If you’d like to get into kayak fishing, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out what you might need to get started. Here are some tips from the folks at Yak Gear that you can use as a beginner kayak angler.
The major consideration when buying a kayak is do you want paddle or pedal driven? Pedal kayaks are propelled by pedaling with your feet and legs, as opposed to holding and using a paddle. Pedal drive kayaks tend to pricey but there’s nothing wrong with the paddle variety. In fact, they tend to be lightweight, easier to transport and practical to fish out of. If buying local, see if the retailer has a test program for both and see which you prefer.
Other important items to have while kayak fishing are a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) and a signaling device (whistle). Not only are these items required to be on your kayak, but most importantly, they can save your life in the event of an emergency. While it may seem like a pain, there are many different brands and styles available to keep you both safe and comfortable while you’re out on the water.
Other kayak accessories for is to choose the right kayak anchor. Without an anchor, you have no way of “putting the brakes” on your kayak and current and wind move you off a hot fishing spot. For shallow water, the YakStick Mud Anchor is an excellent choice. When it comes to deeper water, the YakGear Grapnel, Bruce or Mushroom Anchors will do help you stay in one place when needed, depending on the speed of the current and the material at the bottom.
Rod holders are another necessity to kayak fishing. You can never have enough rod holders! There are many types but one good one is Yak Gear’s Railblaza Rod Holder II. It’s versatile and will hold just about every style of fishing rod. Yak Gear says it has an easy-to-open locking mechanism that will help ensure that your rod doesn’t come out unless intended to. It also turns 360 degrees, and attaching the rod holder to your kayak is easy with the variety of mounts and for most kayak surfaces.
When it comes to kayak fishing, staying organized is key. A crate is perfect not only for keeping all your belongings (tackle, anchors etc.) in order, but also for attaching rod holders, leashes and other gear. Kayaks come in all shapes and sizes, but a standard milk crate always holds everything you need.
Finally, leashes are essential for kayakers who want to attach valuable items like rods and paddles to keep them from falling out of the kayak.
Yak Gear offers kits that include most of the things you’ll need to get started with kayak fishing. For example, their YakGear Kayak Angler Kit in Crate offers a variety of styles of rod holders/mounts, leashes, a grapnel anchor, accessory pouch and Fish Grips.
Kayaks have come a long way. Many are remarkably stable, comfortable and even offer anglers the option to stand and fish. But paddle or pedal, the fundamental physics of propulsion will apply. You’ll be in the ring with Mother Nature, and she doesn’t like to compromise. If you aren’t familiar with paddling a kayak, turning or maintaining a position in wind or current, it’s a great idea to get some practice in before you decide to try kayak fishing or casting while moving on the water. Look for a kayak rental facility with hourly rental rates or find a friend with kayaks and get some paddle practice time in to learn the basics fast and grow accustomed to the nuances of the paddle stroke.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.