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Hobie Pro Angler 12 or Outback 12? Need advice...

Good morning!  
I have the opportunity buy either one of these (or both) used and need advice on which would be best per my needs and experience.... 

Looking for something for inshore fishing in SWFL...  want something versatile that can handle not only shallows, but also rivers and bays.  
This will be strictly for fishing, however I would like to take it on recreational paddles as well. 
Transportation is limited to a compact car, so unless I attach a hitch and trailer it (which is least preferable), I'll need to carry it on a roof rack.  That said, is there significant weight differences/issues between the two?
I would also at some point plan to use a motor with it as well.  

I have lifelong experience in motor boats.
For kayaks, I have none.  I tested some paddle vs pedal and love the pedal for fishing, obviously. 
Would the PA12 be too advanced for my level, or would I "grow" into it?   My desire is to buy one and use it for a long period of time and not look to upgrade in a year or two.  
I also deal with some low back issues, so I'd take that into consideration in my choice.

Based on my initial research, and without seeing either in person, I am leaning toward the PA12 for it's functionality as a fishing vessel.  My concern is that it would be too heavy and bulky to transport, and too bulky to maneuver on the water, esp. in tight areas.

Thank you in advance for your advice and feedback! 


  • cranker789cranker789 Posts: 531 Officer
    Do you know the years of the kayaks? 

    I have a 2015 outback and it’s great. I mean I would like to have a newer model but the 2015 is good enough for me. I think the only thing that I don’t like is that there is no lift bar on the back, just a handle. Never used a pa12 but from what I heard they are good too. You can’t really go wrong with hobie but just know that the different years have different styles and advances in quality/engineering. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 4,211 Captain
    The Pro Angler's have more comfortable chairs, but like Cranker789 said, the different year models have different improvements.  I believe 2015 was the first year the Outback had the Vantage seat, prior years the seat was much less comfortable.  2019 and newer Outbacks are slightly larger kayaks with a slightly larger seat than the earlier models.  Some of the improvements are not as good as others.  For instance, I would avoid the MD180 drives unless they have the kickup fins. The non-kickup 180 mirage drive is not as durable, and when the spline fails, it's a $300+ repair.    The older Turbo Glide mirage drives are the most durable, and my favorite for offshore as there is less that can go wrong and they are relatively cheap to repair.  Which you pick will be influenced by your size.  If you are a small person, the Outback may be all you need.  The PA is more comfortable, but a slower kayak that will take a bit more effort to transport car top, but I know plenty who do.  Good luck with your decision.
  • jcbcpajcbcpa Posts: 2,746 Captain
    I had the 2014 PA and I really liked it but it got to be a little burdensome launching and loading. I sold it in the fall of 2020 and bought an new 2021 Outback and I'm very pleased with it. 

    "Winners take responsibility, losers blame others"

    Megyn Kelly

  • DES51DES51 Posts: 289 Deckhand
    PA is a beast weight wise. Not a good choice for roof loading. 
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