Best Hobie Fishing Kayaks – 2017 Buying Guide (Reviews & Ratings)

Hobie kayaks are a unique category of kayak, and it is important to understand the features of each before purchasing. The Hobie kayak can come in many shapes and sizes and made of many materials.

Perhaps the most important feature to consider, however, is whether the kayak is designed for paddling or pedaling.

Hobie kayaks can be maneuvered with the kayaker pedaling along instead of paddling--this can free up your hands for fun outdoor activities like fishing or hunting.

6 Top Hobie Fishing Kayaks

Image

Product Name

Paddle

Length & Weight

Price

2017 Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak

Pedal Capabilities (Forward and Reverse)

12 feet, 1 inch 99 pounds

Hobie Mirage 180 Oasis Tandem Kayak

Pedal Capabilities (Forward only)

14 feet, 6 inches 127 pounds

Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 Kayak

Pedal Capabilities (Forward only)

13 feet, 5 inches 70 pounds

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

Pedal Capabilities (Forward and Reverse)

12 feet 105-130 pounds

Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak

Pedal Capabilities (Forward and Reverse)

14 feet

Pro Angler 17T

Pedal Capabilities (Forward and Reverse)

17 feet 206-244 pounds

Best Hobie Fishing Kayaks in 2017

1. 2017 Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak

The Hobie Mirage Outback Kayak is a 12 foot 1 inch pedaling kayak. This mean that while out and about, you can use the pedal system in the cockpit to pedal both forward and reverse.

To change directions, the kayaker only needs to pull a shift cable and fins rotate completely around. For fishing or photography, this is ideal, as you can shift without missing a beat--or a fish.​

If you prefer classic kayaking, you can still paddle easily in this kayak. The pedals do not prevent standard maneuvering.

An extra option for this kayak is the sail kit mast. You can attach a mast to this kayak, allowing for extra speed and a very enjoyable kayaking experience.

Speaking of fish, the Outback has multiple molded rod holders for your fishing pole. It also is equipped with lots of large storage areas. One very large compartment in the front of the kayak and a smaller waterproof compartment in the rear. There is a also a small waterproof compartment in the cockpit of the kayak.

This kayak also has a beam of 33 inches. This beam is incredibly wide and allows you to stay balanced in the kayak. It is even stable enough for you to stand in the kayak on a calm day.

Additionally, this Outback comes equipped with a rudder. Many kayakers dislike rudders compared to skegs, but this rudder is a twist and stow. This means that one pull of the rudder handle and the rudder can easily be disengaged.

The rudder is controlled by a small handle on the side of the cockpit. This makes it easy to access and prevents any foot pedal confusion.

Features

  • Twist and Stow Rudder System
  • Pedal System
  • ​Optional Mast
  • ​Fishing Molds
  • ​Wide Beam
  • Lots of storage
  • Pedals allow for reversing as well, through a shift cable system

2. Hobie Mirage 180 Oasis Tandem Kayak

The Oasis is similar to the Outback, but has some unique differences. First, this kayak is almost 2 and a half feet longer, coming in at 14 feet and 6 inches.

It also has a pedal system, but this system only moves the kayak forward. As the Oasis is a tandem kayak, or a kayak for two people, it comes with two sets of pedals.​

Paddles are included with this kayak, and they are two piece paddles which can easily be stored on the kayak. This is a major perk, because if you choose to use the pedals, you have an easy way to store the paddles.

Though this is a tandem kayak, it can be used by just a solo kayaker. This is very important for many kayakers, as it allows versatility of use.

Like the Outback, it comes with an optional sail mount. This can make tandem kayaking even more enjoyable, as you can gain even more speed together.

This kayak also comes with molded in rod holders. This is an excellent feature for fishermen and an excellent feature for holding items from nets to fishing poles.

Storage is everywhere on this kayak. There are three twist and seal waterproof hatches, each of 8 inches in diameter. There are also two mesh covered stowage pockets, which makes it easy for kayakers to keep essentials close by.

