Hobie Mirage Revolution
($1,799 in roto-molded polyethylene, hobiefishing.com)
L: 13’5″; W:28.5″; 58 lbs., 350-lb. capacity
Hobie released the fishy Revolution back in 2006. It’s scarcely changed since, with good reason. This pedal-powered dynamo hit the ocean-going sweet spot from Day One. A near-perfect compromise boasting nimble maneuverability, the MirageDrive provides a comfortably dry ride with plentiful cargo capacity. Like all pedal-drive kayaks, it comes up a little short on open deck space, which hinders rig-ability, but that’s small stuff when everything else is so right. Don’t sweat it.
Even in rough seas the ‘Revo’ feels solid and stable. It’s right at home among the confused chop common around stony fish-holding structures, and quick to dash out of trouble. The recently redesigned rudder system is smooth as butter, allowing nearly hands-free cruising. The Revolution comes ready to fish from the factory, with two molded-in rod holders, an adjustable seat, one of the simpler and better bow hatches available, and a couple of 8-inch Twist and Seal rounds. The stern is one big welcoming storage area, a lot like the back of a pickup.
The only rigging question is where to mount a fishfinder. Answer: up front on the gunwale or using the optional sail mount. Hobie’s comprehensive accessory offerings solve most other rigging puzzles. Anglers can’t go wrong with the powered livewell, an impressive commercial offering that comes with additional rod holders. There’s also the eVolve motor drive, pricey at about $2,000 but a technological wonder nonetheless (the battery floats). The Revolution packs the exceptional value of a premium product at a price to match.