Fishing kayaks are designed to be wider and more stable when you’re battling with stubborn fish who aren’t quite ready to turn their gills on the water.
However, this isn’t the only way to ensure a successful trip. For the best results, your kayak should also be fully kitted out with some of the highest quality and most convenient fishing kayak accessories.
This isn’t a case of having all the gear and no idea, as fishing kayak accessories are genuinely incredibly useful and serve different purposes to satisfy your every need when you’re out at sea. If you’re lacking inspiration, we’re here with a few ideas to get you started.
We’ve carried out thorough research to find 5 of the best fishing kayak accessories for 2021 so that you can deck yourself out in the best equipment ready for your next adventure.
To show you what we based our selections on, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide that explains the most important factors to look out for in terms of fishing kayak accessories.
OUR TOP PICK
Our motto is safety first, so we’re starting off with the LuxoGear emergency safety whistle which comes as a pack of two, you know, in case you drop one. Luckily, the chances of losing one of these whistles are limited thanks to its adjustable reflective lanyard and clip.
The floatable cord also ensures that even if your lanyard ends up in the water, it should stay close to the surface so you have a chance to retrieve it. You can signal when you’re in distress to stay safer and you’ll be more visible after dark wearing one of these whistles.
It’s durable and well-designed, with a pealess mechanism that prevents airflow blockages or sound obstruction, leaving the whistle clear to produce the 120 decibels it’s capable of. The super-loud sound comes from blowing on the comfortable mouthpiece which is anti-sticking.
The affordable price and the light overall weight mean there’s really nothing stopping you from putting this at the top of your list the next time you’re shopping for kayak supplies.
- Reflective lanyard: Keeps your whistle close and at the same time you’ll remain highly visible in the dark.
- Super loud: Easily signal your distress using this whistle as it can reach up to 120 decibels of sound.
- Design: Ideal for kayaking as it’s both small and lightweight yet also effective.
- Durable: Well-constructed using high-quality ABS plastic.
- Customer service: If you have any issues you can easily contact the friendly customer services team with any questions within the product’s lifetime.
- Best when dry: Some customers report that the whistle is quieter when wet which is less than ideal for kayaking.
Having some way to keep your belongings safe and dry while you’re kayak fishing is going to be hugely beneficial, hence is why our next review is of the HEETA waterproof dry bag which is available in 5L, 10L, 20L, and 30L sizes to suit your needs with 8 colors to choose from.
The bag itself is lightweight yet durable which makes it the perfect bag to pack when you’re heading out on your kayak as you can reserve your strength for paddling.
It’s comfortable to wear and you can style the straps multiple different ways depending on what you prefer.
Your essentials will remain dry thanks to the waterproof, transparent material that allows you to easily see what you’re reaching for without wasting time.
There’s also a free waterproof phone case included with the purchase to provide fully comprehensive waterproof protection.
- Durable: Manufactured using 0.02 inches (0.6 mm) thick waterproof, wear-resistant material.
- Convenient: Carry your essentials with you when kayaking without worrying about them getting wet.
- Waterproof: Offers 100% waterproof protection with double-sided ultra-thin PVC and a vacuum seal to keep water out.
- Lightweight: Easy and comfortable to carry and to store on your kayak while you’re fishing.
- Cheap bonus items: The free phone case, in particular, is less reliable than what you could purchase separately.
If you’ve ever had to handle a kayak when it’s out of the water before then we’re sure you’re as excited as we were when we came across this kayak carrier.
It’s designed for universal use so whether you have a kayak, a canoe, or an inflatable, this carrier will be compatible.
It’s a highly durable option that should last you for years to come, and it works well to keep your kayak in similarly good condition. Oversized bumper pads, for example, work well to prevent the sides from becoming scratched or dented during transit.
The only limit is the weight it can hold which is set at a maximum of 200 lbs. The strong anodized steel that it’s manufactured with further extends the already long lifespan of the kayak carrier, whilst also keeping the carry weight low so that it weighs just 8 lbs it’s on its own.
