Hobie Kayaks

Hobie Kayaks

Apr 20, 2013

Hobie kayaks ride the currents of the trends

…and the times!

By Mike Pehanich

No gas? No space? No problem!


Kayak fishing has taken off in a gigantic way, thanks in part to our shrinking economy.

There’s deck and storage space aplenty on the Pro Angler -- plenty of room for rods and gear.Kayak fishing has taken off in a gigantic way, thanks in part to our shrinking economy and our shrinking world.

Now don’t discount the appeal of the “adventure” dimension of the game. Kayak fishing can be an exciting and even “extreme” sport, especially when you are targeting ocean species or trophy musky, salmon, or trout in freshwater. And you can tack on healthful outdoor exercise, stealth, close-to-the-water intimacy and the “green” appeal that make it a very special sport, too.

But clearly shrinking wallets, smaller cars, and smaller storage areas have made kayak fishing and kayak recreation eclipse more expensive and expansive watercraft alternatives.

Hobie Cat revolutionized kayak fishing with its Mirage Drive, a foot-propulsion mechanism that, when coupled with a rudder system, enables hands-free fishing and boat propulsion and control. Hobie has also ushered in a host of accessories that bring many of the tools and conveniences of the modern bass boat to these quiet,  fun-to-maneuver boats.

Yes, you can have your kayak and your livewell, sonar, GPS, and rod holders, too!

Morgan Promnitz demonstrates the virtues of the Hobie Outback with Mirage Drive, a fully loaded fishing machine!

And even an electric motor if you like.

Ease of handling and transport make kayaks ideal for small waters angling. But, ironically, kayak fishing’s popularity has been greatest on the coasts where tidal waters and even the ocean blue host big-time kayak angling adventure.

Trend watch

I met with Hobie Cat’s Morgan Promnitz, Ingrid Niehaus and Steve Fields at Lake Barkley this spring and at the recent 2011 ICAST show in Las Vegas for a look at the latest in kayaks and accessories for anglers.

At ICAST, Steve Fields gave me a tour of the fast and nimble Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 and Hobie Quest 11 kayaks, shorter and lighter weight versions of the popular Revolution 13 and Quest 13.

The Revolution 11 features the foot-controlled Mirage Drive; the Quest 11 is a paddle kayak

“We discovered a niche market for an 11-foot boat,” Fields said. “Cars are getting smaller. People are living in condos where garages and storage areas are smaller. And smaller people are getting into the sport as well. These 11-foot kayaks are lighter and easier to get on the roof rack.”

See this SWF exclusive video on the Hobie Revolution 11


The Hobie Mirage Revolution 11 performs like its big brother, the Revolution 13, but with a more compact and lightweight design.

The two feet of trimmed length sacrifice none of the capacity for convenience. Both are “angler ready” and suited to carry rod holders, electronics and other treasured accessories. They can even handle the Hobie livewell!

Gone electric, gone tandem…

Morgan Promnitz and I fished out of Hobie Cat kayaks off the southern California Pacific shore two years ago. At that time, we tested the Hobie eVolve electric motor which slips easily into the Mirage Drive well but can be mounted easily in the rudder position, too. This is one kayak accessory that really extends your range and angling capabilities!

In April at Lake Barkley in Kentucky, Morgan and Ingrid

Hobie’s Ingrid Niehaus counted coup on Lake Barkley bass, too!

Niehaus demonstrated the popular Hobie Pro Angler and the Outback Mirage, the craft that first gave me a hint of what the kayak angling craze is all about.

Then they showed off the Mirage Oasis, a sleek craft for tandem kayaking.

The solitary dimension of kayak angling is one of the drawbacks for anglers who enjoy the security and companionship of a fellow angler. Therein lies the advantage of Oasis.

You’re alone no longer with the Hobie Oasis, the tandem kayak with twin Mirage Drives

You can have an angling buddy jump into one of the Oasis’ twin seats and join you.  Hobie sacrificed none of the advantages of its single pilot kayaks in creating space for a co-angler here. The Oasis has three enclosed storage

areas, a large on-deck cargo area, dual steering controls along with plenty of space and dual Mirage Drives!

If you haven’t tried kayak fishing, you are in for a treat.


Check out the Hobie models, and check in for angling adventure!

Hobie Quest 11



Hobie Pro Angler



Mirage Revolution 11






Small but roomy! At 11 feet in length, the Quest 11 paddle-style kayak still has room for premium accessories like the Hobie livewell.


How much gear can you cram aboard a kayak? I’m still working on it!

One comment

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