About a month ago, I was fortunate enough to pick up a brand new Hobie Pro Angler 12 from Austin Canoe and Kayak (Burnet Rd. store). This review is done in parts and you can see the other articles where I discuss the seating system, some basic first installations and, of course, how it fished. Let’s start with the features:
Pivoting Tackle Management System
The Pro Angler has a large hatch with the pivoting tackle management system. This is absolutely great. The hatch is built to last and provides a space big enough to actually put a bunch of stuff in.
When you open the hatch, the tackle trays pivot up and are right there for you to access.
For me, the absolute best use of this space is to put items in the boat that I do not plan on taking out. For me, it’s terminal tackle. Things like, worm hooks, weights, swimbait hooks, carolina rigging items, shakey heads, scrounger heads, Paydirt Ball ‘n chains…etc etc.
The front hatch is secured by two bungees and is pretty spacious. It is easily accessible while out on the water while sitting or standing. The white hatch liner insert is removable to allow for even more storage.
The PA comes equipped with 4 horizontal rod tubes near the front hatch. I have stored rods up to 7’6″ with very little to no overhang. My 8ft crankbait rods will fit but they stick out past the gear pockets.
The back hatch is located between the seat and rudder and provides additional storage options including an oval hatch with a gear organizer. I will probably end up using this for first aid related items. Things that are always good to have but you won’t need them every time out.
Flush Mounted Rod Holders
Additionally, the PA 12 has two pre-molded flush mount rod holders near the rear hatch, one on either side. Each rod holder has it’s own rubberized cover that keeps water out (or in my case, those dang bees that think they own my garage).
Even though the PA 12 has ample rod and tackle storage, I still wanted to be able to affix my crate to the boat. Before I had gotten the boat, I had already planned out how I was going to attach the crate. I had plans to install an extra set of pad eyes to accommodate it. When it came time, I quickly realized that there was nothing to do except to clip the bungees to the perfectly placed tie downs that already existed. Man these guys thought of everything!
The rudder is spring loaded and is released by pulling the rudder cord out of the cam.
Once the rudder is deployed, you have one main steering handle (pictured below on the left) and one trim control (pictured below on the right). There are interchangeable so you can put them on whichever side you prefer. Steering with either one works for me. They are very simple to use and extremely responsive.
The mirage drive is a piece of cake to install each time out. It slides into this large scupper and is secured by these locking mechanisms.
The PA 12 has a little bit of weight to it, but it comes equipped with two great handles. They really make it a breeze to move around. Front handle is pictured on the left and the rear handle is pictured on the right.
That’s it for the basic features. See some of the first installations I’ve made on it, including a fish finder mount and anchor trolley, here. Be sure to keep an eye out for my fish-ability review that I will be adding after a couple more outings with it! Thanks for reading.