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Accessories can sometimes make or break your fishing trip, depending on your skill level. There are many gadgets and tools out there that are designed to make your kayak fishing trip more successful. But are any of them useful?
We have made a list of the best kayak fishing accessories you’ll want to pack on your next trip.
A fishing kayak is arguably the most important accessory for a kayak fishing trip and without it, you can’t go.
The best fishing kayak will be one that suits your needs in terms of space and comfort. Look for a kayak that has plenty of room for your fishing gear, as well as sufficient weight capacity to hold you plus your gear.
Stability is an important feature in a fishing kayak, especially if you want to be able to stand up to fish.
The Perception Pescador Pro 12 is one of the best fishing kayaks on the market, with a fantastic combination of stability and storage space.
A fishing rod is another essential accessory to help you catch more fish. When you’re kayak fishing, you’re probably not going to be able to carry as much gear as you would on a larger bass boat.
Two-piece rods, like this Daiwa Sealine Xtreme Interline rod, can be a good idea for kayak fishing as they can be easier to transport and store on your kayak. This Daiwa rod is also lightweight and great for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
Remember to match your rod to the type of fishing you want to do and the size of fish you want to catch.
A PFD (Personal Flotation Device) is an essential accessory on any kayaking adventure, not just kayak fishing. A life jacket is designed to keep you afloat in the event that you fall overboard or capsize.
It can be a vital piece of safety equipment and can literally save your life.
Comfort and fit are important when it comes to choosing a life vest. You’ll probably want to be able to move freely while wearing it, especially when you’re fishing or paddling.
A high back or mesh back panel can be good if you have a high-back kayak seat.
This Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Flotation Device is a fantastic choice for kayak anglers because it has lots of pockets and attachment points for your tools and tackle. It’s also lightweight, breathable, and has large arm openings for improved movement.
A kayak paddle designed for anglers can be a useful accessory. Most angler paddles are designed with additional features not found on standard kayak paddles.
One of the most common additional features is a hook retrieval notch cut out of one of the blades. This is so that you can easily retrieve your line from the water if it gets snagged on a log or weeds.
This Bending Branches Angler Classic Paddle is a two-piece kayak paddle with a fiberglass shaft. It has a hook retrieval system and a fish ruler. The large blades are built for strength and to let you cover water efficiently.
A good fish finder can be an excellent tool to help you catch more fish from a kayak. This allows you to scan under the water to see where the fish might be hiding.
Most fish finders show structure and depth, and often locations of individual fish using sonar technology.
The Garmin Striker 4 is one of the best fish finders on the market for kayak fishing. It’s compact, has CHIRP sonar for clearer images and details, and has an easy-to-read color screen.
With the Garmin Striker 4 you can also mark waypoints to find your way back to specific honey holes or locate the dock when it’s time to go home with your catch.
For kayak fishing, you probably don’t want a fish finder that’s too big, even though a large screen can be nice. But remember you’ll need to have enough deck space to mount the fish finder to your kayak.
If you want to install a fish finder on your fishing kayak, you’re going to need a suitable battery. The best battery for your fish finder will be the one that fits in your kayak and keeps your fish finder running for as long as you need it.
A deep cycle marine battery can be the best choice as this can withstand frequent charging and discharging as well as a marine environment.
Lithium batteries can be a good option for fishing kayaks because they tend to be smaller than sealed lead acid or absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.
A lithium battery can also discharge at a more consistent rate than an AGM battery. This means your fish finder screen should run at the same brightness level for the whole charge cycle of the battery.
This ExpertPower LiFePO4 20Ah lithium battery can be an ideal choice for kayak fishing as it is a compact size for easy storage
A fishing backpack can be the perfect accessory for any fishing trip. A backpack can let you store all your essentials for your fishing trip while letting you keep your hands free for hauling your kayak to and from the water.
A backpack can also be useful for overnight trips so you can easily carry your gear from your boat to your camp.
Most fishing backpacks are a little different to regular backpacks. They have additional features designed specifically for anglers. Most of them will have several pockets for tackle as well as a main compartment for larger items and tackle trays.
Some fishing backpacks may also have light attachments for added visibility for night fishing. Some will also have rod holders and dedicated storage for your tools.
The Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad Backpack features an LED light system, plenty of storage pockets and pouches for all your equipment, plus a removable holder for your pliers. It also comes with a rain cover so you can protect the entire bag from the elements.
Whether you’re out for a relaxing kayaking adventure or you’re heading off for a long day of fishing, a kayak cooler can be a useful addition to your gear. It can help keep your drinks cold and your lunch fresh.
As well as being great for storing beverages and food, a kayak cooler can be excellent for storing your catch on ice so that it’s fresh till you get home.
There are different types of kayak cooler to choose from. Cooler boxes are rigid and designed for heavy-duty use. Cooler bags are soft-sided and can be easier to carry and store, especially on a sit-inside kayak.
With a hard-shell cooler box your contents can be less likely to get crushed from other gear. You can also often use these boxes as seats. However, they can be better suited to sit-on-top kayaks than sit-inside kayaks, as they are often larger and more difficult to store.
The best one for kayak fishing is this Engel Cooler. It has a 19-quart capacity and separate compartments so that you can keep your lunch separated from your fresh catch. It can also double as both a seat and a dry box. Plus, it comes in a fishing-friendly camouflage color.
An essential in every angler’s gear bag: a pair of polarized sunglasses. Polarized sunglasses can help to minimize glare from the sun. This can help you to see more clearly into the water.
Because polarized sunglasses help to stop the horizontal waves of sunlight, you won’t be blinded when the sun’s rays bounce off of a nearby boat or the surface of the water.
Sunglasses can also help to stop UV rays from damaging your eyes. Because the sun emits both UVA and UVB rays, you’ll want a pair of sunglasses that shield your eyes from both.
Remember, comfort is key when it comes to choosing fishing sunglasses. Your shades should fit your face and shouldn’t fall off when you look down.
The best sunglasses for fishing are the Costa Del Mar May Bay sunglasses. These men’s shades are polarized and made for fishing and boating. They’re lightweight, durable and have a mirrored lens for additional light-reflection.
If you plan to fish in the ocean, an ocean fishing kayak can be more suitable than a flatwater boat.
Ocean fishing kayaks are designed to handle surf and waves, as well as wind and currents. This can make them easier and safer to paddle in the sea than kayaks that are designed for calm lakes and ponds.
Most ocean kayaks have added secondary stability to handle rough water but also have the initial stability that’s important for standing to cast.
The Old Town Sportsman Salty PDL 120 can be the ultimate ocean fishing kayak. It has a pedal drive system so you can make your way to your fishing hole quickly and effortlessly through currents and wind, using the attached rudder for boat control and tracking.
The Sportsman Salty PDL also benefits from having an ultra-stable hull with a padded standing deck and an elevated mesh seat. Excellent storage space means there’s room for your cooler or fishing crate, your fishing rods and the rest of your tackle.
Adding a trolling motor to your kayak can be a great way of boosting your speed and power over the water. Whether you plan to troll for fish at a maintained speed using the motor, or you just want to save your energy for fishing, a trolling motor can be a useful accessory.
There are various trolling motors out there but the one you choose should be suitable for your kayak and the type of fishing you plan to do. For example, if you plan to fish in saltwater, you should opt for a trolling motor that’s designed to handle saltwater conditions.
Most kayaks will be able to use a 12-volt trolling motor and a 12-volt battery. Motors with a larger voltage are often too much for a small vessel like a kayak.
The best kayak trolling motor for freshwater fishing is the Minn Kota Endura C2 30-pound motor. This can power a heavy fishing kayak and is quiet so that you don’t scare the fish away. It features five forward speeds and three reverse speeds, with an easy-to-use telescoping tiller.
Remember, you may need to register your kayak with the relevant authorities, such as the DMV or wildlife department, depending on the state. This is because adding a trolling motor turns your kayak into a motorized vessel.
Once you add a trolling motor to your kayak, you’re going to need a battery to run it.
Trolling motor batteries come in various sizes to suit different types of applications and trolling motors with different amperage draws. The trolling motor battery you choose should have the same voltage as your trolling motor.
Most trolling motors for kayaks are 12-volt motors. This means they need a 12-volt battery. A 24-volt trolling motor can run from two 12-volt batteries. But you can’t run a 12-volt motor from a 24-volt battery.
