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Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback #14005227 05/21/21 02:19 AM
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Jezreel Offline OP
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I am gonna be purchasing one or the other in another week. Gotta be out of town next week. I crappie fish 75% of the time, bass fish 25%. Maybe changing once I get my boat. Might fish 50/50. Anyway, I went and finally sat in the two boats today. Liked the roominess of the PA. The Outback felt a little tight, and I’m a small dude. 5’7” - 150. My concern is that I don’t have the opportunity to really fish out of these before buying. I hate to buy the Outback now, and wish I’d spent the little extra up front to go with the PA. But on the other hand, I’ve messaged 2 folks who have had both, and they have gone to the Outback as it is “more maneuverable and easier to load/unload for a small guy.” (Thanks to those guys for their info.) I thought I was set on the Outback till I sat in both.

At the end of the day, I lean toward the PA, but don’t know if I’d be just as satisfied with the Outback. The PA sits higher in the water, the Outback lower in the water. I am not sure which I’d like best, and test driving isn’t really an option for me as I know no one who has them, and there’s no Yak stores offering any. I know to each individual, there is a choice and a preference, but. . .

Give me your thoughts if you have owned both.

Thanks a bunch.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14005317 05/21/21 03:51 AM
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How many rods and how much tackle do you plan on carrying?
How are you transporting the kayak? Bed of a pickup, car roof, kayak trailer?
Have you considered the PA12?
The more gear you carry, the better the ProAngler looks. It is a floating battleship. I was looking for a newer used Outback but found a good deal on a used PA12. The additional weight is not a big concern for me as I load the PA12 in a 6’ pickup bed with the tailgate down and don’t bother with a bed extender. I usually travel pretty light with only 2 rods and some tackle so the Outback would have worked for me. I don’t bring a milk crate full of gear and fishing rods.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14005345 05/21/21 04:41 AM
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If you don't get the 360 drive and ever get to try one, especially for freshwater fishing, you will be kicking yourself.
For the record I love my PA14 360's and know 110% they were worth every penny. I have mostly bass fished from mine. Very much looking forward to taking it offshore for tarpon, jacks, kingfish, etc very soon since beaches were mostly closed last year.

P.S. I have 2. As soon as I get a tandem trailer so I can haul both you could fish from a PA14 360 if you're into Choke Canyon or something close.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14005422 05/21/21 11:57 AM
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I went from an outback to a slayer and I really appreciate the extra room! If managing the boat-loading/unloading etc, isn’t an issue, PA all day…


'Today is the day!' - Mel Fisher
Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14005514 05/21/21 01:25 PM
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PA14 owner. You will need either Boondocks landing gear or a quality kayak cart of some sort.
PA14 is a boat, which is best for me 6'5" 260lbs.

If I was 150lbs and under 6' tall, and didn't fish kayak tournaments, I'd get the Outback. There's a lot to be said for keeping things simple.


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Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14005551 05/21/21 02:04 PM
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Jezreel Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies so far! ! !

I am coming from a 16’ decked out Jon boat that I sold 2 years ago, due to buying 38 acres and building a house. I am NOW ready to get back on the water, but not going to spend the money for a boat. And yes, the PA is a “boat” compared to the Outback.

I am definitely looking to get into kayak tourneys. That looks like great fun. I think I would really like the extra room, after coming from the small boat. I will carry no less than 4 rods. When I’m crappie fishing, I usually carry an ice chest, but may go to a stringer.

I plan to haul it in my pick-up with a 6.5’ bed with a bed extender. Storing it on a kayak cart level with the truck bed. I already have a good Yak cart. No Boondocks, but it will work.

I really appreciate the info from experience, as it really helps my decision. I am definitely leaning toward the PA14 because of the extra room.

Thanks a bunch.

John

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14007770 05/23/21 07:07 PM
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I have a PA14 and my son has an Outback.

Both are good boats, but they are very different.

In my opinion, the 2019 Outback is the best all-around fishing boat in the Hobie lineup. The 2019 made use of the relatively thick side walls/hull to make extras storage "cubbies" and added some H-Rail. My sons Outback is a 2018 and does not have these extra features. The H-rails and cubbies are very nice features, but not enough to justify trading up from a perfectly good 2018. However, from what I read, the 2019 Outback has a more wet ride than the 2018 (I don't know if this is true... but the reports are pretty consistent).

