KAYAK FISHING: How to Get the New Kayak Rigged - Part 2
By Mark Lozier
In part 1
of this kayak fishing article series
I covered the three styles of kayaks available to the angler. The only other consideration would be whether you wanted an alternative propulsion method. Several boats on the market now come available with a “peddling” type of system to move the kayak. These are great for keeping your hands basically free to fish and can help you cover a lot of water quicker with less fatigue because now you are using the largest muscles in your body, your legs. It is a good
alternative also to individuals with upper body mobility issues where paddling may be more difficult. Not to say that you no longer need a paddle, there is always a chance that your drive system could fail and you will need to have a paddle to return the launch site. The paddle is also needed if you plan to fish in shallower bodies of water. Because they systems hang below the boat the cause issues for low water conditions, so a paddle is a must bring item.
Another alternative is an electric motor. From the aftermarket models to the kayaks they have them already built in to the hull. As with the peddle drives you again still need a paddle. Also most states require that once you put a motor on the vessel you have to register it. Before you make that maiden voyage check with your local agency to see if registering is needed.
Now that you made the big leap into the kayak fishing world what do you need and what might be some great extras to have? Safety items should be the first thing you get. A good pfd should be the first thing you get. Be sure to by the style that designed for fishing kayaks. These are made with the flotation on your back higher on your shoulders so the back rest of your seat is not pushing on your lower back. Plus you will have pockets on the front for items you will need to get to more often. In your pfd you should have pea less whistle and a white light, these are also Coast Guard required items. Personally when it comes to the light you cannot beat the safety light options from Yak Attack. Proven products designed by kayakers for kayaks.
Another feature you will really appreciate is a good paddle. If you were to buy a new power boat you wouldn’t hang a cheap motor on the back of it. So think of your paddle as your motor, or at least the lower unit and prop. You can buy one with an aluminum shaft and plastic blades for less than fifty dollars. You will find it is heavy and after long days on the water you will be tired of paddling. The options are carbon fiber and carbon fiber with fiberglass, much lighter and a lot stronger. The cost will vary but for less than two hundred dollars you can get great paddle that when properly used will be the last paddle you may buy. All of your local kayak retailers will help you in making the most informed purchase for these items.
Next time I will cover pimping my ride! The added accessories to make kayak fishing more enjoyable and also tackle storage options.
Part 1 - How to Get Started in Kayak Fishing