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I am currently using a Hobie Quest 11 and I am considering an upgrade(possible a Hobie Outback or Revolution). I am relatively happy with the Quest as a beginner, but I am interested in the Mirage Drive. I am mainly fishing offshore(up to 1 mile or so) and my arms and back are constantly sore on the Quest. Is the Mirage Drive really as good as Hobie leads you to believe? Will I really be able to move faster with less effort? I have looked online and I am seeing mixed feedback so I figured I'd ask the people who are actually out there. Any info helps!
 

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2019 Hobie outback
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2,675 Posts
def yes. There is no question about it. Go demo one at Key sailing on Pensacola beach. Hands free fishing. Just dont expect some awesome work out because there really easy to peddle.,
 

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Your thighs are the strongest muscles in your body. Utilizing them is much easier than biceps or deltoids. If you are a fisherman, you need your hands for fishing. If you are out just to exercise your upper body, stick with the paddle.

I'm at a loss for why this question keeps recurring. It's a 'no brainer' as far as I'm concerned.
 

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I feel like most of the Hobie hate stems from how expensive their products are compared to other kayak manufacturers. And some of the paddle purists out there.
 

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def worth it... You can't beat it fishing... you have your hands free while moving spot to spot or even while holding yourself in place form the wind/currents
 

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Thank you for this information.

As for why the question keeps recurring, there are multiple articles out there like this one that seem to hint at it being overrated:

http://ftlauderdaleyakfishingclub.org/hobieunplugged.html
The guy writing that article has an axe to grind.

There are pluses and negatives to Hobie's, it all boils down to what kind of fishing you will be doing the most. There are a lot of great yaks out there, some are faster, some have less hull slap, some are easier to propel while fishing, some are better inshore than offshore, some are just cheaper.

Ask yourself what you need and how much money are you willing to spend, then go test drive a few models. Key Sailing and Pensacola Kayak and Sail are both great places with lots of inventory to choose from. Also check out the yaks for sale here on PFF and Craigslist if you are looking for a deal. If you are not in a rush to buy you will more than likely find a good deal on a used yak online
 

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Squid technician
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Huge advantage to having hands free fishing but I'm still a paddler even after 15+yrs of fishing out of these plastic things. I am very efficient in my paddle yaks and catch plenty of fish. I also think they're better suited for tackling chop or rough seas. You could find a bunch of pros and cons to each, but like everyone else has stated, go try for yourself in both and see what you like.
 

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just bought mine going down to Pensacola for the third weekend in a row it is so much fun. Not to mention it is a fish slaying machine...caught kings, Spanish and even a mahi so far!
 

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Huge advantage to having hands free fishing but I'm still a paddler even after 15+yrs of fishing out of these plastic things. I am very efficient in my paddle yaks and catch plenty of fish. I also think they're better suited for tackling chop or rough seas. You could find a bunch of pros and cons to each, but like everyone else has stated, go try for yourself in both and see what you like.
This is true. A true "ocean going" fishing kayak like a WS Tarpon 140 or Ocean Kayak Trident 13 will run circles around any Hobie, even a Revo. However, for offshore I couldnt go any other way then my Hobie(s).

Being able to stand even its just to stretch your back or take a leak is a HUGE bonus for me. And for reef fishing it can be extremely advantageous as well. I also think there is a reason that the vast majority of tournaments are won by fisherman in Hobies. Take the IFA last weekend for example, 8 out of the top 10 were fishing Hobies!
 

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2015 Hobie Outback
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I started out with a 14' freedomhawk paddle yak. It was like tryin to paddle a tank and very uncimfortable. Almost gave up yak fishing. I talked myself into buying a 2015 hobie outback cause a couple of friends have outbacks and p.a.'s so i gave it a chance and am glad i did. Its comfortable with the new seat and can sit for hours far as peddling goes i have been out 3 times in a week and trolled for up to 5 hours non stop and not sore at all the next day. You wont be dissapointed.
 

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Everyone has their own opinion, but like others have said, the peddle kayaks just can't be beat for fishing. I have nothing against paddling, in fact I really enjoy it when I'm just out sight seeing, etc. That said, for me there is nothing like having both hands free for fishing! Being able to fumble with fishing poles and other gear instead of that paddle is well worth it. Both have their pros and cons and you should try them both out before deciding for yourself. Good luck!
 

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Senior Yakker
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Arguments against peddle yaks amongst fishermen are ridiculous. If you prefer to paddle, good for you. Nobody can argue against your personal preference. But for someone to slam Hobies as being inferior to paddle yaks is just good old fashioned hating. I didn't buy a Hobie because of marketing ploys. I didn't buy a Hobie because it costs so much more therefore it must be better. I didn't buy a Hobie because I wanna show off...

I bought a Hobie because I use my hands to catch fish. I'd like to have them free to do so. Yeah, I like paddling. I paddled for years before buying a Hobie. But I can't fish with a paddle in my hands...well not as effectively as without a paddle in my hands anyways.
 

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2015 PA 14
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43 Posts
BOOM! Funny stuff. Could not imagine paddling or not being in my PA to fish..Well worth every penny!!! We go out for 6-7hrs in all kinds of conditions and for the duration I dont think my arms would last....
 

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I'm tempted to get a Mirage drive Hobie for all the reasons mentioned. However, I'm concerned about the weight of a Hobie compared to the 11' WS Tarpon I have now. I'm an older guy and put the yak on top of my SUV to transport it - not sure I can do this with a Hobie. How much do they weigh?
 

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I'm tempted to get a Mirage drive Hobie for all the reasons mentioned. However, I'm concerned about the weight of a Hobie compared to the 11' WS Tarpon I have now. I'm an older guy and put the yak on top of my SUV to transport it - not sure I can do this with a Hobie. How much do they weigh?
They are heavier boats. I think the outback without the drive and seat is a hair under 80 lbs; your Tarpon is probably in the mid 50# range. I have had kayaks for 5 years now and recently bought a pair of Hobies and purchased a jet ski trailer and retro fitted it to the two kayaks. Makes me wish I would've have done that years ago. It makes everything so much easier, and therefore we are using our kayaks so much more. I found the trailer for $300 and the fitting cost about $100. Honestly some of the best money I've ever spend on kayaking outside of the boats themselves. If you're married to loading on your SUV, then you can look at the Mirage Sport. Without the seat and drive, it weighs 53#
 
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