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How worth it is an upgrade to a pedal yak?

bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
Pretty much what the title says. I've been fishing on and off out of a Hobie Kona sit on top paddle yak for a while now, but recently I've been getting much more into it. I have a good bit of money to spend on fishing at the moment (compared to previous years at least), and was thinking of buying and rigging a used pedal yak, since it seems like such an enormous bonus to be able to fish and move with your hands free most of the time. 

I don't mind shelling out $1000 or more to buy and rig a decent vessel, but before I do that I wanted to make sure I wasn't getting overly excited. Is the upgrade worth the price? Curious to hear all opinions. Would mostly be using this to fish Sarasota Bay and some connected creeks/bayous/canals, but I might take it off the beaches for some nearshore mackerel or tarpon action if the weather is kind. 
Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
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Replies

  • cranker789cranker789 MiamiPosts: 398 Deckhand
    The peddles make all the difference. Being able to fish and move at the same time makes a big difference. I was able to go farther faster as well. My first kayak was a 8' lifetime calypso , then got a hobie sport. Was able to do all kinds of fishing in the sport i couldn't do in the calypso. Now i have a 2015 hobie outback that i got about a year ago, paid 1500. May have overpaid but i wanted a kayak and it was the only one available. Guy wouldn't budge an inch on price. Just my opinion, but id go with the peddle kayak. I have a stronger lower body compared to upper body though. 
  • aqualifeaqualife JupiterPosts: 66 Deckhand
    It makes all difference. I could never go back too just paddle. 

    You thighs have a much larger muscle mass then your arms and backs. 
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    edited March 8 #4
    I agree with what aqualife and cranker789 said.  If you hook a big tarpon and he swims around a bridge Trussel, with the pedal kayak you will be able to chase the fish, with a  paddle kayak you will most likely get sawed off.  I have debated with Krash over if it is really hands-free, as one hand needs to adjust the steering intermittently.  The newest outback is so directionally stable I can peddle for 5 minutes without having to adjust the steering.
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
    Thanks all. I kinda figured it was worth the upgrade, but good to hear some confirmation. 
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • Kayak_PeteKayak_Pete Posts: 158 Deckhand
    I'll echo what everyone has said.  My only kayak has been a foot drive and I just cannot imagine not having it.  I might recommend the Hobie Mirage Drive with reverse, especially if you fish inshore.  I don't have it, but I did use an Outback with it a couple years ago.  It was invaluable to get in close to oyster beds or mangroves and then back off of them when you get a bite.
    I'm an old guy and have shoulder issues, so paddling isn't for me and I have a knee which acts up a bit when peddling.  I have found I can mostly peddle and occasionally paddle and that works best for me.  Also I can keep up with the paddlers in my kayak club, while eating an apple, which pisses them off.
    2014 Hobie Sport
  • krashkrash Posts: 750 Officer
    It's all personal preference.. I still like paddle craft because I fish vey shallow water... but if I went off the beaches here (what some call offshore, but what boaters call near shore) I'd likely get into a pedal kayak or even motorize one with a trolling motor.
    The argument of having the ability to pedal down a big tarpon wrapping around a piling is only do-able if you are very close to the pilings.. a tarpon running drag can take 100' of line on you in seconds and  running around a piling will saw the line off long before you get there.. but putting it in reverse and trying to keep a Snook from dragging you into the mangroves is a better argument.. 

    Fishing the beaches of the Sarasota area,( been the done that fish with my son in his pathfinder there), is much different that here in the SW Broward area.. you would be ok in either. Sarasota bay is pretty big and you certainly could cover most areas there with a pedal kayak no problem..
    The in-laws live on Sarasota Bay (Bredenton) beautiful house in a very popular flats fishing area.. their dock is probably 200' long because the water is so shallow at low tide.. you could not pedal a kayak in that area in the lower stages of the tide, but most of the bay is wide open and deep enough.

    But you'll be hard pressed to find a good (quality) used pedal kayak for $1000.00
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
    $1000 was just an estimate, I can go higher. Appreciate the info on both accounts!
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 627 Officer
    Hobies come with the plug that you can insert when not wanting to use the mirage drive.  Kayak will paddle the same as a non-pedal kayak.  Get the peddle kayak.  The more options you have for propulsion the better.  Gives you more options for fishing.
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • bocapup1bocapup1 Posts: 1,499 Officer
    Hobies come with the plug that you can insert when not wanting to use the mirage drive.  Kayak will paddle the same as a non-pedal kayak.  Get the peddle kayak.  The more options you have for propulsion the better.  Gives you more options for fishing.
    Great advice!
  • Drifting_ByDrifting_By ChicagoPosts: 154 Deckhand
    The only thing that keeps me from a pedal kayak is the weight. I transport my kayak on top of my Grand Cherokee and it would be a real struggle getting an 85 lb or more kayak up there. My Tarpon 120 weights 63 lbs and that's very manageable. But if I had a pickup truck it would be a no-brainer.

