About the MirageDrive 180 of the Hobie Lynx

About the MirageDrive 180 of the Hobie Lynx

Posted by Forrest on Feb 5th 2024

Like many Hobie fishing kayaks, the Hobie Lynx is driven by the powerful and versatile MirageDrive 180, also known as the MD180, and featured in other models like the Outback, Compass, Oasis, and Pro Anglers 12 and 14.

This is one of the most effective and thoughtfully designed pedal drives on the market. Here’s what you need to know about it.

Hobie’s MirageDrive 180, Demystified


The MirageDrive 180 is the culmination of more than 20 years of commitment to excellence, and offers anglers and other kayakers a powerful yet practical platform that is easy to use and easy to maintain.

The MD 180 weighs less than 8 pounds, and is an efficient forward and reverse-capable pedal-driven system that utilizes innovative kick-up fin technology to effortlessly power the craft with which it’s paired.

This pedal driven system is capable of producing full power in both forward and reverse, leveraging unprecedented control in both directions. It’s also effortless to control, enabling operators to switch from forward to reverse with a simple pull of a shift cable.

The unique system is powered by what Hobie calls “ARC” cranks, which move in an arc (hence the name) instead of through a complete revolution. This conserves energy and is more effective than conventional pedal drives.

The system is also highly adjustable, making it perfect not only for adults of all sizes but for children as well. All it takes is the push of a button.

The dual fins that provide power can also easily accommodate launching and landing; simply shift one of the two pedals forward to bring the fins up close to the bottom of the hull, and out of the way, for next-level shallow-water accessibility.

Moreover, these fins feature Hobie’s “Kick-Up Technology,” making them safer and more practical for tackling shallow water as well as water that’s choked with navigational obstacles, especially those that are submerged.

Upon impact with an obstacle, these fins immediately retract up and out of the way, preventing an impediment to the progress of the craft, and averting damage to the system. They automatically re-deploy the moment you go to start pedaling again.

All in all, the MirageDrive 180 of the Hobie Lynx is powerful, versatile, and enables easy, hands-free control and maneuverability in both forward and reverse.

So much for the features - what are the implications? That is, what makes the MirageDrive 180 better than other pedal drive systems in the fishing kayak market?

Why the MD180 Is Better Than Other Pedal Drives

One thing that has to be said here is that the Hobie’s MirageDrive 180 is not only not alone in the market for pedal drive systems, it is not even the only one that features a fin drive. There are others that do as much - so what makes this one better?

First off, this system is extremely powerful. Since it uses ARC cranks, it conserves energy and enables more energy-efficient propulsion than some other systems, even those that utilize propellers.

Speaking of which, as powerful as propeller-actuated pedal-drives are, kayaks with fin drives have one advantage: they are naturally more tangle-resistant, even if they don’t automatically kick-up like the MD.

The thing about a propeller is that, powerful as they are, they are prone to tangling, which can be a nightmare if you get wrapped around your own fishing line, or worse, tangled in weeds or pond scum, which can cripple the system until it is cleared.

Granted, some of these remove up easily through the top of the craft, making it easy to clear them, but that’s still extra work you won’t need to deal with in the form of a fin-actuated pedal-driven system.

The adjustability of the pedal system is also a bonus, as it makes the MD 180 accessible for anglers of all ages and sizes, with the push of a button.

Hobie is not the only company that has engineered easy reverse-propulsion in its pedal drives, but that is also a bonus, as some fishing kayaks that are pedal-driven are not capable of reverse power - just another thing to keep in mind.

Also, the kick-up technology is a nice thing to have, as it helps circumvent, even prevent, damage to the drive system.

                  the kick-up

Featured in the Hobie Lynx (and Other Select Hobie Fishing Kayaks)

Thinking about taking your yak fishing to a new level this season? Get yourself set up with a powerful, capable fishing kayak like a Hobie Lynx, Outback, Compass, or Pro Angler equipped with one of these drives.

These kayaks are also very stable and feature-rich, and have plenty of room and storage to organize and access your tackle.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team if you need help choosing the right one for your needs. We’ll make personalized recommendations based on where you fish, what you fish for, and what you need in a kayak.