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Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak Review – 2020

If you’re an avid fisherperson and you want a top of the line kayak, then let me introduce you to Hobie’s Pro Angler 12. It has so many features out of the box and it can hold you, plenty of gear, and a lot of fish with its 400lb max capacity. The Pro Angler 12 can keep all of that weight in fresh and saltwater lakes, streams, and in the ocean. It truly is a beautiful feat of engineering, and Hobie didn’t hold back any expense in its design.
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak Review

Recommended Use Cases

The Pro Angler 12 is designed for fishing, and it can handle both freshwater and saltwater. It can be used in lakes, streams, and oceans. It can handle chop and waves with ease. But, it isn’t rated for whitewater conditions. So be wary about taking this kayak on any river journeys unless you know that it’s a class 1 rapid all the way down.

Kayak Features

  • MirageDrive 180 + ST Turbo Kick-Up Fins: The MirageDrive 180 pedal-system is incredible. It’s almost like riding a bike but smoother. The pedals don’t move with a rotational arch but instead are pushed straight forward. When pedaling, the fins mimic a rotor and propel the boat. It works really well. With a somewhat leisurely pace, we were able to get to where we were going faster than we could have if we were paddling. And if you’re worried about bottoming out and breaking the fins, don’t. The ST Turbo Kick-Up Fins retract when they come into contact with an underwater obstacle. They then assume their normal position afterward. We felt this happen a lot when we hit sunken trees and a couple of rocks. The best part was that there was barely a scratch on the fins afterward.
    MirageDrive 180

    The 180 in the MirageDrive 180 means that it has the capability of moving forward and backward. It has a full power reverse drive. We found this helpful on various occasions. Especially when you’re heading for some reads that you don’t want to head towards. You simply put the pedals in the reverse position and start pedaling.

  • Vantage ST Seat with BOA Lumbar Support:
    If you’ve ever sat in a kayak long enough, you most likely know how valuable a comfortable seat can be. You also probably recognize the value of lumbar support. The Vantage ST Seating is very comfortable and adjustable. The Boa System Lumbar support is just icing on the cake. This seat kept us comfortable for hours out on the lake with none of that awkward side to side shifting. I noticed that near the end of our trip that my back didn’t hurt. Not even a little. That’s what sold me on the seat quality and design.
  • Vantage ST Seat

  • Guardian Retractable Transducer shield:The Guardian Retractable Transducer shield is a must-have for those who use fishfinders. This feature protects your transducer shield from getting beaten to death by random underwater dangers. As soon as contact is made, the transducer shield will retract into the boat. Or, if you know you’re going to be going into shallow water or loading the kayak onto your trailer, you can manually retract the transducer shield with a simple tug of a handle. Saving it from the bumps and scrapes often associated with travel and adventure.
  • H-Rail for Rods and Accessories: The H-Rails are really impressive; you mount cup holders, mounting plates, rod holders, cameras, bins, and the list goes on. Hobie also has available Railblaza and Scotty mounting solutions so you can mount some aftermarket items as well. You can customize your boat to your liking with the H-Rails. The front and back handles of the boat can also be used to mount things to. You’ll be hard-pressed to run out of H-Rail space.
    We found the H-Rail with multiple rod holders, especially handy for trolling (fishing on the move) with multiple lines.
  • H-Rail for Rods

  • Standing Platform Deck Pads: The standing platform deck pads were a nice touch to an already nice boat. These deckpads give you incredible traction while you stand to fish. Even when wet, it’ll give you a virtually slip-free surface. When combined with the stability of the kayak, it makes it a pleasure to fly fish on.
  • Pivoting Tackle Management System: The pivoting tackle management system is a great place to store your tackle. The shelves will pivot towards you for easy extraction of the cases. It is found within a sealed hatch that contains two included tackle boxes. Those boxes fit into a container of multiple shelves. This was very handy, keeping most of our tackle in.
  • Pivoting Tackle Management System

  • Front and Rear Hatches: The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12′ has two main storage hatches. One in the front and one in the rear of the boat. Both are sealed and have liners. The front hatch is double sealed by rubber gaskets and bungee, which will keep your gear dry in case you end up flipping the kayak. The other is also sealed with a gasket but seals with a corkscrew mechanism. Either way, you then have plenty of storage for all your extra gear.
  • Horizontal Rod Storage: The Mirage Pro Angler has room to store four rods. These sit on the occupant’s left side and are kept clear from any movements that might be made. This is really handy if you just need a quick place to put your rods as you paddle out.