    That said in the last 2 days I lost a bull redfish and nice snook because they pulled me into the mangroves, probably would have caught both of if I could have pedaled backwards.
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
    Weight is something I need to consider somewhat. I can't get a trailer at the moment so I'm stuck using roof cushions and tying down my yak with straps. Would something like a 12' Outback be unfeasible to load this way on my own? Young and pretty strong guy, my current Hobie is around 50 lbs and there are no issues loading it solo at the moment 
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    I know a guy who puts a Hobie Pro Angler on his car top by himself, and he is not tall.  It's a matter of working out a routine that works for you.
  • Kayak_PeteKayak_Pete Posts: 158 Deckhand
    I've got a $25,000 kayak.  It came with a pickup truck.
    2014 Hobie Sport
  • krashkrash Posts: 750 Officer
    I've got a $25,000 kayak.  It came with a pickup truck.
    Must be a low end pickup truck...
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • Kayak_PeteKayak_Pete Posts: 158 Deckhand
    Yeah, I'm astonished about pickup prices.  Mine is now 12 yrs old with 40k on it.  I bought it 6 years ago with 19k on it and it was pristine. My neighbor has the most beatup piece of crap Ranger you've ever seen.  He recently got new wheels and tires and I speculated they cost more than the truck.  I was wrong.  That piece of junk is worth around $4k.
    2014 Hobie Sport
  • BadgerFanBadgerFan Posts: 33 Deckhand
    After 4 yrs of hard fishing out of my fishing VIBE 110 sea ghost, I finally went to an Old Town Sportsman PDL 106. I fish in mangroves as well as some brackish rivers. In other words, tides and currents. I would guess I actually have a line in the water 4 times as much of the time as compared to a kayak without the pedal drive. The ability to steer easily, backup, etc without having to grab your paddle is incredible. One other thing I've noticed is that I much prefer the leg motion of the Old town peddles to the Hobies. The hobies are a back and forth motion and that feels much less natural than the circular (bike like) motion of the old town. Plus, the old towns are much less expensive than the Hobies.  But all in all - go to peddles. You won't regret it. Also, weight of my kayak is 86 pounds with the peddles in. But very easy to take out, and it now weighs 68 pounds, only 3 more than my Vibe weighs. The peddle drive of the hobies is much lighter, but again, not my thing.  
  • AaronCannonAaronCannon Pinellas County Posts: 953 Officer
    Do those prop driven yaks have a noticeable lag in the water vs the hobie driven ones?
    Ive never pedaled either type, but my untrained eye wonders if the 1st kick on a prop looks weaker than the 1st kick on the hobie.
    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
    Jeff Cooper
  • BadgerFanBadgerFan Posts: 33 Deckhand
    I haven't noticed any difference between the two. I wasn't looking for it specifically so if there was a difference I may have just not noticed - but given that, I wouldn't think it would be much if any difference. What has a significant lag is a kayak you have to paddle!
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    Do those prop driven yaks have a noticeable lag in the water vs the hobie driven ones?
    Ive never pedaled either type, but my untrained eye wonders if the 1st kick on a prop looks weaker than the 1st kick on the hobie.
    I have yet to use a prop driven, but have heard that some of them are faster than the Hobies.  Those that have done thrust tests where kayaks are tied stern to stern have demonstrated that the Hobies have more pulling power.
  • krashkrash Posts: 750 Officer
    When comparing speed that very different than pulling power..

    How fast do people think, non motorized, kayaks travel at a general normal pace ?

    Do people actually purchase a pedal powered kayak for its speed ?
    Old Fugger who just likes to fish
  • AaronCannonAaronCannon Pinellas County Posts: 953 Officer
    Torque is what im asking about, if a fish is dragging you toward the mangroves, that 1st kick is important.
    If youre getting spooled on an open flat, top speed might help lol
    The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.
    Jeff Cooper
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    krash said:
    When comparing speed that very different than pulling power..

    Of Course, it is.

    krash said:

    How fast do people think, non motorized, kayaks travel at a general normal pace ?

    Depends on what type of kayak people are considering... Pedal, Under 5 MPH, Paddle under 10mph

    krash said:

    Do people actually purchase a pedal powered kayak for its speed ?

