The only thing I love more than battling a beast of a trout on my line is getting new kayak fishing gear. With the abundance of top-notch brands serving the industry and so many gadgets to play with, yak anglers are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking new equipment.
It doesn’t help that nearly every piece of kit required for kayak fishing is customisable. Or that there is a heap of modifications you can perform to improve the boat itself, such as adding rod holders, fish finders, storage options, pulley anchors and even stickers and decals.
However, cool fishing gear and the ability to rig out your yak any way you want it comes at a price… a low bank balance. To save you from splashing out on mediocre gear, we’ve rounded up the best kayak fishing accessories on the market.
Scotty Powerlock Rod Holder
Where would you be without a trusty rod holder? Probably three rods down is my guess.
Adjustable rod holders are likely to be one of the first accessories you’ll purchase for a new fishing kayak. Those built-in, flush-mounted rod holders just don’t provide the control and flexibility you need to set your rod in prime position.
We’ve reviewed many rod holders before, and the clear winners in terms of performance are the Cannon Downrigger and the Scotty Powerlock. Both Scotty and Cannon produce durable and highly functional fishing accessories, but the Scotty model takes the win for us due to the three colour options and it being a little more stylish in our opinion (hey, we like to look good in front of our fellow yak anglers).
Stohlquist Fisherman Personal Floatation Device
While you could wear any PFD for fishing, we love the purpose-built design of the Stohlquist anglers PFD. It’s perfectly kitted out for all your angling needs with multiple pockets and straps to provide easy access to gear you frequently use.
Wearing the Stohlquist reduces the risk of something going overboard or dealing with the frustration of having to rummage through your milk crate in search of your pliers when you’ve got a fish on deck. Life’s easy when you have your pocket knife at hand, lures ready to switch, and trail mix tucked away for when you’re peckish.
Apart from providing heaps of pocket storage, the Stohlquist is also very comfortable to wear featuring neoprene shoulder pads, a soft foam inside, and adjustable straps to perfect the fit. Tough nylon on the exterior ensures you’ll be fishing in this PFD for many years.
BEST Marine and Outdoors Kayak Anchor
A kayak anchor is essential if you want to keep your yak locked in position.
This BEST Marine anchor will grab hold of sand, rock and weeds and keep you where the fish are biting. Weighing 3.5 lbs and featuring a claw design able to latch on to any natural surface, you’ll easily be able to stabilise a kayak, canoe, or small boat.
Constructed from galvanised steel, this anchor won’t rust even when used in harsh marine environments. The 40-foot long anchor line is equally as tough being made from marine grade nylon rope. The line is long enough to allow horizontal drag and stop drifting.
The anchor is easy to deploy and just as easy to reel back in. When you’re done, simply undo the lock nut, fold away the anchor and pop it into the accompanying storage bag.
Scotty 455 Bait Board
The Scotty 455 Bait Board is a great multi-use flat top for all your gear storage and tackle prep needs.
It offers a safe and convenient place to store your pliers, knives and tackle while ensuring everything is within easy reach. The rim also features multiple attachment points for other accessories such as fish finders, rod holders, cup holders, and GoPro mounts.
Preparing lures or cutting bait is easy thanks to the large open surface. Like all Scotty products, the bait table is extremely durable with the hard plastic webbed construction providing rigidity.
The only downside is that the board doesn’t come with a post mount included. However, it will attach to any Scotty post mount which can be picked up cheaply on Amazon. I recommend also buying the Gear Head Mount Extender from Scotty for ultimate position control.
Deeper Smart Sonar PRO+ Fish Finder
While I enjoy fishing trips even when I don’t catch, I have a much better time when I do.
Fishfinders make an angler’s life easy and make fishing trips much more enjoyable by removing the guess work. And before you say I’m taking the fun out of fishing by relying on technology, let me tell you; there’s nothing more satisfying than catching a fish you’ve just mapped out on your fish finder!
The deeper Smart Pro+ features the latest in portable fishfinding technology with dual frequency sonar and accurate GPS positioning in a gadget no bigger than your palm. It’s also completely wireless and uses Wi-Fi to transfer data from the device to your smartphone.
The Sonar Pro+ displays vivid underwater pictures on your Apple or Android device, and you can adjust the settings to ensure crystal clear imagery anytime of the day. Before long, you’ll know the below surface layout of your local lake like the back of your hand, and you can go straight to those deep pockets where the BIG BASS are resting.
The arm mount is purchased separately but is well worth it as it securely fastens the unit to your yak and keeps it out of the way of paddle movements.
United Plastics Fish Grip
Using a fish grip to aid landing your catch will prevent unnecessary damage and hurt to the fish – which is particularly important if you’re sport fishing and releasing your catches.
What I like about this model is that United Plastics have sought the advice of experienced anglers at the design stage and created a fish grip that works in harmony with the angler. For instance; these grips can safely hold the jaws of fish up to 50 pounds, come with a lanyard attachment so you can wear them around your neck when not needed, and there’s even a fish scale attachment to make weighing your catch trouble-free.
And there’s no need to worry if they go overboard, these scales float and are bright enough to be spotted easily (there’s even a glow in the dark model).
SAMS Fishing Landing Nets
Landing nets make bringing in your catch much easier and are also essential if you’re releasing your catch and want to give it the best possible chance of survival.
The soft nylon mesh used in the SAMS net is designed to be gentle on fish and won’t remove their protective slime layer. The 1/8” mesh holes are also small enough that they won’t gill even small fish.
The aluminium rim is thick and solidly-built, and the nylon netting is strong under tension, giving this net the strength required to catch big bass and trout. It’s lightweight and compact enough to easily manoeuvre in a kayak.
The handle features a cord that wraps around your wrist to prevent losing the net (and your catch) which also doubles as an easy way of attaching the net to your boat.
Overall, superb value for money for an essential tool of all serious fisherman.
Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers
The Piscifun fishing pliers can grip, cut, and crimp doing away with the need for scissors or other tools in your tackle box. Offering performance and reliability at a very reasonable price, these pliers are a must have.
Combining aircraft grade aluminium to reduce weight on the body and Titanium-coated stainless steel jaws, these pliers provide the perfect balance of strength, durability and functionality.
The only part of these pliers likely to show wear is the tungsten carbide cutters. However, they have screw fixings for easy replacement.
These super stylish pliers are available in seven colours and also come with a coil lanyard and a nylon sheath.
Yak Gear Fishing Milk Crate
I don’t know what paddler can lay claim to being the first to use a milk crate, but since then, they’ve become standard issue for onboard storage on yaks, canoes, and paddleboards. It’s simple, but it works!
Yak Gear’s milk crate is constructed from hard plastic that won’t corrode under the harsh conditions found at sea. The honeycomb structure makes the crate incredibly robust while also offering plenty of attachment points for further rigging.
The crate comes in either a square or rectangular model to suit your storage needs.
6 Pack Fishing Lanyards
How many tools have been saved from ending up on the seabed thanks to the handy lanyard?
They may not be the most technically advanced piece of kit on our list, but the humble lanyard serves its purpose well and will keep your gear safe and at the ready.
These lanyards are perfect for yak anglers being only 22 cm long and featuring a robust iron ring on one end and an Aluminium carabiner on the other. The pack also comes with six different colours of carabiner so you can easily organise your tools.