you’ll love the additional features offered in the Mirage Outback and the Pro Angler series. There are more places to mount accessories such as rod holders and camera mounts. The Pro Anglers add horizontal rod holders and long lengths of H-Rail for mounting even more gear.
If storage space or transportation is an issue, take a look at the Hobie inflatable series. They feature rugged, PVC-vinyl construction and offer performance that rivals our rigid models. Set up takes about ten minutes. Each one comes with an Easy-Load Rolling Travel Bag. Some are light enough to bring along as checked airline baggage.
There’s a lot to consider, so put in some research before buying your Hobie. Use our online Dealer Finder and drop by your local shop to take a closer look at their kayaks. Many offer demos. Stop by an annual fishing or sportsman’s show where you’re likely to see Hobie kayaks rigged for fishing and can chat up kayak fishing guides for expert advice. Or get up early and visit a kayak fishing competition.
If you choose your new kayak with some foresight, it will open a thrilling new world of fishing adventures.