There is a very large hatch in the front of the kayak, which seals well but is not waterproof. This hatch has additional bungee storage as well.

The beam on this tandem kayak is 33 inches, just like the Outback. Again, this provides maximum stability in the water and allows you to stand as needed.

Finally, the Oasis also comes with a twist and stow rudder. This rudder can be controlled by either kayaker by a handle on the inside of each cockpit.

Features

  • Tandem kayak
  • Twist and stow rudder
  • Wide Beam
  • ​Large storage hatch in bow
  • ​Three waterproof storage hatches
  • ​Two mesh storage pockets
  • ​Rudder can be controlled from either seat
  • ​One molded rod holder per kayaker
  • ​Forward pedaling, done from either seat
  • Optional sail mount

3. Hobie Mirage Revolution 13 Kayak

The Revolution is incredibly different from the Oasis and the Outback. It is 13 and ½ feet, but only weighs 70 pounds. This is a much lighter weight than either of the other kayaks. This kayak is designed for sea use, rather than just lakes or rivers.

There is a pedal system for the Revolution, as this is the main feature of the Hobie kayaks. Like the Oasis, the pedal system only moves forward, it does not reverse.​

Also like the Oasis, the Revolution comes with a two-piece paddle. There is built-in storage for the paddle on the kayak, which means that should you choose to switch to pedaling, you do not have to worry about what to do with your paddle.

Some other features standard on a Hobie kayak are the rod holders and the optional sail mount. This kayak only has one fishing rod holder, however. The sail mount, as on the other kayaks, is just behind the seat.

There is a very large storage compartment in the front of the kayak. It is not waterproof, but seals well and has bungees over it. There is a small waterproof compartment in the cockpit and one in the rear of the kayak. However, between the rear compartment and the seat, there is a very large day well covered with shock cords.

The beam is also a mere 28 ½ inches, which is much more narrow than either of the other kayaks examined so far. This is a little less stable in the water, and not a kayak made for standing in.

There is also a twist and stow rudder on this boat as well. The twist and stow rudder challenges the skeg, because it is also retractable.

A few other features the Revolution boasts are gear buckets, a dry bag, and a cup holder. These small features simply help make the Revolution an extraordinary Hobie kayak.

Features

  • Two piece paddle
  • Paddle storage
  • ​Gear bucket
  • ​Dry bag
  • ​Cup holder
  • ​Twist and Stow Rudder
  • ​Forward action pedals
  • ​Only 70 pounds
  • ​Optional Sail mount
  • ​One fishing rod mount
  • ​Four storage compartments, two are waterproof
  • ​More narrow beam, designed for sea kayaking

4. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12

The Mirage is a Hobie kayak is a 12 foot kayak. This kayak is set apart as it is a fishing specific kayak.

The Mirage does have a pedaling system, and the pedals come with custom pedal pads for maximum comfort. The pedals allow you to pedal forward and backward, which helps you get to the ideal fishing spots.​

There are two fishing mounts in this boat. Both are molded in and allow the fisherman to go hands free. If two fishing mounts are not enough for you--don’t worry. The Mirage has four horizontal fishing rod holders as well.

There is also an accessory mount in the front of the kayak, which can be used for multiple accessories, such as a fish finder, camera, or rod holder.

Some other fishing features are floor mats, a work area storage hatch, and a livewell ready storage area. The floor mats are custom, which means you can replace them with various mats. This can provide traction for your feet when you are reeling in a large catch.

The storage hatch work area can swing out as a place for you to clean fish if necessary. This hatch also has removable liners for keeping your kayak clean. Finally, the livewell ready storage area allows you to place your own livewell in the rear of the kayak. This is ideal and a rare feature on many angler kayaks.

For storage, the kayak has the large livewell ready storage well. There is also a large tackle system in the cockpit. This allows your tackle box trays to slide right into the storage compartment. There is even more storage like this underneath the seat. In the rear there is another twist and seal hatch.

