I took my new Outback out on the lake this weekend and was absolutely floored by its capabilities. Even after reading other reviews of the pedal system, I was still amazed by how efficient it was. You can tool around all day with a leisurely pedal, or kick it up and really fly. I admit that I am not the most proficient paddler around, but I can pedal this boat a lot faster than I can paddle it. After being on the water all day Saturday (over 11 hours) the only thing sore on me Sunday morning was my right arm from casting! I pedaled through milfoil (our southern water weed) with no problem at all, although to be honest I did bring the pedals up against the hull and paddled when I got too deep in the weeds. Results? 6 keeper bass, 8 bluegill, and 5 big crappie.
This boat is extremely well thought out. With all the cutouts around the hull, I was able to keep everything at my fingertips: soft drink, pliers, fish scent, etc. The 2 rear rod holders keep the rods in easy reach, but well out of the way of casting. My only complaint with them is that the holes for the rod holders are too small to accept a pistol grip rod Ė but you can still strap one on the other side from the paddle holder. I had a full size tackle box in the area directly behind the seat, a cooler behind that, and a small bag with my soft plastic baits in the area right in front of the seat: and everything was well within easy reach!
This boat is very stable. I really donít believe that you can tip it. Getting in and out is a breeze, 10x easier than the canoe I fished out of last year. The rudder system works perfect. It looks too small to be that effective, but it really is. You can cut donuts with this thing.
Is it perfect? Nope. It is a heavy little beast, but not so heavy that I canít put it on the rack myself. The biggest complaint I have is the lack of handles Ė this makes it very hard to get up over your head. I have learned to strap one of my rack tie downs through one of the rear scupper holes and then the hole for the pedal system. Cinching it up tight against the hull gives one a centered ďhandleĒ that you can use to pick the boat up off the ground.
This boat is so much better than the Kevlar Canoe that I used last year that it ainít even silly. Easier to get in and out of (docks donít worry me any more), you have your arms free all day, it is tons faster, and it is a lot more stable. No more casting once and paddling 5 times Ė you just cast all day! I love it and give it a 10 out of 10.