First Look: Hobie Mirage Outback | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
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Hobie Mirage Outback Mike Iaconelli

Same Name, All New ‘Yak

“Our goal was to make everything the same or better,” Hobie Fishing Product Manager Morgan Promnitz said during an unprecedented early look at the new Mirage Outback fishing kayak to be announced to the public just prior to the Paddlesports Retailer trade show. It’ll be on the market soon, sometime in September, and the first thing you need to know is that while the proud name is the same this is truly a new boat, one built around Hobie’s elegant MirageDrive 180 pedal propulsion system. 

For one it’s a bit longer at 12-foot, 9 inches, and the bow is reminiscent of Hobie’s Revolutions, which cut the water quietly for maximum stealth. The stern is different too, squared off like the Pro Angler’s, with a new kick-up rudder slung underneath, making for more responsive handling and a tighter turning radius. The boat boasts dual rudder control.

The gunwales are lower, so you no longer sit down inside the boat. The benefits are less windage and bulk and a better fishing position. There’s a new multi-position seat, the Vantage CTW, and it’s 1.5 inches wider than the standard CT and defaults to the “high” setting, leaving room for tackle storage beneath. The cockpit deck features new EVA standing pads, and they’re flush, providing more stable footing.

Let’s move on to the cockpit fishing features, the most obvious improvements. This is now an angling command center, with everything you need easily at hand. It’s tough to describe it in just a few words – you really need to look at the detail photo. On each side sits a length of new H-Track Deluxe, an assembly that features 12-sided H-Rail with a track on top, another track on the outer gunwale, and four Bungee retainers, two for securing a large Plano 3700 tackle flat, and the other two for tools such as pliers and line cutters. The system is simple and brilliant.

At the center of the cockpit there’s a new vertically oriented hatch with a gear bucket, with room for yet more tackle. In all, an angler can access four tackle flats (two under the seat) plus the center hatch without turning around.

What else? The new Outback comes with the Lowrance Ready System and the new Hobie Guardian retractable transducer mount. There’s a pair of snag-less mesh storage pockets. An additional set of scuppers allows a bait tank to be installed while using an accessory plug-in cart. A big bow hatch sits up front. There’s more track on either side of the rear cargo area, with retainers for another pair of large tackle flats. Let’s not forget the four molded-in rod holders, two up front and two in back like the prior model, and the gunwale storage cut-outs, plus dual Bungee paddle clips. 

We took a check ride at La Jolla in rough conditions and tested the boat against drag-ripping yellowtail, big halibut and feisty calico bass. Just like the old Outback, it’s a confidently stable platform. As far as first looks go, it’s safe to say Hobie’s designers achieved their goals. In almost every way, the new Mirage Outback is vastly superior to the prior model.  

Length: 12’9”; Width: 34”; Capacity: 425 lbs; Hull Weight: 85 lbs; Fitted Hull Weight: 103 lbs; MSRP: $2,799 for most colors, $2,949 for Camo. Hobie.com.

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