The seat on this kayak is a Vantage ST seat. It has lumbar technology, is elevated out of the cockpit, and is lightweight. It is also easily removed and modified. This seat is simply above and beyond any other kayak seat, providing maximum comfort and stability in the boat.

Finally, this kayak is incredibly stable. The beam comes in at 36 inches, which ensures a fisherman can stand as needed and fight their large catch very safely.

Features

  • Lots of tackle box ready storage
  • Four horizontal rod storage
  • Two molded rod mounts
  • Livewell ready storage
  • 8 inch twist and seal hatch
  • Accessory mount
  • Cleaning board capabilities
  • Pedaling system, forward and reverse movement

5. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Kayak

The Mirage 14 is very similar to the Mirage 12, with some slight upgrades. To begin with, a 38 inch beam allows you to balance on the roughest waters, on the windiest day, with the biggest catch.

It also has the 180 pedaling system. This allows the kayak to be pedaled forward and in reverse, and this direction is changed just by pulling on a small shift in the cockpit. Any fisherman can feel confident with this feature, as it allows for reaching ideal fishing spots with ease.​

The seat in the 14 is a Vantage ST. It can adjust to five different height settings and has lumbar support. It also has extra tackle box storage underneath it.

In addition, there is a large twist and seal hatch for tackle box trays. This allows the fisherman to place trays right in their reach.

This kayak also goes a step further with the livewell option. It comes fully equipped with an 8 gallon livewell for a fisherman to store his fish onboard. This is an amazing feature, allowing you to keep your fish close and allowing lake or river water to flow right over them, keeping them healthy until you can get them to shore.

Again, the front storage hatch has a work area or cutting board hatch. You can use this to clean fish or rig your fishing line. This same hatch has removable liners to keep the hatch clean.

The H-Rail, which acted as only a handle previously, now has the ability to mount multiple accessories. You can mount multiple cup holders, fishing rod mounts, and rod racks. All of these mounts can be slide along the rail and then locked back into place. This is a phenomenal feature for fishermen, as you regularly need to adjust your tools based on your new fishing location.

The Mirage 15 is simply one of the best angler kayaks on the market today.

Features

  • 8 gallon livewell
  • H-Rail
  • ​Vantage ST seating
  • ​Tackle Box Storage
  • ​8 inch waterproof hatch in rear
  • ​Large day well
  • ​180 pedaling system
  • ​38 inch beam
  • ​Retractable Skeg
  • ​Retractable Rudder
  • ​Sail Mount

6. Pro Angler 17T

17 feet and 43 ½ inches of glorious fishing comfort. A beam of almost 44 inches simply means this boat is going to remain perfectly stable in the water.

This kayak is a tandem kayak, and because of the Vantage XT seats, there are many options for spending your day in the kayak together. You can choose an inline seating option, where both seats face the same direction.​

You can choose social seating, where the seats face each other. You can also choose a solo seating option, where one seat sits directly in the middle of the kayak.

These seats are made of mesh and aluminum, allowing you to be comfortably cool in the seat while still sitting and relaxing comfortably. However, it also has adjustable lumbar and kickstand adjustability, meaning you face maximum comfort in this kayak.

The 17T has two H Rails, which can be equipped with two mounting plates, two cupholders, and two horizontal rod racks. There is enough horizontal storage, in fact for 10 fishing rods. There are also multiple molded fishing rod holders.

Additionally, there are two piano tackle boxes, two tackle box management storage system which pivot in the cockpit, and extra tackle box storage under the main seat.

Unlike the other angling boats, this boat does not have a retractable rudder, but it does have a skeg system. The skeg helps fight difficult waves and currents.

Finally, this kayak comes with three very large rectangular storage hatches. It has the same front storage hatch with a cleaning board or utility board. It also has a battery platform for a small motor or for holding a cooler.

