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How to Rig a Fishing Kayak

How to Rig a Fishing Kayak? Plan Rig, Catch Big!

Kayak fishing can be traced back to about 4,000 years ago. Natives from the arctic used to go fishing with their handmade boats. Things have come so far in this modern age, and we have access to different fishing gear for having fun out there.

If you are new to kayak fishing, you might want to know how to rig a fishing kayak. We will be more than happy to share all the required items and techniques for rigging a fishing kayak to make your fishing trip a lot more enjoyable.

Let’s get started without further due.

Choosing The Right Kayak for Rigging

Before you even think of rigging your kayak for fishing, you need to focus on the right type of kayak. Paddlers use recreational kayaks to roam around and have fun. Fishing kayaks have some distinct features to cope with the changed situation while fishing.

Among a few different kayaks based on seating position, sit-on-top kayaks are most suitable for fishing. You might need to stand up while fighting with fish, which exerts an additional force on the kayak. As a result, the kayak can capsize quite quickly.

If you use a sit-in kayak for fishing, you might get stuck when the kayak tips over. But this doesn’t happen in the case of sit-on-top kayaks. It is also easy to climb back onto the kayak. So, choose the right kayak with enough stability to keep yourself floating.

Necessary Equipment for Rigging Your Fishing Kayak

You will need several pieces of equipment to rig your fishing kayak. You can either buy this equipment directly from your local store or make some DIY alternatives. Let’s see what you are going to need.

Fishing Crate

This sounds fancy but is nothing rather than a simple milk crate. You can easily incorporate such a fishing crate into your kayak. Attach the crate to the tank well of your kayak.

If you don’t know what the tank well is, the trapezoidal area is behind the seat. You can also buy zipper crates to keep your accessories secure while fishing.

Fishing Rod Holder

You might need to carry several rods depending on the type of water, fish you want to catch, etc. If you don’t keep these rods organized, you can even lose them in the water.

If the milk crate you use as a fishing crate has proper holes to hold the fishing rods, then it’s okay. But if the crate doesn’t have any, you can attach fishing rod holders to the crate.

In case if you don’t get these rod holders, simply use PVC pipes to make rod holders. Use as many pipes as you need. But you need to ensure the crate is tightly attached to the kayak. Otherwise, excess fishing rods can tip the crate over.

Fish Finder and Mount

You can end up empty-handed if you don’t know the right spot for fishing. A fish finder will help you go to the right place quickly. You will need a fish finder mount on your kayak to hold the device steadily.

Some fish finders also work on smartphones to easily see the result on your phone screen. It is better to have a fish finder mount with a swing arm, as you can move the mount aside when you need some extra space.

Anchor Trolley

Once you get in the right spot, you need to halt and sit there for a long time. Fishing kayaks can quickly move from their positions with the minimum current or wind.

An anchor trolley will help you adjust the position of your kayak’s anchor so that you can stay in the same place. It will also reduce the risk of tipping over.

Lures and Baits

Once you reach the fishing spot, a standard-sized tackle box will be necessary to organize your lures. Depending on the type of bait, you might need a live well or a cutting board.

Live well is a must for live baits. And the cutting board needs to be mounted on the boat for dead baits.

Propulsion System: Motor or Pedal?

With an onboard motor, you can easily maneuver your kayak to reach your target area faster. You get less exhausted as you don’t need to pedal for hours. But the problem is, motors can make quite a noise and vibration that will scare the fish away.

Pedal kayaks can be a good option if you like to maintain stealth. You can silently reach your desired fishing spot but maneuvering these kayaks will take a bit of time and effort.

Safety Equipment

Fishing requires a lot of lateral movement of the kayak, which is the main reason behind kayaks tipping over. If you want to come back to the shore safely, you must maintain specific safety rules and regulations for an enjoyable fishing experience.

Personal Flotation Device

Personal safety is the biggest concern while fishing or any other type of kayaking. So, you need to have your personal flotation device that will keep you safe even if the boat capsizes.

In some cases, you can even store some food to use in the case of a hazard. Take a PFD that is visible from far away so that rescuers can see you if something unwanted happens.

Communication Device

It is highly remarkable that all types of ships, kayaks and boats have a vhf radio handheld or fixed mounted while at sea. VHF radios today have many advanced features that make them more efficient than ever before.

Communicating with other boats in the sea area is a basic idea. You need to have communication devices like VHF to contact the local authority and nearby boats if required. This might save you from any mishaps.

A VHF radio can help you with frequency scanning, weather reporting, GPS integration, and the ability to send distress signals, which can be helpful in many situations.

Miscellaneous Accessories

Don’t forget to carry other fishing accessories of your choice. Small tools like a pocket knife or a bug spray can be beneficial in different situations. Don’t forget to wear hats and sunglasses if you want to go fishing on a sunny day.


Now that you know how to rig a fishing kayak, your next fishing trip will be a lot easier to organize. Before you go fishing, make a checklist to help you rig your fishing kayak.

Make sure you take all necessary precautions and have enough experience of what you are doing. Don’t ever go out of your limits to stay safe. May you get a big catch next time.

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