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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:01 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Lake Alfred, FL
My first post.

I'm not an experienced kayaker but I've been thinking about getting an Outback Mirage to fly-fish the small rivers here in Central Florida. I'd also take it on vacation to fish some of the rivers and large creeks in the southern Appalachians. My local dealer says it would be a poor choice because of the rocks, stumps and shallows I'd regularly encounter on such trips. I suppose that's true but I love the idea of hands free operation (to fish) in the current. I'm sure navigating such waters would be easier in a traditional kayak but I want to fish!

It seems to me I could just use the paddle when necessary, but, having a little canoeing experience, I understand that you can't always avoid the underwater obstacles. Would folding the fins up next to the hull work Ok, or would this type of water eventually just tear up the Mirage Drive? Would I have to pull the drive unit out every time the water appeared to get a little sporty? And, would that be more trouble than it's worth?

I'm interested in the opinions of Outback owners (and owners of other Mirage drive models). If the folks from Hobie want to chime in too, please do.

Thanks,
Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Scotman,
Welcome to the dark side--kayak fishing--and especially to the world of the Hobie Mirage Drive. In answer to your questions, here's my take based on personal experience over the past 3-4 years with both the OB and Sport.

1. A Hobie Mirage Drive yak would be no more a bad choice than any other yak. Is your dealer a Hobie dealer? If so, then he needs to get out more with his boats! If you encounter "rocks, stumps, and shallows," simply fold the fins up against the hull and secure the pedals with the included bungee hook. If this is not sufficient, simply pull the drive (takes all of 10 seconds) and place it on the bow attached by a leash, line, paracord, dog leash or whatever--no big ting. Easy to reinstall, if and when you wish--might take 15 seconds since you sometimes have to rock the drive a bit to get it settled in the well.

2. Or you can leave the drive in your truck or at home and just use the paddle, if you think you will running rapids or getting into heavy stuff continually (which is very unlikely). The paddle does work as advertised, but few of us use it for fishing (or much of anything else, except maybe backing down), since the hands-free part is great. Just an occasional tweak with the rudder is all most anyone needs when drifting down a river, or in the open ocean. Hobie even has a plug that fits into the drive well, if you will not be using the drive, but I have rarely ever used mine—no problemo.

3. Common sense is your best friend when deciding how and where to use the drive. I rarely remove mine except when in heavy freshwater vegetation such as lily pads, or in shallow water over oyster reefs or rocks with a strong tidal current running (~2 knots or so). You will NOT tear up a Mirage Drive unless you are not paying attention and do something especially dumb, and even then it would have to be REALLY dumb! Lots of folks, including Hobie staff and sales people do not even remove the drive when pulling a boat up on the beach during a demo day with rarely a problem. The Mirage Drive is a precision piece of equipment, but tough, just like a fine fishing reel, so treat them both with respect and you should be OK. Just my $.02.

Here’s my Sport pulled up on a Forgotten Coast oyster bar with the Drive fins folded up against the hull.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:36 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Northfield, NH
I've had my OB for a couple months & fish mostly freshwater lakes & ponds, with the occaisonal river thrown in. The only times I felt the need to pull the drive was when passing over swimming area ropes and I was landing anyway. The other was navigating a very narrow river with a lot of blow downs I had to bump over.

Pushing 1 pedal forward has done the trick in all but a couple instances. Those could have been avoided if I was paying slight attention to where I was going. :oops: I was barley moving in both cases, but should have planned ahead & avoided the boulders. Other than a couple scuffs, there was no damage to the drive. In areas where I know there are many submerged obstacles, I usually fold the fins, grab the paddle & concentrate on fishing.

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07 Ivory Dune Adventure
http://www.newenglandkayakfishing.com
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:01 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Lake Alfred, FL
Thanks for the replies.

One other thing my dealer warned me about was that the OB was the worst paddling boat he had. I can see where, compared to other kayaks, that's probably true but for occasional use does it really matter? By the way, he is a Hobie dealer but I think he favors the traditional boats. He's a good guy and just trying to steer me in the right direction. He's helped me out with a lot of gear purchases over the years but I don't always agree with his advice.

Apalach, I notice you have experience in both the Sport and the OB. Which one would you recommend for the type of river water I described? I'm sure if I got it I'd also use it on the myriad of fresh water lakes around my home. Might even be a good excuse to finally try a little salt water fly fishing too. But, I'd definitely want to explore those rivers.

Thanks again for the help.

Scott


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Scott,
It would depend on your height and weight. I am pushing the Sport at about 5-11, 170 lbs, and a 29 inch inseam, but I like its light weight that agrees with my occasional back problems. Your dealer is correct in that the older OBs were not great paddling machines, but I think that has changed somwhat with the 2007 models that have a newly re-designed hull, but are still very stable and can carry larger folks than the Sport. I happen to be a big fan of the gunwale tackle trays that both the OB and Sport have.

