The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 Fishing Kayak Review

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Pros
  • With a length of 13’8”, this kayak is long enough to allow you feel like you are bigger than the size ant when paddling on open water and with a width of 38”, it is extremely stable.
  • Also, Hobie’s MirageDrive system makes propelling your kayak a breeze and the Vantage ST seat is very comfortable.
  • Plus, there is plenty of standing room forward of the seat with no annoying protrusions to get in the way and the rectangular hatch with the Tackle Management System combined with the H-rail mounting system, the replaceable mounting boards, and the Horizontal Rod Holder, serve to keep your cockpit well organized.
  • In addition, there is plenty of dry storage in the bow and stern via hatches, the hull is Lowrance ready, and Hobie offer a complete line of accessories for this kayak.
Cons
  • With a length of 13’8”, this kayak is considerably less maneuverable than shorter kayaks in the 10’ to 11’ range which some people might not like and, with a beam of 38”, it’s as wide as a barge which makes for a far less than efficient hull design.
  • Also, with a weight of 138 lbs. this kayak is HEAVY!!! Therefore, this kayak need’s to be hauled on a trailer rather than a vehicle’s roof (which is available from Hobie).
  • Other than that, the only shortcoming I see on this kayak is the lack on an anchor trolley which is easy enough to fix with a little work.
Design

Design

Featuring Hobie’s MirageDrive, hands free, propulsion system this kayak enables you to use your legs to propel the craft; thus leaving your hands free for other activities. However, I have to admit that if you are an experienced paddler who is used to using a paddle to propel and maneuver your kayak, the MirageDrive system can be a bit disconcerting at first.
Size

Size

But, the fact of the matter is that your leg muscles are far larger than your arm muscles and thus, the MirageDrive system does require less effort on the part of the angler which leaves you with more energy for fishing when you arrive at your location which is definitely a good thing because, with a length of only 13’ 8” and a width of 38”, this kayak does not have a very efficient hull design. Plus, with a total weight of 138 lbs., I suspect that this kayak would require considerable effort to propel without the MirageDrive system.
Price

Price

Not to mention the fact that the MSRP of about $3,200 makes this kayak far too expensive for most anglers to consider purchasing.
Comfort

Comfort

On the other hand, it is an extremely stable fishing platform and the seating and layout of the deck it second to none. In fact, Hobie’s Vantage ST seat is the most elaborate seating system I have ever seen on a kayak and it is very comfortable. But, it does sit rather high above of the deck and thus, I suppose that is why this kayak’s hull is so wide.
Plus, the arm rests would undoubtedly interfere with your ability to use a paddle to propel the craft.
Platform

Platform

For those of you to prefer to stand in your kayak when fishing, there is a huge standing platform in forward of the seat with nothing protruding from the deck to trip your feet during the excitement of fighting a large fish. Plus, there is a small, rectangular, hatch positioned just forward of the seat that holds two, Plano, tackle boxes (included) contained in a pivoting rack to allow access to the space beneath which is very handy.
Key Features

Key Features

Beyond that, the outfitting on this kayak appears to be a bit Spartan at first glance due to the lack of molded-in mounts but, instead of the common RAM and GoPro mounts featured on other fishing kayaks, the Mirage Pro Angler 14 has an H-rail mounting system which is a patent pending feature designed to hold a plethora of H-rail accessories such as the horizontal rod rack holder (included) which works in conjunction with the rod tip holders mounted on the forward bulkhead and there are two, replaceable, mounting boards on either side of the cockpit forward the seat for mounting electronics where they are out of the way but still visible.
Additional Features

Additional Features

In addition, there are also two, molded, rod holders on either gunwale aft of the seat that are perfect for trolling. For dry storage, there is a huge bow hatch for storing bulky items and an 8” round hatch located in the stern tank well; which is perfect for carrying a cooler or a live bait well by the way. In fact, this kayak is so well appointed that I simply cannot think of any feature that I would like to see added other than an anchor trolley (which I am frankly quite surprised that it does not have already).
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Despite the excessive width and the excessive weight of this kayak, not to mention the excessive price tag, I would definitely purchase this kayak because it includes so many of the design features that I consider to be essential in a fishing kayak. However, finding a way to transport it to and from the house to the water may require a bit of ingenuity.

Fortunately, Hobie offers a special trailer made specifically for this kayak. Nonetheless, it is without a doubt the Mercedes Benz of fishing kayaks.