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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:27 am 
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This is my first post on the Hobie forum and have read and digested just about everything I've read so far. First of all I'm a Native Ultimate owner and have had some years under my belt paddling different yaks. Now I want to move to what I deem as up to a pedal craft. I had the chance to pedal my friends Native Ultimate propel drive. It was a low tide with lots of grass and weeds floating around and I felt I was churning a blender of some sort. I found it difficult to move forward and sustain a speed. Plus the fact that my feet were up on a incline while I was peddling and that in itself felt uncomfortable. Being a Native owner, I felt let down by this Native peddle drive. My other friend that was with us had a Hobie outback mirage drive. I've never been in a Hobie and wanted to try out the mirage drive. My experience was just the opposite! The Hobie performed very smoothly. The response in turning was remarkable. What really stood out since I just tried out the Native was the ease in peddling on the Mirage. It was unbelievable! I also went and demoed a brand new Native Mirage propel drive and the results were the same as before. Again it felt like I was pedaling uphill. I'm not a young guy and the easier the better for me. So now "dare I say" I'm looking at the Hobie products and really, really liking the Pro Angler. My passion is fishing and it seems to have everything and the ability to venture out in the open water beyond the breakers, unlike what I could do with my Native is very inviting. I also love the room, storage etc. Weight shouldn't be that much of a problem. So anyway long story short, I may join your ranks. Will demo the P.A. soon and come to a decision. Thanks for all the info I learned here....

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:52 pm 
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I believe your experience mirrors that of most who actually take the time to try both systems. The Hobie Mirage Drive System is simply more efficient. They both work well, of course, but the ease of pedaling the Mirage Drive coupled with it's shallow water ability (feather the fins and short stroke the pedals) make it my personal choice in pedal craft.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:13 pm 
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The only advantage I see with the Native propel is that it can be pedaled in reverse but with all the advantages of the Hobie system I can live without it....

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:48 pm 
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In all the years I've been kayak fishing, I can't think of a single time I've needed to move in reverse. It's just as easy to kick the rudder hard to one side and spin around in the length of the boat.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:04 am 
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Take it from someone who made the mistake of purchasing a Native Mariner Propel.


ITS GARBAGE


I've owned it since May and its been broken half that time. Pedals fall off, the prop falls off with no ez fix, the clips that hold the unit place are flimsy and break often. The propel unit itself is slow and cavitates when you try to apply any good amount of force. Propel owners like to say that the mirage unit might step out front in the beginning but the mirage user will tire out and the propel will pass them by. THAT is garbage, in a 6mph current the Propel unit couldn't keep anywhere near the speed the mirage unit is capable of, or the amount of distance covered, or let alone make it up the whole canal without having a heart attack.

As far as reverse. It doesn't work well enough to even call it an option. If a snook starts pulling you head first into a a mangrove and you try to floor it in reverse all you are gonna do is cavitate and make a bunch of noise.


When it comes to peddling a kayak the mirage system is the only unit worth buying.

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Last edited by FLKayakAngler on Sat Nov 06, 2010 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:10 am 
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yaksailor2 wrote:
The only advantage I see with the Native propel is that it can be pedaled in reverse but with all the advantages of the Hobie system I can live without it....


You've basically hit on what many people here feel. If the Mirage Drive had a free upgrade to allow it to go in reverse, just about everyone here would jump on that. Reverse would be a great feature to have, and it's what Native has to promote, because it is the one feature that they have that Hobie can't match.

Other then that one feature though, the ability of the Hobie to offer so much torque, 3 different fin designs for those who want more or less power, tremendous adjustability in the pedals to fit all paddlers, the ability to shed sea plants, and other debris, shallow water ability, and general simplicity of ownership and maintenance, the Mirage Drive shines.

I can see why people like the Propel drive, it's a familiar design. The Hobie looks like something from an other planet, but it's that type of design that makes it work so well. A propellor works well on a motorboat, the mirage drive is built for kayaks, and it works perfectly on that type of boat.

You're going to get biased opinions on this site, but if you get over the unfamiliarity of the design, you'll probably find that the Mirage is a better system for most uses. Just grab the paddle off the built in paddle holder if you need to back up.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:47 am 
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"Cavitate" that's the word that describes the propel drive when you want to go in reverse. When I demoed the new native mirage and peddled backwards all I did was sit there for a minute spinning the prop and ever so slowly crept back. Naw! Isn't even worth claiming it can go in reverse.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:44 pm 
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yaksailor2 wrote:
The only advantage I see with the Native propel is that it can be pedaled in reverse but with all the advantages of the Hobie system I can live without it....


Guys -pull your drive and put it in backwards. There's your free reverse upgrade. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:59 am 
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NOHUHU wrote:
yaksailor2 wrote:
The only advantage I see with the Native propel is that it can be pedaled in reverse but with all the advantages of the Hobie system I can live without it....


