Outfitting a kayak for fishing is all about customizing your kayak in a way that enhances your fishing style. Proper rigging can make a kayak the perfect choice for a modern angler. Rigging a fishing kayak is an ongoing process, and you’ll probably keep making changes and optimizations as you spend more time on the water and understand what really works for you.
Take a look at some of our fishing kayak rigging essentials. New to kayak fishing? Read some of these essential kayak fishing tips to help get you started.
KAYAK FISHING RIG LIST
Our top 7 choices for the ultimate kayak fishing and rigging essentials are:
- Rod clips and holders
- Folding anchor kit
- Fishing life jackets
- Fish finders
- Tackle crate and tray
- Portable baitwell
- Dry bags
ROD CLIPS AND HOLDERS
In addition to the flush mount rod holders that come standard on most fishing kayaks, many anglers add adjustable rod holders to the accessory tracks for additional rod storage or use while trolling.
FOLDING ANCHOR KIT
Another way to optimize your kayak fishing setup is with a folding anchor kit. A clothesline-type anchor trolley system for your kayak allows an anchor to be brought into the cockpit for easy stowage or sent out at the end of your boat to be lowered and raised.
This is a wonderful tool for angler kayaks because you can quickly anchor yourself to a spot but raise it quickly if needed.
FISHING LIFE JACKETS (PFDS)
Life jackets are not just an essential piece of safety gear, kayak anglers can use them as another tool in their arsenal for rigging their fishing gear. Most fishing life jackets come equipped with zippered pockets, stretch mesh pocks, adjustable straps, which make it a perfect place to store your phone, pliers, safety knife, or a VHF radio.
Old Town’s Performance High-Back Fishing Life Jacket features their AirComfort System, keeping you cool on even the warmest of days on the water.
Nothing can give you a more productive day on the water than a fish finder. These electronic devices use sonar and imaging technology to help you locate fishing hotspots, as well as GPS to plot your location over a detailed depth chart and set waypoints for your favorite fishing spots. ..
There are fish finder apps that you can download to your phone, but experienced kayakers will want to invest in something a little more sophisticated.
Mount one to your kayak and reap the benefits of finding a fishing hotspot.
Even if this is your first time rigging up a fishing kayak, as an angler you will already have a tackle crate of some kind. Many kayak anglers started out by using a milk crate to store their tackle boxes, and attached some PVC pipe to use as rod holders. There are some more elegant solutions on the market today, like the Flambeau Tuff Krate, that come ready-to-use out of the box with tackle storage and rod holders.
The Sportsman Tackle Box will keep your tackle organized while fitting under your seat. It fits gear that is too big for a fixed compartment box and is perfect for spools, small tools, and bait packs.
PORTABLE LIVEWELL (BAIT TANK)
If you fish with bait fish or other aquatic species, you’ll want to look at purchasing or making a DIY portable livewell.
Livewells often come with aerators to keep the water fresh and oxygenated so your bait will stay alive longer than a traditional bait bucket.
Dry bags are essential for your rigged fishing kayak. Keep your electronic accessories, phone, camera, clothing, and everything else you may need while fishing safe and dry. There are countless options and varieties of dry bags available, so just choose one that will fit easily on your kayak, can be stored away safely, and can carry everything you need.
THERE ARE ENDLESS WAYS TO CUSTOMIZE A KAYAK FOR FISHING
When you’re learning how to outfit a kayak for fishing, your best bet will just be to get out on the water and make tweaks after each trip. Rigging a fishing kayak will take time to suit your personal needs, so don’t expect to have the perfect setup on your first try. If you need a little inspiration, check out the Sportsman AutoPilot 136 and see how it makes for the ultimate kayak fishing rig.
Original story posted to the blog at Old Town HERE