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I had a Tarpon 140 about 15 years ago before kayak fishing really blew up that I would use to fish the sound and bay. Sold it years ago but lately have been thinking about getting another kayak to mess around with. I know I'll end up in the gulf bottom fishing so my question is is it worth the extra money for a pedal drive?

I honestly don't know how into it I'll get so dropping $2-3k on a Hobie is out of the question. There seem to be some decent deals on used jacksons and natives that come up from time to time, and now there's the pelican that looks interesting. Any input is appreciated.

Also, how crucial would you say a rudder is on a paddle kayak?
 

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You definitely want a pedal for bottom fishing. You can turn your nose into the current, drop on your spot and hold position while you fish. I have used both and for bottom fishing there is no comparison.
Fisherdad1
 

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I like paddle for trolling as I can change up the speed randomly and i think the pulsing of the paddling makes my dusters work a little different than a pedal would.

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Pedal drive 110% worth every penny if you're gonna yak the gulf. Makes life so much easier,l. Hands free so you can mess with your fish finder or rods at the same time as moving to your fishing spot. Can leisurely pedal along around 3 mph almost effortless. Hobies are better in my opinion because if you have a king on and he tries to swim under your yak, you just hit your pedals to make them lay flat against the hull so the line doesnt get caught around the drive like with the native propeller.

A rudder system is a must also to keep you on course much easier than using a paddle to steer, it's as easy as taking 2 fingers to turn a knob...can be fighting a fish with the rod in 1 hand and turn your rudder to point your bow with the other.

I would say a pedal drive and rudder is the ipilot of the kayak world.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the input guys. Never tried a pedal kayak before but I kind of figured that would be the better route. Guess I'm about to spend more money than I was planning
 

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I had a Tarpon 140 about 15 years ago before kayak fishing really blew up that I would use to fish the sound and bay. Sold it years ago but lately have been thinking about getting another kayak to mess around with. I know I'll end up in the gulf bottom fishing so my question is is it worth the extra money for a pedal drive?

I honestly don't know how into it I'll get so dropping $2-3k on a Hobie is out of the question. There seem to be some decent deals on used jacksons and natives that come up from time to time, and now there's the pelican that looks interesting. Any input is appreciated.

Also, how crucial would you say a rudder is on a paddle kayak?
To preface this, I've never used a kayak with either pedals or a rudder. That said, I have fished with a paddle kayak, and I can't imagine anything better than a pedal kayak for kayak fishing.
 

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Thanks for the input guys. Never tried a pedal kayak before but I kind of figured that would be the better route. Guess I'm about to spend more money than I was planning
Like everybody said, go with the pedal.

I use to buy/sell Hobies. They hold their value pretty well so resale is pretty firm. If you shop hard, you can get one and use for a year or two and sell it for the same money. Most folks add all sorts of unnecessary expensive crap to them and it's hard to recoup that money.
 

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Link,

It's not even a consideration, peddle is the only way to go.
If you want to talk in detail, shoot me a pm.

You can pick up a good 3-4 year old Outback for under $1500
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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I do agree with everyone on pedal over paddle. But I don’t understand everyone’s cult like following of Hobie. Too over priced and no instant reverse was a deal breaker for me.


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I still "like" to paddle but if bottom fishing, dockhopping, pinpoint fishing is on the agenda, pedal is obviously going to have an advantage. For trolling and such I just like paddling. Not that there's an advantage despite no moving parts to break, but I love the ride after hooking a big fish and it just being me and the pull of the fish at that point.

Demo several yaks first though
 

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Used Hobie

I sold a really nice 2016 Outback earlier this year for 1500 dollars. My suggestion is to wait for a good used one and enjoy it. I started off in the Gulf with a Hobie Quest 13 and a really nice paddle. Trust me you had better be in very good physical condition and want it really bad to paddle out there. Fight the current and get back.
 

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I do agree with everyone on pedal over paddle. But I don’t understand everyone’s cult like following of Hobie. Too over priced and no instant reverse was a deal breaker for me.


