After using a Mirage Classic for months, I decided to get a tandem fishing kayak so that my cousin could join me on the water. Having loved the performance of the Mirage classic in my solo fishing trip, I decided to look to Hobie for a good tandem.
The Hobie Mirage Oasis kayak is a sit-on top tandem that hit the market in 2013 and just recently got a model upgrade with the 2015 version. Besides a few upgraded features and tweaks the boat handles the same.
It is widely considered as one of, if not the best tandem fishing kayak in the market. What drew me to the model is its vaunted Mirage drive, which uses penguin-like flipped in place of arms and shoulders. I thought this would be a great way get to those offshore spots quicker and move more efficiently than the typical kayak.
The choice of paddle instead of pedals is also a big consideration in my opinion. To move more efficiently, both paddlers have to be in sync, both in stroke and power, and this was something that is hard to achieve when paddling with a relatively inexperienced partner. But this is less of a problem when using pedals.
Tandem kayaks are not called “divorce kayaks” for nothing, so make sure you get yourself a recreational kayak too (check out some recreational kayak reviews here) so the misses can enjoy her own boat too without feeling out of place!
At 14.5 feet, the Hobie Mirage Oasis is long, narrow, and lightweight and offers outstanding speed and acceleration without sacrificing hauling capacity. Its construction quality is super high.
When it comes to performance, the kayak simply rocks. The twist and stow rudder is both efficient and convenient. I’ve taken it a few times in calm water, and I’ve noticed that it cuts right through fast and turbulent water that most kayaks struggle in. Engaging and disengaging the retractable rudder is as easy as pulling the T-shaped control handles. The kayak can be controlled from both the front and the back. This dual control system is nice because it eliminates the need to switch places if you want to let your partner steer the boat.
It is fast, easy to peddle and easy to install and remove. While Hobie provided paddles and made it easy to stow them in the gunwales, you will rarely need to use them; the Mirage pedal system is that good.
You can also choose to sail this kayak since it comes with a sail mount. These two great options make the Mirage Oasis ideal for fishing since your hands will always be free for casting even when moving through the water. Having both hands free for your fishing gear and spinning reel is not something you can do with a paddle-kayak.
The seats are both functional and comfortable. The back rests and seat cushions are particularly helpful especially if you are going to spend hours sitting in this 2-person kayak (one of the most comfortable of the tandem kayaks I have reviewed). You can adjust the position of the seat, so that you can sit upright or recline effectively when paddling.
The back of the seats features two small pouches so that you can store bait, snacks or drinks. The seats are also thoughtful positioned relative to the rod holder. Each sit is just in front of the rod holder for maximum accessibility. The holders are located on opposite sides to prevent tangling.
In front of each seat is a watertight storage compartment. While not very spacious, it is enough to protect your phone wallet or other equipment when on the water. There are other cargo areas in the stern and bow complete with bungee cargo nets. However, it may not be wise to store anything you may want to access while on the water in the stern storage compartment since the Oasis Mirage is not stable enough to allow that. The bow cargo area is way more accessible though, being located just in front of the back seat.
The Mirage Drive needs to be taken out before landing on sand, but this shouldn’t be a problem if you are living in an area with very little shore break. Drainage can also be a chore with this kayak; the drainage hole is located at the rear, right next to the rudder. This rules out resting the kayak on its butt to drain it – the rudder doesn’t look easy to remove, but it does look like it may cost an arm and a leg to replace.
Despite the few cons, I am very satisfied with the Hobie Mirage Oasis. I can paddle it, I can peddle it, I can sail it and I can fish from it. If you want to reach all your fishing sweet spots fast and ditch every other paddler then this is the kayak you are looking for. And if you are like my cousin and just started on fishing with a kayak here are some tips worth heading too.
Definitely take a minute and watch expert video review with my man Andy: