Today we will take a look at the must-have accessories for kayaking! It does not matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned kayaker, we are always on the lookout for the latest innovation or product in the kayaking world that’ll allow us to better enjoy this hobby we so dearly love!
We will be covering products you’ll need as a beginner as well as a seasoned kayaker. Here at propaddling.com we also enjoy fishing, thus we will also take a look at the best fishing kayak accessories available in the market.
Best kayaking accessories
Kayaking Specific Life Vest
The number 1 tip we at propaddling.com give to every kayaker is always safety related. Many kayakers have met dangerous situations where their lives have been saved by the most important safety gear, which is their lifevest. It is always recommended for a beginner to invest in a good quality kayaking specific life vest which features:
- A higher back, allowing more freedom of movement.
- A snug fit, which would ensure you are not hindered by the vest in any situation.
- Larger arm holes, which allows for greater arm movement/rotation.
- Pockets, for holding your other important lifesaving equipment (whistle or map and compass).
Some of the best life vest in the market that we like and use are from a brand called ONYX, specifically the “MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest” and “MoveVent Torsion Paddle Sports Life Vest”. Or you can check out “Stohlquist’s Ebb Life Jacket/PFD” as well.
A Better Paddle
After paying so much for their kayak, unfortunately, many kayakers would then purchase the cheapest paddle. This has been a big mistake we see many people commit. The paddle is the second most important equipment one needs besides their kayak and we recommend you to get a better than average one, the difference in paddle quality can be night and day and can greatly improve your kayaking experience!
Paddles that would not break the bank and yet improve your kayaking experiences are the SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle, and the Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle. A good paddle would go a long way in making your strokes more efficient!
We’ve all been there, after a capsize, it always feels like we are swimming in our own kayak as it overflows with water. Bailing water with your hand or a mug simply does not cut it and that’s when I’m always thankful for having a bilge pump with me whenever I’m out paddling. Since using this Seattle Sports Paddlers Bilge Pump, I’ve definitely save both time and headache bailing out water. A simple modification I do is to add a tubing at the input valve for easy reach to the inner ends of the kayak!
Despite our love for the water, many of the things we would like to have with us out in the water are sadly not water friendly. I simply love to have a nice meal with me when out kayaking and the perfect dry bag has always been a life saver. I always pack two dry bags when going out, one for my electronics and wallet. The other for my dry clothing and meals. These two brands, Unigear and Afeboo, have never failed me and they offer the bags in different sizes to suit your needs. If you are looking for something bigger and have storage space on your kayak, the Watershed Salmon Stowfloat Kayak Bag is of superior quality.
Best kayak fishing accessories
There are many more accessories one can get when we get into the hobby of kayak fishing and what we’ll like to focus on in this article is accessories that will help us better focus on both tasks of kayaking and fishing. Many times we’ve found ourselves in unpleasant situations when we try to juggle both and are not focused on either task. So I hope these following recommendations would help you better manage and enjoy your time out in the waters.
One can’t do without this important item when we need to maintain position in an optimal area to fish for the best success at catching that elusive bass. I’ve found that a simple anchor always helps me to not worry about drafting and lets me keep focus on the fishing instead. The one that I use is from Airhead (Jet Logic A-2 Complete Folding Anchor) and it has served me well.
Another product that helps to minimize unnecessary distractions is a rod holder. The rod holder has saved me many times while out kayaking, it has prevented the loss of my rod when getting into hairy situations while kayaking and is definitely one of the items that are worth more than its weight in gold. I’ve tried out better-known brands such as Scotty and Cannon, both have not let me down thus far and holds up pretty well quality wise. So get one if you’ve not already! Check out this article from paddling.com for an in-depth guide to how to install a rod holder.
This is for our friends up in the Northeast area or any colder regions. Hypothermia is not a joke and we need to take it seriously when out fishing, especially when we are in a kayak where capsizing is more common than making a catch (sadly). I’ve personally found 2 solutions that have worked well for me and I believe they will address any problems you might have.
- Waders, I’ve seen many who are into waders and have done well with them, they are my personal first choice when if I’m heading to an area where waters are not too deep and temperatures are within the manageable range. The one that I use is this Redington Crosswater Wader, it is up to chest height which makes a big difference. I also recommend you find one that is more fitting to your body, it’ll be less cumbersome when you move around and rotate in the tight confines of your kayak seat.
- However, there is one big flaw with a wader, that is they are not watertight. This becomes a big problem for me when the temperature drops and whenever I capsize. Thus my go-to solution in the colder months is actually a drysuit. I know and I hear you! It is more expensive and usually a pain to get in and out of, but boy was I always thankful that I’m wearing it in colder waters, thus the tradeoff is always well worth it for me. A brand that I’m familiar with and uses is this O’Neill Wetsuits Boost Drysuit, another that’s a cheaper variant is this one from Crewsaver which I’ve heard to be good.
This one was a hard lesson learned from my first few outings when kayak fishing. All the excitement of catching a good size bass brought a huge smile on my face! But of course, that feeling was short lived when I was holding up the fish by its mouth while my buddy was trying to get a good picture. Next thing I know, a wiggle by the fish and I’ve almost lost my thumb. That was a lesson learned which lead to me my quick order of a pair of Yak Gear Fish Grip on Amazon.
This little device has been a lifesaver and its usage can be applied in many ways, from that memory shot we like to get to helping remove any deep-seated hooks that the fish swallowed. This floating plier will provide a vice-like grip on the lips of the fish without injuring it. Definitely, a mush have on every fishing trip!
And there you have it, our recommendation of the best kayaking accessories that one needs when out in the water. We hope you find this useful and integrate it into your kayaking system. In this holiday season, I’m sure a few of the above items would make great gift ideas for any kayaking lovers you may know! If you are also interested in getting a new kayak or a new spinning reel, do check out our best inflatable kayak review or our best spinning reel review!