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Buying a fishing kayak is exciting. It can also be overwhelming if you are buying for the first time. First-time buyers typically spend multiple hours researching fishing kayaks and visit online websites dozens of times before making their purchase. What often gets overlooked are the additional accessories you need once you get your fishing kayak.
Like most purchases in life, we quickly learn add-ons are needed to maximize our big buys. We detailed one of our own “first-timer’s” experiences to talk about this learning curve in our Beginner's Guide to Kayak Fishing. If you, or a loved one, is considering a fishing kayak or recently purchased one, here are some kayak gift ideas to help make your first kayak fishing season a more enjoyable one.
The first thing all new kayak anglers learn is space is at a premium. Unlike a boat, you cannot bring all of your gear and simply throw it in a corner. Organization and planning are crucial to making your kayak fishing trips both successful and enjoyable. Here are some accessories our staff considers a great place to start to keep your deck space open and to land your fish.
There are a wide range of fish finders available in many different price points. Most importantly, find one that fits your budget and has the attributes you deem necessary. Basic functions that are helpful for kayak fishing are water depth, basic structure imaging, and water temperature. Additional features that are useful include sideview and preloaded GPS maps with the ability to update those maps. Each price point offers additional features but increases the cost. However, even the most basic functions can help hone your approach each time you hit the water.
Many fishing kayaks come with flush mounted rod holders behind the seat and some come with at least one generic rod holder for a track mount. After taking your kayak out a few times, you quickly realize additional, more sturdy, rod holders are needed. If you prefer trolling, you will want to invest in a rod holder that locks on to your rod handle vs. one that simply sits in a tube. Having a rod holder that matches your preferred method of fishing saves line tangles and snags in your kayak as well as security when hooking a fish.
Space in a fishing kayak is at a premium. Most kayak anglers are never done tinkering how they set up their kayaks. Each time you go out you will hone your setup and how you organize your gear. Fishing crates for storage and tackle organizers are much more important than simply throwing a large tackle box in the corner of your boat. There are endless possibilities, but organizing your tackle can prevent line snags and fumbling for an item in a crucial moment while a fish is on.
This seems straight-forward, but having the right net when you are in a fishing kayak can make or break your experience. Unlike a boat, you don't have the advantage of standing and leaning over a boat to land a large fish. If you hook in to a nice fish in a kayak you have to be deliberate about where, when, and how you land your big catch. Leverage fishing nets help alleviate the disadvantage you have while sitting in a kayak by making it far easier to land a large fish by yourself. Don't miss out on a trophy fish because you weren't prepared with an improper fishing net.
If you read our Beginner's Guide to Kayak Fishing, you learned about the eye-opening experience of trying to load a fishing kayak for the first time. Be realistic in your approach ahead of time when planning how you will transport your fishing kayak(s). A fishing kayak is typically much larger, and heavier, than a traditional sit-in kayak.
Are you planning to transport your kayak on the roof of your vehicle? Consider factors like your kayak's weight, length, hull height, the height of your vehicle and how many kayaks will you be putting on your roof. If you plan to roof rack two kayaks, is there enough space to load two flat or would you need to use J-hook style kayak racks and will your kayak fit in one easily? If you own a truck, a simple solution like a hitch extender is an inexpensive way to get started as well. Thorough research ahead of time can save you time, stress, and a big headache when you get your fishing kayak.
Perhaps the most efficient way to transport any number of kayaks is trailering them. Kayak trailers have many options for how a kayak is trailered, including bunks, J-hooks and V racks. Other benefits of kayak trailers include marine lighting for in-water launching, low clearance height for easy loading, and storage add-ons for all of your gear. Kayak trailers have a higher starting price point, but the money can be worth the countless minutes and stress you will save with quicker loading and launching. Less time spent with messy load times means more time spent on the water. Browse our Malone Trailer Buyer's Guide or shop all of our kayak trailers.
A very simple accessory, but one that will save your back and your time. If you plan to ever take your fishing kayak out solo and will have to do any amount of walking with your kayak to get to the water, a transport cart will save you plenty of frustration. Most fishing kayaks are heavy after you load them with your gear. Because they are heavy, and wide, they are not easily moved once they are loaded. Whether it be a standard kayak cart, one that utilizes scupper plugs, or an add-on wheel, a cart can be your best friend. Be sure to check your kayak hull type and specifications to match kayak and kayak cart compatibility.
Kayak anglers are never done rigging out their kayaks or tinkering with their setups. Giving the gift of an accessory or new trinket is sure to be a hit. If you find the range of accessories overwhelming or don't know if a particular item will work with your, or your special someone's, kayak, the best thing to do is ask.
Our staff is available via Chat; Phone: 1-844-987-5777; or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org from 9am-5pm (EST). Or, you can ask our community members 24/7 what their real-life experiences are with kayaks or accessories at The Kayak Anglers Resource.
Need more gift ideas? Check out our other gift guides and additional resources as you research the perfect gift for this holiday season: