If you are new to kayak fishing it can be overwhelming seeing all the gear and gadgets. And with something new always on the market, it can be difficult to figure out just what you need and what is unnecessary. Rather than risk wasting your money on something you don’t need, or will not work, it is best to do your research and that starts here with our list of the best kayak fishing accessories available today. If you don’t have the time to go searching the web, then consider this your cheat sheet. Through reviews, testing, and practicality, here are some of the best kayak fishing accessories you should spend your money on.
What Do You Need To Kayak?
It goes without saying that to kayak you need, well, a kayak. Along with that comes a paddle, a personal flotation device, or PFD, and a helmet depending on how rough the water is. After that there are many accessories that are available. Some accessories do little more than take up space, while others are far more important than you might think. This is why you need to consider certain other factors while investing in kayaking accessories.
One of the biggest things to consider when deciding what accessories you need is what type of kayaking you are doing. From whitewater, to fishing and even just a leisurely paddle around the lake, different activities need different accessories. The other factors include the location you are kayaking, the time you want to spend on the water and how many people will be with or around you.
Safety is your first priority when on the water, no matter what you are doing, so it is important to make sure you are planning ahead in case something goes wrong. This includes being prepared for the worst case scenario, without overwhelming your kayak with unnecessary equipment.
What Do You Need To Kayak Fish?
If you are heading out on the water specifically to fish, you will need to bring the standards. Fishing poles, hooks, nets and tackleboxes are all a given, but you may want to look for kayak specific fishing gear to make it easier to access and store. For example, there are many fishing accessories you can buy that are able to be mounted onto your kayak for easy access. While others may require you to dig around for them or have to cut into your kayak to attach them.
The wrong fishing accessories can not only cost you the big catch, but ruin your whole trip. You could get hurt or lost and even stranded if you make the wrong choices. That is why it is so important to know what items to bring and the quality of them when you buy.
Best Accessories For Kayak Fishing
If you are ready to start kayak fishing, or just want to update your gear, here are some of the most highly recommended accessories to have. Each of these are designed to make your trip safer, more memorable, and give you that fishing edge that so many are searching for.
Fishing carts serve an important role in keeping your kayak and other belongings from being dragged on the ground. If you’re currently carrying your kayak around and don’t have a cart then chances are this is the best fishing kayak accessories that you can buy. Your kayak can be heavy, even without the gear inside, and can be awkward to carry from your vehicle to the water. But one little scrape can be the start of a big problem as it lessens the durability and makes your kayak more susceptible to sinking.
Fishing carts allow you to place the kayak safely above the ground and easily move from one spot to another. There is no need to worry about drops, drags or injury to yourself.
The C-Tug Kayak and Canoe cart is ideal for transporting your kayak from spot to spot. The entire cart weighs only 10 pounds and can handle up to 300 pounds of weight capacity. The entire thing can be assembled easily and without any tools. There are also puncture resistant wheels so there is no need to worry about flats slowing you down.
For a less durable, but more affordable option, you can also consider the Sea to Summit Sit-on-top cart. It has a lightweight design with an adjustable axel. While it is a fraction of the price, is cart can only handle up to 154 pounds.
Obviously, a paddle is necessary to move your kayak in the water. But many of the paddles that can come included with a kayak are cheap and flimsy compared to buying it separately. Because you rely so much on your paddle, you need to make sure it will stand up to the waves and debris and do the job. That is why you need to research your paddle and make sure you are getting the right one for your needs.
A great paddle for kayak fishing is the Bending Branches Angler Classic.
It’s green coloring blends in with the water to not startle the fish and the hook retrieval notch makes it easy to bring in loose lines. The paddle comes with a snap button that connects the two separate parts, making it easy to transport and secure to use. You can also rest easy knowing that the fiberglass reinforced material will hold up to whatever you throw at it.
Not everything you will be bringing with you will be waterproof. Food, spare clothing and phones all need to be kept somewhere where water cannot get to. This is where dry storage comes in. You can choose between bags, boxes and containers, depending on what best suits you. You can also check out article on the best drybags for kayaking for more choices.
There are many different dry storage options on the market, but the Sak Gear DrySak Waterproof Dry Bag is one of the best. It comes in nine different color options and two sizes, all at a very affordable price. The 500 denier PVC and welded seams will keep your belongings dry and safe from whatever nature throws its way. Reflective trim on the bag also makes it easy to spot in the dark, and a zipper pocket on the outside allows for easy access to important belongings. The shoulder strap also makes it easy to carry around and secure to your kayak for travel.