The power of battery, or Ah (amp hour) rating you’ll need will depend on the amperage draw of your trolling motor. The higher the Ah rating, the longer the battery will generally last on a single charge.
Similar to fish finder batteries, the physical size of the battery should be taken into consideration, as it will need to fit on your kayak.
The best trolling motor battery for kayaks is the Optima 8016-103 D34M BlueTop Deep Cycle Marine Battery. This is a compact battery that can be mounted in almost any position and is resistant to vibrations and cold temperatures.
A good pair of pliers is something that most anglers will have on them for any fishing trip.
The materials of fishing pliers vary between brands and price ranges. If you’re looking for a durable set of fishing pliers for saltwater fishing, coated stainless steel can be a good choice. Titanium can also be a great material for both saltwater and freshwater but titanium pliers are often more expensive than stainless steel and aluminum.
Some fishing pliers will have additional features such as split ring tools or crimping tools. Some multi-tools will have pliers which could be useful for some kayak anglers looking to pack light.
The best fishing pliers are the Vann Staal Titanium Pliers. These 7-inch pliers are built to stand the test of time and are ideal for both saltwater and freshwater use. They come with a handy lanyard to attach them to your fishing vest or belt and a protective sheath.
A GPS device can be an excellent tool for a range of activities, not just kayak fishing.
A GPS can help you find your way in unknown waters, particularly if you’re heading into backcountry waters or the ocean. GPS uses satellite communication rather than cellphone or WiFi signals. This means it can still work in locations where your phone has no signal.
Some fish finders have built-in GPS which can be useful for marking waypoints for fishing. But a separate GPS can always come in handy as it can run off of its own battery and usually doesn’t require a separate battery, unlike a fish finder.
When choosing a GPS for kayaking and fishing, a good feature to look for is water resistance. It should also be a compact size so it doesn’t take up much room in your kayak.
The best GPS for kayaking is the Garmin eTrex 20x. This is an easy-to-use handheld device with an exceptional battery life. It also has a waterproof rating of IPX7 to protect it from water and sand.
A nice thing about the Garmin eTrex 20x is that you can also use it on land. So if you want to take a break from fishing and paddling, you can use it for hiking.
If you’re planning to fish where there is shallow water, stake out poles can be the ideal kayak anchor. A stake out pole or anchor pole can be used with an anchor trolley system so you can position your kayak in the right direction for the best fishing.
You can also sometimes use stake out poles through scupper holes if you don’t have an anchor trolley system.
Stake out poles are essentially anchors but instead of dropping your weighted anchor, you stick your stake out pole into the sand or mud on the bed of the lake, river or bay.
Because the tether for the pole will be generally out of the water, it can make fishing easier. This is because you can see the tether when you cast or retrieve so you can avoid tangles with your fishing line.
The best stake out pole is the YakAttack ParkNPole. This is a two-piece pole that can be easier to store on your kayak and travel with. It’s 8-feet long, made from durable fiberglass, and it can also be used as a push pole to push you and your kayak away from shore.
A kayak anchor trolley system can be a great accessory for kayak fishing in rivers or moving water.
An anchor trolley system works in conjunction with a kayak anchor or stake out pole. The trolley allows you to move the directional position of your kayak so that it’s facing the direction that you want. This can allow for easier casting.
The anchor trolley system lets you connect your favorite anchor to hold your position in slow-moving rivers, calm ocean bays, or windy lakes.
Remember, you shouldn’t use an anchor system in strong currents or rough water, as this could be dangerous and cause your kayak to flip.
The best anchor trolley system for kayaks is the YakAttack Kayak LeverLoc HD as it features 35-feet of reflective paracord rope for high visibility. It also comes with everything you need to mount it to your kayak.
If you plan to keep any of the fish you catch, you’re probably going to need a good fillet knife so that you can prepare it to eat it.
A good fillet knife is designed to have a flexible blade so that you can easily cut the fillet or filet out of the fish.
Freshly caught fish can taste great if you know what you’re doing with a fillet knife. Remember, you should choose a knife that’s a suitable size for the type of fish you plan to clean.
The smaller the fish, the smaller your blade should be, as this will allow for a more precise cutting technique for removing skin, scales, and bones.
The Wusthof Classic IKON fillet knife is the best fillet knife on the market. It’s durable, flexible and can be a great size to clean medium fish. It has a 7-inch stainless steel blade and features over 200 years of German engineering.