Guys -pull your drive and put it in backwards. There's your free reverse upgrade. :lol:


Ok I'll give it a shot, but can you do this with the V2 drive?

When I was looking for my first peddle kayak, native was one of them. Having my PA in the ocean now over 50 times, I have made a few tweaks to it and getting it close to perfection.

Hobie peddle kayaks are well built and they have great customer service if you have any problems.

Steve


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:32 am 
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In the time it takes to pull the drive, reverse and remount it, you could just as easily and quickly spin the boat around or pick up a short paddle and hit two or three strokes and do the same thing.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 4:44 pm 
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To stay on point, we are comparing drives here Tom. Not drives vs paddling.
And I was alluding to reversing direction, not turning around.

There are plenty of times when navigating the boat in reverse would be an advantage over turning a 16 ft Adventure around. If you fished and sailed all the time, or had tramps on your AI, you might think of them.

Most of us would be confused by the reverse rudder though. Or muck up the mounting, so I don't really recommend it - nor does Hobie...

And I'm not suggesting a contest, but if the goal is backing up a little from a tight spot, or fighting a tail current or tailwind or a big fish, then flipping a ClicknGO would be more efficient and faster than doing 360s.

...Oh, what the hell, let's have a race! :twisted:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Or taking a few strokes with a small paddle. I've been doing this a very, very long time. I don't waste a lot of effort nor bother with things that don't amount to much.

I guess I don't understand how far you folks are wanting to back up. In the time it takes you to pull and remount a Mirage Drive in reverse, I'll have already backed up a few yards and done whatever it was that I needed to do, all with the use of a small and light paddle.

I suppose there could be situations where constant reverse is necessary or desired, I just haven't run into any of those in my 10+ years of kayak fishing. Not yet anyway.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:27 am 
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Well I have to say I use the Mirage drive in reverse often, I find it better when jigging soft plastics along the bottom, slow trolling hard body lure's and even trolling slow with a live bait and it is a great way to fish. You have far more control over your rod/line and ultimately lure/bait, when working along long drop off's, rather than constantly casting and retrieving or trolling and not seeing those timmid hits you can keep your lure in the water longer and you can watch the line for those timid taps much easier, and if trolling a surface lure, you get to watch the explosive hit rather than have all the action going on at the back of your head while you pedal along forward.

Getting use to the reverse rudder does take a bit but I am glad I took the time to learn.
You cannot afford to generate any speed as the pressure on the reversed rudder is quite considerable and has the ability to damage rudder pins etc, your maneuverability is also increased two fold (almost as good as a PA) great if you hook up to something decent and it is taking a broad run around you. Turning it around doe's mean you also need to adjust your stroke length on the pedals for prolonged use as well but for using it just to reverse from snags along the river bank or out from under structure where it is impossible to bring the bow around (specially with an Adventure with amas attached) you can put up with the discomfort of having your legs scrunched up a bit.

I would love a drive that has a more simple reverse without having to pull the drive out and spin it around all the time, man that would be a real bonus.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:15 am 
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Will demoed the PA soon and only several issues concern me,
#1- The weight and can I manage it? 90% of the time I fish areas where I can drive right on the beach and launch and I do carry my kayaks in the bed of my pickup with a bed extender, so only a very few occasions do I really have to muscle it. So this maybe a non issue.
#2- The response to the rudder how well it maneuvers and because of it's weight is it slower and harder to peddle? Will I harder trying to keep up with everyone else?
#3- Lastly is the flats where I fish sometimes. How well it responds in skinny water and if needed, how well it paddles.

These question have probably been answered in other threads but I need to find out for myself. No question going with the Hobie mirage drive but if I have a major issue with the Pa then I may look more closely at the Outback.
I'll let you know.....

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:13 am 
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Moving from an Outback to the PA, I had the same concerns. What I found is that yes, it is much heavier and if I wasn't able to drive right to the launch and slide it from my pickup truck bed, well.... I could reconsider it. However, once you get it on the water I find that I'm not giving up much at all and gaining a great deal.

This boat isn't at all slow compared to the other Hobie Mirage Drive kayaks. The longer fins require slightly more effort but if you're in reasonable good shape you can maintain 3 to 4 knots for a long, long time.

The steering is fine. Just like a car, or any other boat, you can't just point it and expect it to maintain a line - you have to make constant course corrections. But it responds quickly and effectively to the rudder commands. The only thing I found different than with my Outback, is that at very slow speeds, perhaps less than 1 to 1.5 MPH, the rudder doesn't have much effect. Above that and it's fine. I suspect having the rudder tucked up under the boat instead of at the very back is the reason for this, but having it up under the boat means you have a very tight turning circle for use in tight spots. Overall it works excellent and does what it needs to do, even in strong headwinds.

The PA has exceeded my expectations on nearly every front. For the stability, speed and comfort it offers, having a little heavier package to tote and wrestle with at the launch ramp is a very minor trade-off. This is a hell of a boat and I think you'll agree once you spend an hour in one.


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