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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: seeking advice on kayak choices  (Read 779 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Date Registered: May 2008
  • Posts: 18
So I joined this site about 10 years ago with intentions of becoming a kayak angler. long story short I never bought a kayak, hoping to save and buy a boat. Never bought that boat either lol. Now I am once again ready to commit to a kayak and say screw the boat for now.

Based on the research I've done so far, my top pick is a Hobie PA 14
I know that I want a pedal drive and the mirage looks to be the best of what is currently available
Im a big guy 6'4" 250lbs
Im mostly a bass fisherman but I fish for everything, being able to stand and fish in lakes is important
top two bodies of water I intend to fish are Tomales Bay and Clear lake, but not limited to. I'd like to get out in the big blue at some point
Im 30, so still strong not intimidated by heaving a bigger yak. My truck has a Diamondback top on the bed, so my plan is to just throw the yak on top of the cover and strap it down to the cleats. Put a flag on the end. not sure if that is leaving too much boat hanging off the back though with out seeing it.
I have a 9month old daughter, when she is a bit older Id like to be able to take her out for joy rides
$3500 is a lot more than id like to spend, especially then having to buy other accessories. But if it is my best choice I will
I'm not opposed to buying used but Id like to have the 180 drive so that eliminates most
I wish Hobie made a yak like the PA 14 but striped down for less money. Im pretty damn smart when it comes to custom making things, so I could build my own rails, rod holders, boat rigging, ect.
Im also interested in the outback but not sure if its worth trading the extra size and stability?
My main concerns in kayak fishing are feeling clostraphobic. being able to reach all my gear without worrying about rolling over. wind waves or chop coming over the side or nose and getting all wet.

If you read through all that I applaud you, and would appriciate your opinion. Based on my criteria what direction would you go, and what am I overlooking?



  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Weekdays a Prius, Weekends a Revo
  • Date Registered: May 2014
  • Posts: 1729
Sounds like you need to go test some kayaks out for yourself. I went from an outback >Revo13>Revo16 soon enough. When it comes to deck space Iím a minimalist.  But you have to be itís not like your on a bass boat.
2014 Hobie Revo 13
2011 Hobie Outback - bye bye
1997 Tracker 17 Deep V<--- Money Pit

When you look outside the window, and all you see is fishing. True Story.


  • Salmon
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  • Location: San Francisco
  • Date Registered: Oct 2017
  • Posts: 479
PA is wide and most likely the best bet for bass fishing being able to stand and very wide/space. There are pedal drives that r lesser amount with very good stability while standing like pescador, native, jackson, OB, etc. compass is a the cheapest hobie and a hybrid of revo(bow), OB(hull) and PA(back&rudder)-this is 1 inch wider than OB and i call it a Ďcustomizable kayak.í

It is best to hav a demo on kayak stores like CCK, adventure sports kayak city, etc. so you can feel them. Goodluck on your kayak and see u out there fishin!


  • Salmon
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  • Location: Daly City
  • Date Registered: Feb 2017
  • Posts: 885
There's a kayak for most everybody. And with that, there's a rollover point for all kayaks too. Lol. (Trust me, I know)
Once you find the one for you, you'll also figure out its limitations.
I know you prefer the mirage drive but lucky for you..now the mirage drive has competition.
I'd look into the Jackson Coosa FD and other stable kayaks. Good luck..and welcome back!!


  • Gimme Shelter Annual Kayakfishing Tournament Director
  • Manatee
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  • View Profile LoletaEric.com
  • Location: Humboldt - Always OTW if there is an option.
  • Date Registered: Dec 2004
  • Posts: 16924
Nice longevity on the site!  :smt003

I think you're on the right track, but I'd warn that a PA on the ocean means extra commitment to not getting in bad conditions.  If you got at all swamped by steep chop and wind or if your mirage drive failed/was lost, it would be dicey to get that rig back to shore.  I've guided several guys in PA's, and it's been fine - it's been great!  BUT, I was always trying to be aware of problems that could happen, and I even had one guest who had a flipper fall off the mirage and he happened to have another drive along!  I would not want to tow that boat back to port from the good fishing grounds that are usually at least a mile from launch.

When you find out what you can do on these kayaks - many different models - you may look at a PA like it's only for lakes and taking the kid for an adventure.

I run Malibu Kayaks X-Factors and love them for the stability, capacity (600 pounds+), roomyness and ability to track without a rudder, but there are issues behind the name...  Not sure where you are located, but get in touch if you want to do a thorough demo of an X-Factor.

Best of luck.  :smt001
I am a licensed guide.  DFW Guide ID:  1000124.   Let's do a trip together.

Loleta Eric's Guide Service

loletaeric@yahoo.com - call me up at (707) 845-0400


Being an honorable sportsman is way more important than what you catch.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Date Registered: May 2008
  • Posts: 18
malibu x factor was what I wanted to buy 10 years ago lol. Im pretty sure I want a foot pedal model now though. I realize the PA is a cumbersome boat out in the big salt. For a big guy im actually quite nimble so im sure I could get used to a fast boat like a revo. Then my mind wanders back to clear lake, standing, slinging frogs and swimbaits. Then the big yak gains back its appeal. Truthfully, what re-sparked my interest in Kayak fishing is my proximity to tomales bay. I live in Petaluma and that makes for a lot of quick trips, halibut and WSB are calling my name :smt001

Does anyone know if it is possible to order a Compass with the 180 drive/turbo fins? looks like a good choice otherwise


  • Deputy, Integrated Community Communications (D.I.C.C)
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  • Location: Livermoron
  • Date Registered: Aug 2008
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Does anyone know if it is possible to order a Compass with the 180 drive/turbo fins? looks like a good choice otherwise
I'm sure you could do it from a dealer.  Shop local though.  There are other pedal drive options out there, and demo days are coming up probably in April or so.


  • Salmon
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  • Location: San Francisco
  • Date Registered: Oct 2017
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Yes, you can request 180md for a compass with additional price. Friend and i went to kayak city last month and got his compass with md180. Look for Carl. Heí¬íll hook you up with good options. Plus they just moved to a new store with tons of kayak displays.


  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Hermit in LG Mountains
  • Date Registered: Aug 2011
  • Posts: 6060
If you plan to go out on the ocean, I'd say the Outback would be a better choice for all of the reasons LolitaEric gives.
Sandy: Don't you have to be stupid somewhere else?
Patrick: Not until 4:00.


  • Sand Dab
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  • Date Registered: May 2008
  • Posts: 18
what is the main difference between the compass and outback? 1"? is one faster, more stable, or just deck feature differences? I see the compass does not have the vantage seat, which I think I would want. If adding a vantage seat and 180md to a compass is there a reason to not just get the outback? I figure by the time you upgrade those you are going to be in the same price range?