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Hobie Mirage Drive vs. Native Propel Drive

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I have been Yaking for a couple of years now and I love it. Seeing the pedal kayaks and how your hands are freed up for fishing looks fantastic. I primarily use my Kayak for lake fishing but sometimes I fish the Florida coast. I want to buy a pedal yak but am up in the air as to which one is best. I want to know what people think about these two drive systems and the pros and cons.

Seems like most people on this forum love the Hobie, but I see post after post of complaints like 'the boat does not track well when paddling' and several complaints of cracked hulls and dents, etc. The Mirage system seems pretty cool but is it better than the Propel and why?

On the other hand I have not found much conversation on the Native yaks. The Propel system looks efficient, has reverse, and can flip up out of the water when in shallow water, etc. I know it has some clearance issues but to be honest, I do most of my fishing in deeper lake water.

So please give me some compelling information so I can make a good choice. Regardless of what everyone says, I do plan on testing both out to see for myself.
post #2 of 83
Google Hobie vs Native, there's plenty to read.
post #3 of 83
Hobie, test one and it becomes obvious.
post #4 of 83
Since I do a lot of drifting around rock piles, I'm constantly using reverse on my Native Propel drive, often casting at the same time. I love it for that.

There is no perfect kayak out there. Each has it's strengths and weaknesses. Figure out what your requirements are for your kayak fishing and test out the boats that appear to suit your needs.

Don't buy a Hobie just because someone else loves theirs.

By the way, in some of the "Hobie vs. Native" reviews that you may google, the comparisons deal with Ultimate (one of the Native models) only which is more of a canoe. Native also makes two SOT models, a 10 and 12.5 footer. The 12.5 is similar to the Hobie Pro Angler in terms of speed.

Good luck with your decision process.
post #5 of 83
Thread Starter 
I was hoping for something a little more helpful than 'test them and it will be obvious' . What two or three things are obvious so I can focus on these things when I test them. I am just looking for some insight from those who have already been down this road. I don't want to miss something simple and then regret it.

So far I have noted the following from fourm discussions...

1. Hobie do not track well without rudder.
2. Hobie have had some issues with cracks and dents.
3. Hobie can manuver in shallow water with pedal system in place
4. Fins can be folded up against the hull when launching or shallow water.

1. Native track well in any configuration
2. Native can go in reverse
3. Native needs at least a foot of clearance so prop does not hit bottom.
4. Drive unit can easily be flipped up out of the water while you are in the boat and you can continue on with a paddle. Also makes lauching easy.

Please help me build on this list. So far I see more negatives for the Hobie. Most noteably the cracks.
post #6 of 83
I'd like to try a Native Propel drive. I can see it's advantage while casting into white water along the rocks with waves behind ya. Even jigging around piers, pylons, wrecks and other dead ended places.
post #7 of 83
From what I can tell, the Hobie mirage system seems much more efficient in providing forward propulsion. I haven't tried a propel so I can't really compare them. You can look up videos on youtube demonstrating this.

I don't find the hobie (Revolution) to be too bad to paddle, however because you can move in shallow water with the mirage drive, I never really have a need to paddle.
post #8 of 83
Having a cycling background, I would think the prop and cycling motion would definetly be more efficient for any distance hands down.
My wife has a revo and it is quick, but the back and forth motion over time was harsh on the knees mostly the patela area. I still cant fully grasp how and why the flapping fins of the mirage drive works so well.
post #9 of 83
" I still cant fully grasp how and why the flapping fins of the mirage drive works so well." I heard th flapping fins mimic's of that a penguin, I think
post #10 of 83
Only have used the hobie drive. But one thing that seems to favor isthe rane of motion ifthe hobie drive vs native while wearing drywear.



Again I don't have any native experience but I do road cycle and find the back and forth of the hobie drive very natural compared to the bicycle style pedaling. Add in the bulk of layers and drywear and the bicycle motion may become an issue but again I have no experience.



I think the "pedal both" answer is the best one. You will have a natural preference. Pick the one you like better. Both should be low to no maintenance and accomplish the same goals.



Both have the potenial to get weeds caught in the drives and rudders. Both risk damage from running aground. Both are hands free. Both cost money. Both have their shortncomings.
post #11 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbrowne View Post
From what I can tell, the Hobie mirage system seems much more efficient in providing forward propulsion. I haven't tried a propel so I can't really compare them. You can look up videos on youtube demonstrating this.



I don't find the hobie (Revolution) to be too bad to paddle, however because you can move in shallow water with the mirage drive, I never really have a need to paddle.



Bingo,first off nobody who buys a hobie has any interest in paddling so that should be a non factor(the mirage drive is very reliable).Second is when you test them for yourself you will see what countless others have found and that is that the mirage drive is much more efficient.



I found the propel drive to be a real pita most of the time, its HEAVY, the effort you use to move it is much more than the hobie, it does not handle shallow water nearly as well but the main thing is that it requires more effort overall than the mirage drive .



It feels like your peddling a bike uphill all the time, the marage drive is very refined in comparison and still surprises me with its powerful thrust with minimal effort, even with minimal effort on the operators part the standard fins will propel you and all your heavy gear like a champ.
post #12 of 83
Any Propel owners break a drive or crack a hull? Any maintenance to the drive?
post #13 of 83
They look nice tbh. I may go check one out this year.
post #14 of 83
The thing I like about my Hobie is that it will go in very shallow water by just half pedaling the Mirage Drive.
post #15 of 83
not to change the conversation here but outside of these two brands I hope that we will see something from OK or another kayak manufacturer some day soon.



I am likely getting a hobie revo this year but would not mind first trying a Native Propel. Wished there were more to choose from.
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