Hobie vs Native | Which Fishing Kayak is Right for You?

As an angler navigating the diverse waterways of Florida and the Southeastern United States, sometimes you have to travel light. In times like these, a fishing kayak is the way to go. Two prominent brands that have earned their stripes in the kayak fishing community are Hobie and Native Watercraft. In this blog post, we’ll dive into a detailed comparison of these two brands.

The Hobie Fishing Kayak

Hobie has long been a pioneer in the world of pedal-driven kayaks – excellent for making a long trek to a fishing spot suck much less. One of Hobie’s standout features is the MirageDrive pedal system. This system allows for hands-free propulsion, leaving anglers free to focus on casting and reeling. You can still carry a paddle, but you could literally fish all day and never even pick it up, you can use both hands to fish! The patented MirageDrive uses a pair of underwater fins providing efficient and quiet propulsion.

Additionally, Hobie kayaks often come equipped with a rail system, providing a customizable platform for mounting accessories such as rod holders, fish finders, and cameras. The Hobie Pro Angler series, in particular, is a favorite among serious anglers for its stability, spacious deck, and cutting-edge features.

Fishing kayak Hobie
The trademark pedal design can clearly be seen here

Native Watercraft Fishing Kayak

Native Watercraft, on the other hand, is known for its focus on comfort, versatility, and adaptability. The Propel Pedal Drive system by Native is a competitor to Hobie’s MirageDrive, offering a smooth and efficient pedaling experience. Native kayaks are praised for their open and customizable deck layouts, providing ample space for anglers to move around and access their gear easily.

One of Native’s standout features is the First Class Seating system, designed with ergonomic considerations for long days on the water. The seat is adjustable, ensuring anglers can find the perfect position for comfort and fishing efficiency. Native’s Titan series, including the Titan Propel 13.5 and Titan Propel 10.5, are popular choices among anglers seeking stability and space.

I have had my Native Manta Ray for over 10 years and can say that it is quiet, stable and comfortable. I have caught a lot of fish out of it and have the entire setup customized to my liking.


Comparative Analysis

Both Hobie and Native offer high-quality fishing kayaks tailored to the unique needs of anglers. From inshore to off, these two brands have very serviceable models. The choice between the two largely depends on personal preferences and specific requirements.

Propulsion Systems: Hobie’s MirageDrive and Native’s Propel Pedal Drive are both efficient, but some anglers may prefer one over the other based on personal comfort and ease of use.

Seating Comfort: Native’s First Class Seating is renowned for its comfort, but Hobie also provides ergonomic seating options. The choice here may depend on how much time an angler plans to spend on the water. I have never fished a Hobie, but I LOVE the seat in my Native.

Customization: Hobie’s H-Rail system and Native’s open deck layouts provide ample opportunities for customization. Anglers who love to personalize their setups will find both brands accommodating. I can say from experience, that having a Go-Pro mount is a game-changer to get that perfect shot.

Stability: Both Hobie and Native offer stable platforms, but individual models may differ. Anglers who prioritize stability, especially when standing to cast, should consider the specific models within each brand.


Ultimately, the decision between Hobie and Native Watercraft comes down to personal preference, fishing style, and specific needs. Both brands have earned their reputation for crafting top-tier fishing kayaks. Whether you choose the hands-free efficiency of Hobie or the comfort-centric design of Native, one thing is for sure – these kayaks are built to enhance your angling adventures in this captivating region.

Happy paddling and tight lines!

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