at least as it pertains to on-the-water fishing. While I’ve spent almost as much for custom waveskis, I had never considered buying a brand new pedal kayak despite 55 years of passion for fishing and 20 years of kayaking (and owning a myriad of sea, ww, surf, SOT and waveskis). I think I picked up an in-crowd biase over time about pedaling vs paddling. Well, I just picked up a used (2012) Hobie Revolution 13 this past Friday. I was willing as the owner was selling it for less than 50% of a brand new one. It also helped that the boat has been stored indoors and is good shape, despite sporting the usual bottom scrapes.
I took it out for a pond (sea) trial today. It was cloudy but not expected to rain. Rather the forecast was for showers and thunderstorms passing north of us in NH. So, it was perfect day (I prefer cloudy) for fishing and testing out the Hobie. Despite being the heaviest boat in my collection, at 70 lbs. it was actually not that much harder to deal with given the Hullavator and the use of a scupper hole cart that made the 100 yard portage from the parking space down to the pond rather easy. I got on fairly calm water and pedaled my way across the pond to a small rocky island where I have had success in landing some fish.
As I got there, I noticed a stiffening of the breeze and the approach of some darker clouds. Hmmm… the forecast for showers and thunderstorms to the north might be a tad bit off…
Yup. The forecast was definitely off, as I can feel the wind and the see the approaching line of rain across the far side of the 200 acre pond. In under a minute the rain was coming down on me.
Than it was really blowing a stiff breeze, over 20 MPH, and pouring.
Not what I expected, but really a good test for the Hobie as a dedicated fishing craft. In my kayaks, I know my hands would be mostly on the paddle to deal with the wind, fast drift and then venture an occasional cast to troll a lure. However, in the Hobie, I was able to keep casting all the while pedaling to slow down the drift. Occasionally had to reach down to the rudder control next to my left hip to adjust direction. So, I kept pedaling and fishing for over an hour in the rain and wind. Unfortunately, I didn’t pack any rain gear and had on only a long sleeve coolmax shirt, with PFD over that and nylon zip-up pants. Despite wanting to keep fishing, I started to feel the chill on the body. Discretion called for an end to the fishing trip. So I turned and headed back to the launch. The trip back was straight into the wind but I got there pretty quick – I think quicker than with a paddle because the Hobie fins were totally in the water and I didn’t have the adverse resistance of wind on a paddle. Instead I was just pedaling away into the wind, which felt akin to biking up a bit of a hill. No big deal since I bike daily to work. Also, while the Hobie Revo is narrowest of the Hobie line at 28.5", it was way more stable than any kayak I’ve ever paddle and certainly way more than my waveskis. A question for the future is how it would handle 3-4 waves or Boston Harbor ferry wakes (I would not consider taking the Hobie or any kayak for a fishing excursion in any conditions more challenging). Already, I can tell I am really going to enjoy fishing way more with a pedal rather than a paddle kayak. The simple fact is that I am actually actively fishing more while on the Hobie than I would in a typical paddle kayak.