A paddle leash can be an important accessory to have on any kayaking trip. But it can come in extremely handy for activities like kayak fishing, where you need to put your paddle down to free up your hands.
Having a good paddle leash attached to your paddle and kayak means your paddle won’t float away on its own.
Some kayaks have paddle holders where you can place your paddle when it’s time to fish but some of these holders are not always secure. Using a paddle leash can give you additional security.
The best one for kayak fishing is the Proyaker Ocean Tough Leash. This one comes as a set of two. The leashes can be used for both paddles and fishing rods so they can be a versatile choice for any kayak angler.
Fishing kayaks are usually not the lightest kayaks in the world. They can be oversized and cumbersome. So they’re not the easiest kayaks to carry. This is where a kayak cart can help.
A kayak cart or trolley can help you haul your boat to and from the water.
Most fishing kayaks often have scupper holes in the hull. Scupper holes can be perfect for some carts that have poles that go through the scupper holes to secure the kayak to the cart.
Other trolleys have straps so you can haul any type of kayak.
If you want to keep anything dry while you’re on your kayak, you probably don’t want to be without a dry bag or two. Dry bags can be essential for any paddler, as it can sometimes be the one place that water can’t get.
These packs can be suitable for just about anything that you don’t want to get wet. They come in various sizes to suit different uses. You can store your cellphone, wallet, spare clothing, lunch, camping equipment – you name it.
If storage space and transportation is an issue, one of the most useful kayak fishing accessories can be an inflatable fishing kayak.
Inflatable fishing kayaks can be lightweight, versatile and easy to carry. They also tend to have a higher load capacity than similarly-sized hardshell kayaks. This can make them ideal for fishing with heavy equipment or overnight gear.
A portable inflatable fishing kayak could let you access more remote lakes and rivers as you could potentially hike the kayak to new honey holes.
If you want to document your trip or prove to your buddies the size of the fish you caught, you might want to think about attaching a camera to your kayak.
There are various types of mounts you can get for installing a camera on your boat. There are also options that let you mount the camera to your hat or helmet, or even your PFD.
Most fishing kayaks often have gear tracks to let you customize your kayak with your favorite accessories without having to drill into your boat.
The best camera mount for fishing kayaks is the Scotty 135 Camera Mount which is designed to attach to Scotty tracks. It also rotates and can be used with all types of cameras plus some other devices.
A fishing net can be useful in helping you to land your prized catch safely.
Sometimes there may not be a lot of room to maneuver yourself into a good position to grab a flapping fish without capsizing your kayak. A fishing net can make things easier.
But while many nets can take up a lot of room, there are some that are designed for kayak angling.
This ForEvelast Inc. Generation 2 Floating Fishing Net is a compact landing net that can help you land your catch without damaging the fish. It also floats, is brightly colored, and can be clipped to your belt for easy access.
You probably already know that fishing kayaks are not the most spacious vessels thanks to their compact size. But a fishing crate can help you boost your storage space for all your essential gear.
Many fishing kayaks have a rear tank well that’s designed to hold a fishing crate or a cooler. A crate can be easy to access on the water so you can keep all your fishing gear organized and out of the way of your paddle.
The best fishing crate for kayak angling is the Hobie H-Crate. This has H-rails around the sides that can be used to mount additional accessories, further increasing your storage space.
Many paddlers wear gloves to minimize the risk of blisters from holding the paddle.
Paddling gloves can also be perfect for kayak fishing as it can let you get a better grip of any fish you catch. Kayaking gloves are generally designed so that they provide grip even when wet, whether you’re gripping your wet paddle or a wet fish.
Fingerless gloves can be a good choice as these can let you easily use your fingers to tie lures or open boxes.
The best kayaking gloves with a fingerless design are the WindRider Pro Sailing Gloves. These breathable gloves have an amara leather palm for increased grip and a hook and loop wrist strap for a secure fit.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best kayak fishing accessories you’ll be unstoppable the next time you hit the water in your fishing kayak. And if you don’t catch anything, at least you’ll be safe, comfortable, and able to find your back back to the dock with your new gear.
Share this with your angler buddies to help them accessorize their fishing kayak. And let us know your thoughts.