While you may start the day with fully charged devices, you never know when something might go wrong and you need tome extra juice. The best way to do this is to have a solar charger. They can charge a wide range of devices like phones, fish finders and even cooking gear if you plan on camping out. This is not only the most energy efficient option, but is far more reliable than batteries.
The Sokoo 22W Solar Charger is a foldable and waterproof solar panel that is reinforced with high-wear PVC material. The panel, when folded, measures 12.20 inches by 6.69 inches and only weighs 17.5 ounces total. Two USB chargers allow you to plug in multiple items at once to charge, and the smart IC chip built into the panel maximized charging speeds. Copper alloy eye holes in each corner also makes it easy to attach to trees, backpacks and the kayak itself.
A personal flotation device, or PFD is a must have item whenever on the water, regardless of what you are doing. But if you plan on fishing, it can be beneficial to have a PFD that is specifically designed for fishing. Fishing PFDs offer you more pocket space to keep things like hooks, pliers and other go- to items right within hand’s reach. This makes it easier to organize your items and prevent losing a big catch over not having what you need on you.
The Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device is ideal for any fisher because it provides you with ample places to store items you need within arm’s reach. An adjustable shoulder strap allows you to get the perfect fit and a ventilated back keeps you from overheating. D- rings and pouches are organized on the PFD to keep everything organized and ready to go whenever you need them.
Unless you have an inflatable kayak, you will more than likely be strapping your kayak to the top of your vehicle. You need to make sure that the kayak is secured without harming the kayak or the car. You don’t want it to be too loose either and bump around or fall off. This is why you need something trustworthy to do the job of getting your kayak around. Also, see the best kayak racks for autos.
The Universal Folding Kayak Rack is a perfect option for anyone because it works for any vehicle and any kayak model. The roof rack is adjustable to fit your needs and can fold down when not in use. This means you don’t need to worry about the extra clearance when you aren’t transporting your kayak.
A lively fish is hard enough to hold onto as you reel it in. But add in the slipperiness of a fish and you are looking at a lot of lost catches. Fishing grips help you keep hold of the fish, no matter how slippery or how much it thrashes.
The Piscifun Professional Fish Holder Lip Gripper with Scale Ruler is a two in one product that allows you to both hold onto your catch and measure it. This includes precise measuring tape and a weight scale that can handle up to 40 pounds and three feet of fish. The fish grip itself is designed to do little to no damage to the fish if you are planning on a catch and release option. The fish holder will not rust, regardless of use in fresh or salt water. This is because of the stainless steel design and rubberized grips. It can also be used in both hot and cold temperatures.
Once you find the perfect place to cast your line, the last thing you need is to drift around. An anchor prevents you from drifting or floating aimlessly as you fish. This not only prevent you from losing your spot, but prevents you from getting lost. That is especially crucial in larger bodies of water where you can easily lose direction. Dropping anchor also allows you to focus on fishing without having to worry about paddling back into position. Not every anchor is going to do the job and it is crucial that you find a reliable one.
Because it is important to not overload your boat or go over the weight capacity, it is important to choose an anchor that is effective, yet light. The Airhead Complete Grapnel Anchor System is only three and a third pounds total and very highly rated. The 25 foot long cord and four flukes keep you in place without drifting or getting lost. It also comes with a durable carrying case to prevent injury and keep it compact when not in use.
Getting lost is much easier than you think on water. As waves rock your boat and land grows more distant, you can end up adrift with no sense of direction. When that happens, you need to be able to find your way back. A GPS is a must have in many situations, but especially when out on the water were there are no clear signs to distinguish your direction. GPS systems can also be incredibly helpful when looking for new spots to fish. They can also be used in a wide range of other activities, making them worth the money.
The Garmin Fenix GPS Watch is designed to be as compact and easy to use as possible by sitting right on your wrist. No bigger than the average wrist watch, this GPS system features wireless connectivity and water resistance up to 100 meters. The display is easy to read in the sun and provides you with 20 hours of battery life when in GPS mode. When in watch mode you can get up to six weeks of battery life.