However, another great boat is the Revolution that appears to be a better paddler and faster than the OB, but is still very stable and fairly roomy. No gunwale tackle trays, but it does have a good arrangement of mesh pockets for storing stuff--especially handy for carrying bags of GULP baits! As always, try bfore you buy. Below are a few pics.
Best of luck,
Dick

Outback
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Sport
Image

Revolution
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:12 am
Posts: 53
Location: Northern Neck, VA
I love my Revoultion. Loved my 05 Outback also. Had the OB in rivers/big streams with class 1 rapids and with the fins folded up had little trouble. Same would do for the Revo. The Revo paddles like a dream compared to the OB. I'v spent a 5 hour trip in very shallow water w/o the drive. That was OK too. That boat, the Revo is in my opinion a bit more flexible solution for yak use (pedal, sail, paddle). :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 3:27 am 
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Hobie Team Member

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:36 pm
Posts: 62
Location: Northfield, NH
The biggest issue I have with paddling the Outback is adjusting my paddle stroke to clear the sides. A longer paddle, 240 cm would probably be better than my 230, but I like my 230.
It's no speed demon, but it's not terrible if you're not in a hurry. I do find the rudder is needed when paddling to aid tracking. For giggles, I paddled against a 2.5mph current (number taken from a downstream drift) and made progress.

I don't know what your dealer stocks, but it could be the worst paddling boat he has. For me it doesn't matter. The drive, layout & comfort is what sold me.

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07 Ivory Dune Adventure
http://www.newenglandkayakfishing.com
http://www.aldenofsunapee.com/

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 5:46 am 
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Authorized Hobie Dealer

Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 7:35 pm
Posts: 1370
Location: 315 N. Hwy 79 Panama City Beach, FL 32413 850-235-2281
if you are going to be doing a ton of paddling then get the revolution if it only a little the outback is great. No one ever paddle mirage drive kayaks, they do what they need to so they can get to the deeper water to pedal, I have people call back to the shop after a week or so of having there yak to apologize for taking so much of my time asking about paddling, they say they wish they would have listened to me about not paddling after they get the yak.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:14 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Va Beach/Hatteras
Only reason to paddle is to keep your upper body in shape. Peddling is so much easier and quicker. My question to the all paddlers is how you gonna fish and drink a beer @ the same time?


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:12 am
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Location: Northern Neck, VA
Old Bull wrote:
Only reason to paddle is to keep your upper body in shape. Peddling is so much easier and quicker. My question to the all paddlers is how you gonna fish and drink a beer @ the same time?


There is a picture posted on the kayakfishingstuff.com site of a Hobie Adventure contestant at this years Jamaica Bay tourney, laid back, sipping a cool adult beverage, eating lunch and trolling for fish. No paddler cad do that. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:01 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Lake Alfred, FL
I just want to say thanks for all the replies. If my daughter's wedding doesn't break me too badly perhaps I can join the club soon.

Thanks again,
Scott


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 8:12 am
Posts: 53
Location: Northern Neck, VA
Scotman wrote:
I just want to say thanks for all the replies. If my daughter's wedding doesn't break me too badly perhaps I can join the club soon.

Thanks again,
Scott


Give her five grand and tell her to elope. The new couple can surely use the $$.$$. Give them a party when they get back. Everyone benifits, and, you might have enough left over. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:17 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Felton, CA.
Just remember that the drive will sit below the bottom of the hull by about 2" so it will bottom out first!


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:51 am
Posts: 62
Location: Dallas
I am in an Outback and have had many run ins with submerged obstacles. I fish a minimum of three to five days a week. I have never been disabled because of my drive. It is a great fishing machine. Mine is an 07 and I cannot compare it to the earlier models, but it paddles fine if you are just doing positioning or adjusting a drift. If I was going to make any distance I would rather have a yak designed for it. I do not paddle 1% of the time because my mirage drive does VERY well everywhere I go. That includes rivers, large and small lakes, beach and offshore touring.


Apalach, Can you tell me the source of your outrigger. I have not seen that attachment method before. Cool!


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 Post subject: Rocks
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2007 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:07 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Houston, TX
OK. I'm rough on stuff.

I've disabled 2 out of 3 of my Outbacks by hitting "stuff" On a trip down the Sabine River (TX/LA border) I found out how tender the newer ('04/'06) kayaks are compared to my old('03) model.

The plastic gear just doesn't hold up as well as the old metal ones. I bent the masts on the old one but was able to dontinue the trip with no problem with it. The other 2 were completely disabled, with the plastic cracked at the set screw.

I've done some non-factory-authorized modifications to the drive of the '06 and placed a thin stainless steal bolt all the way through where the set screw was, and capped it with washers and a stainless nut. So far (6 months) I've banged this rig around pretty good with no stranding failures.

Puck

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