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Hobies hold their value very well and the newer mirage drives have instant reverse with a quick pull of a cable
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Hobies hold their value very well and the newer mirage drives have instant reverse with a quick pull of a cable


I tried the 180 drive out and it is not instant. No thanks, I’ll stick with Old Town Predator PDL.


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Hobies hold their value very well and the newer mirage drives have instant reverse with a quick pull of a cable


I tried the 180 drive out and it is not instant. No thanks, I’ll stick with Old Town Predator PDL.




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I'm only responding to this just to clear the air of any confusion to the OP, not to start a who's better argument on his thread. The hobie 180 mirage drive IS instant reverse. You simply lean forward with 1 hand and pull the cable towards you with 1 finger...takes literally 1 second to do. Now, if you have limited movement or a 50 inch beer gut obstructing your movement, then this may deem problematic, but then again kayaking in the gulf is gonna be tough if you are that physically out of shape anyway.

The OP is gonna be happier with any pedal drive kayak over paddling no matter the brand. Hobie started the pedal drive business back in 1996 (that's 20 years before old town came out with their pdl) and has been a tried and true great system. I wouldn't call that a "cult following" for those that run them...that's simply called purchasing a great product that's been around a long time and proved itself.

The major difference between the mirage drive and everyone else now is fins vs propeller. Hobie obviously has the patent and stronghold on the fin system so others can't duplicate it. The mirage drive doesn't need pulled from the hull to clear obstacles or even when beaching the kayaks, simply push the pedals to lay the fins flat and all clear. All propeller drives need pulled to clear obstacles and to beach them, and are prone to having line tangled around them when hooked fish swim under (I have to cut line from my buddies native propeller and rudder out in the gulf almost every trip he hooks a king).

If I was forced to get a propeller drive it would probably be a Jackson (had the best paddle yaks in my opinion)

Hope that helps some OP.
 

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Hobie obviously has the patent and stronghold on the fin system so others can't duplicate it.
Patent has expired and I think pelican has knocked off the first mirage drive. Later mirage versions must have newer patents that protect them still or I would guess that pelican would have knocked those off instead.

I also have a Hobie. Pro Angler. Love it. Not trying to sell you or anyone on it. Just my opinion. Wouldn't mind trying and possibly owning the PDL, but have yet to try one. Tried a few others with propellers and my opinion was that I didn't like the boat quality in general, and setup wasn't my preference either. I hear the PDLs are pretty nice so would like to try. That said, my PA is awesome. I have other power boats too, but I do love my Hobie. Im in no cult - I fish alone mostly. Resale value doesn't mean much to me. Mine was new when I got it in 2015, so no reverse. Wouldn't mind having it but honestly only had a handful of times where it really would have made a difference and kept me out of bushes or dock. Not having it from the start, I have always learned to just turn the boat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Definitely going to go with a pedal kayak of some sort. I think I’m going to give it a little time and see if I can find a good deal on something used. In the mean time I’ll see if I can try out a few different systems to see what I like.
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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Wouldn't mind trying and possibly owning the PDL, but have yet to try one.I hear the PDL's are pretty nice so would like to try. so no reverse. Wouldn't mind having it but honestly only had a handful of times where it really would have made a difference and kept me out of bushes or dock. Not having it from the start, I have always learned to just turn the boat.
Where do you fish, you are more than welcome to try mine. There have been a ton of times for me already that instant reverse was the difference of a big red, or getting broken off around dock pilings.



To the OP, absolutely try all the ones you are interested in buying. You will most likely change you mind on a few.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
There have been a ton of times for me already that instant reverse was the difference of a big red, or getting broken off around dock pilings.
This is the main reason I’m leaning towards something with instant reverse. I can see it coming in very handy being able reverse while keeping both hands free
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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This is the main reason I’m leaning towards something with instant reverse. I can see it coming in very handy being able reverse while keeping both hands free
This 40” redfish hit 2 feet from a dock and if I had paused for even one second he would have been lost. It was all I could die with yak at full speed away from dick to keep him out from under it. I tried a Hobie first and a Native Slayer Propel also. PDL was a no brained for me.





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