I think you can't go wrong if you were to get one. You can either rely on the peddle system or a paddle. But the 1500$ your forking over is for the peddle system, which i think is a bit much for plastic. The advatage though is obvious, hands free control while fishing.
Ive only heard good things about the Hobies. Like Clutch said, your going to be spending some bucks.
Do you already have a kayak, and looking for a new one, or is this your first? I live in Woodstown also and own a Drifter Ocean Kayak if you want to check it out.
Hobie is really nice, so many advantages to them. Ron Redington has one from what I've read. Barrel has a couple you can demo at his shop in Brigantine. You can go to their website, and watch the videos of how the drive works, and the tug of war between 2 paddlers against 1 peddler! The main advantage when fishing in the current,under bridges etc. is you can stay in a fixed position hands free while steming the tide! With a paddle you paddle up, put the paddle down pick up the rod, get 1 cast drift away, reel up, put the rod down, pick up the paddle, paddle back and so on, not fun trust me, I've been yak fishing for 17 yrs, paddleing! I can't wait to get a Hobie!! Plus you can sail the thing too,it's well worth the money. Barrel has a new website that doesn't get much use, search rootbeer barrel surf& kayak and ask away! He'll even take you out fishing in the spring for a demo. Ask RR how he likes his...
I just got back into fishing last summer and decided to do so by using a kayak. I purchased a Hobie Mirage sport from a local shop and am thrilled. Having both hands free to fish is what makes it worthwhile. Nothing against the paddle kayaker but being able to drift, troll, and reposition without putting down your gear to paddle is a huge advantage. Not being a kayaker before I got into the fishing thing it was well worth the extra money to make the transition easier.
I have had two for a few years. They are great. Stable, easy to handle, track well. My wife and I use them in Great Egg along Intercoastal. Only problem is watching out for larger boaters. Going up wind is definitely harder then going up tide, even feathering paddles. Haven't used them much for fishing but they are great for clams.
If you were fishing the Florida flats the draw would be an issue. Most of the water I fish in South Jersey is more than 2 feet which does not cause a problem. After a while you get to know where the shallow water is and either avoid or use the paddle to move through the area with the flippers up. With the flippers up I have moved easily through 6-12 inches of water. The flippers are quite durable and scraping or hitting the soft bottom does not hurt anything.
There are two new models coming out this spring and a top secret 3 model that will inflate and store in a suitcase. Before you buy come down to Brigantine and well go out and fish em a few times. The outback is still my favorite even with the new models coming out. There are so many things this yak can do that a paddlecraft cant do they are in a world of their own.
I have the peddle system hobbie kayak as does my 9 yr old cousin. Both of us fish out of them every summer in OC. We both have caught the biggest fluke of our lives out of them. You cant go wrong. Let me tell you. They are also perfect for trolling since you peddle with your feet and not your arms. Get one!!!! youll love it.
There is a small rudder control lever on the left gunwale. Non beleivers argue that its not realy hands free because you always have your lrft hand on the rudder control, but that is not true. You rarely need to adjust the rudder and when you do its easy to just take the left hand off the reel handle durin g a retreive adjust the rudder and return to the reel handle like you never left it. Its like breathing.