If you don’t want to waste your time trying to find the best spot to fish, then a fish finder is a must have. Especially in large bodies of water, it can be difficult to search out the right spot and depth to find the most fish. A fish finder is designed to show you where the fish are in proximity to you and where you need to be. But higher end fish finders can even show you the sizes and types of fish you are looking at.
A great fish finger option is the ReelSonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Fish Finder. This fish finder opts to use your smart phone as the display screen to lessen your kayak’s load. This means that you only need to have the actual fish finder and then simply connect it to your device. The fish finder is accurate up to 135 feet in depth and has over ten hours of battery life. There is also an indicator light to guarantee that you don’t run out of battery without warning. And of course, the app for the device is free on Android and iOS.
Pliers are a fisher’s best friend as you change out lines and cut fish free. A bad pair of pliers can create a lot of unneeded stress and can take the relaxation out of a day on the water.
The Booms Fishing X1 Aluminum Fishing Pliers are highly recommended for any angler. Aluminum is lightweight and corrosion resistant, making it ideal for use around water, whether salt or fresh. They come with a coiled lanyard to keep them attached to you without worrying about them slipping and landing in the water. These pliers also make it easy to remove hooks from your catch without needing to worry about a separate device.
Coolers are a perfect place to store food and drinks as well as your catches. But when you choose to fish in a kayak it can mean having limited space. Bulky coolers won’t fit and if you can include them, you can end up cramped and uncomfortable. But there are options when it comes to the types of coolers on the market. Hard shell and soft shell coolers are bot usable during fishing trips, but have different life spans for its contents. You can also get training coolers that are attached to your kayak, but float on their own.
A perfect soft shell cooler for kayak fishing is the Keenstone Portable Soft Cooler Bag. With three separate layers of insulation, this cooler can keep its contents cold up to 72 hours. An airtight zipper and hot pressing technology are incorporated to make it waterproof and leak proof to avoid contamination. The FDA has approved the TPU material and the entire cooler is BPA free. It also comes with a three year warranty.
To save space in your kayak you should check out the CreekKooler Insulated Floating Cooler. This 30 quart capacity cooler features two inches of insulation to keep the sun from heating up its contents. It also means ice lasts longer and blow molded construction keeps the contents dry. You can use this cooler to help keep items cool, or just as an extra place for dry storage. It also comes in five different colors and is easily connected to your kayak.
If you don’t have a lot of extra space in your kayak and want to save your cooler for your own food and drinks, it can be a good idea to use a stringer. Stringers keep hold of your fish, typically by the mouth, and string them along as your kayak moves. They keep the fish fresher because they are in the water, rather than in a cooler, and can save you from having to waste space in your kayak.
The Surf To Summit Stainless Steel Fishing Stringer is perfect for hanging your fish on and letting them trail behind you. It won’t rust and can be used in salt or fresh water. The 17 inch long and 7.25 inch wide stringer can handle large and small fish, as well as handle activities like scuba diving and spear fishing.
Some fishing kayaks come with rod holders attached. But if your kayak does not have rod holders, it is worth buying some. Rod holders not only keep your rod in place as you paddle out to your favorite spot, but allows you to easily set them down without breaking them or losing them in the water.
The Scotty #279-BK Baitcaster and Spinning Rod Holder is ideal for anglers who want to keep their rods secure without worrying about drops or damage. It cradles your rod, leaving the bottom open to prevent damage to any reels or trigger grips. You can easily take your rod out when needed and can swivel around to provide you with ultimate access. A soft latch strap goes over the top of the rod holder and can quickly be undone to take your rod out.
Because your paddle is so crucial to your ability to move in a kayak, it is equally as crucial that you keep is as safe as possible. While some paddles float, they can be difficult to grab in the water if they float off. Those that don’t float are going to be impossible to find once they sink. A paddle leash will allow you to pull the paddle back to you without having to get out of the boat or risk tipping over.
The Campingandkayaking Paddle Leash is an affordable and efficient option for keeping your paddle secured to your kayak. You get three separate leashes to use along with a carabiner. The leashes all measure in at 20 inches long and can be fastened together to create a longer leash if needed. The cords are not elastic, so there is no length changes or unwanted stretching. You can use the leashes for paddles, trailing storage, or anything else that may need to be tied down.
A light isn’t just something to have when the power goes out. You never know when you may be suck out longer than you anticipated, or when the weather may change and you need some extra light. Whether you want to get an early start on the water, want to stay out late, or just want to be prepared for anything, it is important to have a source of light at your disposal.
