By Ron Strauss and Ryan Jolly
The Hobie Compass is an all new kayak from Hobie for the 2018 season. It features a new hull design and the classic Hobie Mirage drive. It's a great recreational kayak and also can be rigged as a versatile fishing kayak. Ryan Jolly is a veteran kayak angler and had been looking to upgrade his paddle kayak to a Hobie. He had an Outback in mind until he saw the Compass at the Hi Tempo booth at the Northwest Sportshow early spring of 2018.
I asked Ryan what features attracted him to the Hobie Compass?
"The Compass is lighter and the hull is narrower. For transportation, I car top my kayak, so a lighter, slightly smaller kayak is preferable to me. I target Musky and Pike mostly. I troll and cast most of the time, so not having the reverse feature on the MD180 was something I can live without. The Compass is 12 feet long, very stable and allows me wrestle big fish with ease. The Compass is cheaper than the Outback and I wanted to add a lot of accessories. The savings helped me get a custom rig and still have a premium fishing yak."
What modifications and accessories have you added to your Hobie Compass and why?
Round hatch kit. Installed up front for my battery.
Fish finder kit. Lowrance Hook 4X, so I can find weed edges, drop offs and other structure where fish hide. The navigation features on the fish finder help so I don't get lost on new water.
Rectangular hatch kit. Installed in mid section. I wanted plenty of storage to hold all my spinnerbaits, spoons, crappie magnets, fish attractants, hooks, weights, tools, wire leaders and more! This hatch is directly in front of me on the deck of the Compass and super easy to access.
PVC rod holders. I carry 2-3 fishing poles and a net at all times. Having them organized and easy to access is important.
Camera mount. Because it's just too darn much fun sharing good times kayak fishing with friends and fellow kayak anglers.
Front rod holder. Safe, out of the way place to hold my rod while I get MONSTER fish unhooked and then take some proud selfies with my catch.
Hobie cart. Makes it easy to transport my Compass from spot to spot.
How has your Hobie Compass improved your kayak fishing results?
"I'm more successful because I can move from hot spot to hot spot faster than I could with my previous paddle kayak. That means I get to fish more water. The mirage drive makes propulsion hands-free allowing me to troll more efficiently. I can hold the rod in my hand, feel more strikes and react quicker to the strikes I get. Plus, I don’t have to fight with the wind as much with my compass versus a paddle kayak. The Compass and the Mirage drive makes dealing with waves and wind easier and more comfortable."
What would you tell other yak anglers considering the Hobie Compass?
"If you're looking for Hobie quality at a great price, the Compass is a great choice. If your story is similar to mine, I think you'll be as happy as I am. Hi Tempo installed many of the extras and accessories I have on my Compass. Their service and work met my expectations."