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Sat, Dec 20, 2014
Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2014

Hobie "Mirage Outback" 2014 Hot

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May 23, 2011    
 
3.6
 
4.3 (7)
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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

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”.
Overall rating 
 
3.6
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
3.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
2.0
Mark Watanabe Reviewed by Mark Watanabe May 14, 2013
Last updated: January 28, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (22)

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
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User reviews View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 7 user(s)

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Speed 
 
4.0  (7)
Stability 
 
4.6  (7)
Durability 
 
4.4  (7)
Features 
 
4.3  (7)
Value 
 
4.3  (7)
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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.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
3.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Michael Shepperd Reviewed by Michael Shepperd April 19, 2014
Last updated: April 19, 2014
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

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? 
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.
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Darrell Olson Reviewed by Darrell Olson February 12, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (16)

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? 
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.
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Speed 
 
4.0
Stability 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
4.0
Value 
 
4.0
Chris Payne Reviewed by Chris Payne January 16, 2014
Top 10 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (27)

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? 
A member of the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club has a quote in his signature on our forum: “Like fish, not all fishermen will come to a Hobie, but they all want to!” And by God that quote rings true. I was once like the majority: paddling along, having to hurry up and slide that long shaft into something (get your mind out of the gutter!), grabbing your rod, all the while keeping your eyes on that tailing red that you are petrified will spook. It was to a point where it was too much trouble to cast to a fish that might reject anything I threw at it. After a few times of this happening, not to mention the back aches that came with paddling back in against horrible winds, I knew it was time to join the Hobie crowd.
First Impressions
For some reason, many people think that Hobie has a “fan club” a devout following of fan boys who tout off the Good Book of Hobie Fishing as though it was the Holy Bible. I used to be a skeptic of the benefits of the boat, thinking “Why would I wanna spend that much dough on a boat?!” So when it was time to upgrade from the Heritage I cut my baby teeth on, I bought the Wilderness Systems Ride 115. The key things for me were stability, comfort, and storage.
But, the Wily was heavy, paddled like a barge in strong winds, and the seat was not that good on the back. After my misadventure at the IFA in May, I knew what had to be done: I needed a Hobie.
I had to decide between the Outback and the Revo. Now while the Revo is faster, it isn’t as stable, which meant that the Outback was the sure pick. At just over 12 feet and weighing at 68 pounds with the Mirage Drive, seat, and paddle in place, the boat is a stable best with a 33” width amidships. The boat has a raised, stable area to stand just forward of the seat, with a round hatch and a sealing, sectioned bucket that is perfect for baits or wallet and keys and phone. A few inches up from that is a shelf with a mesh covering, perfect for fly boxes or small Plato boxes. At the bow is the large storage hatch that can store a huge bag of gear, camping equipment, etc. Right behind that is the sailing mount, which my friend Thomas Sparks has converted to a holder for his fish finder. In the stern is the tank well, which is wide enough to fit up to a 48 quart ice chest, perfect for keeping limits of specks and reds on ice or chilling brewskies. Even with the ice chest in the tank, I have the room in the back for a small tackle box. At the very back is a circular hatch just like the one between my legs; it might be hard to get to, but for a cold weather bag or even a tarp to get you out of the rain. In all, the lay out of the boat is ergonomical, and you could carry enough gear to arm a platoon of fisherman!
