Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Fri, Sep 04, 2015
Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2014

Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2014 Hot

http://www.yakangler.com/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/315x315s/87/ec/d2/HobieOutback-27-1368547685.jpg
May 23, 2011  
 
3.6
 
4.3 (9)
40198   0   7   0   0
Write Review
Hobie Outback

Kayak Make & Model

Brand:
Hobie
Model:
Outback
MSRP ($):
1,899.00
Length (ft):
12

Designed with the kayak angler in mind, the Hobie "Mirage Outback" comes loaded with features to meet the needs of the most demanding angler. The Outback sports a wide hull for stability, substantial open cargo space, and is equipped with three stowage hatches. Add to those qualities the maneuverability of the Mirage drive, the stow-and-go rudder system, and the wide side rails of additional space. The angler is given the hands-free experience they need to fight the catch of the day.

Features:
  • MirageDrive
  • Twist and Stow Rudder
  • Tunnel Hull
  • Large Covered Bow Hatch
  • Sail Mount
  • Molded-In Rod Holders

Specs:

  • Width: 33"
  • Weight: 62 lbs
  • MirageDrive Weight: 6 lbs
  • Capacity: 400 lbs

 

Photos

View from of my bow
My Outback
Ready to launch at Virginia Beach, VA with Mark Lozier
Hobie Outback in Virginia Beach, VA

Editor review

(Updated: January 28, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
2.0

Second Time's The Charm

How I was able to fish out of a Hobie Outback is a great story and can be checked out here. [http://www.yakangler.com/spotlight/item/409-tackle-shack-water-sports] First off a disclaimer… I originally demoed this kayak about a year ago on the Elkhorn creek. I had read all the hype about it and couldn't wait to get it onto the water. Sadly I was unimpressed; the Elkhorn's shallow water didn't allow me to use the Outback and the Mirage Drive to its full potential… That was a year ago and let's just say after this last trip, I'm saving my money for a new Hobie Outback.

Adam and I both picked up our kayaks from Jimmy Levine at Tackle Shack. I got the Outback and Adam got the Revolution. The Outback is better suited for me because I’m a bigger guy 220lbs and the Outback has a weight capacity of 400lbs vs. the Revolutions 350lbs.

Starting at the bow of the Outback it has a large sealed front hatch that was big enough to hold my Pelican 1400 case. Right behind that is the mast insert for the optional sail kit. By your feet you have 2 rod holders with plugs and a mesh pouch right behind the Mirage drive. There is an 8” center hatch between your legs and one behind the tank well. Inside the center hatch is a build in tackle storage container.

If cup holders are your thing the Outback has 2 one on your left and one on your right. There are 2 paddle keepers one on each side and 2 more rod holders with plugs behind the seat. Finally you have a large tank well and rudder.

Performance… This kayak was meant for larger open bodies of water. After peddling 2 miles into the wind I was immediately ready to fish. I didn’t have the typical paddle fatigue usually associated with those conditions. The hull tracked well and I didn’t notice any scupper slap. Using the mirage drive around the Skyway Bridge was a challenge because of the wider turning radius of the hobies vs. a standard paddled kayak. I often found myself using my paddle while under the bridge. My outback also seemed to turn sharper to the right vs. to the left. When I used the Outback in a shallow rocky creek I found the mirage drive to be more of a pain than an asset. I constantly had to pull the drive out so I didn’t bash it up on the rocks. The speed of the kayak was impressive and can be increased by using the optional Turbo Fins. If you fishing in anything deeper than 8 inches that doesn’t required tight turns this is the kayak for you. Overall Performance on the ocean I rate an 4. On creeks I rate it an 2.

