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So you’ve decided to take the plunge and combined your two hobbies into one. Great. Whether you are an experienced fisherman taking out the kayak with your tackle for the first time, or are a complete novice in both fishing and kayaking, here are some quick tips on kayak fishing gear that will help get you started.
(1) First things first: Safety. If you haven’t been in a kayak before, you should know that it is almost inevitable that at some point you will end up taking a dip into the water. This is something to prepare for and get used to. Your PFD or Personal Floatation Device is essential. Strap it on and keep it on. If you get a little aggressive with that first bite on your hook, you want to make sure that you’re ready for anything.
Along with your PFD, some other basic safety essentials should include: a whistle, first aid kit, appropriate attire matching the forecasted weather, waterproof storage, waterproof flashlight, and of course, a buddy or a float plan that lets someone know where you are going.
(2) A Paddle. It may seem like an obvious choice, but anyone who has spent enough time in a kayak will tell you how important this selection will be. You need to have a paddle that feels comfortable to you. Take your time in selecting one. Feel out a few for size and weight so that the likelihood of it slipping out of your hands is minimal.
Along with your paddle, you need to be sure to have leashes that will allow you to secure both the paddle and fishing rod to your kayak. This is a fundamental part of kayak fishing gear, especially for seasoned fishers who are not used to the limited mobility within the kayak. You’re going to need the freedom of your hands for fishing, and the last thing you want is to be distracted and drop either paddle or rod into the water.
(3) An Anchor or Drag Chain. Having something that will enhance and ease the control of your kayak is always important to have on board. This is especially important if you are heading out in unfamiliar territory and cannot predict the currents. Having an extra amount of control will give you the best chance of scoring some fish.
(4) Gear Storage/ Crate. You will most likely need some extra storage for your kayak fishing gear. Often, kayakers use a crate in the tankwell for storing equipment such as rod holders, knives and so forth. Be sure to throw some extra bungee chords on board too in case you need to strap anything extra down for storage.
(5) Last but not least: Storage for you Catch. Having a waterproof cooler or some sort of bag that will store your fish for a period of time while you are out on the water, is important for keeping it fresh. But you must also consider the size of your kayak. Remember that space is limited so pack accordingly.
These are just a few of the basic kayak fishing gear essentials. Hopefully these 5 quick tips will help you get started and guide you in gearing up for your kayak fishing adventures.