This past week, I ended all of those questions and extinguished the flames of doubt and the fires of fear that had consumed my mind for the last four years. I finally made the decision to purchase the Hobie Pro Angler, in my case the Pro Angler 14. Now, for anyone that has any exposure to the world of kayak fishing, the name Pro Angler elicits a variety of reactions. To the kayak purist, the first thought might be one of distaste, since the Pro Angler is not a kayak. In fact, Hobie does not even market it as a kayak. For those that either own or respect the Hobie product line, feelings of elation or even admiration come to mind at how innovative the Pro Angler is with regards to the fishing world.
Believe me, each of those sides weighed heavily on my mind, since I do represent the Hobie brand in my daily life as a Local Pro Staff member. In the end, I came to the realization that I had to select a model that supported and embodied my fishing goals for the coming year. While I love the Revolution 13 for it's speed and traditional hull profile, it does have a few limitations relative to my preferred angling tactics and fishing goals, most notably sight fishing and standing for extended periods of time. Additionally, anyone that has ever approached me about the Hobie line of kayaks has always asked about the Pro Angler and if I had one. Now I will be able to share my experiences with these individuals and show them the different features in real-time.
As with any kayak purchase, the initial purchase is something special. The feelings of excitement and anticipation were so intense this past week that I didn't eat properly for the three days. On that magical day, I forced myself to set the cruise control on my vehicle once I made it to the interstate to control my enthusiasm as I made the trek down to Appomattox River Company in Hampton, VA. A tremendous weight seemingly dropped off of my shoulders as I crossed the threshold of the front door into the store, and I saw my new Pro Angler 14 anxiously awaiting my arrival.
After the sale was complete, I quickly processed my mental checklist of worries and fears......
1. Am I really doing this - YES!!!
2. Am I nuts? Others may offer a differing opinion, but NO!!!
3. Crap, how am I going to load this thing? Well, it was actually easier than I thought!
4. How am I going to setup this one? Simple but efficient like my other kayaks of course!
5. What am I going to do with my other Hobie? Re-home it if possible (in progress as we speak).
I spent the last four years dreaming of this day, and I can't tell you in words realistically how excited I am. All I know is that I have not stopped smiling yet! I'm still in shock and awe that I was able to do it, but now the real fun begins - the rigging!!! I'll have an update in the coming week or so with the rigging I have completed, so stay tuned.......