If you’re in the market for a fishing kayak to take out this summer, the Mirage Revolution 16 from Hobie might just be your best bet.
Sharp like a knife and fast as lightning, the Mirage Revolution 16 offers a wide variety of features that give it a major advantage over traditional kayaks.
From the beautifully designed Mirage Drive 180 system to the myriad of onboard features, this kayak is much more than meets the eye.
In our Hobie Mirage Revolution 16 review, we’re going to take a deep look into what just might be your new favorite yak.
Features and Benefits
The long and sharp hull is manufactured using a seriously high quality high-density polyethylene. Thanks to the knife-like design of this kayak, you can cut through the water with the utmost efficiency. In terms of the non-rigged weight, it’s actually pretty light when compared to other kayaks on the market of the same size. It does however get a bit heavier when you add the removable drive system and seat. The sides are nice and rounded to give you a bit of added stability, perfect for when the waters get a little choppy. The hull is pretty shallow compared to some other Hobie yaks, making it less prone to heavy winds. Overall, the finish is of the highest quality, giving you a smooth and effortless ride every time.
Hobie has added some nice transportation features to make carrying the kayak a bit easier. For starters, you have a small rope handle located on the bow that is bolted in using a tough pad eye. These are great for carrying the kayak to and from the water. You also have four rubber handles that are bolted in on each side of the kayak. These are best for taking your kayak from atop your car or carrying it from one side if you’re heading out on a solo trip.
Hobie definitely didn’t skimp out on the comfort aspect with this yak. The Revolution 16 comes with the Vantage CT seat, a fully adjustable chair made of a rubberized mesh and durable plastic frame. You can easily adjust the angle of the seat by toggling a small lever like you would in a car. You can also adjust the lumbar support by adjusting the fabric’s tension on the back. Lastly, you can adjust the overall height of the seat by deploying two short legs underneath. This can be helpful in maintain stability when conditions get rough or getting better vantage points when you’re looking for fish. The seat is also totally removable in case you ever want to upgrade or take you seat out to use it as a beach chair when you reach your destination.
The onboard storage is pretty solid as well. On the bow, you have a large storage hatch that is held down on the hull using crossed bungee cords. Each of the bungees is hooked through clever little drain channels to get rid of water that splashes up atop the kayak. Thanks to the dense rubber seals and buckle that is made of tough webbing, you can be sure that your items will remain dry and safely stored throughout your journey. This hatch is easily enough to fit a large tackle box or small cooler. On each side of the hull near the seat, you get small mesh storage pockets that are perfect for storing small pieces of tackle or tools.
In front of the seat, you have the 8” twist and seal hatch that acts as waterproof storage with its rubber o-ring seal. The tank well is the largest storage space in this boat and is above deck. It’s covered with crossed bungee cords that can keep your gear secure when in rougher waters. Right behind that is the other 8” twist and seal hatch that you can store non-reachable equipment in. You even get a little removable gear bucket inside that can be used to store little tools or pieces of tackle. Lastly, you get two drink holders, both located on each side of the seat.
In terms of accessories, the Mirage Revolution 16 comes complete with a little area for accessory mounting right in front of the footwell. Though it comes closed with a rubber cap, you can easily open it up to see that it runs to the bottom of the hull. It’s perfect for mounting things like the Hobie Sail Kit, GoPro camera mounts, or even fishing rods. Behind each mesh pocket, you get 3-way hull connectors. These are part of the lowrance ready systems and they allow you to add things like fishfinders. Lastly, on each side of the tank is a flush-mount fishing rod holder complete with rubber caps.
The Mirage Drive system is easily the most unique thing about Hobie Kayaks. It can be used to propel the kayak in a forward and backward motion. Thanks to the mix of roller bearings and Idler pulley, you get a seriously smooth pedaling experience. The foot straps on the pedals are completely adjustable as well, allowing kayakers of all shapes and sizes to use it. Changing between foing forward and backward is as easy as pulling on a toggle. It can be removed and then easily placed back into the well located near the bow end. This little well also doubles as a scupper hole for drainage. If you ever feel like paddling instead of pedaling, you can simply pop in the Mirage Drive Casette Plug to stop your pedals from moving.
