Undoubtedly, kayaking is on the rise, and the trend can only continue. It is a pastime or a competitive sport for others and an economic activity for another bunch of enthusiasts. But kayaking is a tricky undertaking without the essential kayaking gear and accessories.
A fishing kayak without the right gear is just a spacious vessel that will not aid your fishing escapades. Yet, these pieces of equipment are tailor-made to accommodate everything you need for your fishing trips.
While that is in the public domain, many kayak anglers buy the best fishing kayaks but do not know what accessories to include. And this applies to both new and seasoned kayakers alike.
You no longer need to worry about that. We took our time to research and compile some of the accessories that have made our past fishing expeditions successful. And we believe you will equally find them vital.
But first, let us consider tips to consider when choosing your kayak fishing gear!
Top 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Kayak Fishing Accessories
Why do you need kayak fishing accessories? The answer to this question will make your choice of kayak equipment a remorseful or a worthy undertaking. The trick towards getting the right gear lies in knowing why you need the accessory, knowing your kayak, fishing style, and durability.
Let us delve deeper!
Understanding Your Kayak
Firstly, you can only spruce up your kayak if you have the correct vessel. You must have the right type of fishing kayak and buy accessories based on its dimensions.
Consider stability when choosing a kayak since you will often find yourself fighting with your catch during the reeling process. Unlike recreational kayaking vessels that are narrower, fishing models are broader for better stability.
The wider your vessel, the more stable it is. However, you will be compromising on speed, which is pretty necessary. Options available provide you with the convenience to add all the accessories you may need. You can either consider a paddle kayak or a peddle kayak.
Before anything, your protection while venturing into the waters comes first. Thus, you will need to think about the kinds of accessories that will improve your safety. We will discuss some safety essentials in the coming section.
Ideally, water is useful for millions of vital functions and processes. But water is also destructive on a lot of things. When choosing your kayak fishing gear, consider those that are resistant to water.
Do not get this twisted. While your goal is to keep everything out of water during your expedition, the mere fact that you will be on the water is enough to raise some alarm. Your gear will get wet, even when you try to avoid it.
Choosing water-resistant items is a crucial step. But you may need to go a notch further to invest in water-safe storage items. A water-safe hatch, for example, ensures that you do not take chances with personal essentials such as snacks, phones, cameras, and wallets.
Do you want to go to the market for a similar product now and then? No one does, particularly with the current economic times. The outdoor nature can be turbulent and destructive. Choose sturdy and reliable items when accessorizing your canoe to ensure that they resist harsh elements such as wind and waves.
14 Essential Kayak Fishing Gear That You Cannot Ignore
The above information is only a prelude to what you should know. Now, let us look into the gear that will form part of your trip. Every item that we include here will enhance efficiency. But beyond efficiency, there is personal safety and gear durability in mind.
- A suitable Kayak
Ladies and gentlemen, you are in the preparation stage for a kayak fishing expedition. Thus, your first item should be a suitable kayaking vessel. It is the vessel that will take you to your secret fishing spot. While there are various types of kayaks, not all of them are good for fishing. For example, some inflatables will not take in most of the accessories.
But which kind of kayak will do the work adequately? Both sit-in and sit-on options are viable for fishing trips. However, consider sit-on models for warm weather fishing expeditions and sit-in models for cold conditions.
Irrespective of the kayak type you go for, always consider models with wider bases for better stability. While you will sacrifice speed for an extensive base, a fishing kayak is not about speed. Instead, you will need stability when fighting a big catch in the deep sea.
- Personal Floating Device (PFD)
Call it a personal floating device, a PFD, or a life jacket; this is a must-have for anyone venturing into the waters. A life jacket is the first safety measure that you need while paddling your canoe.
Ensure you purchase and put on a personal floating device all the time. And do not be deceived by calm waters or considerably short distances. When anything happens, a life jacket will augment your swimming skills.
You will need good paddles to propel your vessel on the water as you head to your fishing destination. Interestingly, your choice of paddles will depend on your skills and expertise. Double-sided paddles are great if you are a skilled paddler ready to maneuver through the tides.
However, paddles are only applicable to paddle kayaks. Some anglers opt for pedal kayaks and will do without paddles. Also, if your fishing spot is far away into the sea, paddling can be so exhausting. Thus, a motor engine can be a more efficient way to propel yourself to and from your destination.
- Rod Holders
Some fishing canoes come with rod holders, but this is not a universal inclusion. Yet, rod holders are a must-have when you set off for a kayak fishing expedition. And a good one, for that matter.
Ideally, the chances are that you will be out in the water fishing for several hours. In such a scenario, it becomes impossible to hold onto your fishing rod throughout.
A suitable rod holder should do the job for you. So, your work is to cast your reel and monitor it until there is an activity. The holder not only holds your reel but also keeps it secure. If you are holding your rod, a lack of concentration will let the rod drop. Rods are a pricy investment, and losing them alongside your reel and line components is a significant setback.
