If you’ve looked at fishing kayaks you already know there are several manufacturers offering many shapes, sizes and features to make your fishing experience a good one. With differing opinions on which yak is the most functional it’s really difficult to know which one is the best fit for you. After trying a few different models I knew the Outback was destined to be my ride.
Within the first five minutes of pedaling the patented Mirage Drive I had made up my mind. Getting to use my legs as an alternative to using only my upper body added dimension to the level of exercise I was looking for. That wasn’t the only benefit though, it was really fast! I also found fishing much easier while using the Mirage drive because I didn’t have to keep putting my rod down to pick up my paddle. I actually demo-ed the Revolution but opted for the Outback because of the wider side rails. The added width gives you two cup holders and tray-type moldings to lay things in while in the middle of a quick lure change.
The Outback also comes with four rod holders, a bow hatch, two 8″ twist and seal hatches, a small mesh stowage pocket, an adjustable high back padded seat with inflatable lumbar support, a twist and stow rudder and easy access rudder controls. It also boasts a large rear cargo area with bungee tie downs and four carrying handles.
As equally awesome as the standard features are the optional add-ons. I added the bimini sunshade due to skin cancer concerns and for more versatility and fun I had to add the 20′ sail. Talk about a blast! They also offer a great live well which I plan on getting next, and some day I hope to add the eVolve electric motor by Torqueedo for really big lakes. It can be mounted in place of the Mirage Drive, or as an addition to your twist and stow rudder which enables you to use the motor and pedals together for even more speed.
Even though the Outback weighs 62 pounds I don’t have any trouble handling it by myself because of the cart that comes with it. After I’ve rolled it to where I’m going, I can store the cart on the rear cargo area where it fits into the same holes as when it’s mounted to the bottom. It’s not a bad deal because two stow-away boxes will fit between the back of my seat and the cart and the wheels hold them in place.
Remember, you can read about the experience of others, but you’ll find you’re best served by finding a shop that will let you demo some of the models you may be interested in. The best decision you can make is the decision to take your time. Weigh the options available and decide which ones are most important to you.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate my Hobie Mirage Outback a 9. The only reason I don’t give it a 10 is because I find it doesn’t track real well unless I have the rudder down. This isn’t a problem unless I’m in particularly shallow water.
- Length: 12′ 1″ / 3.68 m
- Width: 33″ / .84 m
- MirageDrive® Weight: 6.6 lbs / 3 kg
- Hull Weight: 62 lbs / 28.12 kg
- Capacity: 400 lbs / 181 kg
- Crew: 1
- Twist and Stow Rudder
- Adjustable High Back Padded Seat w/ Inflatable Lumbar Support
- Two-Piece Paddle w/ On-Hull Storage
- Large Covered Bow Hatch
- Four Molded-In Rod Holders
- Sail Mount
- Rear Cargo Area w/ Bungee® Tie Downs
- Two 8” Twist and Seal Hatches (patent pending) w/ Gear Bucket
- Mesh-Covered Stowage Pocket