Hobie Tandem Pro Angler 17T

Hobie unveiled its original single seat Pro Angler a few years ago. The feature-packed Pro Angler was Hobie’s answer to the ultimate kayak. Big, stable, fast and complete with every fishing friendly accessory available, the trade off was that the Pro Angler was heavy and a little cumbersome. But for big anglers and serious fishos, including tournament anglers, that was a reasonable compromise for what is awesome fishing machine. In 2014, Hobie announced the Mirage Pro Angler 17T. The Pro Angler’s Tandem version offers everything the single seater does with the added advantage of two seats, more space and more capacity.


The Tandem Pro Angler weighs 104kg, meaning it’s too heavy for most roof racks and is best carried by trailer. A box trailer or one of those dedicated kayak carriers would work well. Being such a large kayak, many people naturally ask what advantages such a ‘yak has over a small tinny. In my opinion, a big ‘yak like the Tandem Pro Angler is a good alternative to a tinny. While it’s big, the Hobie is still a kayak and can be manhandled into smaller creeks and tricky launching ramps.

It’s also able to fish those same tight waters without any problems. Shallow water and small rapids aren’t an issue and the durability offered by the rotomoulded polyethylene construction will handle years of abuse. Of course a tinny will move faster, cover more water and has plenty of advantages over a kayak. It’s really a matter of personal choice.


What really surprised me was the number of practical fishing features and options. It’s pretty obvious this kayak has been designed by experienced fishos for serious fishing. Starting at the bow, dry storage under a hatch holds gear out of harm’s way. Also fitted in the bow are flush mount horizontal rod holders, which carry three rods on each side. The tips are protected in the bow and the rods are secured further back along the kayak. It’s a great feature and means you can carry several outfits onboard safely without worrying about breakage.There’s also an accessory mount for a sounder or GPS.

Immediately in front of the front seat is a flush tackle storage area with space for several lure boxes. It’s another clever design and a better option than having multiple lure boxes sliding around out of reach. The seats, like many modern fishing ‘yak seats, are elevated and removable. These Vantage XT seats can also be turned around if you prefer to face your fishing partner. Being elevated gives your legs relief from sitting down and the comfy back rest features adjustable lumber support. These are made of mesh, which keeps them cool on hot days and dry quickly. These are the best kayak seats I’ve seen; gone are the days of feeling fatigued after a few hours’ ‘yakking.

The back half of the kayak is almost exactly the same with lure storage, rod holders and the comfy seat. There’s also plenty of space between seats for storage. Another interesting feature is the unique H-Rail. This rail runs the length of the kayak on each side and offers a place to mount accessories. Things like sounders, cup holders and so on, can be mounted anywhere along the rail. It also acts as a grab rail when man-handling the kayak on and off trailers or when walking through shallow water.

Pedalling and fishing

It’s well known the Hobie sets itself apart from most other kayaks because of its MirageDrive pedal system. The unique system has several advantages. It’s hands free, meaning fishos can slowly pedal and fish at the same time. It’s also very effective and fast compared to conventional paddling. Even with it being such a big kayak and two people onboard, we reached a speed of 5 knots. That’s pretty fast for a kayak and had us technically breaking the law in a 4hp zone! The pedals can be an issue in shallow or weedy water. If that happens, they can be removed and the kayak will paddle just like a conventional sit-on-top. When you’re back in deeper water, simply put the pedals back through the hull and carry on. The pedals are also reversible if you need to move backwards when fishing tight water or structure. This, however, can be rather loud if you’re sneaking up on wary fish.

Being such a large kayak, stability is excellent. The flat floor is grippy and allows both anglers to confidently stand and fish. I usually feel nervous standing in a kayak, but not in the Pro Angler. After a morning chasing Nepean river bass, I found the new tandem kayak offered an unprecedented level of features and fishability. For a big ‘yak, the Hobie Pro Angler 17T still allows access to skinny water while offering the creature comforts and features of a boat. The best of both worlds! If you’re in Sydney, check them out at the Australian Bass Angler in Penrith.

RRP $6,500.

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