Getting Started (Kayak Fishing Tackle)
Kayak fishing, and indeed all fishing is meant to be fun. Please make sure you take your safety in a Kayak seriously though. We recommend purchasing the best buoyancy aid you can get (how much do you value your life?). Make sure when you purchase one that it fits properly, an ill fitting buoyancy could come off in extreme circumstances. Get yourself a paddle float and keep it behind your Kayak seat. A paddle float used properly will help you get back into a Kayak if you fall out. If you are venturing out on a large body of water carry some flares with you. Most large lochs in Scotland have some kind of rescue service on them, they can be dangerous places in the wrong weather, if a flare is set off someone will come looking for you. It is always sensible to tell someone where you are going and when you will be coming back. It is also worth finding a like minded person to fish alongside or convince some of your regular fishng friends to take up Kayak fishing with you. A good wetsuit will keep you warm, especially if you happen to fall in. We use a full length wetsuit with no arms. This allows maximum movement and use of arms. A thermal top underneath the wetsuit is also a recommended piece of clothing. There are special ones designed to be used under wetsuits. A kayaking jacket with sealed neck, cuffs and bottom keeps you dry and warm.
Kayak Fishing Essentials
There is a whole range of Kayak fishing equipment , some essential, some not so. The first obvious essential is the paddle. Try and pick a good quality lightweight paddle, the lighter the better. This means less fatigue when using it all day. We recommend a two piece paddle, this aids with travelling and allows the angle of the paddles to be altered to suit the type of paddling you’re doing and your own physical build. Another essential item is a number of paddle leashes. These stop your paddle and other items drifting away if you drop them or turn the Kayak over. you need one for the paddle and one for each rod in the rod holders. You will also need to chose a seat or your Kayak, again pick the best available. You will be siting in it all day, make sure it is comfortable. We recommend you also purchase a coarse fishing seat box cushion (the midi size). Place this underneath your seat, it adds an amazing amount of additional comfort. You really will appreciate it after a day sitting in a Kayak fishing. If sitting broadside on you can move it from under your seat and sit on it. Again we recommend this is attched to the Kayak with a leash.
You will most likely want a fish finder mounted on the kayak. The in our opinion the best available for this is the Garmin range. A dual frequency version is useful, especially if you’re likely to fish in shallow water (more about fish finders can be found in the relevant section on our website). We recommend mounting the transducer in the hull of the kayak, underneath the seat. This means no extrenal bracket is needed and all the wires can be hidden inside. The Ocean Tridents come supplied with a special battery pouch mounted in the bow of the Kayak the perfect place for it to be stored, access is easy and it stays dry. Speaking of batteries, you will need a small re-chargeable motorcycle sized battery to power the fish finder. We can advise on battery selection in more detail if you let us know about the brand/model of fish finder you are purchasing. An anchor is another useful item to keep on board. A pulley fitted at the bow of the boat will make lifting the anchor an easier task. Anchoring in this way insures the Kayak is not going to turn over in a big wave. A drogue for drift fishing is also a recommended piece of equipment.
Kayak fishing tackle needs to be thought through carefully and kept to a minimum. Having said this there is a surprising amount of storage space on a Kayak if used in the right way. To simplify things we’ve broken everything down into different fishing types.
You can use pretty much any normal boat flyfishing gear. My preference is to use a 9’ fly rod, I feel it is better balanced and the leverage just feels right when fishing from the Kayak. All normal densities of line can be used. I recommend making changing of lines as quick and simple as you can so multi spooled reels are sensible way to go. This also makes storage a whole lot easier, again something you need to consider from a when fishing from a Kayak. Make sure you have a fly rod holder fitted to your Kayak this allows you to paddle without having to hold the rod. You will find it easy to get close to fish from your Kayak, it is low in the water creating a very low profile and if used in the right way is almost silent. Don’t waste lots of energy distance casting, use your Kayak. It really is the easiest way to sneak up on fish, to get to places on the water you wouldn’t ordinarily get to, make the most of it!
Think carefully about the net you’re going to need. I use the Brodin Ghost wading net, being wooden it floats so can be left trailing, it also has a special rubber net which is designed for catch and release. I fit it to the Kayak using a powerful zinger, specially designed for nets.