So you’ve decided to take the plunge and you're combining your two fave hobbies into one = paddling and "throwing line" on freshwater. Awesome. Life is already better.
Now the question is: What are THE best kayak fishing tackle essentials?
As usual, Vibe's staff – comprised of both pro kayak anglers and all-adventure dirt bags – have you covered.
Whether you are an experienced angler taking out the kayak with your tackle for the first time, or are a complete novice in both fishing and kayaking, here are some quick tips on kayak fishing gear that will help get you started.
Freshwater Kayak Fishing Tackle Essentials: Staff Picks
¬ First things first: PFD = Safety
If you haven’t been in a kayak before, you should know that it is almost inevitable that at some point you will end up taking a dip into the water. This is something to prepare for and get used to. Your PFD or Personal Floatation Device is essential. Strap it on and keep it on. If you get a little aggressive with that first bite on your hook, you want to make sure that you’re ready for anything.
Additional "safety gear" to mention along with your PFD, are some other basic safety essentials which could/should include: a whistle, first aid kit, appropriate attire matching the forecasted weather, waterproof storage, waterproof flashlight, and of course, a buddy or a float plan that lets someone know where you are going.
It may seem like an obvious choice, but anyone who has spent enough time in a kayak will tell you how important selecting the right paddle for YOU will be.
You need to have a paddle that feels comfortable to you, and for the type of kayak angling you'll be doing (ie, will you be paddling far?, will you be sharing the same paddle with someone who's a different size?, etc). Take your time in selecting one. Feel out a few for size and weight so that the likelihood of it slipping out of your hands is minimal.
Along with your paddle, you need to be sure to have leashes that will allow you to secure both the paddle and fishing rod to your kayak. This is a fundamental part of kayak fishing gear, especially for seasoned fishers who are not used to the limited mobility within the kayak. You’re going to need the freedom of your hands for fishing, and the last thing you want is to be distracted and drop either paddle or rod into the water.
¬ Anchor or Drag Chain
Having something that will enhance and ease the control of your kayak is always important to have on board. This is especially important if you are heading out in unfamiliar territory and cannot predict the currents. Having an extra amount of control will give you the best chance of scoring some fish.
¬ Gear Storage / Crate
You will most likely need some extra storage for your kayak fishing gear. Often, kayakers use a crate in the tankwell for storing equipment such as rod holders, knives and so forth. Be sure to throw some extra bungee chords on board too in case you need to strap anything extra down for storage.
Dry bags are also critical piece of kayak fishing tackle: not only for storing your cell phone and car keys, but for a dry change of clothes, or lunch, or anything else. Dry bags are the kind of things you need a few of in your kayak and / or your vehicle.
¬ Storage for you Catch or Your Fave Bevs (a Cooler)
Having a waterproof cooler or some sort of bag that will store your fish – or your ice cold fave liquid refreshments – for a period of time while you are out on the water, is key.
But you must also consider the size of your kayak – which is why a 20 quart cooler is literally THE perfect size cooler for almost any kayak rear storage well. Remember that space is limited, so pack accordingly.
These are the Vibe staff picks for the most important freshwater kayak fishing tackle essentials. These will definitely help you get started, and guide you in gearing up further for your kayak fishing adventures.