Hobie have a long tradition of quality and innovation. Their products have dominated kayak angling markets worldwide since the introduction of the first purpose designed, pedal propelled fishing kayak, the Mirage Outback in 2001.
In the 16 years since its introduction, the Outback has undergone several key upgrades transforming it into one of the best kayak angling platforms available. The 2017 model saw the evolution continue with the introduction of the Mirage Drive 180 and the new Camo Series edition.
Like its bigger brother, the Mirage Pro Angler, the Mirage Outback was designed purely as a fishing kayak. Its hull design and deck layout have been carefully considered and the result is an exceptional kayak that appeals to both tournament and social anglers alike.
As a regular participant on the Hobie Kayak Bream Series I have witnessed the growing popularity of the Mirage Outback amongst kayak tournament anglers in recent years. The Outback offers many advantages over rival kayaks and its lightweight hull design is a major contributor to its success.
The Mirage Outback can be easily transported to and from your favourite fishing spot on roof racks. Its manageable size and weight make launching that much easier when fishing solo and very little room is required when storing the kayak at home.
The major upgrade to the 2017 Mirage Outback is undoubtedly the addition of the Mirage Drive 180. The MD180 differs from past Mirage Drive units in that it has the ability to move the kayak in reverse. For many years this has been the thorn in Hobie’s side with more conventional pedal and propeller propulsion systems in rival yaks always having this ability, just with less power.
The Mirage Outback angler can pull the reverse shift cable on the MD180 to pivot the fins 180 degrees, allowing the kayak to be propelled in reverse, at full power. Simply pull the forward shift cable to return the fins to their original position and continue. I have been using the MD180 for several months now and have been surprised just how much I am engaging reverse.
I often use the reverse feature to negate the effects of tide or wind pushing me past a snag, rocky point, pontoon or pylon. This keeps me in the hot zone longer. I have also found the reverse drive invaluable when hooked up to a fish, as reversing allows me to clear the fish of any structure before any potential bust-offs. The new fin design produces more thrust allowing the angler to reach their spots faster.
The second major upgrade on the 2017 model is the introduction of the new Camo Series. The Camo Series Outback features the new camo colour styling. It’s an olive kayak with grey and black mottling throughout and non-slip pedal pads creating a striking kayak both on and off the water.
A larger Twist and Stow rudder and large pad eyes for attaching accessories in the cargo area are also included in the Outback Camo Series package. The 2017 Outback is also available in its standard configuration in these colours: Caribbean blue, golden papaya, red hibiscus and ivory dune.
The other key feature of the Outback out from its rivals is the Vantage Seat CT. With three-way adjustment and two seating height adjustments Hobie have taken comfort to a new level. The Lowrance Ready system remains in the 2017 model allowing anglers to easily mount compatible transducers in a built in mount with through-hull wiring plugs provided. This system can also accommodate Lowrance Totalscan transducers, which solves a long-standing problem with anglers wanting to run side scan in their kayaks.
Other key features of the Outback include the Twist and Stow rudder – a retractable rudder that swings out of the way when it’s not needed and is perfect when launching from a bank – a large front hatch, 8” twist and seal centre and rear hatches, port and starboard mesh pockets and a rear cargo area with bungee tie downs and pad eyes to secure accessories. There is plenty of room to store all the equipment needed for a day on the water. The kayak also features four moulded rod holders which double as a great place to store nets, gaffs and other gear.
Please note that the reviewed kayak featured several aftermarket accessories including the Micro Power Pole Anchor, Hobie Livewell and Lowrance Elite 9 Ti Sounder.
The Hobie Mirage Outback is an extremely versatile kayak that appeals to a broad range of anglers. It is feature packed in a lightweight package adding further to its appeal. The Outback has long been a favourite among the kayak angling fraternity and the 2017 model with its upgraded reverse drive and appealing Camo Series will ensure that this kayak continues as one of the best options for kayak anglers.
|Crew||1 (single seat)|
|Fitted Hull Weight||37kg|
|Fully Rigged Weight||45kg|
|Vantage Seat CT Capacity||125kg|
|Hull Construction||Rotomolded Polyethylene|
|RRP||$3390 (+$200 for Camo)|