Review: Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

hobie-mirage-pro-angler-14

At some point along your kayak-fishing journeys, you may probably decide that an entry-level kayak is just not getting the job done. You’ve mastered the skills required to effectively pilot one and at this point, your low-budget kayak is limiting you in some ways.

You want a high-performance kayak that helps you catch more fish, not one that stands in your way. You need stability, plenty of space and all the features a modern angler could desire. You may even be anxious to move up to a kayak with a propulsion system.

 

Specifications

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 is one of the most popular and well-respected kayaks on the market. It is well designed and it features all the necessary bells and whistles that an advanced angling kayaker could desire.

Hobie Angler 14 on water

Proportions

Measuring nearly 14 feet in length and weighing 145 pounds, it is a beefy, sit-on-top kayak that is ready to help you haul in a big fish. With a 600-pound capacity, you’ll feel confident dragging a big fish up on the deck.

It offers a great combination of visibility and comfort, thanks to the elevated Vantage ST seat, plus you can also stand comfortably and securely on the non-skid deck if you prefer.

 

Mechanism

The most noteworthy feature of the Pro Angler 14 is the MirageDrive 180 pedal-drive system.

First introduced in 1997, this pedal-powered propulsion mechanism relies on two large fins. The fins beat back and forth through the water in conjunction with the user’s leg movements, effectively pushing it through the water like a fish.

Unlike older models, the current MirageDrive 180 allows the user to quickly shift from forward to reverse with the pull of a cable.

In contrast to propeller-based systems which cannot be used in shallow waters, the Mirage Pro Angler’s fins fold out of the way if one pedal is pushed all the way forward. This allows you to fish over sandbars, reefs and tree stumps without worrying that you might damage the fins.

 

Other Features

The Mirage Pro Angler 14 has some important features to help make your fishing experience more enjoyable.

  • A front hatch with a removable liner which makes cleaning a breeze.
  • Two twist-and-seal hatches for storing tackle and other gear.
  • Mesh storage pouches for frequently accessed items.
  • An expansive rear cargo area fitted with bungee cords.
  • A variety of rails and equipment mounts that will allow you to place your fish finder, GoPro camera or additional rod holders.

 

 

Compare Similar Products

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 is comparable to several high-end kayaks, although it is a bit on the heavy side. However, much of this added weight comes from the combination of its greater width and pedal system.

Competitors

The Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13 offers a propelled kayak for a little less money than the Pro Angler 14, but the Ultimate FX has only a 400-pound capacity and is 5.5 inches narrower.

If you forego a propulsion system entirely and opt to paddle your way around the water, the Old Town Predator MK MINN Kota provides a roughly similar profile, with a 600-pound capacity for a lesser cost than the Pro Angler 14.

ProductHobie Mirage Pro Angler 14
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13
Native Watercraft Ultimate FX Propel 13

Old Town Predator MK Minn Kota
Old Town Predator MK Minn Kota

Length13' 8"13' 6"13’ 2”
Width38"32.5"36”
Capacity600 lbs 400 lbs600 lbs
PropulsionFins or PaddlesPropeller or PaddlesPaddles Only
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

Rating The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14

Durability

five star rating

Manufactured with Rotomolded Polyethylene, it is a very durable craft. 5 stars are given for its durability.

 

Value

four and half star rating

It is a premium kayak so it follows that it has a premium price tag too. 4.5 stars are given for its value.

 

Handling

four star rating

It handles well in the open water but it is a bit bulky for fishing in congested locations. 4 stars are given for its handling.

 

Speed

four star rating

Although this is not a kayak built solely for speed, its length combined with the propulsion system make it quite fast. 4 stars are given for its speed.

 

Aesthetics

three star rating

It is available in three relatively boring color schemes: yellow, camo and dune. 3 stars are given for its aesthetics.

 

Features

five star rating

The pedal drive alone should earn the Pro Angler 14 a 5-star feature rating, plus the rod holders and rails don’t hurt. 5 stars are given for its features.

 

Weight

three star rating

This is a heavy kayak and it requires some effort to move and launch. However, it is not unusually heavy given its large size. 3 stars are given for its weight.

 

 

Summary

The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 earns an overall rating of 4.1 stars. While it scored highly in most categories, its heaviness causes frustration for some users.

Ups

Most users find the stability, handling, durability and capacity of the kayak to be excellent. Even larger anglers report feeling comfortable while standing up to fish.

They also say that its dimensions work for them, as the big platform is both reassuring in open water and relatively quick when you pump the pedals.

The MirageDrive 180 propulsion mechanism is one of its key features and the system is exclusively available on Hobie kayaks. While this drive system is available on other Hobie models (including those with a lower price point), the MirageDrive 180 makes it a great kayak.

 

Downs

Its size causes problems for those trying to pilot around in small, cluttered waters. So be sure that this massive kayak fits your fishing hole before making the purchase.

Some users complain about the kayak’s weight which is quite significant. This is probably not much of a problem for bigger anglers who have an easy loading and transporting system worked out.

On the other hand, if you must carry your kayak down three flights of stairs without any help, you may want to opt for a lighter model. Additionally, it is too large for many roof racks thereby necessitating the use of a trailer.

 

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Durability
Value
Handling
Speed
Aesthetics
Features
Weight
Ben Team
Ben is a lifelong environmental educator, former ISA-certified arborist and avid angler who writes about the natural world. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his beautiful wife and spoiled rotten Rottweiler. You can read more of Ben’s writing at FootstepsInTheForest.com.

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