Pedal drives can get caught in weed, and anything in front of where you cast, with a flyrod, is guaranteed to catch your line. similar re big fish running underneath your boat, they will catch on those pedal/paddles. That and pedal drives in currents may drive you nuts when going cross current or anchoring up. This might be a better tool on a lake with spin rod, though the sit on top is good and the chair looks comfy. Saw a guy at lincoln park catching pinks from something like that this summer trolling gear.
Also bear in mind weight, you got to lug that to the launch and back, maybe onto your roof. 50 lb is easily doable, 100 + lbs saps enthusiasm.
I've been wanting a kayak as well, been looking at the one you posted about above and the Native propel drive I think it is. At first I was leaning toward the Hobie, but the more thought I put into it the more I want to reverse option especially because it make maneuvering the moving tides a bit easier. The propel has me thinking about seaweed getting wrapped up in it though - I guess you could pull it out and clean it. So reverse to me would be more important than the other options, but if the Hobie had a reverse option I'd go with the Hobie.
My reality though is that my car just went into the shop for some MAJOR fixes ($$$$$) so no kayak for me yet Maybe next year...seems that has been my mantra... next year... :|
My buddy has the Hobie Mirage PA 14 and I fish out of the Native Mariner w/ propel. I've had a chance to swap back and forth, so here's my two cents.
Hobie PA 14
Huge boat, super stable, comfortable seat. Great features like the fish storage cooler up front, tackle compartment by the seat... Just a well thought out design.
The Mirage drive with turbo fins is great! Faster top end vs. my Mariner Propel, and the fins are much, MUCH better than the prop on weeds. My prop will get caught in the slightest bit of weeds and I have to stop and clear them. The Hobie design is superior as my buddy rarely has fouling problems with the fins.
There are two things my Mariner does better. Price and Reverse!
The Mariner is about 1/3 cheaper than the PA. And reverse is incredibly helpful when fishing a seam or shoreline. I use that feature A LOT as a fly fisherman and the Hobie has a more difficult time when drifting.
Native Mariner has a new boat (Slayer Propel) that addresses a lot of the issues I have with the Mariner, namely the seat. I would highly recommend heading down to Gig Harbor Fly shop and taking one for a test drive and compare directly with the Hobie. They are both great choices.
Whichever model you decide to get, just know they are an absolute blast to fish out of! In the summer you can drop a crab pot off the back before heading out to fish, and needless to say they are great at getting away from crowds. They expanded my fishing experience tremendously.
you can get a used aluminum skiff with a motor for the price of the hobies.
what and where are you going to be fishing?
most of the pluses of the pedal drives can be solved with some creative boat positioning and an anchor... which is far quieter underwater than the pedal drives. plus, if your primary focus is fly fishing most of my kayak and boat fishing involved drifting and not trolling.
in all the kayak fishing i did in the strait and coast, i never once wished i had a pedal drive. for sea-run cutts along the beach i can see the benefit of the reverse mentioned above to keep a consistent distance from the beach.
also, don't forget to actually paddle both types of kayaks (hobie vs. native) as there are places you might want to fish or travel through where you need to pull up the drive system and paddle (such as thick kelp beds for rockfish and salmon). you don't want to have a boat in that situation where you couldn't paddle fast enough to fight a light (or heavy) current.
I've always been impressed with the speed & stability of peddle-kayaks. I also like the idea of hands-free operation, i.e. he can move & cast at the same time, like a float tube. There are always compromises, and Wadin' Boot points out some of the drawbacks of peddle kayaks.
There's no such thing as a perfect Kayak. I like my OK Drifter because it's wide, stable and light. The disadvantages are slow paddling speed and a "wet ride". It works great for the fishing I do, but I'd want a different boat if I usually launched at easy spots, paddled long distances, or went out frequently in cold weather.
Regarding some of the feedback on anchors, pedal drives, cost etc... like Tom B. points out there is no perfect boat. They all involve compromise in some way.
It is standard now to use anchor trolleys on kayaks for fishing. You drop anchor and position the anchor point towards the bow or stern based on tide and wind by moving the trolley. For example you can quickly change orientation to the beach so you are parallel or perpendicular based on preference. We use anchors a lot particularly for pink salmon.
The upside to a drive system is huge for a fly fisherman. Hands free operation while firing casts towards the shore is easy as I move along probing for cutties. If there are weeds in the area it takes about 30 seconds to raise the drive in the Mariner, and the Hobie will lock the fins against the hull. Most days we never touch the paddle.
Both drive systems will move a kayak at ~4.5 mph and you can cover miles of water easily.
You can easily find a used boat with gas motor for the price of a Hobie. However the kayak fills a void for those of us that don't have room to store a boat and trailer. I keep mine in the garage and can throw a kayak on pretty much any car. I save considerable money on ferry fees not paying additional for a trailer, no gas to buy, yearly registration fees, repairs etc...and I can launch at places a trailer will never reach.
I'll admit I was shocked when I first saw how expensive these stupid kayaks are! But after thinking about it I finally made the plunge a year ago and am so glad I did. No more crowded beaches for me
They were offering 10% off at the WA Sportsman's Show over the weekend and maybe will do the same down in Oregon. That would be a double 10% off and no tax... Hobie makes a nice boat, but boy do you pay for it.
Thanks for everyone's opinions. They are having a kayak jamboree on May 5th on Lake Washington. There will be a couple of hundred of kayaks to try out. I think I'm going to go and paddle as many as I can before I buy.