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Pro Staff Essential Gear Checklist

Pro Staff Essential Gear Checklist - Vibe Kayaks

Everyone has a top "go-to" item for most any situation and kayak anglers are no different. We asked our Vibe Pro Team what one or two items they consider important to carry when heading out on the water. We received some very solid answers and a few interesting ones. Are any of your KACs (Kayak Angler Carries) on the list? If not, let us know yours.


Pete Anderson makes sure to have his PFD "because it's always better to be safe than sorry, and my cooler, with good hydration and nutrition for the day. We all bring our fishing gear but safety and bodily health are two things that seem to get easily neglected when a person is focused on the fish."

A quality first aid kit is also a top item our Pros mention always having in their boats.

Zachary Charles Adkins always has JB Waterweld with him. "The JB will fix any hole in just about any kind of boat and it sets even underwater."


Zachary Charles Adkins says he "ties it to a rock and I've got a shallow anchor, tie it to the bank for shore break security, use it to pull the yak through shallows, tie down stuff in rough water, etc."

Jonathan Pain agrees, "it's an anchor or a pull through the shallows."

Matt Charette says that, "because of the rural nature of where I fish, help could be as far as a full day away, I never get in my boat without rope, a knife, and a weather proof firestarter."

Rods, Bait and Lures:

Jonathan Pain swears by his War Eagle Mouse 5/16 Finesse Spinnerbait, "... baby has always, always put fish in the boat for me from big smallmouth to musky, and even trout. I always make sure it's packed regardless of the body of water/region."

Billy Reynolds says "a Fitzgerald Vursa spinning rod with a Shimano Stradic Ci4+ never gets left behind. I've thrown every finesse option available on it so it has become my 'when things get tough' combo."

A Knife:

Trey Carden likes his NRS copilot knife and says "I keep it is an essential tool for me now. Cutting fishing line and opening beer bottles in one move." Pete Anderson also carries a knife with him out on the water stating, "If I'm ever in a situation on my kayak or paddleboard where I need to cut away from my anchor quickly, my quick release PFD knife is right there for me to grab and utilize quickly."

Extra Batteries/Battery Charger:

Joseph Person learned from experience. After getting to his take-out point many miles down river, he had a dead phone from using his camera/apps and could call his ride. Now, "I keep a small battery (the portable ones for just your phone) in the back hatch in a Ziploc."

Extra Paddle:

Kevin Patrick Hughes "usually brings a spare paddle broken down and bungeed to the yak. Could be a life saver if you're out where there are no people and your paddle breaks." In fact, many of our Pros keep their original paddle in a Vibe bag in the kayak's hull.


Jeff Jones always has "A camera, because sometimes things happen that you just can't make up." Of course, since so many of our pros are usually practicing Catch, Photograph and Release, a camera is pretty much a guaranteed KAC.

Sunglasses, Hat and Sunblock:

Brandon Elrod, Michael Davis and Greg White all agree that polarized sunglasses are essential to keep your eyes safe from the water's reflections. As always, hats and sunblock are a must while out on the water.


Even though you're paddling through a body of water, it won't help you stay hydrated so all of our pros suggest bringing plenty of water, A Gatorade or other high electrolyte drinks are popular items as well, but water is a basic for any amount of time out in your kayak. A few of our pros mentioned adult beverages, but those comments have been omitted by our Vibe "general counsel".


Billy Reynolds brings "my 6-year-old son, who spends a lot of time out with me. He just started to ask about paddling on his own." Chris Mercer also brings his "son and partner in crime."

Pete Anderson adds, "two things I feel are invaluable, priceless, and drive anglers forward are camaraderie and passion. Gear and accessories are just that, but camaraderie and passion for the water and what lies within it are what drives me to get my ass up early on my day off, paddle till by back burns, and keep on pressing forward! We essentially are a communal people, the great divide and separation amongst brands and so forth holds nothing in comparison to paddling out with a good friend, getting skunked or catching that once in a lifetime fish, and enjoying that together!"

Parting Words:

Santos Zepeda gave us a few words of wisdom that we now pass on to you "some good ole Ultra Soft Charmin Double ply in a watertight quart Ziploc bag stored in my back hatch. Definitely a must when nature calls."