Submitted: 06-23-2004 by Barnett
I have been looking for a small lightweight solo canoe for mostly fishing and just messing about in. After paddling several canoes and Kayaks I knew what features I wanted. We had an Old Town Osprey but at 14' & 55# it was just to much to handle solo for me and to paddle on windy days. After much searching I came across Compass Canoe, a small company that makes canoes to order. They specialize in small Wee Lassie type boats that you sit down on the bottom & paddle with a kayak paddle.
I went down and tried a 10'6" boat and a 12' 9" boat. I prefered the 12' boats tracking and ordered one. The boat is made from carbon fiber & kevlar with an outer fiberglass skin for abrasion resistance, gel coated inside and out. Mine is a nice green outside with a sand colored inside. There is flotation built into the bottom & there are foot braces like a kayak. The fit and finish is top notch, very nice. The boat comes with a very comfortable folding cane canoe seat and a 8' Bending Branches kayak paddle.
I went out on a day where I knew the winds were predicted to be about 15mph on the same pond that I had previously had such a struggle getting back to my put in spot in the Osprey. It was fairly calm in the morning and I easily paddled about a mile to the other end of the pond and started to fish. As other boats began to get on the pond I headed for the thick tangle of lily pads and had that whole area to myself.
The Leader handled great. It was very easy to paddle and very stable to fish from. It was also very stealthy! I easily got to fish areas others could not and never spooked the fish. I decided to head in around noon, the wind had really picked up and there were 1' whitecaps on the pond. I had a mile to paddle back against a stiff cross wind. The Leader was a joy. I easily kept on course and cut right thru the waves. At the end of the day a 12' 28# boat was pure joy to lift and load. I am very impressed with this little boat! I'll have it for many years and know there will be many a fish caught from it. My wife wants to try it to see if she wants one as well.