Fishability… The outback was meant to be fished. It’s fully rigged and can be taken out without modification. Add the optional live bait well and you have a fully functional offshore rig! I found myself using the 2 forward rod holders the most. With the peddle drive you no longer have to cut you strokes short to clear your rods while trolling. You do loose deck space in the kayak because of the mirage drive but that’s a small sacrifice when you’re able to troll and have your hands free. I was able to comfortably stand in the Outback but found myself standing far less than I usually do. I never noticed my butt going numb; it might be because you legs are actively moving most of the time. One thing you will need to get used to is having a snag point on your kayak. Several times when fish ran under the outback they wrapped themselves around the mirage drive. Hobie has also provided well thought out hatches, mesh pockets, and cup holders “the cup holders actually work”, everything feels like it’s in the right place. The Outback is stable enough to access the bow hatch while on the water. Overall Fishability I rate it an 4.5.

At 62lbs the Hobie Outback isn’t the lightest 12’ kayak on the block, but we were able to car top it with a Hobie Revolution without issue. If you planning on fishing alone a kayak cart will be a must, this thing can be a beast fully loaded with gear. The rudder in the up position gets in the way of the Outback’s stern handle, it was nothing detrimental just annoying. One nice feature Hobie is calling a Mid Carrying Handle; is a solid handle on the starboard side. This allowed for easier car topping and short distance carries “no more broken web strapped handles”. Overall Portability I rate it a 3.5.

In summery The Hobie Outback gets YakSushi’s stamp of approval if fishing in the Ocean or deeper water, I would not use this kayak in shallow creeks or rivers. Stop by and see our friends at Tackle Shack and take the Hobie Outback for a spin “they have a pool onsite if you want to do an onsite demo”.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Mirage drive mobility, well thought out design for fishing, stable
Cons:
Heavy, seat is not very comfortable, no flat surface to stand
Ready to launch at Virginia Beach, VA with Mark Lozier
Hobie Outback in Virginia Beach, VA
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

9 reviews

 
(3)
 
(6)
3 stars
 
(0)
2 stars
 
(0)
1 star
 
(0)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
 
3.9  (9)
 
4.6  (9)
 
4.6  (9)
 
4.3  (9)
 
4.3  (9)
View all reviews View most helpful
Already have an account?
Ratings (the higher the better)
Speed
Stability
Durability
Features
Value
User Info
Pros & Cons
Comments
Please enter the security code.
Overall rating 
 
4.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
5.0

Good all around fishing kayak

My favorite of all the Hobie kayaks, a good balance of speed, stability and weight. Get the turbo fins and the large rudder, you wont regret it Im telling you those are worthy upgrades. The bigger fin especially helps the control of the kayak. Super stable, easy to fish off of. You can try standing in it, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you get the H bar.

I purchased this boat for scuba off the coast of Orange County. It's a really stable kayak that still goes pretty fast. Lot's of storage options inside and out of the boat as well. I pack about 80 lbs of extra gear with me on the water including tanks. The seat is very comfy and getting in and out is not difficult at all, even with the tanks. Having this kayak is a much better option than simply swimming to a dive spot from shore.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stable, not too heavy and fairly fast
Cons:
not the fastest kayak
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
4.0

Hobie Outback 2014

In my search for what would be my third fishing kayak, I came to the Outback. when they say, save the best for last, they mean it. I demoed half a dozen yaks before I got to the Outback. I was really really excited when a friend let me take his out for the day.

I only had few hours, so I got right to it. I took it a local fishery known for bad to wosre conditions for fishing. I took to a local inlet known for its strong currents. On an incoming tide, I set out. I was able to cast and hold my position in current with the aid of the mirage drive. I tried it with standard and turbo fins. The turbos made a noticeable difference.

I then drifted past some oyster mounds and was able to hook up on a small flounder. Satisfied that I had properly slimed it, it was time to head back.


Speed: Pretty good for yak this wide, even better with turbo fins.

Stability.: Great. I feel that I can stand and fish from the Outback in all but the most adverse conditions.

Durability: Good, I really didn't get to test this much, since it was a friends.

Features: It comes ready to go right out of the box. It even comes pre-plumbed for the addition of a fish finder.

Value: This yak is a little more exspensive thatn some but worth every penny when you consider all it comes with. Seat, mirage drive, and paddle is included. These items will usally cost you hundreds more when purchaseing other yaks.

