Last year, I fished exclusively out of the 2015 Hobie Pro Angler 14 and while I absolutely loved that kayak, there were many times that I missed the speedier and lighter Outback. When it came time to pick my Hobie Fishing Team boat this year, I made the choice to get what I had missed.
The challenge came in rigging. Rather than just jumping in and throwing a ton of stuff on there, I took a bit of time to figure out exactly what was going to work best for me. With the Pro Angler, rigging was easy as could be thanks to the H-Rail system that comes on them. I could easily swap, add, remove, and move any of my Railblaza rod holders, camera mounts, visibility kits, and electronics with a simple flip of a lever.
On top of that, the Pro Angler has a large, water tight, square hatch on the deck that holds a couple of tackle bins. I use these for terminal tackle and little tools that I use almost every time I am out. The Outback on the other hand comes with a round hatch and while it does have a little drop in tray, the amount of space I had for this stuff was greatly reduced.
I was definitely going to miss that versatility of the H-Rails and that extra room in the hatch!!
Then it hit me...
Why miss it when I could simply replicate it?!
So that's what I set out to do and I started off by calling my local sponsoring Hobie Dealer, Quest Watersports, and ordered some parts including a square (rectangle) hatch with the tackle management system and two lengths of H-Rail bars and mounts.
The first part to go on was the square hatch and I thought I'd do a little video of that install incase anyone else wanted to do the same thing to their Hobie Outback!
The video is a bit shaky and grainy as I had to record everything with my phone thanks to some cameras not working (still not sure what's going on there). The entire project took me about 30 minutes and I did a lot of it with one hand while the other hand help the camera/phone. With two hands, the install should be a breeze!!
Here are a couple of pictures of the kayak all set up! I'll be working on another video showing how to install the H Rails on the Outback soon!!
I will also be adding two different anchors on this kayak - the Anchor Wizard and the Power Pole Micro Anchor with the help of some new gear tracks from Lucid Fishing called the On Track System.