Still unconvinced about whether to offer kayaks in your range? Tackle Trade World examines why you definitely need to consider it and work with the leading company in the field… Hobie.
1 – Kayak fishing is on a global growth curve.
What started off as a gimmick in the eyes of many has quickly become a very reputable and desirable fishing method – once people began to see the results it delivers. From something that was limited to the small coastal regions of the USA, kayak fishing is now a global phenomenon, practised across the USA, Europe, Australia and everywhere in between.
Fishing is often a fashion-driven industry and people buy what is current. You can’t get more current than kayaks in the present marketplace.
2 – The company has been around since 1950.
Hobie has been around for more than half a century and in that time it has acquired a huge level of knowledge and experience of being on the water. Since those early days, where it specialised in making wooden surfboards, Hobie forged its brand identity as one that looked to combine lifestyle and fun.
The company now makes watercraft of all kinds in a manner of different markets and also has wholly owned subsidiary companies in Europe and Australia. Its respect as a brand is second to none in its field.
3 – The Mirage Drive System.
Unique to Hobie, this revolutionary, hands-free propulsion system opened up a whole new world to anglers looking to fish from a kayak when it was launched. It allows kayaks to be quickly and easily manoeuvred across water without the use of your hands – freeing them up to fully concentrate on your fishing.
The Mirage Drive has gradually been developed the longer it has been around and can now be fully adjusted to match the height and proportions of the angler using it and is available with different styles of paddle to suit different situations. It is now a standard instalment on the majority of Hobie fishing kayaks.
4 – The company is supported by a growing international tournament.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard of the Hobie Kayak Fishing World Championships. A tournament launched by the company in 2011, it attracts anglers from 17 different countries and is also supported by other major fishing-tackle brands such as Daiwa, Berkley, Strike Pro, Ecogear and Power-Pole.
The tournament, which was last held in Australia in November, attracts a huge amount of media interest, so is bound to help spike the interest in kayak fishing for anglers.
5 – The company’s kayaks are truly fishing specific.
Hobie is one of few kayak companies to have its own specific division aimed at the fishing market. It has an entire range of products with modifications that suit the needs of anglers – headed up by its flagship product the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14. With a larger width to support standing fishing as well as a host of accessories, including rod holders, a livewell, a special system to install a Lowrance fishfinder, a pivoting tackle-management system, a Vantage chair, which can be folded up to offer more standing deck space, and dual steering so that the kayak can be steered from both ends, this kayak has it all.
6 – The Hobie Kayak Fishing Team
In an effort to spread the joy of kayak fishing, Hobie has assembled a Kayak Fishing Team comprising some of the best kayak anglers in the world. They are ambassadors of the sport and experts in their local fishing arenas.
Members of the team do everything, from displaying their skills in kayak fishing tournaments to conducting seminars, and some of them even run their own kayak fishing guiding services.
The team currently comprises Ashley Rae, Brendan Bayard, Marty Wood, Michael Rischer and Rob Milam.
7 – Great media support
Due to the size of Hobie and the passion and emphasis it places on the fishing-tackle market, you can be sure that you’ll receive exceptional service from the company. Not only does it exhibit and take part in trade and consumer shows across the world, it also displays its brand prominently in both the trade and consumer press – giving it a strong brand profile right the way through the supply chain. This is imperative to having a successful product range and will ensure that the kayaks sell through.
8 – The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour
Another example of the popularity of kayak fishing is the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour, which Hobie is also heavily involved in. The IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing is for kayak anglers from Texas to Florida and beyond, who are seeking the opportunity to compete in any or all of the tour’s five different divisions.
Low entry fees for the one-day, regular-season tournaments allow anglers to fish close to home and minimise expenditure, while still being part of a premier inshore, catch-and-release tournament organisation.