The PA is a tank. It's heavy and wide. I struggle to consider it a "Kayak". I had a 2017 PA 180 and recently traded up to the PA 360. I really liked the 2017 (180) and absolutely love the 360. I have a F150 with T-bone, Boonedox Landing Gear and always launch from a boat ramp (or hard bank). Because of this, I prefer my heavy boat. I am more concerned about comfort, precise maneuverability, stability and standability.

The Outback excels in the following:
- weight
- can be paddled (although its not the best paddler)
- enough, but not too much
- can be dragged across a beach (although Boonedox Landing Gear is better)
- can be car topped (although, its pushing the cartop limits in my opinion)
- turns on a dime
- can handle surf

The Outback has the following limitations:
- not the best to stand in (although it is marginally standable)
- no horizontal rod storage
- limited storage
- the 2019 is a wet ride?

The PA excels in the following:
- storage
- horizontal rod storage
- maneuverability (only if you get the 360)
- standability
- comfort
- comfort
- comfort

The PA has the following limitations:
- maneuverability (unless you get the 360... of you do, nothing matches its maneuverability!)
- weight
- cannot be paddled
- cannot handle surf

Others might have different experiences/preferences... but these are my observations after several years of fishing with my son. Hope it helps.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Mike@972] #14008054 05/24/21 12:56 AM
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Jezreel Offline OP
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Wow! ! ! Great report! Thanks so much. Yeah, I wish I could get both and have the best of both worlds, but alas, I can only get one. Unfortunately I am stretching it getting the PA14 - 180 with the Humminbird, and the FPV Power 17.5AH battery, along with the other accessories. My funds are running low. After watching as many YouTube videos as I can, I think I will be happier with the PA14 where I’ll have room in the cockpit. I’ve watched the folks in the Yak fishin’ tourneys, Andy the PA looks to be the ticket.

Thanks for the help.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008074 05/24/21 01:24 AM
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Fishing Tackle Unlimited, on 45 South, has Hobie rentals. You can test out both kayaks for a nominal cost. If you are not too far from this location, give them a call and check it out.

On a side note, the 360 drive is not bad on the PA but you really only need the 180 drive. Due to your size, I personally recommend a Outback. I am 5'6" and 220 lbs and I roll in a 2015 Outback. The Outback is a perfect balance of a Revo and a PA.

If you are sporting a kayak on a trailer and going to launch from a boat ramp every time you fish, then the PA will work perfectly for you (this applies only if you intend to launch your yak like a boat and reloading as well the same way). No lifting will be necessary. The extra space is definitely a plus on the PA. The newer Outbacks have more space than the older models. You really can't go wrong either kayak!

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008161 05/24/21 03:06 AM
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Jezreel Offline OP
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“ On a side note, the 360 drive is not bad on the PA but you really only need the 180 drive. Due to your size, I personally recommend a Outback. I am 5'6" and 220 lbs and I roll in a 2015 Outback. The Outback is a perfect balance of a Revo and a PA.”


Arrrrrrrgh! ! ! Yeah I really need to test drive them.

I really do like the Outback and the minimal characteristics vs the PA. . . I just hate to find, I wished I had plunked the extra doe down on the PA, initially.

I really appreciate the feedback. This is what I need to hear. I also would like to manhandle them each, just to see how much more difficult the PA would be.

When I get back into town next week, I’m gonna have money burning a hole in my pocket, and I want to make sure I make the right choice. Lotta money riding on this purchase.

Thanks

Last edited by Jezreel; 05/24/21 03:08 AM.
Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008215 05/24/21 04:28 AM
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If you have Boonedox Landing Gear (which will add another $300), you do not need a trailer to launch a PA. It's a little heavy with the Landing Gear, but very manageable.

If you ever make it up to Dallas, I am happy to let you tug them both around my driveway. My son is home from college and both Kayaks are currently sitting in my garage... both have Landing Gear.

If you are able to make it Ray Roberts, Grapevine or Lewisville on a day that we are both fishings, you can test ride each of them. He has a summer internship, so our joint fishing days will be limited to Saturdays and the occasional Sunday afternoon/evening.

Mine is a 360... you can get a feel for both the 360 and 180. All you have to do is leave the 360 alone and maneuver it with the rudder only. It's maneuverable with only 180, but not nearly as maneuverable as the 180 Outback. When I had the 180 PA, I would often have to use the paddle to adjust myself in tight waters (especially when it was windy). I admit that this is a "first world problem". LOL.