How To Get Started
To start, you’re going to want to make sure that you have all of the proper gear to go out with. Here is a small list of must-have items for your first kayaking trip:
- Paddle (In case anything goes wrong with your Drive System)
- Clothing that you don’t mind getting wet
- Sunscreen or sun hat
- Water and snacks
- First Aid Kit
Adjust your Kayak
You want to make sure that your kayaking experience is as comfortable and efficient as possible. Begin by adjusting your seat so that you have proper lumbar support and are at the proper height off the water. You’ll want to keep the seat low if the water is rough to better center your gravity.
Next, adjust the pedals so that they are at the proper length. Simply use their click system to adjust each pedal to an equal height that is most comfortable to you.
Launching Your Kayak
You’ll want to begin your launch from a piece of the shoreline that has a gradual slope. Make sure that you’re not dragging the hull on any piece of the land, as it could leave abrasions.
Set your kayak in shallow water perpendicular to the shoreline with the stern facing shore. Slowly lift yourself into your kayak and plant your butt firmly on the seat. You won’t want to engage the drive system until you get further out in the water, so for now, just paddle out slowly.
Holding Your Paddle
You’ll need to know how to paddle to either get out in deeper water or paddle if your drive system breaks down. Center the shaft of the paddle with your head and grasp the paddle at both ends so that your elbows are at perfect 90-degree angles.
Start by practicing some basic strokes. The three you most know are:
- Forward Strokes
- Reverse Strokes
- Sweep Strokes
The forward stroke is the most common and will be used the majority of the time. Rotate your torso and dunk your blade into the water on one side. Rotate your torso and feel the blade move behind you. Push the shaft with your upper hand to propel yourself forward. As the blade moves behind you, release it out of the water.
The reverse stroke is another basic stroke that can move you backwards. Follow the same instructions as the forward stroke but do it in reverse.
The sweep stroke is what you’ll be using to turn. You’ll perform a sweep stroke by doing multiple forward strokes on the same side of your kayak. The main difference is that you’ll be using much wider arcs to actually turn, without the big release at the end of your stroke.
Using your Rudder
The Hobie Mirage Revolution 16 comes with a rudder. You can easily utilize the rudder using the two toggles located on each side of the seat. Simply pull the “down” toggle to deploy the rudder into the water and pull the “up” toggle to haul it out. To actually steer it, you can use the handle that is located to the left of the seat. This is much easier than your standard pedal rudder system.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you install a fish finder?
This is typically the first accessory that people install on their Hobie kayak. We recommend getting a unit that doubles as a GPS as well. The Lowrance-ready system makes the installation really easy. Simply place your transducer into the lowrance ready hole and bolt the plate back on. Next, run the transducer wire through the scupper and into the hull with any excess cable.
Can you install an anchor system on this kayak?
Absolutely! We believe that anchor systems are essential if you’re looking to fish for long periods of time. Start by mounting two Hobie Chrome Pad Eyes to either side of your kayak. Using pulleys and stainless steel karabiners, you can keep the trolley secured to the hull. Pass the anchor line under your seat and use your trolley to move it forward. You can easily use a DIY anchor reel with 2mm anchor line, 1kg grapnel, and chain.
How can I stay safe when kayaking?
Kayaking can definitely be fun and relaxing, though any sport out on the water requires extra safety measures, especially if you aren’t being guided. Here are a few essential tips to make sure that you stay safe out on the water:
- Go with a friend or family member your first time out. You never want to be alone with no assistance if something goes wrong.
- Understand your distance from shore. NEVER, under any circumstances, paddle out further from shore than you can swim back. You’ll likely find more fish and other interesting things closer to shore anyway.
- Dress for temperature. It might not be that cold atop the water, though if you were to capsize in 50-degree water wearing shorts and a tank top, it could be bad news.
- Always bring a distress signal. Whether you want to bring a whistle, air horn, etc., know that the universal signal for distress is three long blasts.
From calm to choppy water, the Hobie Mirage Revolution 16 is one of the best fishing kayaks around. The pedal driven system is incredibly beneficial, the seat is comfortable, the vessel is quick, and the array of onboard features are plenty. All of that is wrapped up in a tough and durable kayak that will easily last you years to come.
Overall, we have to give the Hobie Mirage Revolution 16 an A+. The design is truly unparalleled. If you’re looking to go on some serious fishing adventures this summer, definitely set your sights on this sweet little yak.
Hobie Mirage Revolution 16