I have seen some people literally go overboard when it comes to rigging their fishing kayak. I myself have also been tempted to throw everything plus the kitchen sink onto my kayak mods.
If you are just starting out then rigging a fishing kayak can be overwhelming. When you see guys at the launch, you might feel like you have to have everything they have.
Don’t forget that many of them have been doing this for years and it took them that long to collect all that gear.
You don’t have to have everything they have so for the beginner on a budget, here is a list of the must have kayak accessories.
With these recommendations you will have everything you need to get started and catch some fish.
Kayak Rod Holders
If you do nothing else to your kayak mods, at least add some fishing rod holders if your kayak doesn’t already have any.
Even if it does come with some already, you may want to start rigging a fishing kayak by adding more.
You can check out some ideas on the types of kayak rod holders by clicking that link, but the quick version is that you need at least a deck mounted rod holder and maybe some flush mounts.
If you plan to do some trolling then having a deck mounted rod holder like one from Scotty is essential. You can keep your rod in easy reach, you’ll know when you have a fish on and you’re less likely to get tangled up since you’ll have good control over your rod.
Scotty Rod Holder
Having a rod extension is also very helpful to keep your rod angled right if you are trolling. This will help your jig dive deeper into the water column. You’ll also be doing your reel a favor as it is less likely to get splashed if you fish in the salt.
YakGear Rod Holder
Back when I first started out kayak fishing, milk crates were the in the DIYers realm of fishing accessories and were only just becoming popular.
Now, I can’t imagine rigging a fishing kayak mods without one.
They can hold all of your gear in on easy to reach spot. You can add more rod holders to it for even more options for fishing while on the water. And they are resistant to any kind of corrosion from salt water.
These days you can get them in all shapes and sizes to fit into your specific kayak. There are even covers like this one from CratePak that has a cover so your stuff is protected as well as pockets, D rings to hook more gear onto and three rod holders already built into it. It slips right over any standard sized 13 inch x 13 inch milk crate.
Many fishing kayaks are going to come with a seat already and many of them are perfectly serviceable. However, since people are all different shapes and sizes, the chances of that seat being comfortable for you are pretty slim.
I recommend recommend rigging a fishing kayak with a non stock seat that will give you support for a day out on the water. And some even have a bonus of providing extra storage.
I can’t really recommend a specific one since all kayaks are different and whatever I recommend for you may not work for your kayak.
You should look for one with a low back. Your lower lumbar region is what needs the most support so the height of the seat is not important. Not only that, but you want a low backed seat so it doesn’t interfere with your PFD.
Some seats will have pockets on the back which I like for extra storage.
Storing Your Tackle
Your kayak may already come with a neat little tackle box that drops right into your hatch in between your legs for bonus fishing accessories. These are great but you will be very limited to how much you can bring. Long lures are almost always out of the question.
I recommend a good, watertight tackle box that can be kept in your milk crate if you opt for one.
Check out the one below by Flambeau. It has enough space for just about any sized lure and lots of room for weights, bobbers hooks and anything else you need for the day. It isn’t meant to hold everything you own, but I always like to plan out what I need on the water and then load it up.
It has a space on the side where you can use a leash to make sure it stays with you if you flip.
Anchor And Trolley
There are few fishing scenarios that I can think of that wouldn’t be served with the use of an anchor. Fishing in rivers, lakes and salt water will almost always have some current. Even on a pond you’ll encounter wind that can push you off of your position.
You can get by with just an anchor, but I like to have a trolley so I can decide which direction I’d like to fish. Depending on the current, the trolley can have you drop your anchor astern or afore. I like having control so now I can’t imagine not having one of these kayak mods.
The kit below is easy to install and will position your anchor anywhere you like.
As far as the anchor, I like having a grappling hook one since the area where I fish tend to be rocky. It’s easier for the anchor to find purchase and they are foldable to save on space.
Having a buoy is essential as is an easy to remove clip. If you find yourself in a dangerous current or another boat bearing down on you, then you need to unclip it quickly. The buoy will mark the spot so you can find it again easily. Make sure you take kayak safety seriously when you are on the water.
DIY Kayak Accessories
Making your own kayak fishing accessories DIY can be very gratifying. Not only are you saving money, but you are learning how to be self sufficient. Then if anything ever goes wrong with your DIY kayak fishing accessories you already know how to fix it yourself.
Here are some DIY kayak fishing accessories ideas that will improve your whole fishing experience.
DIY Scupper Cart
Having some wheels under your kayak is a real life saver. Without one, you are going to scrape up your hull and probably throw your back out. If you have ever looked into buying one, then you no doubt know how expensive they are.
Instead go for a DIY scupper cart made out of some rugged wheels and PVC. Here is a quick video on how to make one yourself.
DIY Stand Up Bar
This one might not be for everybody as you really only need this if you plan to do any sight fishing.
If you do live in an area with flats for fishing, then standing up and taking a look to find fish is the way to go. Only standing up in your kayak can be a real challenge. And these ready made stand up bars are really expensive.
If you make one yourself then you can cut the price by more than have with just a little bit of elbow grease.
DIY Rod Holders
Probably the easiest items to make are rod holders. All you need is some PVC pipe and marine glue and you can really customize the rod holders any way you like.
DIY Live Bait Well
I really love fishing with live bait. Nothing beats the feeling when a big fish slams what he thinks is a wounded bait fish. Without a live well, you have to always be catching bait to fish with. Unless you have a live bait well.
You can imagine how expensive these are but it isn’t just the cost that makes it prohibitive for most people. Finding one to fit in the back well of the kayak is not easy since the dimensions can be so different.
I think making your own is the way to go. It isn’t super easy and will require some commitment. In the end it is so worth it, however.
This list of DIY kayak fishing accessories is by no means exhaustive but will get you well on your way to customizing your perfect fishing platform. If you are a DIYer in general or just a kayak fishing accessories DIYer then you’ll no doubt have a lot of fun figuring out how exactly to rig your new kayak for a bargain price.
This list of fishing accessories is by no means exhaustive. As I mentioned, I have seen kayak mods that had so much stuff you could hardly tell it was a kayak.
I am a minimalist in most things so I am always rigging my fishing kayak to have as much as I need to have options, but that’s about it.
Pretty much everything I recommend here is all that I have save a few odds and ends that you don’t really need.
If you start out with this stuff you have everything you need to safely and effectively catch some fish. You can always add more as you go when you have a better idea of what you need. If you are a kayak fishing accessories DIYer then you will love having a more or less blank slate when it comes to rigging your kayak!
If you need any other recommendations then reach out by adding a comment in the box below!