It has easy-to-inflate 9.5-inch knobby tires and the carrier also folds down for storage. In terms of accessories, it’s on the pricey side, but this practical fishing kayak accessory will drastically change how convenient it is to transport your kayak between different locations.
- Tire design: Enjoy smooth travel across rough surfaces like gravel or sand thanks to the 9.5 knobby tires.
- Secure: A 12-foot tie-down strap keeps your kayak in place when you’re traveling to protect it against damage during transit.
- Small and lightweight: It’s conveniently lightweight and can be carried in a large backpack, or stored on your kayak whilst on the water.
- Easy to load: The spring-loaded kick step ensures quick and easy loading.
- Price: It’s one of the more expensive options we’ve included.
We mentioned that there are better options for waterproof phone pouches when we reviewed the Heeter dry bags earlier in this article, and the Travelon floating waterproof pouch for your smartphone is a perfect example.
Sometimes you might want to keep your mobile device close to hand so you can capture any great catches on camera or for entertainment while you’re waiting to get a bite. A waterproof phone pouch is a great alternative to a dry bag when you want to keep your phone handy.
You can use your phone at any point on your kayak fishing trip because this pouch will protect the camera and speakers from becoming blocked with water, dirt, debris, dust, or sand as it’s both air and water-tight.
The folding closure is effective at preventing anything from getting into the pouch and can handle the presence of sand better than a press-to-seal.
There’s no need to worry about dropping your phone (when it’s inside the pouch) in the water either, as there’s a foam insert that keeps it from sinking and will instead float along the water’s surface.
Plus, you get a 17-inch strap included so you can stay hands-free.
- Touch screen: The plastic allows your phone’s touch screen to work so you can confidently use it when you’re in or on the water.
- Waterproof: The pouch is waterproof even when it’s fully submerged if you’ve closed it correctly allowing you to take underwater photos and protect your phone from water damage.
- Small and lightweight: It’s super convenient to travel with and it won’t take up much space in your kayak.
- Personalized: There are five different colors to choose from to suit your style.
- Fingerprint unlock disabled: You’ll have to unlock your phone before putting it in the pouch or type in your passcode because you won’t be able to unlock your phone using the fingerprint unlock feature whilst it’s inside the pouch.
Last on our list is the Wilderness Systems kayak crate, the perfect storage accessory for kayak fishing. It features a functional internal storage compartment with the lid serving as additional storage to keep your smaller equipment organized.
Store your larger pieces of gear or tackle boxes in the generously sized open main compartment and be safe in the knowledge that when the latches are properly closed, no water will be able to get in and damage your belongings.
You might have to sacrifice a few non-essential items if you’re hoping to fit this Wilderness Systems crate into your kayak, although at 10.9 lbs it’s not a totally unreasonable weight. However, it does combine the purpose of a few convenient accessories in one box.
It’s well-constructed and made with high-quality materials, which does mean that it comes with a higher price tag attached to it and makes this the most expensive accessory item we’ve included.
- Excellent storage: It’s well organized and generously sized to store your gear.
- Waterproof: It has universal lash down points and when properly closed, the storage container is water-tight.
- Multiple rod mounting options: Keep all your gear safe and in one place.
- Durable: It was blow-molded meaning it should last for a long time before showing signs of wear and tear.
- Price: This is the most expensive accessory we’ve included on our list.
- Aesthetic damage: The sides and lid of the box can become scratched and scuffed over time.
5 Must-Have Fishing Kayak Accessories For 2021 Buying Guide
Now you’ve seen 5 of the best fishing kayak accessories that are currently available, but it can be hard to establish what your priorities should be, especially if you’re new to kayaking.
The following information should help you identify what areas of your kayak experience could be improved, and which accessories are best suited to help you with these issues.
Choosing The Right Fishing Kayak
While this is an article about fishing kayak accessories, you could technically class your fishing kayak as the biggest and most important accessory of all.