Kayak Specs:

Type of KayakSit on Top
Number of Paddlers1
Length12 ft
Width3 ft.
Weight128.5 lb
Leg Room to Peg48 in.
Total Leg Room51 in.
Capacity500 lb
Hatches Included3

Our Review of the AE1009-XE

What are the key elements we need to review on each kayak?Go in-depth on the to-be-mentioned categories.

  • Tracking:The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 tracks exceptionally well. With its unique pedal-drive system, you’re able to control the acceleration, and the dual side rudder controls you can stay on course. The rudder on this thing is enormous, and it also comes with a considerable skeg as well. Both of them keep you on track, and even in windy conditions, you will not stray from where you want to go. As we went from spot to spot, we didn’t feel any wandering.
  • Stability: Extremely stable. Probably one of the most stable kayaks we’ve tested. It was designed to be stood upon. We verified that, and there wasn’t that much of a wobble. The Mirage is designed to be stood upon while fishing. Which, if you’ve ever ridden in a lower end kayak, you know never to stand up. This boat is the opposite. With its high weight capacity and the large footprint, we didn’t have an issue lifting fish out of the water or casting while standing.
  • Hull Speed: The Mirage Pro Angler was designed to have as little drag as possible while skimming across the water. We noticed that as we pedaled across the lake. This kayak can really get moving. We noticed that there wasn’t much in terms of drag that we could feel. We really didn’t have any issues.
  • Durability/build quality: One of the coolest features of this kayak is its ability to avoid damage. What I mean by that is it has many parts that will retract if it touches an obstacle. Those cool parts are the rudder, skeg, transducer, and Turbo fins. Each and every one of them will retract into the boat if you hit an obstacle. Or, if you know you’re heading into shallow water, you can manually retract all of those parts to avoid collisions entirely.
  • Comfort: Some aspects and features make this kayak the most comfortable we’ve tested to date. The most important ones are the seat, legroom, and adjustable pedals. The Mirage Pro Angler comes with one of the best and most comfortable seats called the Vantage ST Seating. You can adjust the seat height, incline, lumbar support all through a unique pulley system.
    The Mirage also gives you plenty of foot room. There’s enough room to put your legs to either side of the pedal-drive system that even someone who is 6’3″ is comfortable. Or if you’ve found a nice spot to fish, you can remove the pedal-system and enjoy the extra legroom. Another aspect that makes this kayak comfortable is the easily adjustable pedals. With just the push of a button, you can adjust the pedals to fit your height or your foot placement preference.



Many add-ons can be found for a fishing kayak. But the two that are sold by Hobie for the Mirage Pro Angler is the Bimini and Sail.

  • The Bimini
    The Bimini is a sun/rain shield that’s great for getting out of the sun and enjoy more fishing. It is also useful to keep the rain off your head as well. This is a must-have if you’re in a more harsh environment or if you want to limit your sun exposure
  • The Sail
    The sail is great because you can propel yourself if there’s enough wind. This could save you a great deal of energy because the wind would do all the work.

Recommendation/Final Verdict

For the avid fisherperson who enjoys top-notch engineering, stability, and a ton of features, then this is the kayak for you. It is a dream to use with its Mirage 180 pedal system and its extremely comfortable Vantage ST seat. You will not find a better fishing kayak on the market right now. The Hobie Mirage Pro Angler is it.

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SupBoardGuide Editorial Team

At we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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