Essential Equipment Checklist for Kayak Fishing

By Anthony Contreras / September 2, 2017

New to kayak fishing?

Trying to learn all about this surprisingly satisfying method of fishing? If you do consider yourself to be a fishing enthusiast, you’re surely open to learning new stuff and upgrading your fishing lore.

In addition to that, kayaking takes time to master, so naturally, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about that too. Luckily you’re in the right place to learn about both areas of expertise and make your fishing adventure even more enjoyable and exciting. So let’s start with the basic equipment that every fisher who uses a kayak as a mean of transportation should have in his inventory.

Essential fishing equipment comprises from various items, so to make this guide even more useful, we’ve decided to separate these items into classes.

· Fishing rods

· Baits and lures

· Fishing nets

· Fishfinders & Sounders

· Crates and bags

· Fishing gear and equipment

Spinning, baitcasting or fly-casting?


Every experienced fisher knows how to pick their basic fishing equipment-fishing rods. Depending on whether you prefer fresh water or salt water fishing, you’ll always need to equip the right set of fishing rods that are ideal for that terrain, right? When you’re fishing from a kayak, you need stability and light gear should you want to avoid scaring the fish by operating with robust gear. The sole purpose of kayak fishing is to create a stealthy approach and surprise the fish. With these fishing rods you’ll have all the advantages of catching the fish off the guard.

Kayak Rods

These specially designed, shorter rods provide stability and better efficiency when catching fish from a kayak. Any Daiwa model or any byproduct or product from Globeride should be an ideal choice for your kayaking adventure. On the other hand, Okuma or Ugly Stik products also perform quite well for the smaller game.

Kayak Rods

Bait Casting Rods

Looking for the best bait-casting rod for your kayak-fishing trip? Major Craft rods are great for beginners. However, if you’re looking for more complex and advanced bait-casting rod you should pick a model from Abu Garcia World Monster series and maximize the efficiency on your next bait-fishing trip.

Fly Casting

Light and easy to use rods specially designed for fly casting are your best choice for shallow water kayak fishing. If you haven’t had any experience with using this method, start by using the basic models from Shakespeare collection as they’ve proven to be easy to master.

Baits & Lures


There is a number of baits and lures that you might find useful for kayak fishing. However, if you know where to look you be able to notice and differentiate different models with ease.

Hard baits are great for luring bigger game, but there is a matter of weight that you should include in your calculation as well. Bring only the most essential equipment and don’t forget to organize your lures and baits so that you don’t waste your time on catching smaller game to work your way to bigger fish. Bring one or two hard baits as you won’t need more than that. More importantly, you won’t add weight to your fishing inventory.

Soft baits are your standard equipment for kayak fishing. The more equipped you are with different models and types of these lures, the better your chances are for catching various types of fish. Start by adding smaller soft baits to your collecting and then working your way up to expanding your collection.

Twisters and Jigs are also important for catching fish from a kayak, make sure to bring a couple of these on your next fishing adventure as well.

Fishing Nets


Another quint-essential gear that you’ll likely need for kayak fishing is a fishing net. After finding a perfect spot for casting a net, all you need to do is to repeat the process a couple of times, and hopefully, you’ll catch some impressive game.

Finding the Right Fishfinder


There is a variety of fishfinder models, and depending on your preferred fishing method, you’ll want to acquire the right one. Making this decision can be hard at times, but if you focus on shallow-water fishfinders, you’ll have no problem with picking the best one. If you haven’t had any experience with using this equipment here is where you can inquire and learn all about it. Practice makes perfect, but you can’t practice until you learn how to use something. So try to learn as much as you can about this fishing gear and improve your fishing experience.

kayak with an attached fish finder

Crates and Storing Equipment


After catching the fish, you’ll need the right storing compartment to keep the fish alive while you prepare your camera for your trophy shot. These fishing boxes are ideal for storing smaller and larger game, but they can also be useful for storing your fishing gear like cutters and baits. Try using Hobie H-Crate or Feelfree Crate Bag, and you’ll never be short of space for your gear or caught game.

Quint Essential Fishing Gear


Every time you set for a fishing adventure you should be fully equipped with a variety of cutters, reels, hooks, set of strings and pliers. Next to this, fishing gear also includes a decent fishing jacket, shoes, as well a west or any additional fishing clothing. This is why it’s important to have it all, as it’s the only way to be fully prepared for every situation.

The worst thing that can happen after you’ve distanced yourself from the shore, fully assured that you brought everything that you need for kayak fishing, is to realize that you forgot to bring something. Another worst case scenario is finding yourself in a situation that required a certain tool to release the fish from the hook, or fix your bait, and realizing that you chose to exclude that gear from your list of shopping items. So next time you’re preparing for another kayaking adventure, be sure to purchase everything that you need for fishing.

image showing organized fishing equipment

Create a list and include everything starting from tools, baits, reels, an additional set of different-sized string. This way you’ll be prepared for every situation that you find yourself at sea, lake or pond.

To Conclude

Kayak fishing can prove to be extremely satisfying, but only if you’ve mastered your fishing and kayaking skills. Next to this, there is a matter of essential equipment that you’ll need to maximize your efficiency at sea, lake, river or pond. This means that you shouldn’t be short or fishing baits, hooks, or any other piece of equipment.

After you’ve chosen your means of transportation, brought adequate gear, and assured yourself that you know how to handle a kayak in any weather condition, you’re free to roam and search for the best fishing spot.

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