I drove from Houma to Laffayette to the Pack and Paddle, an outdoor store and Hobie dealer. My friend Casey Brunning told me to talk to a man named Skip, a tattooed, bearded aficionado who is more worried about making friends than sales. We hit it off immediately, talking to an older couple whom were interested in buying one of their tandem Hobies. His fun attitude, non-pressuring talk, and tips and tricks on using the Hobie made the experience of just purchasing one amazing.
In The Field
A week later, I got to test this baby out. I launched with a fellow Outback owner Scotty P, a plumber I met at the 18th Outcast tourney. Once our boats cleared the ramp, I put in the Mirage Drive with the standard fins, dropped the rudder, and started paddling in circles. There was an issue with the rudder coming back up when deployed to the right. However, Hobie must have had an issue with this before, and has a solution for the angler: on the right, a few inches from the chord to deploy the rudder, is a holder that you can run the chord into to anchor the rudder in position. I recalled Skip mentioning it, and it worked like a charm! I was back in business!
The Mirage Drive is adjustable to tall and short people. I was able to find my sweet medium easily, and even with my bad knees, I was cruising effortlessly. Pedaling was such a change from paddling; I was able to relax my back, go slow, and cast the buggy whip at any little riffle I saw. While no fish wanted to eat my Clouser, I was having too much fun trying my new boat.
The day ended in a skunking, but I was all too happy with the abilities of this new boat. I put the boat on the trailer and started thinking of things to do to her. I decided to name her “Fenrir”, a wolf figure in Norse mythology, because I have a certain affinity with wolves. A week passed by, and during that time I began figuring mods to make, ways to mount cameras, etc. On the 29th of June, Stephen Robert, the head cheese of the Fin Addicts Fly Fishers of Houma, invited me for a trip down towards Grand Isle to fly fish for reds and specks. The wind was a mini-hurricane, blowing white caps in the main canals. The Outback’s hull cut right thru them, sending spray onto my pants. Rain storms cooked up all around us, and the fish were behaving like children not wanting to eat their vegies, refusing Clousers and shrimp flies. Stephen managed to hook a flounder that he lost at the boat, and had been sight casting to sheesphead and reds. Pretty soon, the weather turned into Hell; the skies blackened, and the rain came down as though the guillotine was upon the trip.
It was in my rush to attempt to escape that I learned the down side to the Mirage Drive: if the water is too shallow, the fins cannot be deploy. This means, if they are not taken out before you get into the shallow stuff (less than about a foot), you can’t even take them out. Throw in oysters that can catch the Drive, you can get stuck quickly. Thanks to a patch of the mussels, I was stuck in the brunt of the storm. The winds kicked up sharply, and finally I got free. I got into the deeper water, and put the pedal to the plastic. Even with the chop, the Outback quickly got me out of the fray, and onto the bank. Though the trip was cut short, I got to see the real capabilities of the boat.
Conclusion
If you are serious about your fishing, looking to spend more time with a line in the water than a paddle in your hand, this is the boat for you! Hobie kayaks were made for fisherman by fisherman, people who know that the angler wants and needs. Their brains came up with a fairly light, shallow draft boat that keeps the hands free and allows the fisherman as much maneuverability as they want on their boat. Even though the Mirage Drive can be a hindrance in extreme shallows, it is nothing to complain about, but rather adapt around. Fast currents, hard winds, and tight spots are what the boat was made for. If you want to step up your “game”, you only have one real choice: the Hobie Outback!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
5.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0
Dustin Schouest Reviewed by Dustin Schouest June 30, 2013
Top 100 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (3)

