Hobie Compass Overview & Water Test

In this video, we give you an overview of the Hobie Compass Out at Andersons Inlet on the Venus Bay side in southern Victoria, which is one of the most southern mangrove areas in this state. 

It's a breeding ground for estuary perch, and it's one of our favourite fish to target around here. 

We also get a lot of flatties, you will pick up trevally, gummy shark, and pinkie snapper at different times, but our main target fish is the perch. And hence why we use the Hobie kayaks here because we can get in really close to the mangroves and throw different varieties of lures without them even really knowing we're about. 

The latest addition to the range, the Hobie Compass, has taken some of the features off three of the existing models. It has the bow of a Revolution, as you can compare it to the Revolution 11 there. It's really nice and streamlined. And on a day like today when we're going to get a little bit of chop, it's going to punch through it nicely. 

It has the width of the Hobie Outback. In fact, it's one inch wider. But with the redesigned gunwales on it, you have a really nice standing area. And for when you're standing, Hobie has taken the underhull of the Pro Angler, which allows you to have super stability. 

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It has also taken the same theory of a recessed rudder as the Pro Angler series, and it means that you can turn the Compass on itself. When Hobie designed this kayak, they'd been listening to a lot of things both customers and dealers had been saying. A lighter-weight pedal-drive kayak that could fit the budgets of a lot more people. 

And with those two things in mind, they managed to get the Compass a fitted-hull weight of 31 kilos, which is six kilos less than the Outback. And it's only marginally two kilos heavier than the Revolution 11 and one kilo heavier than the 13. It's 12 foot long and 34 inches wide, and it has the carrying capacity of the Outback which is 181 kilos, which is about 22 more than what the Revolution 13 has. And in simplifying the hull, they've designed this kayak to be both a recreational and a fishing kayak. 

We all know the Outback pretty well, and we know that it is a feature-rich kayak with bow-hatch, centre hatch, rear hatch, nice wide gunwales, And all this means there's a lot more plastic in this kayak, forming all these shapes. And it does add the weight. Whereas the Compass is simple. One centre hatch for access. 

It has a mesh cover for the bow, rather than having a hatch. It has two tracks for fitting your rod holders, which also means that you can take all your fittings off for your recreational uses. Nice, big rear cargo storage. You can store stuff up underneath the mesh cover, and you can access it really easily. 

And on your rear cargo area, by sliding your feet around sideways, I see that as being where a hatch crate will go to give you that extra storage capacity. Simple rudder control on it, just pull it out of the cleat, the rudder drops down. Steering with your left hand. Simplified seat, just one setting on it. And an adjustable backrest. 

So we've covered it pretty well on land, now it's time to put it on the water. 

I'm enjoying fishing out of the Compass. Having fished out of a Revolution 13 for a long time, I'm enjoying the more spacious cockpit. I like the simplicity of just having the tracks for fitting a couple of rod holders if you want to, or the Compass being Lowrance ready, you can fit a fish finder. 

But the other awesome thing is you can take all off, and the kids can jump in it and just have some fun as well. So it's really cool. The loading and unloading off the car and trailer today was really simple, and I think that's where Hobie was really trying to get, to have a lightweight kayak that in it's bare, fitted hull form, you know, 31 kilos is really manageable for most people. And the way it's set up, you can keep it really simple for fishing, and you can still manage to keep it light. One of the great accessories for the Pro Angler was the cooler bag, which fitted into the front hatch. Well, it's exactly the right size to put it in underneath where you've got your forward cargo holding. 

The other thing is, when we're bank fishing, I'm going to enjoy the fact that I can clip on the bait board, have it just outside and, but all these accessories that I'll use when I use the Compass they've gotta come off, so I'm still only lifting that 31 kilos. There's a lot of discussion about heaps and heaps of accessories on the rectangular hatches. Putting the circular hatch in the front, I think it's really, possibly, going against why the Compass was created. 

The Outback has always been such a feature-rich kayak, but with all those features in it, it did make the hull six kilos heavier than the Compass. So my plan with fitting out the Compass is to keep it as simple and as light as possible so that all accessories can come off and be removed. I can see the H-crate is goin be an awesome accessory for in the back, being able to store, you know, four rods or three rods and a net, or two rods and a net and a gaff. So and again, just unclipping it and taking it out, we haven't done anything to the 31 kilo hull weight. 

Well the Compass doesn't come with the 180 drive in its factory-fitted form, it comes with the GT drive. And while we've been just cruising around in between the islands today, sure the 180 drive would be an advantage, but with the recessed rudder the manoeuvrability is still very good at you get it turning around with the short pedal action nearly on itself. Well, let's just test its standing capabilities. Nice, wide cockpit. And with that slightly higher seat, it is a lot easier to get to your feet, whereas probably and with the CT seat, if you had it in the highest setting, it would be very similar. But as far as comfort of the Compass seat goes, it's pretty good. 

When accessorising the Hobie Compass, I believe that we should listen to the guidelines of Hobie and try to make a really lightweight kayak. I've already seen quite a lot of things like rectangle hatches being put in the middle, the eight-inch hatch that is in the middle put to the front. 

All these things are probably great accessories to do, and quite manageable for your fishing requirements, but we're doing exactly the opposite to what Hobie made this kayak for. If we've gotta car top it, we wanna keep it at 31 kilos. And in my opinion if you're looking at starting to put all those accessories on it, I think you should be really considering whether you should've bought the Outback. The extra money that you spend on an Outback is for the feature-rich, and the 180 drive. 

At Rod Bendings, we're really happy if you want a 180 drive, we're glad to do an upgrade and price that up for you. One of the great accessories to the Pro Angler was the cooler bag. And when you have a look at the Compass, if we remove the mesh coverage for the bow cargo area, it just drops straight in. Make a couple of little bungee cords, secure it down, there's your fish bag. Add a bit of ice, or if you're going out on a recreational day, chuck in your lunch and your drinks. But the beauty is, it comes off. The hull weight is still 31 kilos. 

These built-in tracks just make everything so flexible. And with the use of these T bulls, they just drop into the rails and tighten up. You can add your favourite rod holder, all working off RAM bulls. So you can do your bank fishing, you can do trolling, and then now the cool thing is, if you turn it in reverse and lock your rod in, you can change lures over quite comfortably. Working off these one and a half inch RAM bulls also means if you wanna add a bait board drop a few tools in, you can chop your bait up, do everything like that. But once again, everything we're doing does not affect the 31 kilo fitted-hull weight. 

Our recommendation is always to get out, use the kayak, and then develop the accessories that you require so that everything will suit what you need. But keeping in mind, keep it as close to 31 kilos as you can. Hobie have really listened to everybody on this kayak, the Compass, taken the bow of the Revolution, the width and standing capability of an Outback, the underside of the Pro Angler. They've done it where simplicity means that you get a very, very affordable first pedal kayak. 

Whether it be recreation or whether it be for a little bit of fishing as well, I reckon Hobie have got it right on the money with this one.

Test drive the Hobie Compass

Our on water test drive days are done on Andersons Inlet, Inverloch. Click the button below to book your Hobie Compass test drive today.