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Rigging Your Fishing Kayak: Some Basic Practical Advice

Contrarily to you might have heard, there is no such thing as perfect rigging for a fishing kayak, and the reason for it is that kayak anglers differ by their personal needs, fishing style, fish species they go after, etc.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to make mistakes, and this is why we recommend to go about these things slowly and carefully, without rushing into particular solutions unless you know there’s a good chance that they’d work well for you.

Practically, this means it can be impossible for you to tell in advance exactly what type of rod holders would benefit you the most, and whether you need this type of anchor or another. Same is true for positioning the rod holders, what kind of paddle holders you need, and more.

As a rule, if you fish in saltwater you’d better try to keep your fishing rods dry, which means that either you’ll store them inside the hull for when you pass through the surf, or use tall deck mounted rod holders in the stern. Some deck mounted rod holders have a long leg, which adds distance between your fishing rod and the corrosive sea water.
Tube rod holders are easier to use, because you just stick your fishing rod in, and take it out instantly when you need to. However, rod holders equipped with a latch would better secure your fishing rod in its place.

Obviously, if you’re fly fishing you may not need a rod holder at all, but you do want one, it should be of a type that fits fly rods.

As far as positioning the rod holders on your kayak’s deck, our only advice is to take your kayak out and fish from it a number of times before you decide on a new fishing rod. You’d need to make sure that neither fishing rod nor line interfere with your paddling under any circumstance, including when you use your kayak for trolling.
You can’t use screws to attach a rod holder, or any other object to your kayak’s deck. The reason for it is that the plastic isn’t thick enough to secure a screw in its place. The alternatives are either using bolts with nuts, or rivets. Bolts have more initial grip than rivets, but they lose it with time, since your kayak is made from polyethylene, which is a relatively soft plastic resin.

As for paddle holders, the problem becomes much more complicated: Some kayak anglers insist on using paddle holders that are silent, and that means using paddle holders made from foam. Other kayak anglers must make sure they don’t lose their paddle, because they fish in deep water, and far from shore. This means they must use paddle clips of some kind, or a bungee and hook to secure the paddle in its place.
Some kayak anglers like to drop their paddle in front of them while they rush to grab a rod that shows that a fish is pulling on its line, or if they want to make a fast cast because they spotted a fish. Others kayak anglers want to drop their paddle on their kayak’s side, in order to allow them more freedom of movement while they cast a line, reel a fish in, and land it.
Again, after fishing a few times you’ll know more about the type of paddle holders, or clips that would work better for you.

Anchors differ by their weight and form: Some have more grip than others, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better, because an anchor with too much grip might get entangled in rocks or roots, and if you don’t manage to release it you’ll have to cut its line and part from it.
As a rule, kayak anchors should weigh between 1.5 lbs and 5 lbs. The heavier anchors are for moving water, such as streams or the ocean, and the lighter anchors are for ponds, small lakes and slow moving rivers.
Here too, you can add more functionality at a price of adding complexity: Anchor pulleys (vertical) and anchor trolleys (horizontal) may serve you well if they fit some specific need, but they could just make things harder for you if you don’t need them.

And what about a milk crate? What seemed to be an obvious storage solution in old fashion sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks is no longer needed in the W500 Wavewalk kayaks, simply because this new generation of fishing kayaks offer so much internal, accessible and dry storage space, as well as a lot of deck space, which make the milk crate redundant.

Wheels For Transporting Your Fishing Kayak

This article presents different approaches to transporting your kayak on land.
In most cases, you won’t need wheels for your W kayak, as you’ll just drag it from your vehicle to your launching spot, and back.
But if you must carry it over long stretches of asphalt or concrete pavement, you may want to consider shielding its hulls from excessive abrasion by attaching the lid of a plastic bin to the part of its hulls that come in contact with the pavement. It’s an inexpensive, easy, and lightweight solution, and the lid can fold easily, so you can store it in one of the hull tips when you’re fishing and paddling.
The drawback of dragging a kayak is that it’s not as easy as transporting it on wheels.

Kayak anglers have different fishing styles, and they fish in different environments. This fact, as well as logistic issues, affects the way they rig their fishing kayak with wheels (or a single wheel), a kayak trolley, cart or a simple mat.