The Kayalu Kayaklite Kayak Light is a perfect option for those who need a little extra light while fishing. This portable LED light works on a wide range of boats and floating items. Three AA batteries will provide you with 100 hours of light and the steel clip, coupled with a nylon coated bungee keeps it securely in place. You can also submerge this light up to 1000 feet in the water and is made of marine grade materials.
Dealing with sharp objects and mother nature can always be dangerous. But when you factor in the water and slippery situations, you can easily cut your hands. Your hands are easy to injure, but can leave you quite literally up a creek without proper care. Paddling or trying to hook your line can be impossible and make your injury worse. Having even a basic first aid kit can make the difference between continuing to fish and having to call it a day. Especially with the increased risk of infection dealing with fish. You should also consider kits with flares to signal for help if you have an emergency.
Surviveware Small First Aid Kit For Backpacking will work just fine for kayak fishing. It comes with the essentials and you can easily add and replace to it as you go.
You should also consider purchasing the NRS Basic Touring Safety Kit just in case of emergencies. It comes with a loud whistle with a cushioned mouth to get the attention of others when needed. It also comes with a bilge pump and boat sponge to help you remove any water that may end up in our kayak.
While there are some kayaks that have a decent seat, most fall short of being comfortable. If you want to spend hours out on the water it is important to have a comfortable seat with good support. Otherwise you can end up more uncomfortable than relaxed and even be in pain the next day. Seat cushions and upgrades are an easy installation and a great investment. No more sore bottoms, aching backs or painful next days as you recuperate from fishing. Enjoying the trip without pain all comes down to having a quality seat.
Yakpads Cushioned Seat Pads come in many different styles. From high back, to low back and even lumbar, these cushions are designed to compensate for those lacking kayak seats. They work for men, women and children and prevent lumbar pain from hours on the water. The fully insulated seat prevents you from having to worry about it getting too hot or too cold to sit on, regardless of the climate around it. Elastomer exteriors with gel inside also makes for a comfortable feel without sticking or rubbing.
With all the little bits and bobs that are needed for fishing it is important to keep it all contained and organized. The classic example of this is a tackle box which is certainly one of the best kayak fishing accessories available. But as more people are taking up kayak fishing, they are abandoning the bulky box. Instead, fishers are opting to use tackle bags to organize and carry their gear.
The Piscifun Fishing Tackle Box Bag is a perfect option for the avid angler. Made of 1000 denier nylon fabric, this waterproof tackle bag can handle holding all your gear without rips or tears. Several different pouches keeps your belonging organized and two 3600 trays are included to hold all your hooks and lures. You can also easily switch between sling shoulder or handheld and can be used for a wide range of outdoor activities. It also comes in three different colors.
Just to make sure you never miss a catch, it is always good to have a backup for bringing it in. A fishing net allows you to get another angle for catching the fish and a more reliable hold than just using your hands. This makes it harder for the fish to slip away.
For fishing nets, SAMSFX aluminum landing nets is a fantastic option. The aluminum is light, yet sturdy and weighs less than half a pound. A five inch handle has a grip to prevent slipping and provide a more comfortable feel for your hands. Micro mesh keeps fish from slipping out and a safety cord keeps it from being dropped.
Why You Shouldn’t Just Use Your Phone
It may be tempting to skip buying separate accessories when you can bundle them into one or two items. With all the apps available on smart devices and the internet in the palm of your hand, it is easy to want to just use them, rather than spending the money on more gear. But smartphones can be unpredictable on the water when it comes to signal and can easily be dropped and lost.
Once that one device stops working or gets lost, you no longer have access to any of the information you need. This is why you should consider getting separate products so you aren’t as dependable on just one item. It is always important to have a backup, but you should use your phone for plan B, rather than as your first choice. Many of the products that you’ll use when kayaking should focus on safety. When choosing the best kayak fishing accessories be sure to look at safety of the product first.
Other Accessories You Will Need
In addition to the best kayak fishing accessories listed above, there are also more basic items you need to remember. Sunscreen and protective clothing, like hats and long sleeves, are need to prevent sun damage as you sit outside. A change of clothing and extra layers should be brought to protect you from the elements, or from having to sit in wet clothing. Sunglasses can make it easier to see what you are doing in the sun and gloves can be used to protect your hands from injury. And of course, you will need to bring food and water to stay hydrated and keep your energy up from paddling.