Hobie Outback: Cant Ask For Better

A member of the Bayou Coast Kayak Fishing Club has a quote in his signature on our forum: “Like fish, not all fishermen will come to a Hobie, but they all want to!” And by God that quote rings true. I was once like the majority: paddling along, having to hurry up and slide that long shaft into something (get your mind out of the gutter!), grabbing your rod, all the while keeping your eyes on that tailing red that you are petrified will spook. It was to a point where it was too much trouble to cast to a fish that might reject anything I threw at it. After a few times of this happening, not to mention the back aches that came with paddling back in against horrible winds, I knew it was time to join the Hobie crowd.
First Impressions
For some reason, many people think that Hobie has a “fan club” a devout following of fan boys who tout off the Good Book of Hobie Fishing as though it was the Holy Bible. I used to be a skeptic of the benefits of the boat, thinking “Why would I wanna spend that much dough on a boat?!” So when it was time to upgrade from the Heritage I cut my baby teeth on, I bought the Wilderness Systems Ride 115. The key things for me were stability, comfort, and storage.
But, the Wily was heavy, paddled like a barge in strong winds, and the seat was not that good on the back. After my misadventure at the IFA in May, I knew what had to be done: I needed a Hobie.
I had to decide between the Outback and the Revo. Now while the Revo is faster, it isn’t as stable, which meant that the Outback was the sure pick. At just over 12 feet and weighing at 68 pounds with the Mirage Drive, seat, and paddle in place, the boat is a stable best with a 33” width amidships. The boat has a raised, stable area to stand just forward of the seat, with a round hatch and a sealing, sectioned bucket that is perfect for baits or wallet and keys and phone. A few inches up from that is a shelf with a mesh covering, perfect for fly boxes or small Plato boxes. At the bow is the large storage hatch that can store a huge bag of gear, camping equipment, etc. Right behind that is the sailing mount, which my friend Thomas Sparks has converted to a holder for his fish finder. In the stern is the tank well, which is wide enough to fit up to a 48 quart ice chest, perfect for keeping limits of specks and reds on ice or chilling brewskies. Even with the ice chest in the tank, I have the room in the back for a small tackle box. At the very back is a circular hatch just like the one between my legs; it might be hard to get to, but for a cold weather bag or even a tarp to get you out of the rain. In all, the lay out of the boat is ergonomical, and you could carry enough gear to arm a platoon of fisherman!
I drove from Houma to Laffayette to the Pack and Paddle, an outdoor store and Hobie dealer. My friend Casey Brunning told me to talk to a man named Skip, a tattooed, bearded aficionado who is more worried about making friends than sales. We hit it off immediately, talking to an older couple whom were interested in buying one of their tandem Hobies. His fun attitude, non-pressuring talk, and tips and tricks on using the Hobie made the experience of just purchasing one amazing.
In The Field
A week later, I got to test this baby out. I launched with a fellow Outback owner Scotty P, a plumber I met at the 18th Outcast tourney. Once our boats cleared the ramp, I put in the Mirage Drive with the standard fins, dropped the rudder, and started paddling in circles. There was an issue with the rudder coming back up when deployed to the right. However, Hobie must have had an issue with this before, and has a solution for the angler: on the right, a few inches from the chord to deploy the rudder, is a holder that you can run the chord into to anchor the rudder in position. I recalled Skip mentioning it, and it worked like a charm! I was back in business!
The Mirage Drive is adjustable to tall and short people. I was able to find my sweet medium easily, and even with my bad knees, I was cruising effortlessly. Pedaling was such a change from paddling; I was able to relax my back, go slow, and cast the buggy whip at any little riffle I saw. While no fish wanted to eat my Clouser, I was having too much fun trying my new boat.
The day ended in a skunking, but I was all too happy with the abilities of this new boat. I put the boat on the trailer and started thinking of things to do to her. I decided to name her “Fenrir”, a wolf figure in Norse mythology, because I have a certain affinity with wolves. A week passed by, and during that time I began figuring mods to make, ways to mount cameras, etc. On the 29th of June, Stephen Robert, the head cheese of the Fin Addicts Fly Fishers of Houma, invited me for a trip down towards Grand Isle to fly fish for reds and specks. The wind was a mini-hurricane, blowing white caps in the main canals. The Outback’s hull cut right thru them, sending spray onto my pants. Rain storms cooked up all around us, and the fish were behaving like children not wanting to eat their vegies, refusing Clousers and shrimp flies. Stephen managed to hook a flounder that he lost at the boat, and had been sight casting to sheesphead and reds. Pretty soon, the weather turned into Hell; the skies blackened, and the rain came down as though the guillotine was upon the trip.
It was in my rush to attempt to escape that I learned the down side to the Mirage Drive: if the water is too shallow, the fins cannot be deploy. This means, if they are not taken out before you get into the shallow stuff (less than about a foot), you can’t even take them out. Throw in oysters that can catch the Drive, you can get stuck quickly. Thanks to a patch of the mussels, I was stuck in the brunt of the storm. The winds kicked up sharply, and finally I got free. I got into the deeper water, and put the pedal to the plastic. Even with the chop, the Outback quickly got me out of the fray, and onto the bank. Though the trip was cut short, I got to see the real capabilities of the boat.
Conclusion
If you are serious about your fishing, looking to spend more time with a line in the water than a paddle in your hand, this is the boat for you! Hobie kayaks were made for fisherman by fisherman, people who know that the angler wants and needs. Their brains came up with a fairly light, shallow draft boat that keeps the hands free and allows the fisherman as much maneuverability as they want on their boat. Even though the Mirage Drive can be a hindrance in extreme shallows, it is nothing to complain about, but rather adapt around. Fast currents, hard winds, and tight spots are what the boat was made for. If you want to step up your “game”, you only have one real choice: the Hobie Outback!