Here is what you need from your fishing kayak wheels:

Portability
We put this benefit first, because kayak anglers are often enthusiastic about making a perfect kayak trolley, and they tend to overlook the fact that once they reach the water, they’ll have to take it with them on board their kayak. Kayak wheels should be lightweight and preferably small in size, so you could easily tuck them in one of the storage compartments in the hull tips, or on top of them.

Solid Construction
You definitely don’t want your wheel cart to fall apart while you’re on your way from your car to the water, or back. Although it’s possible to drag W fishing kayaks, it’s not recommended to do it on asphalt or concrete pavement.

All-Terrain Capability
Wheels that are too small or too narrow could sink in sand, or in mud.  You should remember this when you purchase the wheels for your fishing kayak trolley,

Maneuverability
Sometimes you may require to pass with your fishing kayak in tight spaces. For example, in the space between two cars in a parking lot. In such cases, being able to control your fishing kayak on wheels is important.

Ease of Use – Attachment
Attaching the wheels to your fishing kayak, as well as detaching them should be quick and easy. You definitely don’t want to waste time and energy on complicated systems for attaching the trolley to your kayak.

Here are examples of different solutions found by kayak anglers from all over the world: Outfitting and Rigging Your Fishing Kayak >>

What to Carry on Board Your Fishing Kayak

By Jeff McGovern

A kayak is not a bass boat, bay boat, or a flats boat when it comes to hauling equipment.  While a kayak can fill most boating roles, space is limited– so serious thought is needed as to what to carry.   You outfit your boat according to the needs you have in your own fishing area.   My fishing time is split between saltwater and freshwater in Florida.  The gear is similar, except for the tackle changes normally associated between the two types of fishing.

Safety gear is first.  You need to be safe in the water and there are some things that are mandatory and might be required by law.  A PFD or personal floatation device is very important and should be worn at all times while in the kayak.  A whistle is required as a signaling device and should be carried on board.  Hat and sunglasses add protection and comfort from the sun.   Proper clothing, either rain suit or sun protection, needs to be accessible for when the need arises.   Fishing gloves protect the hands from sunburn and can aid in the landing of fish.   Sun block should be worn at all times to protect the skin.  I prefer at least SPF 30 or higher.  Foot wear needs to be nonskid and of a type that can be worn in the water.  Here in Florida, shoes with a sturdy sole help prevent cuts and slashes from oyster beds and shells.  I also carry a sponge or towel to wipe my hands after a fish, as well as to soak up any water I get into the boat.

You need some way to secure your kayak while still fishing.  An anchor or stake out pole is ideal for this.  My preference is to use a small folding anchor on an anchor trolley rigged to the side of the kayak.  If the water is shallow enough, in the W you can simply change your position on the seat to pin the hulls to the bottom–a great method for stop and go style flats fishing.  In deeper water, a drift sock or small bucket can be used to slow down your drift.  In addition to securing the kayak at times, you’ll also need a place to keep the paddle out of the way.  You can either place it across the cockpit, resting on the cockpit noodles or on paddle hooks (as seen on the W website.)

Fishing tackle needs a place to be kept out of the way until needed.  A fishing vest with multiple pockets is fine for small terminal tackle and packages of plastic baits.  It also gives you a place to carry a small camera, line clippers, dehookers, and other small fishing tools.  I use small gear reels or lanyards to keep the gear close at hand but out of the way while fishing.  Larger lures in tackle packs and other tools can be placed in a small plastic trashcan and slid under the deck on whichever side is most convenient.  A net is handy and a small one can be kept under the front deck opposite the side with the trash can.  Another great tool for landing and controlling fishing at the boat is a pair of fish grabbers.

I keep drinks and snacks in a small soft cooler behind me in one of the hull spaces.  If fish are to be kept for dinner, they can be stored in a cooler bag in a hull space as well.

Rods and reels are placed in the flush mount holders, if the W model you have is equipped with them.  If I need extra rods, I use multi-piece pack rods stored below the decks.  Some folks like to troll while paddling and the new Ram rod holders are ideal for this purpose.
Remember that, even though space is limited compared to a powerboat, there is more than enough room for a day of fishing in a kayak.  It just takes a bit of thought and planning.

More advice and tips from Jeff on his kayak fishing blog.

Go to Wavewalk’s website to find the world’s best fishing kayaks for sale>>

Fishing Kayaks: Paddle Or Pedal Drive?

