If you intend to go fishing with a kayak, one of the most important considerations to have in mind is the limited space available to you. Besides, before outfitting the kayak for fishing, you have to make sure it is a good fishing kayak.
The features to look out for in a good fishing kayak include the following:
- It must have relatively high level of stability
- There must be adequate flat surfaces to bolt down or hold your fishing gears
- You must be able to maneuver the kayak easily
So whether you have or are planning to purchase a ‘Sit On Top’ (SOT) kayak or a ‘Sit In Kayak’ (SIK), it must have those basic qualities to be suitable for fishing.
Experienced anglers using Kayaks make it point to optimize the little space on their boat. The best practice is making sure vital items are close by. These are the stuff used more frequently. Basically, minimalism is a great attitude to adopt as far as equipment for kayak fishing is concerned.
How to outfit your kayak for fishing
Outfitting a kayak is not so difficult. Only the amount of money you have can limit what you do. There is a wide range of products to select from in stores. But even the lack of funds shouldn’t stop if you really want to do it. The basic items needed certainly won’t break the bank.
Below are the basic items you would need to customize your kayak for fishing.
One indispensable item you need is a rod holder to secure your fishing rod while paddling, trolling or fishing with your kayak. There are different types of rod holders and some Kayaks are even factory-fitted with them.
The different types of rod holder are:
- Adjustable rod holders – like the name implies, they are adjustable to either increase or decrease the height. Well, adjustable rod holders can be rotated full circle and some have the added advantage of being easily removable when not in use.
- Flush mounted rod holders – these are unobtrusive as they are fitted into the kayak by inserting a tube into the kayak or even molded into the boat. They are usually found behind the kayak. They can also be removed depending on the model.
No matter the type of rod holder you use, ensure you attached your fishing rod to a lease. This is to prevent losing it overboard in the event of a very bumpy ride or if unfortunately, you capsize.
How much you fish on a kayak might depend on the type of seat installed. This is even more so if you plan to spend the whole day fishing. So you need to make sure you get very comfortable seat installed for you.
A word of advice: don’t go for cheap seats.
A good anchor secures your kayak to one spot while fishing. Apart from that, your anchor comes in handy when you want to fish systematically in a large area. It helps to cover the area efficiently.
Since you are using a kayak, your anchor should weigh about 3 lbs. And it shouldn’t take up too much space.
Anchors come in a package. The complete package includes the main anchor, the anchor trolley, anchor line, and chain.
- Anchor – there are many types of anchors sold in hardware shops. The most common ones though are:
- Folding anchors: these are very popular because of their portability and ability to get a firm hold in most situations.
- Claw anchors: these are not as portable as folding anchors but are the best as they keep you securely in one place when the lake/river beds or bottoms to hold on to are very soft.
- Anchor trolley – this is the base of the complete anchor system. It’s basically an extension of the anchor line as it helps to create an adjustable attachment point to your kayak.
Good anchor trolleys also help you adjust the angle of your kayak depending on the prevailing weather conditions and movement of the tide.
- Anchor line – make sure your anchor line is up to the maximum depth of where you intend to fish. The dead end of the anchor line should be passed through the trolley ring and attached to the kayak.
It is essential to have a cleat (jam, clam or hybrid) mounted on the kayak to tie the anchor line. The cleat is also useful for adjusting the length of the line.
- Chain – the river/lake bottom must be considered when picking the type of chain to purchase. For rough bottoms, a chain that would hang up the anchor is the best option. Soft muddy bottoms would require chains that should sink deeply in the mud and help hold the kayak steady.
Outfitting your kayak for fishing with a drift chute is necessary if you want to fish in water too deep for an anchor to be effective. You can also use it to slow you down if you are drifting while fishing.
If you are lucky to catch a large fish, a properly deployed drift chute makes it difficult for the fish to toss you around.
Paddle holder or leash
You simply don’t want to lose your paddle while fishing right? This is where the paddle holder or leash comes in. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
A strong rope can be used to tie one end to any part of the kayak while the other end is used to secure the paddle. You can buy customized paddle leash if you want. They are coiled, flexible leases that are extendable.
These are the bare minimum you’d need to outfit your kayak for fishing. If outfitting the kayak seems a bit difficult, simply buy the basic equipment and get somebody with the knowledge to help you get your Kayak up to speed for fishing.