Pros & Cons

Pros:
Stability, speed, hands free propulsion, weight
Cons:
Mirage Drive's depth takes getting used to
Was this review helpful to you? 
I fished out of an Outback last year mainly on shallow waters; creeks and rivers. I spent most of my time on the Elkhorn Creek and even won the Elkhorn Creek Fishing Series in this boat. I also took it to the New River in Virginia fishing and ran rapids up to class III in it. The versatility of this boat is on another level.

In my opinion the boat is more stable than almost any other traditional SOT 12' kayak I have ever been in. I have tried to flip the boat and haven't been able to. Standing up in the boat is easy, But i like sitting down so I can remain in full control of the boat.

There are many features of a Hobie and the Mirage Drive that are not as simple as just getting in and going. Once you learn those features the boat truly has no limitations. There are ways to mirage in very shallow water. Additionally if the water is very swift and shallow it is super easy to pop out the mirage, raise the rudder and paddle your way through. I like turning up stream and maintaing my spot with a slow peddle. I am able to keep my bait in the right areas this way and the fish like that as well.

The biggest hangup that I run into with guys in comparing a Hobie to other paddle kayaks is the price. I can understand that Hobies are more expensive. But when you buy most kayaks you are getting a hull. When you buy a Hobie you are getting a strong, durable Hull, the Mirage drive system, a rudder system, and a paddle. To pay a little extra to go further, faster, by exerting less energy and the ability to fish hands free, there is no comparison in my mind.
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Speed 
 
5.0
Stability 
 
5.0
Durability 
 
4.0
Features 
 
5.0
Value 
 
5.0
AJ McWhorter Reviewed by AJ McWhorter May 21, 2013
Last updated: June 18, 2013
Top 500 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (1)

Hobie Outback

I fished out of an Outback last year mainly on shallow waters; creeks and rivers. I spent most of my time on the Elkhorn Creek and even won the Elkhorn Creek Fishing Series in this boat. I also took it to the New River in Virginia fishing and ran rapids up to class III in it. The versatility of this boat is on another level.

In my opinion the boat is more stable than almost any other traditional SOT 12' kayak I have ever been in. I have tried to flip the boat and haven't been able to. Standing up in the boat is easy, But i like sitting down so I can remain in full control of the boat.

There are many features of a Hobie and the Mirage Drive that are not as simple as just getting in and going. Once you learn those features the boat truly has no limitations. There are ways to mirage in very shallow water. Additionally if the water is very swift and shallow it is super easy to pop out the mirage, raise the rudder and paddle your way through. I like turning up stream and maintaing my spot with a slow peddle. I am able to keep my bait in the right areas this way and the fish like that as well.

The biggest hangup that I run into with guys in comparing a Hobie to other paddle kayaks is the price. I can understand that Hobies are more expensive. But when you buy most kayaks you are getting a hull. When you buy a Hobie you are getting a strong, durable Hull, the Mirage drive system, a rudder system, and a paddle. To pay a little extra to go further, faster, by exerting less energy and the ability to fish hands free, there is no comparison in my mind.

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