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I would call Hobie’s MirageDrive 180 Drive the future of kayak fishing, if it wasn’t already the present.

Mirage 180: Kayak Fishing Gamechanger 

Although Hobie came out with its original Mirage Drive back in 1997, a revolutionary development, it wasn’t until this year that the company introduced the game-changing reverse system.

“The 180 Mirage Drive feels very natural when operating. It really completed the Outback to be an outstanding vessel and fishing platform,” says Carlos Andreau, ACK Fleet Manager and accomplished kayak fisherman.

If you’ve been in a 2017 Hobie Mirage, whether it’s an Outback, Pro Angler, Sport, Oasis Tandem or Inflatable, you’ve experienced the ease of hands-free maneuverability and seamless mobility around tough-to-reach spots like shallow areas, docks and offshore platforms.

Look ma, no hands!

In addition to the convenience the system brings to casting, you have the ability to use your free hands for drinking and photography (two important kayak fishing pastimes).

“The 180 Mirage Drive feels very natural when operating. It really completed the Outback to be an outstanding vessel and fishing platform.”Carlos Andreau, ACK Fleet Manager

By the way, although all 2017 Hobie models are standardly equipped with the 180 Drive, the system can be bought separately and installed on older Hobie kayak models. So if you’ve got a 2015 Pro Angler and you’re itching to upgrade your kayak fishing game without having to buy a whole new kayak, you still have the opportunity!

This video captures the smooth, sleek and quick transitions enabled by pedaling in either direction:


So How Does It Work?

The technology is one-of-a-kind (aka, patent-pending), but it’s beautifully simplistic. Hobie’s overriding goal is ease of use, so understanding how to work the pedals is very simple, even for first-timers.

Two shifters – a shorter one marked in green for forward and a longer one marked in red for reverse – are attached to respective fins. You simply pull either shift to propel you in forward or reverse. Compared to the old Mirage Drive, the fins are stronger, reinforced with durable nylon that’s more resistant to damage than ever before. You still have the ability to pedal in shallow water (just shorten your strokes to “flutter” the fins), but now you can do it in reverse, too!

Have a question about the Mirage 180 that we didn’t cover? Are you a lucky owner of one and want to share your kayak fishing experience with it? Add your input to the comment section.

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