Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hobie Tryout

Hobie Tryout

by Anna Sjöberg

Captain Morgan

The Swedish magazine Fiskejournalen (http://www.fiskejournalen.se/) celebrates 35 years in the business and start 2009 with a competition for their readers. The first prize is a kayak from Hobie fully equipped with lots of goodies for us into fishing.

I got invited to try the kayak and to participate in the movie showing all the prizes.

It was an exciting morning when I met the crew, unpacking the kayaks, rigging all the gear and finding good angles to shoot from. Since we were filming in the end of August we had hoped for nice late summer days with calm sea, blue sky and perfect lighting for the filming. Instead we got wind, rain and waves in a never ending mix. I was accompanied by Morgan who also does some writing for the magazine, and the spirits were high when we entered the kayaks. We tried them out for a short while, checking how to steer them, how fast they were and how to make the fishing as smooth as possible.

Glad to see the filmcrew doing some hard work as well...

The special thing with this kayak is how to run it. Instead of using your arms you use pedals. You drive it with your legs, not much different from cycling or using a stepper. For a person interested in getting as much time for fishing as possible, this is the ultimate solution. Running it with the pedals makes your hands free for almost all the time which means you never have to lay down your rod.

The kayaks are also equipped with four rodholders and internal and external storage possibilities, suitable both for fishing gear or camping equipment. One of the kayaks we tried did have a GPS/sonar, which is also included in the first prize of the competition in Fiskejournalen amongst a lot of other stuff…
The steering of the kayak is made by a small controldevice on your side, just in perfect reach and really easy to handle. (For those of you who wonder how fast you can go. Morgan tried to reach top speed and according to the GPS he did reach 6 knots)

The immediate feeling when I tried the kayak was how steady it was. We tried a couple of laps with speeding, steering and stopping before we felt comfortable enough to start fishing and filming. We started by anchoring not too far from land, in order to try the spinning rod. Feeling a bit uncomfortable at start being filmed, we soon forgot we were the stars in this movie and had a great and relaxed time. Unfortunately not very successful in fishing, but Morgan did get a couple of catches. The bad weather soon made a stop for the filming and we found ourselves left in the water while the filmcrew ran to the house we had available.

Since the purpose of the trip was to get as much material for the film, we didn´t get that much time for fishing the first day. We had a long drive (or should I say pedalling) in this huge lake, and had it been a normal kayak I wouldn´t have lasted one tenth of the time. Since you use the legs you can cover a much longer distance. We were challenged by the rough waters and tons of rain, but the kayak felt safe and easy to handle also in these lousy conditions. There were shootings from different angles, repeated times of trying to make a smooth gliding on to the beach, rounds and rounds in front of the cameras and also some acting (which makes me realize why I am into finance and not an actress…)

The second day was planned for flyfishing. It was still a bit windy so we choose a different location. This time a small p&t forest lake. Surrounded by thick forest it made the conditions a lot better with almost no wind at all. Flyfishing from the kayak was a great experience. At first a bit tricky since the line sometimes got stuck in the pedals or the storagestraps. After a little while you learn how to avoid it and the fishing was easy. Since you don´t use the paddle, and the fins that drives the kayak is in the water all time it is a very quiet way to move around.

Personally I also like that the kayak runs forwards, in comparison to the tube when you go backwards. Of course there are times when you wish to go backwards, and that´s the time the paddles could be handy. During our two days of trying the kayaks I think I used the paddles about five times the most. The paddle is also in easy reach, strapped on the outside of the kayak.

We ended the filming in a third lake, this time trying some extra equipment consisting of two tubes that you easily attach to the kayak. This gives stability and makes it even possible to stand up while fishing. Morgan tried it and had no trouble at all managing to stand up trying some jerkbait-fishing.

Overall a great kayak to use for fishing and I can really recommend you to try one! Or if you´re lucky you might be the winner…

And the fishing….well, I don´t want to reveal too much, but this much I can say. It could have been better.

The glamour of filmbusiness

Behind the scenes

The producer trying the kayak

Preparing the underwater pictures