Features

  • Battery platform
  • Livewell
  • ​Skeg
  • ​Two H Rails
  • ​Two cupholders
  • ​Two horizontal rod holders
  • ​Two mounting plates
  • ​Molded fishing rod holders
  • ​Can hold ten fishing rods horizontally
  • ​Tandem
  • 43 ½ inch beam
  • ​Multiple seating options
  • ​Vantage XT seats

How to Buy a Hobie Kayak

Purchasing a Hobie Kayak is no small decision. These kayaks come at a very high price point, but they are incredibly kayaks for a multitude activities. The 180 pedal drive allows kayakers to pedal both forward and in reverse, ensuring kayakers can reach the best spots on the water and avoid obstacles easily. These kayaks are also decked out with gear options, allowing you to customize your boat as much as possible.

Pedal Drive

The most unique and defining features of these kayaks are their pedal drives. Some models have the new 180 drive, some do not.

The 180 drive allows kayakers to pull a simple shift stick and rotate the pedals. This can allow the kayak to be pedaled in reverse or pedaled forward.

If you are a fisherman, this pedaling feature allows you to cast and reel without ever having to stop to paddle. If you are a photographer, you can use your feet to get you to the best position on the lake.

H-Rail

The H-Rail is a fairly new feature on these boats as well. The H-Rail was a system for holding onto the kayak or carrying the kayak.

However, recently, the team at Hobie has developed clips for these rails. This allows you to attach various accessories to your kayak. Each kayak comes with accessories, but you can also purchase more accessories for your kayak to individualize it.

If you are unhappy with the location of your accessories, you merely need to unclick the lock, slide your accessory, and then lock it back into place. This absolutely ensures you can use your kayak at your own preference, while also keeping your accessories safe.

Angling Kayak

If you fish, the standard kayaks will cover your needs just fine, however the Angling kayaks take you to an entirely different ball game.

The Angling kayaks by Hobie are some of the best Angling kayaks on the market today. They have multiple rod storage options, which allows you to bring many different rods with you.

They also have livewells either equipped or a place for them to be attached. Livewells are a must have for anglers, as they allow lake water to filter into the well. This lets the fish stay alive longer, as they receive the oxygenated water of the lake.

These kayaks also always come equipped with a front storage hatch which can flip open. The hatch lid can then be used as a cutting board or a utility board. The inside of the hatch comes with reusable liners, allowing you to keep your hatch clean.

Seats

The Hobie’s seats are simply the highlight of these boats. These seats are removable and adjustable. They also feature incredible lumbar support. The lumbar support is also adjustable, allowing you to make sure that you are supported properly when you spend all day in the kayak.

The seats are structured with aluminum, and then covered with a mesh material. Often when sitting in a kayak, you are pressed against rotomolded plastic or heavy cloth or rubber seating. This seating causes you to feel even more warm in the sunlight, more cold in cooler seasons, and often makes you stick to the seat.

These mesh covered seats allow your body to breathe as you are in the kayak for the majority of your day.

Weight

The only major downside to the Hobie kayaks are their weight. Most of them come in around 100 pounds in weight. This can be incredibly heavy for many kayakers. If this is a deterrent for you, consider the Mirage Revolution 13. It is the lightest kayak on this list of the best Hobie kayaks, and it ensures that you can carry it without feeling overburdened.

Our Final Review for the Best Hobie Kayak

Hobie kayaks are some of the best on the market. These kayaks provide maximum comfort and individualization for every kayaker.

If you are a fisherman, choosing one of the Angling models will guarantee you the best possible fishing experience. If you are a photographer or a hunter or even just someone who likes to sit quietly on the lake, the pedal drive is something you simply cannot go without.

The Hobie company has not only done a phenomenal job ensuring that their kayaks are top of the line, but that there is a kayak for every type of kayaker.

Finally, be sure to equip your Hobie kayak with a trolling motor for more movement control. Don't forget to buy a matching trolling motor battery as well.

As always, have fun kayaking!

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