by Corey Gallagher •
Hobie have a long tradition of quality and innovation. Their products have dominated kayak angling markets worldwide since the introduction of the first purpose designed, pedal propelled fishing kayak, the Mirage Outback in 2001.
In the 18 years since its introduction, the Outback has undergone several key upgrades, transforming it into one of the best kayak angling platforms available. The 2019 model sees the biggest upgrade in the model’s history with a complete redesign of the hull, ensuring the Outback continues to sit atop of an ever-growing list of purpose built fishing kayaks.
Like its bigger brother, the Mirage Pro Angler, the Mirage Outback was designed purely as a fishing kayak. Its new hull design and deck layout have been carefully considered and the result is an exceptional kayak that appeals to both tournament and social anglers alike.
As a regular participant in the Hobie Kayak Bream Series, I have witnessed the growing popularity of the Mirage Outback amongst kayak tournament anglers in recent years. The Outback offers many advantages over rival kayaks and its lightweight hull design is a major contributor to its success. The Mirage Outback can be easily transported to and from your favourite fishing spot on roof racks – its manageable size and weight makes launching that much easier when fishing solo and very little room is required when storing the kayak at home.
A major upgrade to the 2019 Mirage Outback is its redesigned hull, featuring a sharper bow that cuts effortlessly through the water, wind, wake and chop while also greatly reducing any hull slap. The kayak is very fast off the line and gets up to speed within just a few kicks of the mirage drive 180, thanks largely to this redesigned bow. The 2019 Outback also features a completely redesigned rear deck and stern. The old twist and stow style rudder has been replaced with Hobie’s kick up rudder, the rudder is spring loaded and will bump up out of the way when it hits rocks or snags underwater.
The new Outback features dual steering controls, meaning that left and right handed anglers will find manoeuvring the kayak a breeze, capable of turning in a tight circle with full rudder lock. The rear end also features a large H-Rail carry handle that not only assists while transporting, but also allows kayak anglers a convenient place to mount Hobie H-Rail accessories, such as a Go-Pro mount. Another new addition to the stern of the 2019 Outback is it comes power pole ready with pre-drilled inserts. The large rear deck is massive in comparison to the old model and allows plenty of room for a livewell, icebox, rod holders or storage crates.
The rear deck also features two recessed areas. It has a H-Track deluxe with bungee tackle retainer that allow anglers to store two 3700 size tackle trays and secure it in place using built in bungee straps. The cockpit area also features two similar recessed areas, only these come equipped with a H-Rail, giving the angler even more storage and accessory mounting options.
The four H-Track Deluxe recessed storage areas not only greatly increases the tackle storage capacity of the 2019 Outback, but also includes handy storage for your fishing pliers, braid scissors, lip grips and other fishing related tools, with bungee tie downs to keep everything secure and safe from an accidental swim overboard.
Together, these features combine to make the 2019 Outback an incredibly organised kayak, everything has its place and for a tournament angler who needs quick access to their equipment, the Outback ticks all the boxes. Hobie have introduced a rectangular centre hatch into the new model as standard, an upgrade many owners of the old Outbacks retro fitted. The larger centre hatch comes standard with a tackle bucket, the perfect place to store smaller tackle trays, leader and other frequently used items. The hatch also has a built in bottle opener for those who are keen to partake in a cold beverage while on the water. The mesh pocket on the inside of the hatch is a great place to store keys or a mobile phone.
Another key upgrade to the 2019 model is the seat has been widened by 1.5”. The Vantage CTW Seat features 4-way, adjustment making it comfortable for any angler no matter your size or shape. Hobie have also introduced the Guardian retractable transducer shield to the 2019 Outback. The system protects the transducer on impact and retracts into the hull for transport.
The 2019 Outback is powered by the V2 Mirage Drive 180, Hobie’s reverse capable pedal drive system featuring ARC shafts, which allow kayakers to adjust the cranks at the push of a button.
The 2019 Outback is available in a large range of colours: slate blue, papaya orange, red hibiscus, ivory dune, seagrass green and camo package, which also features camo deck pads and pedal pads.
I recently competed in a Hobie Kayak Series Event out of a 2019 Outback in Mallacoota, where we experienced strong breezes for the duration of the tournament. To say I was impressed with the performance of the new hull under these testing conditions would be a huge understatement. True to Hobie’s claims, the hull slices effortlessly through the water, wind and chop and does it without losing forward momentum. Hull slap has been greatly reduced, even in the choppy conditions.
Please note that the kayak featured in this article featured several aftermarket accessories including the Hobie V2 Livewell, Hobie Vantage Seat Bag and Lowrance Elite 9 Ti Sounder.
The Hobie Mirage Outback is an extremely versatile kayak that appeals to a broad range of anglers. It is feature packed in a lightweight package, adding further to its appeal. The Outback has long been a favourite among the kayak angling community and the 2019 model, with its upgraded storage options and improved hull design, will ensure that this kayak continues as one of the best options for kayak anglers looking to purchase a new yak.
Length Overall 3.86m
Crew 1 (single seat)
Fitted Hull Weight 38.56kg
Fully Rigged Weight 46.72kg
Hull Construction Rotomolded Polyethylene RRP From $4190