- Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:33 pm
I rented kayaks for fishing for probably two years before I bought my first one. All were paddlers. I ended up buying a used Wilderness T160 about ten years ago which I still own. It is narrow and moves almost effortlessly through the water, especially when you are just going in a straight line from A to B. I bought my son a Perception Pescador 12 when he was 8. I wanted something a little more stable for him and also something friends without kayaks could use. My fishing buddies were all paddlers.
Then a couple of years ago I ran into the Fishing Attorneys a/k/a the Plastic Navy. They were nice enough to let me start fishing with them and the three of them all had Hobies (two Outbacks and a PA14). We fished a lot. They pedaled (or used their trolling motors) and I paddled alongside. Last year, I found a used Hobie Revo 13 for $600 which seemed a good deal. Turns out it was. So the Plastic Navy was renamed the Hobie Navy and we still fish as often as we can. And then a few months ago I got my son a used Hobie Outback and he loves it.
As to which I prefer, I'd have to go with the pedal drive 80% of the time. The ability to troll with the rod in your hand is a game changer. Yes, I could troll in the Tarpon by putting my rod in the holder and loosening the drag, but to actually be able to feel the fish hit the lure while trolling makes a big difference to me. And the Revo is narrow and fast as well. The Outback is wider and also an older version so it feels heavier and slower. Not a lot, but noticeable.
With the pedal drive, you can also turn into the current and shuffle your feet to hold position and fish a spot without having to continuously paddle around after you have drifted away.
There are still times I prefer the paddle - when I am going shallow or when the wind is low and I just want a good fast paddle. Or when I know I am going out with friends who paddle.
I'd be inclined to let you test any of them out if you'd like if you are in the Houston area. Just send me a PM. And as impulse said, unless you just have money to burn, buy a used one.