Range & Maneuverability
On The Fly Gear
Featured Photo by Jimmy Jacobs
By Jimmy Jacobs
The crew from On The Fly South recently got to put a couple of the new models of Hobie fishing kayaks through their paces. The results of having the Passport 12 and Pro Angler 14 360 series boats on the water were quite impressive.
The Mirage pedal drive system offers several advantages over paddle models, when it come to fly casting. The first has to do with range. Using the pedal drive makes covering water much easier, thus expanding the range of your outing. Similarly, the ability to turn requires much less effort. Matching either of these vessels with the Power-Pole Micro anchoring system that is available makes for excellent angling conditions.
Also, with no paddle to handle, your hands are free to use your fly rod, even while moving.
In the case of the Pro Angler 360 series, the 360-degree swivel of the MirageDrive offers unparalleled agility for the boat to travel in any direction, including sideways. The Passport 12 model, when equipped with the MirageDrive 180 pedal system, joins the Pro Angler models in offering a solution to the only major problem I had encountered in the past with MirageDrive boats.
When you toss your fly back into the shoreline vegetation and get it hung, pedaling in to retrieve it is easy. On the other hand, getting back out could be a pain in the rear, so to speak. With either the MirageDrive 180 or 360 set ups, you now have a “reverse” gear to allow easy backing out of such conditions.
Photo by Jimmy Jacobs
While it is easy for most anglers to stand up and cast from the Pro Angler boats, the Passport requires a pair of young, strong legs. Fortunately, both models can be set up with an H-Bar that allows seasoned anglers to pull themselves up, while then providing a leaning bar while casting.
The Pro Angler MirageDrive 360 comes in 12-and 14-foot lengths. Both offer wide, rock-solid standing platforms that are decked out with EVA traction pads to reduce noise. Additionally, the all-new Kick-Up fins automatically retract when you hit an underwater obstruction. Other features are the adjustable Vantage ST seat, dual steering controls, Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield and 12-sided Hobie H-Rail bars for mounting rod holders and electronics.
Photo by Polly Dean.
The Mirage Passport comes in 10.5- and 12-foot sizes. It has a breathable mesh seat, EVA floor pads, along with cargo storage in both the front and back areas. An 8-inch Twist-n-Seal hatch also provides more below deck access. The Passport 12 can accommodate fish finders and Power-Pole Micro anchoring systems. Rounding out the model’s features are a steering system with stowable rudder, two rod holders, accessory track and under seat and gunnel tackle storage.
Truly a pair of ultimate fishing machines, the Hobie boats are set to revolutionize kayak angling in 2020. For more information, visit hobie.com/fishing-kayaks/.