    I doubt that, if they wanted speed, I think most would go for a paddle kayak.  Pedal anglers want hands-free so that they can eat lunch or tie rigs on the way out to the fishing grounds, or chase a fish down to prevent the line from getting run over by a boater, or add momentum to move away from potential break-off area.  Pedalers prefer the endurance of legs over arms for traveling even if a paddle kayak might be able to go twice as fast for a lesser amount of time.  I know a few anglers that were given paddle kayaks for free as sponsorships.  Every one of them is now fishing in a pedal kayak.  Even when I won a Viking a few years back, never bothered to use it.  Just no comparison to the satisfying experience of using a pedal kayak.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    Torque is what im asking about, if a fish is dragging you toward the mangroves, that 1st kick is important.
    If youre getting spooled on an open flat, top speed might help lol
    I think your right, the mirage has more torque, but unless you are in a 360PA, the significance is probably not worth considering.  The prop kayaks have a faster response since they don't have to pull a lever for reverse, and in the big picture, I don't see it as a make or break issue.
  • kayakerinkeywestkayakerinkeywest Posts: 627 Officer
    If you are fishing skinny water a lot, it might be worthwhile to consider the stowability of the drive that you are using.  I lay my hobie drive to the right side of the foot well area and it tucks away fairly nicely.  I have never tried but it might even fit in the front hatch of most models.  Not sure about the bicycle style drives.  Standing is a big deal for many types of fishing and then if your fly fishing, having that open area is pretty important as well.  
    Youtube - KEY WEST KAYAK FISHING https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkGY6yxE8kogYHKXisMhA2w
    All About The Bait Store - http://www.allaboutthebait.com/
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    The Hobie mirage drive will fit in the forward hatch of the PA14, but I don't think it will in any of the other models.  Standing is a near shore thing, It is a rare luxury for offshore kayak fishing.
  • Kayak_PeteKayak_Pete Posts: 158 Deckhand
    I never saw a guy clean a catch and make ceviche in a paddle yak.  heh
    2014 Hobie Sport
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
    edited March 12 #28
    So I've been doing quite a lot of shopping, aided in no small part by a member of this very forum (thanks aqualife). Right now I'm looking at 3 used options on facebook marketplace, keeping in mind that I'd be loading all of these onto my car by myself (young and pretty fit so not a huge issue, but worth considering). Would love to hear y'alls thoughts.

    2014 (I think, the owner wasn't quite sure) Hobie Mirage Outback with v2 drive and new drive chains, $1200

    2015 Native Slayer Propel with original 2015 drive, $1400

    2020 Lightning Strike 12.6 HD with original 2020 fin drive, $1450

    Like someone else mentioned earlier, I'm curious about differences between the prop and fin drives. Not too worried about tiring myself out on either, but I am wondering how much the ability to go backwards more quickly is worth it since this seems to not be an option with fin drives. Again, I'd mostly be using this to fish grass flats, bridges, canals, and creeks inshore, with a bit of nearshore Gulf action if the weather permits.

    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,242 Captain
    bigfinn35 said:
    So I've been doing quite a lot of shopping, aided in no small part by a member of this very forum (thanks aqualife). Right now I'm looking at 3 used options on facebook marketplace, keeping in mind that I'd be loading all of these onto my car by myself (young and pretty fit so not a huge issue, but worth considering). Would love to hear y'alls thoughts.

    2014 (I think, the owner wasn't quite sure) Hobie Mirage Outback with v2 drive and new drive chains, $1200

    2015 Native Slayer Propel with original 2015 drive, $1600

    2020 Lightning Strike 12.6 HD with original 2020 fin drive, $1450

    Like someone else mentioned earlier, I'm curious about differences between the prop and fin drives. Not too worried about tiring myself out on either, but I am wondering how much the ability to go backwards more quickly is worth it since this seems to not be an option with fin drives. Again, I'd mostly be using this to fish grass flats, bridges, canals, and creeks inshore, with a bit of nearshore Gulf action if the weather permits.

    I don't have any experience with the Native or the Lightening, but both of those kayaks have a more comfortable seat than the 2014 outback, so I would either choose one of those two or look for a 2015 or newer outback that has the vantage seat.  Good luck with your decision.
  • bigfinn35bigfinn35 Sarasota/VenicePosts: 891 Officer
    In that case, it must be newer than 2014 since it definitely has the raised seat. Good to know.
    Paddle faster, I hear banjo music.
  • cranker789cranker789 MiamiPosts: 398 Deckhand
    edited March 12 #31
    If you look at the last two digits of the serial for the hobie, im pretty sure that's the year. 

    I have the 2015 outback and its great, lots of space. Only thing is no reverse but im used to it.
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