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Good day everyone, I am in the market for a new kayak for under 3k I was thinking of a Hobie Compass but some people recommended the Outback I have no ties to any brand so I'm looking for the best kayak for the money.  I live near the Hudson and mohawk rivers but and buying it mostly for trips to Long Island sound and near shore Atlantic trips in RI. I hrought my 9.5' 17 year old Perception out past the West Wall and it was hairy (probably stupid too) I fly fish often so a wide deck is important.  I have a Subaru forrester and no trailer but ordered a Thule Showboat 66 Load assist so weight is a consideration. I want stability, durability,  and portability,  but don't need too many bells and whistles, just a place to keep a cooler or stowing spot to keep some porgies cool if I keep some, and a place for an orvis water proof backpack and a nalgene bottle. I probably won't get a fish finder so don't need a fancy compartment for it. Thanks everone!

Edited by BrandonUpstate
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Outback! Great boat. Sturdy, stable, fast, handles big water very well. I could comfortably stand and fish on it even in a decent chop. The pedals can be a pest with flyline on the deck. If I were going to be mostly fly fishing off the kayak, I’d look at a NuCanoe Pursuit. In my opinion it is the ultimate kayak fly fishing platform. It’s long, super fast, very comfortable to stand on and the deck is wide open and flat. Nothing to get flyline caught on. I demo’d one last year and I couldn’t believe how impressed I was. It paddles so fast, it tracks straight as an arrow and I was so comfortable to fly fish out of. At 80lbs, its not too difficult to car-top. I car-topped my Outback for a while and even that wasn’t too bad once I did it a few times. And even though you don’t plan to decorate the boat with accessories, there are a lot of them available for that boat, and none of them require any drilling due the the gear tracks all over the boat that come installed when you buy it. Fun boat. Let us know what you decide on. 

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Thanks a bunch Matt! I saw there were hull issues with the Outdacks so that is why I was looking at the Compass but seems a lot of people like their Outbacks.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

There are very few hull issues on the outback. A few early boats came off the line using the wrong trimming jig and had leaky hatches. It was fixed and an extra gasket has been added just in case. They also added powder to stop the seat cracking issue and aside from the very public people that have had issue, I've heard it's less than 1% and they've all been warrantied.  That being said if you want to keep things simple and a bit lighter, the compass will do you fine. The outback is a bit more stable in the chop if you're not a fair weather fisherman.

Edited by monstahfish

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Love my Compass (2018). While the Outback is a very nice platform, the Compass is better for me:

 

1) it is lighter and fairly easy to cartop ... big-time lighter. When I bought my Compass, the owner of the kayak store was also selling his 2016 Outback in PERFECT condition ... same price as the Compass. Many features on the Outback ... the Compass is more spartan. After I tried to load both by myself (the test), I ultimately chose to stick with my original plan and bought Compass. Compass is easy to lift onto my roof rack (Subaru Outback) ... the Outback was a serious struggle.

\

2) Features ... Outback is loaded, Compass is fairly basic. However, I'm a minimalist on the water. I did add a Rectangular Hatch and this made a HUGE improvement. I really don't need anything else the Outback offers.

 

The Compass is comfortable and stable. I have heard the seat on the Outback is really nice, but the Compass is just fine for me. As I said, it is a stable platform.

 

Compass is $600-700 cheaper

 

Figure out what your priorities are

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Thanks for the awesome review. It is just what I needed to hear. I have been using the same 9.5 foot kayak for 16 or more years and it doesn't even have a hatch or cup holder so a Compass will be like a Porsche to me :)

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I have a 2020 outback and love it. I’ve fished at least 3 to 4 times a week since June mostly in lakes and the Delaware river -awesome fishing platform - stable, plenty of storage. 
 

Fly fishing from an outback or compass would be a bit challenging IMO as there’s plenty of places to snag a fly line on.  The only way I’d fly fish from my yak is with a stripping basket.  
 

‘’If possible see if you can demo pedal the compass and the outback. I didn’t have that option when I bought mine as they were in such short supply due to Covid.  
 

Good Luck in your choice. 

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Thanks a bunch! I plan on wearing a basket even though it gets in the way. I did go out a purchase my first spinning rod and reel in about 10 years, along with lures. (Kastmasters sure are expensive now) So I will have backup if it becomes difficult to manipulate flyline.

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I mostly fly fish and there are a few things you can do to minimize snags. The first thing I do to a new hobie is remove the pedal straps and cut off the tabs designed to hold them. When casting, putting your feet on the pedals and making sure the center of the deck is clear of the bungee hook and the 180 shifters are pinned down under the bungee. You can heat them up with a heat gun a bit to get them to arc downward so they sit flat on the deck. This keeps loops from wrapping around them. When your feet are up on the pedals it basically creates a chute for your line to stay in.

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That is awesome! Thanks for sharing the tip. I am having trouble finding one near me in the color I want so may have to wait till spring but I will be out in a new kayak soon.

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I don't know too much about other kayak brands. But I love my 2019 Outback. 

 

Like others have said, if you don't need the extra features of the outback and price is important, go with the compass. 

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Thanks for the info! I now know the Outback would be the best fishing boat for me but I also wanted to be able to car top it for years to come and believe the compass fits that bill. I thank everyone so much for helping out.

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