Hobie Mirage Drive Kayaks: A Fishing Machine

The Hobie Mirage Outback kayak has fine tuned the sport of successful kayak fishing.

Aboriginal tribes used kayaks and canoes as effective fishing tools for countless centuries; but they never became truly popular with the contemporary masses until the development of molded sit on top kayaks in the early 1990’s. In addition to being relatively inexpensive and adaptable to a broad spectrum of enthusiasts, anglers immediately realized that they no longer needed to purchase an expensive boat in order to get out on the water and catch a few fish. The popularity of kayak fishing increased dramatically over the next several years. And then, shortly after the turn of the century, Hobie Cat developed the pedal driven Mirage system, which has revolutionized the sport.

Until then, kayakers were limited to the use of paddles as a means of propelling the boat through the water. This may be fine when meandering slowly around a placid bay or lagoon soaking up the sun, but it can become tiresome while battling the wind and current if those prevailing conditions should suddenly change.

For anglers, it becomes a job of multi-tasking as they head out to where the action is, and then must immediately lay down their paddle in order to actually fish. Hobie’s Mirage drive, however, allows kayakers to pedal their way to their destination hands free, without necessarily even using a paddle.

The ‘hands free’ aspect of the Mirage Drive system offers an incredible advantage to anglers, who are now able to maneuver their kayak in any direction that they like while simultaneously casting or fighting and landing a fish. It also greatly increases the range of kayak anglers that would otherwise be significantly limited in the distance that they could travel from shore in order to fish.

Often, ‘revolutionary’ fishing products tend to lose a little steam or succumb to competition as time progresses; not the case with the Mirage Outback, which has remained basically the same over the past decade and a half. In fact, it continues to be Hobie’s best selling kayak even after all that time. 

There have, of course, been improvements that have made this kayak even more popular. Introduced in 2015, the Vantage Seating System offers a new dimension in efficacy and comfort. Fully adjustable, you can raise or lower the seat to accommodate your preference, and even sit sideways if you like. Its suspended mesh support also makes it easier on those who fish for an extended period of time without getting out of the kayak. Also, the newly enhanced Bluefin Mirage Drive featuring Glide Technology offers even easier propulsion and maneuverability when you are out on the water going the distance.

Equipped with all of the hatches, handles and storage areas that you would expect, the deck of the Outback is a roomy 33 inches wide, and is so stable that you can even stand up and fish if you like. 

The Hobie Mirage Outback is just over 12 feet in length with a hull weight of 75 pounds, which increases to a little over 88 pounds when fully rigged, and it has a weight capacity of 400 pounds. Without a doubt, it is one of the premier fishing kayaks on the market today. The only drawback for some will be its $2,300 price tag.  While you can certainly find a cheaper kayak that will probably suffice; it should also be remembered that you generally end up getting what you paid for.