New, technical article that examines pedal drive propulsion for fishing kayaks from several angles: Ergonomics – How does it feel to operate a pedal driven kayak, and what are the potential physiological drawbacks in this type of propulsion. Mechanics -How efficient are pedal drives’ pedaling systems. Hydrodynamics -How efficient are pedal drives’ propellers, and how effective is pedaling kayaks compared to paddling them. Real World Performance – How effective are pedal driven kayaks in applications such as fishing trips, stand up fishing, fishing in moving water, fishing in shallow water, launching, beaching, etc.

This article does not compare the performance of sit-in and SOT kayaks, whether paddled or pedaled, with the performance of W kayaks.

Pedal Drives for Kayak Propulsion

Pedal propulsion for small watercraft has been in use since the 19th century, and it’s still commonly found in small recreational boats, often in a combination of rotating pedals with paddle wheel type propellers. Other types of pedal driven propulsion systems for small craft include rotating propellers,  hydraulic pumps, sideways moving flaps, add-on systems, and more.  Interestingly, the world speed record for a human powered watercraft is held by a catamaran equipped with a rotational air propeller.

Currently, there are three kayak manufacturers offering pedal driven kayaks. Two of them offer kayaks featuring a combination of rotational pedals with a rotational propeller, and one manufacturer offers a drive featuring push pedals combined with flaps moving from side to side, in a back and forth motion. The latter will be simply called ‘flaps’ in this article.

All three kayak pedal drives are fixed, which means they provide propulsion without steering, and therefore, the kayak operator is required to track and turn using a hand activated rudder.

All three pedal drive systems feature pedals located in proximity to each other, along the kayak’s center line, and at a higher point than the kayak seat. In order to activate the pedals in all three, kayakers have to relocate their feet away from the low footrests situated on both sides of the hull.

THINGS YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT KAYAK FISHING

Whether kayak fishing these days is a sport that’s growing at the pace it used to, or at a slower pace is a question that remains to be answered. In any case, many people are still interested in fishing from kayaks, whether they already practice it or would like to.
Kayak fishing is a cool, tempting idea – in principle, but for most people who try it, reality is quite different:
The majority of fishing kayaks offered today are sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks rigged with at least one rod holder.  Being traditional kayaks, they are basically unfit for long paddling and fishing trips, because of poor ergonomics, that is since the level of comfort they offer is too low to enable an average person to feel comfortable long enough to enjoy themselves.
This website offers a collection of articles, reviews, movies and links related to kayak fishing. This information should enable prospecting kayak anglers to make informed decisions when looking for a new fishing kayak, as well as when they plan to rig their new kayak for fishing.

Choosing A Fishing Kayak

How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak

Before you start thinking about what fishing kayak type and brand could fit your needs, you should be aware that the cost of a fishing kayak is usually not limited to the kayak itself: When you start adding the cost of all accessories you’ll find they can cost more than a kayak.
However, by buying a Wavewalk fishing kayak you can save a lot of money just on accessories:

  • Rudder: W kayaks track better than all other kayaks, and require no rudder. You save $220 – $300
  • Kayak Seat: W Kayaks are yak-back free, and require no special seat added. You save $80 – $200
  • Kayak Rack: W kayaks are easy to cartop and fit any car rack – No need for a special kayak rack. You save $50 – $500.
  • Outriggers: The W500 kayak model is safer and more stable than other kayaks that are equipped with outriggers. With the W500 you don’t need outriggers, even with an electric trolling motor. You save $100 – $350.

Rudders are a pain to operate, they slow you down, and get stuck in shallow water and weeds.

Kayak seats are bad for your back, and can turn your kayak fishing trip into an unpleasant experience. They are even likely to get you to quit kayak fishing in the long run, because of back pain and discomfort.

Kayak racks need to be installed on your car rack, and when they’re there you can’t use your car rack to carry other things.

Outriggers are a pain to install, they slow you down, and they limit your kayak’s mobility and maneuverability. Plus they’re one more bulky thing to carry.

BOTTOM LINE: Rudders, yak racks and outriggers are annoying, and kayak seats are bad for you.  The added cost of those accessories could top $1,000. Besides the money, aren’t your health and peace of mind priceless?

Go to Wavewalk’s website to find these fishing kayaks for sale >>