The Hobie Mirage Outback Fishing Kayak Review

9.1
9.1 score
[Editors rating (9.1) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = GearWeAre.com score (9.1)/10


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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
User's rating: based on 1 user ratings
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Pros
  • With a length of 12’1”, this kayak is a good compromise between speed and maneuverability and with a width of 33”, it is a very stable fishing platform.
  • Although Hobie’s MirageDirve system takes a little getting used to, it does make propelling the kayak much easier. In addition, the Vantage CT seat is very comfortable and there is plenty of standing room forward of the seat with no annoying protrusions to get in the way.
  • There is plenty of dry storage and it includes a Hobie carbon kayak paddle, a paddle keeper, and an anchor trolley.
Cons
  • With a length of 12’1”, this kayak is less maneuverable than shorter kayaks and with a width of 33”, it’s it does not have a particularly efficient hull design.
  • With a weight of 91 lbs. this kayak is rather heavy. Thus, it would likely need to be hauled on a trailer (which is available from Hobie) rather than a vehicle’s roof.
  • Despite the inclusion of the molded rod holders, the paddle keeper, and the anchor trolley, I feel that this kayak is somewhat lacking in outfitting.
Design

Design

I have to admit that if you are an experienced paddler who is used to using a paddle to propel and maneuver your kayak, the MirageDrive system can be a bit disconcerting at first. But, the fact of the matter is that your leg muscles are far larger than your arm muscles and thus, the MirageDrive system does require less effort on the part of the angler which leaves you with more energy for fishing when you arrive at your location which is definitely a good thing because, with a length of only 12’ 1” and a beam of 33”, this kayak does not have a very efficient hull design.

Thus, while I would have to say that this kayak is well designed overall, I would really like to see more in the way of pre-installed electronics and rod holder mounts.
Key Features

Key Features

Plus, with a total weight of 91 lbs., I suspect that this kayak would require considerable effort to propel without the MirageDrive system. Not to mention the fact the MSRP of $1,899 makes this kayak far too expensive for most anglers to consider purchasing. On the other hand, due to its width, it is an extremely stable fishing platform. Also, while not quite as elaborate as the seat on the Mirage Pro Angler 14, the Vantage CT seat is nonetheless, a very comfortable place to plant your derriere for a day and the deck design leaves you plenty of room to stand in while fishing.
Additional Features

Additional Features

Also, I really like the fact that the 8” round hatch located just forward of the seat is mounted flush with the deck so that it does not trip your feet during the excitement of fighting a big fish.

For outfitting, there are four molded trays along either gunwale, two molded rod holders on either gunwale positioned forward of the seat and two more on either gunwale positioned aft of the seat as well as two mesh storage pockets on either side of the cockpit but, other than that, it is sorely lacking in accessory mounts. On the other hand, it does include a Hobie, two piece, straight-shaft, Eruo-blade, paddle and molded foot braces for those occasions when you prefer to maneuver the kayak without using the MirageDrive system as well as a paddle keeper and an anchor trolley which I consider to be absolutely essential features on a fishing kayak.
Rudder system

Rudder system

In addition, this kayak feature Hobie’s Twist and Stow rudder system to help you steer the kayak on windy days but, instead of being controlled by the foot braces as in a normal kayak, this rudder is controlled with your left hand by moving a lever mounted on the side of the cockpit which I find very strange.

However, I also have to admit that due to the MirageDrive system, I really can’t see any other way to operate the rudder controls.
Storage space

Storage space

Concerning dry storage space, there is a large hatch located in the bow and another 8” round hatch located in the stern which provides plenty of dry storage space in addition to the molded tank well in the stern which is perfect for carrying a cooler or a live bait well (Hobie has just such an accessory available).
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Despite the excessive width and the excessive weight of this kayak, not to mention the excessive price tag, I would consider purchasing this kayak. However, the need to trailer the kayak adds an extra expense that I don’t care for.

Also, the need to add additional mounts not only adds to the expense of the kayak, it also requires time and effort on the part of the angler to customize the cockpit to his/her particular needs.

Thus, I am not entirely certain that the advantages of this kayak outweigh the expense.