How to Rig a Kayak for Fishing: A Step-by-Step Guide
Ready to cast your pole and reel in a giant fish? Well, hold your horses, cowboy! Before setting sail on our fishing adventure, you must rig your kayak correctly.
Don’t worry; It’s not complicated. I’ll take you through this process step by step and teach you everything you need to know about how to rig your kayak like a pro.
Before we start rigging, let’s choose the right kayak for fishing.
Choosing the Right Kayak (storage, rod holder, tackle box)
Here are a few things to consider (key factors) when selecting a kayak:
- Length: the longer the kayak, the faster the kayak.
- Width: the wider the kayak, the more stable the kayak.
- Material: Many kayaks are made from plastic, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and wood. They all have their advantages and disadvantages (one common disadvantage of a great kayak is the high price)
- Stability: if you use it for fishing, you want a stable kayak that doesn’t tip over when you stand up or cast your rod. The most stable kayaks are often broad and flat.
- Storage: When going on a trip, you want to carry some equipment with you, such as a tackle box, fishing rod, a cooler, and some spare clothes if it gets chilly.
You can read more about finding the perfect kayak in our other posts, so once you have found one, it’s time to rig it up.
Installing Necessary Gear
This equipment is necessary when you are rigging a fishing kayak, so you should buy these from your local store or order them online:
- Rod holders: They are genius inventions and can hold your rod securely in place while you are paddling around the waters, and they are right there within arms reach whenever you need it. They are like wheels on luggage; whoever invented them did everyone a huge favor (and it’s hard to imagine how people were kayak fishing before rod holders)
- Fish finders: These devices aren’t necessary if you don’t care about catching fish and do it to relax. But if you want to capture so much fish that makes your buddies envious for weeks, you should get a fish finder. These neat devices use high-tech sonar magic to detect fish hiding deep under the surface. Once you see a shoal of fish pop up on the screen, you just cast your lure into the center of it and see a myriad of the fish swarm it, and you’ll have one biting in no time.
- Coolers and live wells: If you want to keep your catch alive, you can have some live wells. If you’re planning on keeping the fish fresh for a long time, you can also rig your kayak with coolers. It’s an excellent way to safeguard against the dreaded dead rotting fish smell that can ruin a good trip, and you’ll keep it fresh until you get home.
- Paddle holders: If you have a paddling kayak, paddle holders are a must. Imagine having a minor accident, and your paddle ends up in the water and drifts far away. What are you going to do? You’ll have to use your hands to paddle back, and that’s not fun (and can be unbearably cold). Get a paddle holder and save yourself many paddles and a lot of frustration. Trust me on this one.
How to Rig a Fishing Kayak Step-By-Step Instructions
- Decide on the type of fishing you will be doing (see our list above) and the gear you need, and then consider the placement and types of rod holders, tackle storage, and other accessories you will need to install.
- Measure and use a pen to mark the location of the screws for the rod holders on the kayak’s sides. Make sure they are placed at a comfortable height for casting and won’t interfere with your paddling.
- Use a drill to make holes for the rod holder bases and secure them in place with screws or mounting hardware provided by the manufacturer. Repeat this process for any additional rod holders you plan to install.
- Install a tackle box or waterproof container with a secure lid. It would be best if you were within reach of the box from your seat while fishing. You can mount it on the sides or front of the kayak.
- If you plan to use a fish finder or GPS device, make sure to install it in a location that is easily accessible and won’t obstruct your view while fishing or any paddling or casting motion.
- Add any additional gear or accessories, such as a cutting board, pliers, extra rod holders, etc.
- Once you have mounted and installed all the equipment, you should always test everything to ensure it is secure and working properly before heading out on the water.
- Always bring a life vest on a kayak or boat.
Frequently Asked Questions about kayak rigging and kayak fishing
How do I choose the right kayak for fishing?
It depends on your budget, but if you are a beginner, I recommend you buy a cheaper option suitable for beginners. As you are more experienced in kayak fishing, you can sell it as a secondhand kayak and upgrade to one that fits your fishing technique and needs in terms of dimensions, stability, capacity, storage, and so on.
Can I use a regular kayak for fishing, or do I need a particular kayak?
You can use a regular kayak, but it will be less stable and practical than a fishing kayak. Having rod holders, paddle holders, stability, a fish finder, and storage space will take your fishing experience to the next level.
What type of anchor is best for kayak fishing?
Check out the Complete Grapnel Anchor System. It’s compact and foldable and works great for a fishing kayak.
Are there any safety precautions I should take when kayak fishing?
Wear a life jacket and always plan according to the weather forecasts. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst, and tell friends or family where you are going and when you expect to be back.
What is some essential kayak fishing gear I should bring?
Always remember to bring a fishing rod. You don’t want to be like the deer hunter who drove into the woods but forgot his rifle at home. Also, a tackle box with baits and lures, a cooler, a life jacket, or a personal flotation device.
Are there any specific kayak fishing techniques that work well?
If you use a fish finder, you will have an advantage. You can try a few techniques in your environment, such as casting, trolling, or drift fishing, to find out what works for you. It all depends on the scenario you are in.