The Hobie Revolution is a general purpose sit-on-top (SOT) kayak that also makes a great angling platform with dedicated features including bait well, rod holder and the powerful MirageDrive pedal system making it ideal for trolling.
It’s a popular angling kayak and the guys I’ve fished with who use the Revolutions are pretty pleased with this single seater SOT.
Comfort on a SOT kayak is only as good as the seat and Hobie’s is one of the best with high back support and a sturdy twist and lock setup for the base plus webbing supports, and an optional air padded insert as well.
The cockpit allows the paddler to easily reach the steering tab, which controls the flip-up rudder. Leg room felt adequate, even for tall paddlers; the MirageDrive system is adjustable; and its well allows the cockpit to drain quickly. Other good features include a drink holder, netted pockets and the large forward hatch, which could easily store some camping kit. It’s here you’d usually glue your transducer to the hull bottom with a short wire connection to the fishfinder.
Other storage comprises two 8” twist and seal wells. Twin rod holders which come as standard can also be boosted by additional aftermarket ones as well.
Being part of the Mirage line, major accessories include outriggers, allowing plenty of stability for stand-up casting. Hobie’s extensive accessories catalogue also includes a live well which slots in behind the seat.
The Revolution has a more rounded hull than some others in the Hobie range, with a long keel without much rocker, combined with the deep V-bow, it’s a good paddlers’ kayak. It also would be good for punching out through surf and combined with its hardtop hatches it is a strongly watertight vessel.
For transit, moulded deck handles combined with a luggable weight of 26.3kg allow a fit lone paddler to place it on a car roof and the Hobie trolley makes launching easy.
The rotomoulded polythene self-draining hull feels tough and rigid, which takes the worry out of landings on rougher beaches or slipways. Longer and slimmer generally means faster when it comes to kayak shapes. So the streamlined hull length of 13.5ft is good for longer distance, especially with all the propulsion options – paddle strapped to the topsides, small sail, MirageDrive pedal system and even an electric drive from quality brand Torqueedo.
Having used the MirageDrive before I can vouch for its effectiveness and power, it’s technology that would surprise even serious paddlers when tried. The alloy pedal shafts are adjustable for reach and height. These power a pair of flippers, modelled on the underwater wing actions of a penguin, which swing in a 90º arc, at each rotation they are flat on the hull which allows beach landings without any protuberances.
After dropping off its two wheeled Hobie trolley (that can stow on the back deck) and launching, first impressions of the Revolution were very positive – it felt much more like a traditional kayak rather than its more cumbersome SOT brethren.
The Revolution was fast under paddle and tracked very straight with little need for rudder adjustment. Its relatively narrow beam gave a slightly tippy feel, confirming the slippery nature of the hull. Clipping my feet into the MirageDrive pedals speed the kayak up significantly while taking a lot less effort than paddling; also liberating my hands to grab the rod for a troll along the kelp beds.
Seeking out a wave on a calm day was proving difficult until I gingerly went broadside to the oncoming wake from a passing speedboat to test the stability of the Revolution. But not dramas ensued, as the kayak stuck well to the water, giving me no fears of an early morning swim (and more importantly losing my rods and gear!)
Talking to regular angler and Revolution owner, Dave Tindale, showed how much you can do with one of these boats.
“I moved up to the Revolution from the Hobie Outback because I wanted to do a bit more offshore fishing,” said Sydney fisho Dave, whose regular spot is sometimes the rough swells off Sydney’s Long Reef Point.
All-in-all, the Revolution proved itself to be a versatile boat with enough speed and stability to make it a true multipurpose sit-on-top, and with Hobie’s extensive accessories catalogue it should keep most techies happy as well. Check out more at www. www.hobiecat.com.au.
Accessory options including outriggers
Rudder line felt a bit stretchy
Bit heavy when fully loaded
Length Overall: 4.09m (13' 5")
Beam: 0.72 m
Hull height: 38 cm
MirageDrive: 3 kg
Hull Weight: 26.3 kg
Capacity: 159 kg