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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:44 pm 
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I'm looking to buy a Compass but currently use a regular paddle kayak.

I was wondering is the Hobie Mirage Drive a game changer when it comes to fishing mangrove shorelines and docks?

Currently, when fishing in these situations, I have to completely stop the kayak, then cast and reel. Just reeling in the lure turns my kayak towards the mangroves/dock pilings and eventually pulls me in and I have to paddle back out and stop again to continue fishing.

How much does the Mirage Drive help in these type of situations? Is it really as easy as it seems to be? Can I just pedal down a mangrove shoreline like 15 yards out and cast into the mangrove roots while keeping my heading parallel to the shore?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:04 am 
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Oh man... you have no idea. Yes and yes, yes, yes!

The Hobie MirageDrive can do all of that. It can hold position in current. It can take you up stream and up wind in challenging, rough conditions... and you could be fishing the whole time.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:20 am 
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Location: Cedar Key, FL
The Compass has an attractive price point, but you may want to find something with the 180 drive or upgrade a Compass with a 180 drive.

Once you have a strike in mangroves with shallow mud or worse oyster bed bottoms, you'll appreciate the ability to throw the drive in reverse and hold station after the fish has turned your bow towards shallow water.

As for casting as you move along the shore line, any mirage drive yak will perform that function well.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:03 pm 
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Hello from Delaware. My wife and I spend Februarys on Sanibel Island outside Fort Myers. While there I spend significant time fishing the mangroves for redfish from my Outback. In my experience, the reds hit the bait close to the roots. Subsequently, they immediately head into those barnacle covered roots which cut the line. I have found that if I peddle quickly toward open water while reeling I can usually keep the reds out of the roots. I believe that without the mirage drive I would get a sleigh ride but no reds. This is my belief. I acknowledge that I have not fished the mangroves in a non-peddle kayak.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:40 pm 
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In my opinion, this is the only place a bicycle type propulsion system really outshines the mirage drive; the ability to move towards and away from structure at high or low speed, hands free, stop on a dime, cannot be replicated as seamlessly even with the 180 drive.

When I fish shoreline structure in my hobie, I’ll aim directly at the area, drift or use a paddle to stop, turn my rudder in the direction I want to work next, then take my casts. The resistance of working a lure or bait will begin to turn the kayak. If I hook a fish, any pulling will turn the yak sideways and away from it to where I can also pedal if extra leverage is needed. When I’ve finished a spot, I’ll pedal out and over a bit, then turn back and face the next spot, rinse, repeat.

This way has to be finessed a bit more than if I was using a bicycle drive that would allow quicker and more precise movement in both directions. The 180 drive is still pretty awkward/ bulky to use in this manner. I keep a paddle in my lap for any reverse movement that doesn’t involve fighting fish.

Full disclosure: I used to own a Native Ultimate Propel with the bicycle drive. I did not like it at all for anything that did not involve precision boat placement. The hobie drives “grab” the water. The propeller types feel like they slip and are inefficient for general point A to B travel. I also owned a mirage 180 drive for a while. My thoughts are that it is better than a non 180 drive, but any situation that requires a lot of shifting from forward to reverse and back becomes “worksome.”

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:35 am 
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Pescatoral Pursuit wrote:
In my opinion, this is the only place a bicycle type propulsion system really outshines the mirage drive; the ability to move towards and away from structure at high or low speed, hands free, stop on a dime, cannot be replicated as seamlessly even with the 180 drive.

When I fish shoreline structure in my hobie, I’ll aim directly at the area, drift or use a paddle to stop, turn my rudder in the direction I want to work next, then take my casts. The resistance of working a lure or bait will begin to turn the kayak. If I hook a fish, any pulling will turn the yak sideways and away from it to where I can also pedal if extra leverage is needed. When I’ve finished a spot, I’ll pedal out and over a bit, then turn back and face the next spot, rinse, repeat.

This way has to be finessed a bit more than if I was using a bicycle drive that would allow quicker and more precise movement in both directions. The 180 drive is still pretty awkward/ bulky to use in this manner. I keep a paddle in my lap for any reverse movement that doesn’t involve fighting fish.