Drop me a PM if you want to try to arrange a test ride.

Also, Mariner Sails (in Dallas) does test rides. This will allow you to test the newer model Outback (2019 and beyond).

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008283 05/24/21 11:26 AM
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OP as you know I've had both. The PA14 is nice once it's on the water due to the space and room it has. To me that's the only real advantage. Unfortunately loading, unloading and moving it around while not in the water is a big factor.

I like the seat in the Outback better, I can stand in the Outback just fine (and I'm 6' 210), it sits lower in the water which means less wind drag and freeboard, costs less, has better resale value and is easier to sell if it ever comes to that, easier to maneuverer especially while on the water, etc. For me it's the Outback hands down. Get the 2020 or newer which has the kick up fins.

As you can see kayaks differ from one to another which is why it's really important to test each of them out. I recommend renting from Mariner Sails and spending a few hours in each one. You can't tell much about a kayak with a 20 minute demo.

Either way you'll need either a nice cart, a trailer or Boondox landing gear regardless which one you choose.


You get out of it what you put into it!
Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008509 05/24/21 03:00 PM
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Highly recommend trying out any kayak and if its windy, even better. They all feel great in calm weather. roflmao


A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.
Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919

https://vimeo.com/73372194
https://vimeo.com/72859045

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14008590 05/24/21 03:59 PM
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OP,

For what it's worth, I largely agree with Jerry. While I prefer the PA seat, I know what Jerry is talking about. The PA seat lacks upper butt and lower back support... this is unfortunate because this seems easily solved with a minor redesign. However, I don't have back problems and prefer the higher seat position.

I feel differently about the standability. However, my experience is only on the 2018. The new design has a larger flatter bottom... which probably makes a big difference for standing.

The PA is a beast. I am the first to admit this. When I say beast, it's 148 pounds rigged. I travel light... mine is probably about 160 pounds loaded (not including cooler). By comparison, the Outback is 103 pounds rigged (about 1/3 lighter).

While I prefer the PA, I continue to feel that the new design Outback is the best all-around fishing kayak in the Hobie lineup. If it had 360 and horizontal rod storage, I would have bought one. Even without these features, I seriously considered it.

Jerry is right. We all have items that are important to us. For example, best that I recall, Jerry fishes more diverse water than me. I believe Jerry fishes some fresh water and some salt water. I fish exclusively on fresh water and like to get into the thick stuff (marinas, standing timber, skinny water, etc). This is where the 360 shines. Without 360, the Outback shines in tight waters.

I consider the Outback to be the "Leatherman Wave" of pedal fishing kayaks. Meaning, it seems like all new multi-tools get compared to the Wave. I feel like all new pedal fishing kayaks get compared to the Outback.

You have a big decision. If you are on the fence and are not considering 360, the Outback is the safer choice. Like Jerry said, you can sell it in a heartbeat and probably get most of your money back.

By way of info and a "shout out" to the 360, this is what I like most about the 360... I don't need forward movement to position the boat. Meaning, with a rudder, you have to propel forward to position the kayak (with the PA, you have to propel a lot). With the 360, I can position the boat without forward movement. This is important to me because I like tight waters.

Re: Age Old Question - PA14 or Outback [Re: Jezreel] #14009163 05/25/21 01:42 AM
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Jezreel Offline OP
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Thanks for all the posts. It is a big decision, and it's a tough one. Thanks for the insight Mike. And Jerry, for a second time, thank you for your thoughts. Talking to y'all, I really feel the Outback is the right choice, but I make the mistake of watching more videos with the PA14s at Yak Bass Tourneys. And then I want PA.

The Money-Man (the wife) has approved the funds, even for a PA14 and accessories, but I don't dare try for the 360.

I'm chompin' at the bit to get on the water, but reckon I need to cool my jets till I can get a test drive. I'm on an Emergency Management deployment for COVID, and I think I might be extended a week, so doggone-it, it might even be another week.

I'm gonna call Mariner Sails to see about a test drive. I'll let y'all know what I decide. I just gotta quit watching YouTube videos of the Yak Bass Tourneys. I REALLY do like the Outback. What a sleek lookin' machine!

Thanks agin for your detailed info. cry bang hammer One day soon I'll be out on the water. thumb

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