- Kayak Paddle Clip
Many sports kayakers do not see the need for paddle clips. However, a paddle clip is a must-have for a fishing kayaker. Since most kayaks are not enclosed vessels, many kayakers end up dropping their paddles accidentally. When this happens, you will undoubtedly get stranded in the middle of the ocean.
A paddle clip helps to hold your paddle when you fish. A paddle clip will also conveniently secure your fishing rod as you paddle to or from your fishing destination. While a rod holder can hold your rod as you travel and when you fish, the sight of a rod poking out throughout is not a pleasant one. Again, rod holders are less aerodynamic and ideal once you set up your fishing gear on a single spot.
- Kayak Fishing Tackle Box
You are on a fishing expedition, and a fishing tackle box is one of the items you must have. Of course, the choice of the gear to include in your tackle box will depend on several factors. But first, you will need to predetermine the kind of waters you want to explore. The type of water will determine the types of fishing lines to include in your tackle box.
Also, you need to find out the type of fish you hope to prey on. Various types of fish require different types of baits, fishing lines, and hooks. Ideally, getting your fishing gear into your kayak requires some organization. You may use a small pack or an open crate to keep everything organized.
- Kayak Seat Back
Besides safety, comfort is another aspect that most kayakers overlook. Yet, the fact that you will be out for an entire day or days requires that you take care of your comfort. You do not want to get to a point where your back can no longer take it. Often, many kayakers abort fishing missions just because their backs can no longer bear it.
A seat back provides ultimate support and comfort. It also makes paddling and pedaling easy and efficient.
- Kayak Scupper Valves and Scupper Plugs
Most kayaks have scupper holes that help with drainage. They are pretty integral for your safety. However, there comes a time when they become more of a hazard than a safety tip. For example, water will get into your kayak through the holes while paddling in choppy waters will.
Fishing kayaks carry too much weight, and too much water in the vessel can be dangerous. Include scupper holes in your kayak fishing gear to plug scupper holes in choppy waters. Use scupper valves to help with the water outflow.
Occasionally, you will end up at the right fishing spot only to drift away by the time you organize your reel and bait the line. A kayak anchor helps you to stay grounded during the setup and casting process.
But while at, consider compact and lightweight anchor kits. Without an anchor kit, you will have to stop whatever you are doing from time to time to adjust.
Many advantages come with kayak fishing. They can take you to any fishing spot, and since they move swiftly, you will not scare away any fish. However, their major disadvantage is the lack of sufficient storage space.
The solution to this problem is to consider smart storage options. These options will not only help you ferry your gear but will also help organize your kayak. You can choose from a range of storage hatches and storage bags available on the market.
Notably, hard-shelled fishing kayaks are not straightforward to transport to a water body. You will need a car or a truck for efficiency. And when doing this, many people end up damaging their cars or kayaks. Since kayak or car repainting is costly, you can prevent this by investing in a kayak carrier.
With a kayak carrier, you do not need a truck, a big car, or an expensive roof rack to transport your boat. A simple, pocket-friendly kayak carrier should be enough. Many people go for foam block carriers, which are less costly and customizable.
- Kayak Cart
Transporting your kayak from your home garage to the river bank or seashore is one step. Carrying your kayak from your car to the water is another thing altogether. New kayakers drag the vessels to the water, and this is very strenuous. Besides, that is not the best way to treat your kayak.
Investing in a kayak cart saves you energy and brings convenience to your outing. Also, including a cart in your gear helps to prevent unnecessary wear and tear.
- Fish Finder
A fishing expedition is only enjoyable when you make a catch. While experienced kayakers know where to find fish spots, entrants will find it very difficult. Of course, some novices even end up abandoning their new hobby simply because they cannot make any catch. Anyway, who wants an abysmal outing every day.
A fish finder will make your targets more accurately. It points you to the nearest fish hideouts, providing you with more accurate locations.
- First Aid Kit
It is not always that you will sustain an injury out there. However, life in the outdoors is unpredictable. There could be a knife into your finger or palm, a hook through your nails, or some unexpected headache. You will need an emergency remedy for any of these, and carrying first aid kits is always a good idea.
However, carrying a first aid kit does not mean transforming your kayak into a mini-hospital. Just pack a few cotton swabs, a disinfectant, some analgesics, a surgical blade or razor, antibiotics, and medical spirit. Of course, these should help you attend to minor injuries and ailments before you go for specialized care.
One of the reasons why fishing is exciting is that anyone can do it. Whether you choose inflatable kayaks or solid kayaks, you do not need any special skills and knowledge to get your catch. However, more skills, knowledge, and experience make it more successful and enjoyable.
Also, fishing is an activity that you can engage in with any available accessories. While all the discussed items will make your outing smoother, you can prioritize what to start with and make additions with time. Whatever you opt for, look at durability and water resistance besides its use.
Now, focus on what matters and go fishing!
Anthony has been an angler for the past 15 years. His experience makes him an invaluable asset to FISHING GEN and writes on fishing expeditions as well as fishing gear.