Full disclosure: I used to own a Native Ultimate Propel with the bicycle drive. I did not like it at all for anything that did not involve precision boat placement. The hobie drives “grab” the water. The propeller types feel like they slip and are inefficient for general point A to B travel. I also owned a mirage 180 drive for a while. My thoughts are that it is better than a non 180 drive, but any situation that requires a lot of shifting from forward to reverse and back becomes “worksome.”


I'll offer a slightly different perspective ...

Much of the west coast of Florida has a decent amount of tidal variation (2.5 to 4 feet) with lots shallows (mud or oysters). The water is not very clear as compared to the lower Keys up much of the east coast which can result in some surprises. The problem I have with the bicycle drives is dealing with an unexpected oyster bed or the need to butterfly over a sandbar. The Mirage drive handle the shallows so much better IMO.

No doubt that the bicycle drive offers a much more convenient reverse, but with tradeoffs.

For the OP, if you are fishing mangroves in murky water, I'd think twice about a bicycle drive.

Again, just my opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:18 am 
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Quote:
The Mirage drive handle the shallows so much better IMO.


That is clearly fact. Prop type drives require a significant fixed depth to operate. They can not be retracted easily.

A MirageDrive can operate right onto a beach and through minimal depths while maintaining efficiency and speed (Short flutter strokes with the fins against the hull).

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:03 am 
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benqueso wrote:
Is it really as easy as it seems to be? Can I just pedal down a mangrove shoreline like 15 yards out and cast into the mangrove roots while keeping my heading parallel to the shore?

Thanks.


The answer to this specific question is a resounding YES. Like you wouldn't believe.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:10 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
We are also in SW Florida and sometimes do a lot of shallows, mangrove trails, deep inlets, canals, rivers, paddling trails, etc. There are large sections of Sarasota bay that are only six inches deep at low tide. We used to spend a lot of time in the keys also, (mostly around key west where we had a house for many years, splitting our time between the two). If you only go in the deep water, (channels, etc), your missing up to 80% of the pristine beauty of the area.
We also travel a lot all over the country, ( about 1/4million road miles with our Hobies on the roof and RV in tow, over the last few yrs). We have owned many different canoes and kayaks over the years, and pretty much settled on and prefer Hobie mirage yaks over everything else because of their reliability, extreme durability, (darn near industructible), versatality, (we use ours for anything and everything we can dream up).
We don’t fish much, (except spear fishing, where we can select from the menu,(lol)). But we do a lot of long distance touring, we like to follow rivers to their headwaters and explore wild areas off the beaten path.
For our purposes what we found the best setup for us is just regular mirage turbo drives, yea you can turn the drive around for reverse, but honestly we only do that once in a blue moon. We typically are on tandems, and if approaching a sketchy area, we will reverse one of the drives, to move around tight quarters like harbors and such. In mangrove tunnels we tend to keep our double end paddles handy. We have also never launched a Hobie without a sail kit, furled up and strapped to the side of the kayak, (not even once in ten years, lol just in case we find wind).
What we found to work best for us is to buy and install the Hobie large saling rudder on all our kayaks, we then saw the bottom off the rudder so we have about the same turning ability as the small regular rudder, but can operate in much shallower water, (6-8” easily). Next we learned how to shallow peddle our mirage drives well, (takes a lot of practice), instead of peddling in a full ark, full strokes, you can configure your peddles (optionally, we don’t usually bother though), so they flip up and down like a butterfly. With practice you can peddle almost as efficiently shallow peddling.
Heck the drives are so durable we even do mild rapids with our mirage drives in sometimes. And yes we bounce off mangrove roots, and logs all the time.
Yes on weedy rivers the mirage drives need to be cleared of weeds very once in a while, obviously if your going thru thick lili pads and intense weeds, (like on the SantaFe river mid summer, ya gotta pull the drives anyway, and just paddle). To clear the rudder of weeds you just flip it up and down once in a while to clear weeds.
With the cutoff sailing rudder, you can still kayak sail ok.
The mirage drives are extremely durable, we seldom pull the drives out, if we pull up on a sand bar we sometimes just fold and lock the mirage drives against the hull (with the bungy). Yea they get scratched up dragging in the sand and oyster beds, and so does the bottom of the boat, but it’s pretty easy to clean up and repair once in a while, we flip our boat over annually and clean and repair the bottom, the rest of the year we don’t even look at it, ( the darn boats are nearly industructable). We have always kayaked via the brail method, (lol).
I haven’t ran a propel system, I would think if your mostly in 3ft of water, the propel would probably be fine, but if you regularly operate in 8” of water like we do, I’ll keep my mirage drives, thankyou. The new 180 drives, from everything I reading appear to be a small step up (more geared toward fishing than touring (what we do), lol if I get a new boat, it will likely have the 180 drives, I won’t complain, I doubt we would use the reverse feature much doing touring end adventure stuff.
One other aspect that is important to us is expending energy and efficiency. With both my wife and me on our Tandem Island, ( in kayak only mode, no AMA’s), the boat glides and tracks more efficiently than any other kayak we have ever owned, we can easily peddle at a walking pace up quiet rivers and lakes up to ten hrs with just one person peddling, (we couldn’t do that with our old Oasis). I peddle 90% of the time, when I want a break she takes over for a while. We are not tryiing to win any races, just a walking like pace expending the least amound of energy. Obviously not as efficient as a $7000 dollar 24ft proa, but not half bad either, (lol with the TI you get a free sailboat to boot). Actually the adventure line of boats are the ultimate offshore slayer for big offshore game fish, (swordfish, mahi, tuna, marlin, big ole groupers, etc) if your into that stuff.