There are three main types of kayak, including:
- Sit-on-top kayaks
- Sit-in kayaks
- Inflatable kayaks
For fishing, you’d probably be better off with a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak as there is more space (on top, unsurprisingly) for you to move around in and they tend to be wider which makes them more stable on the water’s surface.
Sit-in kayaks are just as suitable, although if you end up in the water you’ll have a harder struggle trying to flip it back over. Inflatables, on the other hand, are the least suitable option. With all those fish hooks lying around, the popping potential is too great a risk for fishing.
Now, let’s get onto the actual accessories.
Other Fishing Kayak Accessories
We could only choose 5 products to review, and believe me, we struggled to narrow it down, so here are a few suggestions as to what else you could equip your fishing kayak with.
- Paddles: This is probably a good place to start as you won’t get far without one.
- Paddle leash: This will stop your kayak from floating away if you end up overboard.
- Paddle grips and gloves: We’ll move onto non-paddle-related accessories now, but a good pair of paddle grips and gloves will protect your hands from cuts and blisters.
- Fishing rod holders: When your hands are busy paddling a rod holder will keep your fishing rod in place for you for convenient hands-free fishing.
- Fish finders: Less essential but more exclusive, fish finders use advanced technology to track fish for you offering both low and high-frequency fish finding.
- Anchor kits: Pretty self-explanatory - these kits have everything you need to anchor your kayak in one spot, a pretty useful ability to have when fishing.
- Fish bag and coolers: This is the best way to store your catches for fresher fish.
- Pliers and pocket knives: Having one of these in your fishing gear box will come in handy for multiple applications, like removing hooks from fish safely or cutting thread.
- Personal floatation device (PFD): Whenever you go out on the water, you should always make sure you have a personal floatation device with you in the case of an emergency.
The accessories that you deem most important will depend on the type of fishing you do and what your personal preferences are, but this list should give you a good idea of where to start looking for accessories that will help you on your next fishing kayak trip.
Even though fishing kayaks tend to be wider than regular kayaks, you still have to be careful about what you choose to pack to bring with you. Storage options are sparse at sea, so the size of an accessory could literally determine whether or not you can feasibly bring it along.
On a different note, the smaller your accessories are, the easier they will be to store when you’re not using them which means there will be less clutter to deal with in your home.
When looking for fishing kayak accessories, durability shouldn’t be left to linger too far down on your priorities list. Being out on the water means you’ll often have to deal with harsh elements, and flimsy fishing accessories that break on the first trip won’t be of much use.
You need accessories you can count on to keep up with your on-board needs, so make sure to look for accessories that are well-constructed using hard-wearing materials. The cheapest option might seem attractive initially, but if it’s made with cheap materials it won’t last long.
As much as you may try to avoid the water, when you’re on a boat, sometimes things just can’t help getting wet. To make sure your belongings aren’t damaged by the occasional spray, it’s worth making sure your accessories are at least partly resistant to water.
Not only will accessories that are manufactured using water-resistant materials remain in a better condition for longer, but they can also be used to protect other personal items or equipment that should be kept dry, like a waterproof case for your phone, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I put on my fishing kayak?
Any of the accessories we’ve reviewed in this article would be a great addition to have on-board, but there are a few essential items you should definitely put on your fishing kayak.
These include a bag for keeping your belongings safe, a PFD, a whistle, and an anchor kit.
How long can you keep fish on a stringer?
Generally, fish can survive for a few hours on a stringer, but it’s better to find alternative methods to store fish that you’ve caught.
The longer you leave fish on a stringer, the more risk there is of them injuring themselves as they thrash and try to get free from the device.
Do you need a whistle on a kayak?
You are only required to carry a whistle or horn on any vessel less than 12 meters (39.4 feet) long in order to signal that you are in distress should you paddle into troubled waters.
However, it’s always a good idea to have one with you just in case something happens.