By Paul Lebowitz
Better get in line now. To celebrate its best seller’s historic 15th birthday, Hobie is debuting the first of 500 collectible Mirage Outback Limited Edition kayaks Wednesday at ICAST.
We’ve never seen anything quite like this run of visually distinctive and factory plussed boats in the world of kayak fishing, individually numbered from one to 500. Distributed globally, these beauties will go fast. Any given shop is only likely to get one.
Has it really been that long? I recall the excitement around the Outback when it splashed down, Hobie’s first hands-free Mirage pedal drive model to feature molded-in rod holders and an expansive tankwell to stash all that fishing gear. It was a milestone for the sport and an immediate success, launching Hobie into position as a major player in kayak fishing.
What’s different? A lot! Much of it could only be accomplished at the factory level, such as the distinctive custom orange color and the beautiful molded-in fish graphics depicting species Outback anglers have caught across the world. The same goes for the contrast color and logo stitching on the Vantage CT seat. Tastes vary; I think it’s quite a looker.
Some of the Outback Special Edition features are common power user upgrades, such as MirageDrive Turbo fins, the oversized sailing rudder, hookless map pockets and custom EVA pad kit. All together, it makes for a beautiful package.
Hobie will release the Outback Special Edition in November 2015. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to the suggested retail price. It won’t be for everyone – that’s the essence of a special edition. Hobie’s devoted fans are sure to snap them up.
Slick! New Remote MotorGuide Trolling Motors Coming for the Pro Angler 17T
When Hobie introduced the impressive and massive Pro Angler 17T at ICAST 2014, the company hinted that a bow-mounted trolling motor mount was under development. It makes abundant sense – this giant tandem is truly boat-sized. I see it as nothing less than a full-featured bass rocket, minus the noisy expensive gas motor.
Hobie’s designers did it one better. The company announced it is partnering with MotorGuide to offer two custom Xi5 wireless trolling motor options for the PA17T, one for freshwater, the other for the salt. This is the same high-tech amazingness seen on bass boat commercials. Users can control the GPS enabled motors from anywhere on the boat using a wireless remote. The motor’s GPS functions include route recording and playback, heading lock, cruise control, and anchor.
This story has been updated to reflect a November 2015 planned release date.