Overall: I was really impressed, enough that I orederd a 2015 Outback days later.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Many built in features, very stable.
Cons:
None.
Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: April 19, 2014)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

Great value and fishabilty

I purchased my Hobie from Liquid Surf & Sail in Fort Walton Beach in Nov 2013. Since then I've ventured offshore where I used to be a little uneasy, but the added stability of the Outback leaves me traveling further out looking for bigger fish and new adventures.

The new Outback comes predrilled for your fishfinder wiring, it made installation a breeze with no fear of drilling a bunch of holes in your new kayak. I normally don't fish for more than 5 hours so the seat was comfortable, the lumbar support aided in the comfort. It has 4 flush mount rod holders, 2 up front & 2 behind the seat and they are angled for trolling. The hatch in front of the seat has a gear bucket for tackle/stuff, plus my plano 3650's fit thru the opening to stow within reach. Along with a mess pocket I can put bags of soft plastics & pliers into helps keep essentials at hand.

I opted for the sailing rudder and turbo fins; the Outback turns in a good radius, a nice tight circle to get me a second pass at a prime spot while tracking well. With the upgrade to the turbo fins I can cover a lot of water quickly and not be worn out from paddling once I make a trip across the bay from the launch. It makes the day more enjoyable and helps in bot positioning.

The Outback is a little heavier than some SOT kayak's, but I'm of just average fitness and I have no problem dragging it a 100 yards across the sand to launch at the beach. I know that some may complain about the cost of a Hobie, but when you look at what you get for your money: paddle, mirage drive, a rudder, and predrilled for wiring you see real value that others charge extra for.

I don't believe their is any single kayak that's best for everyone, but I think many would find the Outback perfect for the way they fish.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

Single Experience - Hobie Outback

My demo of the Hobie Outback was through Rory Gregg of Chicopit Bay – Jacksonville Kayak Fishing Charters. He uses the Hobie product line for himself and his customers. After a little instruction on the mirage drive system and the rudder controls we went fishing.

The mirage drive was super to use and made the float trip enjoyable as we drifted through a fishing spot and then peddled to the next area to drift through. I will have to say that it did take me a while to remember with an out going tide to make sure the mirage drive fins were positioned against the hull. There were a couple of times that I got stuck and had to work the fins out of the mud. Otherwise the mirage drive system by Hobie is a great aid for the kayak angler allowing the angler to fish while holding onto the rod.

The ruddler control system took me a while to learn. I managed to do a lot of zig zag movement. The ruddler system of the Outback is very responsive allowing the Outback to react when you need to change course. I guess you could use the old line "That it will turn on a dime".

The trip was only for four hours so I felt that the seat on the Outback was very comfortable. At the end of the trip my bottom and lower back did not experience any miscomfort or pain.

I did try using the paddle as well. I did find that the Outback was very easy to paddle as well. Which made me wonder why the mirage drive system? With the Outback being a fishing kayak the mirage drive again allows your hands to be free to fan cast as you peddle or troll with the rod in hand. You do not have this ability paddling a kayak.

Although I did not make an attempt to stand in the Hobie Outback; it did give me a sense that this is a very stable kayak.

Overall I truely enjoyed my experience with the Hobie Outback, fishing with Rory Gregg, and yes we even caught some nice flounder that day.

Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0

2013 Hobie OUtback

For the last several weeks I have been field testing a 2013 Hobie Outback from Mariner-Sails in Dallas, TX. Mike from Mariner installed the rectangular hatch in front of the seat and I installed two , 4” GearTrac GT-175Rails. Other than that, no modifications were performed to this kayak. I fished in this kayak eight times, all trips were over 4 hours in length and all were recorded on video so I could go back and review.

I originally chose the Outback because of a trip to Lake Fork. I knew with March weather, it could be rough. I didn’t want to be limited by just my paddling strength and liked the thought of speed and less fatigue that the Outback represented. I needed to be able to rig it out with my fish finder, a Lowrance 5X-DSI, fit my BlackPak from YakAttack in it and past that, just be able to fish and put the kayak on top of my Ford Escape.
With all of these criteria met, I picked up the Hobie Outback in early February, rigged it out and got to fishing.

