The Best Kayak Fishing Accessories to Land Your Catch
Kayak fishing has become increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts and more rapidly since the outdoor recreation upspring of 2020. The reasons are varied, but among them are cost, convenience, and capability. The expense of owning a motorized fishing boat is not feasible for many. Plus, a kayak is easier to transport than those larger boats. And third, a kayak gives you fishing opportunities in many areas a traditional boat can’t go. Once you have your rig, you’ll want the right tools onboard. Trust these kayak fishing accessories to help you land a trophy.
Best Kayak Fishing Accessories
The Expert: I am an avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys just about any outdoor-related sport that doesn’t involve a ball. Living in Alabama means I can hunt and fish year-around. I am a successful and skilled hunter, but I’m still honing my fishing skills with the help of an excellent mentor. My mentor, Richard, has a lifetime of experience fishing waterways of all types. When I brought up the idea of getting into kayak fishing, I didn’t have to do any convincing. He had already started marking areas on a map that he was hoping to go kayak fishing. He and other kayak anglers lent their expertise to this article, too.
How to Buy the Right Fishing Kayak for You
When you decide to delve into kayak fishing, you’ll need to consider what type of water you will typically fish, which kayak propulsion system will be best, and how you will transport your boat. Let’s break these factors down.
Fishing Location Dictates Boat Design
The type of water you plan to fish in determines the best kayak style for your needs. Unlike a recreational kayak, the length, width, and hull style of a fishing kayak are much more critical. A longer kayak requires less steering correction when moving forward, especially in waters with a current or tide. The width of a kayak is vital to the craft’s stability. A wider kayak is slower but provides stability for you to stand or maneuver within the boat.
Hull shape is an essential feature of a fishing kayak and should be considered a priority, even over length and width. W-shaped and V-shaped hulls are the two most favorable designs for kayak anglers. A W-shaped, or tri-hull, design offers superior stability in slow-moving rivers, lakes, and deep water. A V-shape hull sacrifices stability to provide the best tracking and speed.
There are three types of propulsion available in kayaks: paddle, pedal, and power-propelled. Your budget might be the defining factor in this feature, but don’t let that be the only factor you consider. A paddle-style kayak is typically the lightest of the three styles. You get a bit more storage capacity but must use your hands to paddle the oars and steer, so you won’t be able to hold a fishing rod simultaneously.
The pedal-style craft offers hands-off propulsion, thanks to a pedal unit with a propeller below the craft. For transport and in extremely shallow water, this unit conveniently lifts out of the water. The big advantage of this style is you can spend more time with a rod in your hands, but expect a heavier and more expensive kayak. A paddle or push pole lets you navigate in the shallows.
A kayak equipped with a trolling motor is ideal for the angler who plans to spend many hours on vast waterways. The powered kayak requires more battery storage capacity and is usually the heaviest and expensive of the three types.
The best way to transport a kayak depends on what kind of vehicle you drive and your budget. There are roof-mounted racks for cars and smaller SUVs, truck bed mounts for larger trucks, and a variety of trailers for single to multiple kayaks. You can usually add storage for extra gear to trailers, if needed. If you decide on roof or truck bed racks, you might also need a two-wheel trolley to get the kayak from your vehicle to the water by yourself.
Gearing up Your Fishing Kayak
After selecting the best fishing kayak for you, you’ll then need to gear it up for your personal fishing needs and style. Some items are required by state law, so always check your state’s regulations.
Outside of the items required—a paddle, personal floatation device (PFD), and navigation light are universal musts—several kayak anglers I asked recommend having at least a tackle storage option, various smaller tackle boxes, tethers for rods and loose items, battery power, and a compact landing net. As you gain experience, you can continue to tweak your setup. Thanks to several companies that are dedicated to kayak recreation and fishing, quality kayak fishing accessories are available in all price ranges to meet everyone’s budget.
How I Evaluated
To recommend the best kayak fishing accessories and the best fishing kayak, I researched many options online, attended trade shows, visited local kayak dealers, talked with representatives of various brands, and reached out to kayak owners. I excluded gear such as rods, reels, lures, and other tackle items because the best ones aren’t dictated by whether you’re casting from a kayak. Keeping in mind that everyone has different budgets and fishing needs, I suggest you invest in the highest quality product that your budget allows, which always saves you in the long run by not having to upgrade. It doesn’t necessarily mean buying only the top-shelf product but looking for quality in every product you purchase. Ultimately, my recommendations are based not only on my research, wants, and needs, but also on consumer reviews, product ratings, and suggestions from amateur and professional kayak anglers.
Fishing from a kayak requires the right gear. Trust these expert-recommended kayak fishing accessories to help you land your catch.