The time for a new fishing kayak had arrived and with so much choice on the market it was initially quite a tricky decision for me. Fortunately, the guys at CSG had my back and after popping in to my local Plymouth store, I soon had a very good idea of the kayak I wanted.
Hobie Revolution 16 – Initial thoughts and the debut session
I’ve paddled big composite kayaks in the past so I knew I wanted something of similar capabilities in terms of performance, though this time with a plastic hull. I don’t like having the constant fear of damaging the more fragile composite materials, so this time round it had to be plastic. The Revo 16 fitted the bill perfectly and its long and sleek profile just screams speed. It’s got plenty of room on board too for my ever growing mountain of fishing tackle and best of all the Hobie 180 MirageDrive means you can pedal very fast! Not only forwards, but backwards too and at full speed in both directions, simply by pulling a toggle. For lure fishing (which I do a lot of) that’s seriously cool and that bit of engineering is probably what swung it for me and I had to have one!
The day the boat arrived I immediately planned a session the next day to test it out. The forecast was rather wet, blustery and somewhat uninspiring, though that was soon forgotten as I was blasting out of Mayflower Marina and out into Plymouth Sound. This is a local venue for me that I must have paddled a hundred times, though I had never pedalled it, so it felt fresh again! The pedal power of the Revo was awesome and against an incoming tide I flew across one of the notorious tide rips around Devils point. That was a great start as paddling against that can be tiring and the Revo made it feel effortless.
Of course, I planned to do some fishing so after a quick play with all the controls I was soon heading out to the breakwater, some two miles offshore. The plan was to anchor in tight and try for a Grey Mullet and to attract them to me I’d be chumming with mashed bread. Not exactly what I wanted all over my shiny new boat though needs must and I carefully ladled it in and around the rocks hoping they’d find it too irresistible to resist. This lovely fish of around 3lb was straight on the scene and put up and awesome scrap that reminded me that I must target these fish more often, they’re so underrated.
The conditions weren’t ideal for finesse float fishing so I soon moved on to try something else. Trolling lures along the length of the breakwater was really productive and accounted for a load of small Pollock and before long I’d worked up an appetite and headed over to Drakes Island to stop for some food. Here was a great chance to get a proper look at the boat and of course to take some more pictures. I like this angle as it shows how sleek the Revo really is. Note the big rudder on the back, that’s controlled by a lever on your left when seated and there’s also two toggles to pull it up and down when launching so you don’t damage it.
With lunch done I continued exploring the Sound and this time I wanted an excuse to try out the reverse toggle on the 180 Mirage Drive. I headed over to one of the big Millbay walls so I could try and drift tight to them without hitting them.
It took a while to suss the wind and tide movements though after a while I could switch from FWD and REV modes to keep really tight to the wall. This meant I was able to vertically jig small plastic lures which I find far more effective for Wrasse than casting. Wrasse tend to like feeding on or near the bottom and after a few drifts I’d found quite a few colourful little Ballan Wrasse, which were holding tight to the bottom of the wall.
So, that was my first session done! It was a good confidence boost to get out and catch some fish off it straight away. Playing around with all the features also gave me some ideas for what rigging I’d like to do and where I’d position my rod holders, fish finder etc so it’s always good to do these types of multi species/technique sessions before you go drilling holes in your pride and joy!
Until next time, tight lines all.