The Good

The Outback is light enough to cartop by yourself. At least for me it was. Anything under 75lbs is typically able to be put on top of a car or SUV. Some folks are stronger, have load assist bars etc and can do more but if you have a factory rack or foam blocks, 75lbs is a pretty good threshold. The Outback comes in under that. My rigged weight was 74lbs.

Though not advertised as such, you can stand and fish in this kayak. The platform is not quite developed to promote it but I stood and fished a crankbait out of this kayak with no problems. At 33 inches wide and just over 12 feet long with a tunnel hull, the Outback is very stable. I sat side saddle, stood and even disembarked by walking straight up the centerline to the bow. With increasing demand for stable, standable kayaks, this one should be on your list.

Outbacks come with a rudder already installed and have tiller steering. For those of us who brace with our feet, this is a great feature. I spent an afternoon trolling for hybrids by pedaling the Outback while enjoying a large soda. Not a lot of platforms offer hands free fishing. Another nice feature to the rudder is being able to stay on a line with the wind blowing. All rudders offer this but a tiller style is easier in the wind for us “bracers”.


Mirage Drive
The Mirage Drive comes with standard fins that are upgradable to turbo fins which are narrower and generate more power. While the option is nice, don’t think it necessary to immediately upgrade. The standard equipment will move this boat well.

The draft on the Outback is much shallower than I thought. With the fins spread I was able to fish in less than a foot of water multiple times in many conditions. If you remove the Mirage Drive, the kayak is limited only by your poling ability. I crossed over a stretch of water standing and poling the Outback at Lake Fork that was four inches deep.

The back well storage is large. I pack a lot of things when I fish. Typically, the added gear weighs another 60-80lbs. It has to go somewhere and above deck is where I like it in freshwater. I was able to store everything behind my seat and still have room for a small cooler if I wanted.

The front hatch is a nice size. While not the largest of front hatches in the market, the Outback has enough clearance to stow rods, paddles and other gear below deck. The sail post just in front of the hatch also gives easy access to install a fish finder or other accessory post if you don’t plan on sailing.

The Outback seat is not your normal seat. Usually strap in seats are flimsy and give you about a four hour max seat time before your back wants to leave the country. Not this seat. With adjustable support via air intakes (you just twist) I had no issues fishing six or eight hours without a shoreline exodus.


The Bad

These are the things I see as needing improvement for future models. Not everyone will agree but these are what I encountered.

The tunnel hull offers great stability in the water. It makes it very difficult to transport with other kayaks or by itself while upright. You cannot stay rigged when transporting this kayak. The hull causes it to lean to one side which means all of your gear will shift and your rods are at a funky angle. I suppose you could fix this with PVC, a trailer, Hydro Glide pads from Thule or something of the like but it still remains a nuisance. Lots of preplanning has to go into transport.

Straight gunwales are at a minimum. The longest GearTrac I could add to a front gunwale was four inches. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for adding accessories and made me think long and hard about where everything would have to go. A straight eight inch section of space would be nice (that’s NOT in the recessed areas by the handles).

Move the rear carrying handle already. People have complained for years that the rear carrying handle is hard to get to and covered by the rudder in the stowed position. I don’t want the rudder flopping around while I’m loading and I don’t want any more scratches and cuts from fighting the rudder while carrying the Outback. Move it to an offset position on the back and front, four inches from where it is and problem solved.

The Outback is able to be fished standing up currently but is not designed for it. Steal six inches of the back well and move the seat back to add a flatter, larger surface just in front of the seat. And while we are talking in front of the seat, make the rectangular hatch standard so you can fit a paddle and larger gear underneath.


Summary

The Hobie Outback shines as a fishing boat. It is a nice hybrid between the sleek, fast Hobie Revolution and its battle cruiser brother the Pro Angler. If you want a kayak that is able to be car topped, transported via cart easily, is versatile enough for almost any water and comes with tons of features built in, this is a great choice.

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stability, Multi purpose, rudder
Cons:
heavy
Was this review helpful to you? 
View all user reviews