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Kayak Like A Penguin: Benefits of the Hobie Mirage Drive

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Spring is in the air and that means people are gearing up for kayak fishing. If you are in the market for a kayak, I would like to share with you about a product that has revolutionized the kayak-fishing world. It is not a new product but it is one that continues to be re-discovered by kayak anglers for the many benefits it provides. I am talking about the Hobie Mirage Drive, aka “Penguin Propellers”.
The Hobie Mirage Drive is a foot-propelled system invented by engineer, Greg Ketterman. The system uses two underwater flippers, which propels the kayak with amazing speed. The flippers have been said to mimic and to function much in the same way as the flippers of a penguin. The Mirage Drive allows the angler to use the largest muscle group (legs, etc.) to propel the kayak thus almost eliminating the need for a paddle.

There are several difficulties that kayak anglers face while paddling. If you have ever paddled a kayak, you know it is susceptible to the wind and current. Unfavorable conditions can make paddling almost unbearable and may at times be the deciding factor to not make a fishing trip at all. I have a friend that had to be towed to the launch by a motorized boat because he was unable to make it back because of a strong current. He made a valiant attempt but eventually fatigue overcame. Another issue for those that use a paddle is that it is difficult to move and fish at the same time. If your hands are occupied with paddling, it makes holding a rod and casting impossible.

The Mirage Drive has alleviated many of the difficulties that kayak anglers faced while paddling. This foot-propelled system allows people the ability to travel long distances in adverse conditions, such as wind and current, with great efficiency. I have paddled Big Lake on more than one occasion in bad conditions and it was not fun but with the Mirage Drive, these same conditions are not an issue. The Mirage Drive also provides the kayak angler with a virtually hands free fishing experience, allowing the angler to concentrate on what they are there to do… fish.

What about shallow water applications? Good news is the flippers can be folded up against the bottom hull of the kayak thus allowing you to get into the skinniest of water, like marshes etc. Actually you can still use the Mirage Drive in shallow water by performing a series of half kicks, called “flutter” kicks, to move around in these areas.

So, if you have personally experienced the difficulties of paddling or are getting into the sport and would like to avoid them, remember there is a solution. You can kayak like a penguin and enjoy the benefits of the Hobie Mirage Drive. Kayak fishing is fun but the “Penguin Propellers” make it much more enjoyable.

(NOTE: This article was written for and will be featured in the Coastal Angler SWLA Edition. The purpose is to inform those new to the kayak fishing world about the benefits of the Hobie Mirage Drive. Feel free to share it with anyone you believe may benefit.)
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Shane has been kayak fishing since 2009 and is passionate about it. Inshore saltwater kayak fishing is his addiction of choice, however, he enjoys the occasional offshore and freshwater trip as well. He mainly fishes the inshore lakes, bayous, and marshes of Southwest Louisiana but does venture into other territories. Shane is a member of the Hobie Fishing Team and holds Pro Staff positions with YakAngler, Lucid Fishing, and Ship To Shore Co. He was also the founding president of the Lake Charles Kayak Fishing Club. "My simple goal for this blog is to promote kayak fishing as it is something I love. I will post articles, reviews, videos, photos, and basically all things kayak fishing." ~Shane [Shane Coleman] (