Anyone who goes on any of our Hobies, (mostly family/grand kids from up north) get a 5 minute lecture and instructions on how to properly use mirage drives, (has saved us a fortune), just sayin
FE


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:37 am 
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When you guys pull up to mangrove shorelines (like to cast directly down it parallel) with mirage drives, how do you stop? Do you keep your paddle out to stop you or do you switch to reverse real quick and pedal a few times?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:05 pm 
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Location: Orlando!
benqueso wrote:
When you guys pull up to mangrove shorelines (like to cast directly down it parallel) with mirage drives, how do you stop? Do you keep your paddle out to stop you or do you switch to reverse real quick and pedal a few times?



Coast to a stop or paddle. Usually coast. Doing this and that sounds easy reading it in a forum, but every tug on the reverse cord, every pull the drive out and put it back in, every grabbing the paddle to stop or back up a bit , makes noise which is death in shallow water, and added up, is time consuming and interrupts the flow of working that line of structure.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Like I’ve been sayin, we don’t line fish, so what we do may not apply to fishing, but we love exploring a lot of the same areas you guys are in.

I thought I would mention a strange observation that we first discovered while kayaking around Ford lake, (near Detroit). We try to kayak very quietly, we noticed our mirage drives disturb the bottom as we go by, we had large groups of really big fish, (some over 2ft long) just following and along side our kayak as we quietly pedaled along, they didn’t appear threatened at all, that was many years ago, since then I pay much closer attention to the water around me, and it’s pretty common most places we go.
When in salt water the water birds also swim and dive around the boat, sometimes 4-5 at a time, not scared of us at all.
Just an observation thats all. Might be a method to draw the big ones out of the mangrove roots.
FE


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:27 pm 
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benqueso wrote:
When you guys pull up to mangrove shorelines (like to cast directly down it parallel) with mirage drives, how do you stop? Do you keep your paddle out to stop you or do you switch to reverse real quick and pedal a few times?


Coast.

I'd generally use a slow half stroke on the pedals to keep noise down on the approach, so I'm not moving very fast at that point.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:22 am 
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We don't have mangroves in Utah, but it is very common to fish riprap rocky dikes the same way. It is child's play to coast along parallel to the shore to cast, just touching the rudder occasionally. I like to flutter the pedals for this, even in deep water. Fluttering is less efficient, and keeps my speed to a dead crawl and keeps me from inadvertently pedaling at my normal walking speed, which is WAY too fast to really cover the bank with casts.

Naturally, it is also simple to move in just a couple feet from the bank and cast ahead, parallel to the rocks. This is where fluttering is golden.

Finally, my pet peeve. It is PEDALING not peddling (which means selling door to door.)

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