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This season marks my 7th year of kayak fishing and over that time I’ve had the opportunity to try a plethora of kayak fishing accessories. When I started, kayak fishing was still fairly new in Canada and there wasn’t a ton of accessories available locally. So, a lot of my first accessories were DIY ideas found through various kayak fishing websites and forums. Now that I have a few years under by belt and have gone through a few iterations of gear, I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’ve really dialed in my system. What follows is my list of the kayak fishing accessories I’ve found to work best for me.
Old Town Bigwater PDL 132
My current ride is a Bigwater PDL 132, it’s Old Town Canoes’ biggest and baddest pedal drive and the workhorse of the fleet. I’ve thrown everything mother nature could dish out at this boat and it’s handled the roughest of lakes with confidence.
A Tour Bow to Stern
Battery – 10ah Dakota Lithium
Lithium batteries are light and powerful. The 10ah battery has enough juice to power my Humminbird Helix 5 for an entire 24 hours. The 23 ah battery only weighs 6.5 lbs but holds enough power to keep my Helix 5 running for almost a week!
Net and Holder – yak attack roto grip
My Lucky Strike net, with its long handle and big basket, may seem overkill but its the perfect net for a kayak. By using such a big net, I can scoop up the fish, keep the netting in the water and lay the handle across the gunnels or under my leg; which gives me plenty of time to get out my camera and bumpboard. As you can see in the picture, the handle of the net is a bit too thin to fit snugly in the YakAttack Rotogrip. My solution was to grab the nearest roll of hockey tape and build the handle up with a few layers. Not bad, eh?
Ram mount camera mount
The kayak fishing market is still pretty new in my part of the country and when I started recording my adventures, there wasn’t many options available for a camera mounting pole. My local tackle shop carries Ram Mount accessories and through them I was able to special order this very expensive Ram Mount Tough-Pole. The pole is sturdy but its not easy to adjust. The base is designed to swivel but because its a threaded connection, it will loosen if rotated counter-clockwise (lefty-loosey). This is the only accessory on my boat I am ready to replace. The next one I will be trying, and the one I would recommend, is the YakAttack Panfish Pro.
Transducer mount and Old town wire feed-throughs
I go into quite a bit of detail on how I mounted my Humminbird Helix 5 SI unit here, check it out of you want to learn more!
I will add, however, that the hole for the transducer cable is the perfect place to store your Yeti!
Yakattack Omega pro vs Scotty R5
On my left is my trusty YakAttack Omega Pro rod holder. I’ve tried many others, but this is the one I keep coming back to. The Omega holds everything, from spinning reels to baitcasters, as well as small 3wt fly rods to giant 8 wt’s as well – I’ve never worried about my rod flying out of the holder as well. The rod holder is only one part of the equation, the mounting base is just as important. Yakattack uses their patented Lock-n-Load system that works in two pieces. The first piece is the track mount, it screws into the base using T-slot bolts that can be mounted to any track system (even gunnel tracks in boats). The second piece is how the rod holder mounts to the base, the rod holder mounts on an outer spline that is independent of the T-slot bolt. This separation allows the rod holder to take any amount of side load left or right without causing the base to loosen from the track.
I also tried the new Scotty R5 rod holder but Scotty’s track mount suffers from the problem YakAttack solved with their Lock-n-Load base. If the rod see’s a counter-clockwise force, say from trolling with the rod holder on the left side, then the base will loosen and possibly send your rod into the lake. That’s why I have it mounted on the right (pictured below).
NRS Ambush Tackle Crate
Behind the drivers seat I have my NRS Ambush Crate. There are three things I appreciate about this crate that make it indispensable. First, the rod holders come attached and are very secure. Second, the lid flips over and has a generous lip so that rain and the odd wave won’t make their way into the bag with the zipper open. Lastly, the crate has been reliably waterproof, which is really important to me because it’s where I keep one of my most prized possessions – my camera! (There’s tackle and snacks in there too)
Also on my left, but behind the seat and within arms reach, is my handy-dandy Anchor Wizard! Anchoring a kayak and dealing with all the tangled line everywhere is the biggest PITA and the most annoying thing about my kayak. Luckily, someone else was annoyed with this too and came up with a slick way of dealing with it. I’ve spooled my Anchor Wizard with 50 feet of paracord (550) and mounted the sliding anchor receiver to the Predator mounting plate out back. With this setup I am limited to only anchoring in the rear but over the years I’ve found that to be my preference. When anchoring at the rear my back is always to the wind and that ends up being more comfortable, and warmer, anyway.
I’ll end this list with the most important kayak fishing accessory – a good PFD. My favorite lifejackets have been ones designed by NRS. The self-inflating ones are also nice for their compact designs but I favour those for a boat with a motor. In a kayak its nice to have pockets to keep regularly used items close at hand.
I keep the following in my PFD pockets:
- Nite-ize cell phone leash
- Lip chap
- Boomerang tool snipping tool
- VHF Radio on shoulder strap
- Hook sharpener
- Fire starter
If you want to know more about two of the best NRS PFD’s on the market, check out my comparison here:
As always, if you found this list helpful, or want to leave some feedback – leave a comment below!
See you on the water,