How To Outfit A Fishing Kayak

A kayak provides an easy and effective way to move on the water and reconnect with the natural world. For fishing enthusiasts, the nimble and stealthy nature of kayaks makes them the perfect watercrafts for angling in salt and fresh water bodies.

Whether you own a sit-on-top kayak or a sit-inside one, a few well thought out and well-placed gadgets and accessories could mean the difference between hooking fish and returning home with an empty fish cooler.

So here is a quick guide on how to outfit a fishing kayak. It doesn’t matter if you are just getting started fishing or have been in the game for years; the following tips will help you transform your vessel into a fishing machine. Ready?

1. Organizing Your Gear

Your fish hunt will be more successful if the kayak is properly organized. This means that your kayak fishing rods, reels, weights, jigs and other tackle must stay out of your paddle’s way but within arm’s reach.

Most fishing kayaks come with built-in rod holders located behind the seat. Now, these are great because they ensure that the rods don’t interfere with your paddling. However, this set up may make things a little tricky when you need to reach the rod faster.

If your craft is designed this way or doesn’t have rod holders at all, it would be wise to install a couple in front of the seat so it gets easier for you to reach the rods whenever you need them.

When angling, your kayak paddle must also stay out of the way. Therefore, make sure to mount some paddle clips on your kayak. You may want to leash your paddle too so you don’t lose it.

2. Anchor System

Another item you don’t want to leave behind when outfitting a fishing kayak is an anchor. A kayak anchor will serve two purposes. First, it will keep your vessel stationary against strong water current and wind and second, it will prevent it from wandering into dangerous areas if you are incapacitated or happen to lose your paddle. Anchoring will keep your kayak perched so it doesn’t drift into rocky shores or collide with other moving boats.

If you will be fishing in an area with current, wind and surge, bring a strong anchor, probably three pounds heavy. For calm rivers or lakes with little or no current, even a one and a half pound anchor will get the job done.

3. Seat Options

Where you sit should also be a consideration during your fishing kayak outfitting. Your kayak seat can be either a deal maker or a deal breaker. You will realize that how comfortably you sit on that chair and even how the backrest is positioned will affect your fishing or paddling in one way or another.

When planning your kayak fishing trip, take enough time to test a few seats. The really good ones will come with a high price tag, so make sure to invest in the best and most comfortable you can afford.

4. Fish Finders

Something as simple as a fish finder can help you eliminate guesswork when locating your prey. These are easy to mount at the beginning of your excursion and quite as easy to unmount when you are done.

Most fish finders come with a transducer that suspends in the water or attaches to the inside of the boat’s hull. You will need a small battery to power it up. Put this in a waterproof box or a small dry bag and place it under the deck. You may also want to secure it to minimize its movement inside the boat.

5. Lures And Baits

Give your prey what it wants! Most anglers will prefer artificial lures and baits but at times, the lunkers will only bite a live bait. If possible, bring artificial lures and a bucket of live bait. Make sure to keep the live ones alive for as long as you can.

6. Video Proof

A kayak fishing trip cannot be complete without an epic fish story and that’s why you must include a waterproof camera in your fishing kayak outfitting. Record and share those indescribable moments with the monster fish you are about to catch. Have your camera installed on an adjustable mount and make sure it is set in a way that captures everything you want to document.

7. Safety

Safety should be your number one priority any time you plan a trip to the waters. Kayaks can flip more easily, so make sure to include basic safety gear when outfitting a fishing kayak.

If you don’t have a life jacket or personal floatation device already, buy one and make sure the latter meets the coast guard requirements for inflatable PFDs. Bring a kayak GPS too for navigation and hide a compass somewhere just in case the GPS fails.

If you will be fishing too far away from the shore or out of a shouting range of other anglers, be sure to pack a VHF marine radio. Kayaks can be a little difficult to see, so it would also be a smart idea to mount a bright flag on the stern so you can announce your presence.

Other items you don’t want to leave behind include a whistle or horn, flares, and a flashlight. On a trip like this, you will also need a first aid kit to treat small scrapes and wounds on the go. Put these in a dry bag to keep them water-free.

Globo Surf Overview

There is absolutely no boundary to what you can hunt with your fishing kayak. From coastal fish species like sea trout and redfish to freshwater lunkers like pan fish,  pike, bass, and trout, you can hook just about anything under the sun.

However, you will require outfitting your watercraft with the right equipment. Make a checklist of all the gear pieces you need and prioritize these so you can stay organized. Now, set everything up, paddle out and cast away!


  1. Rigging A Sit-In Kayak For Fishing,