Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Rig

    One of the best, and most maddening parts of kayak fishing are the combinations of gear available and modifications to that gear that make it so very personal. Before I hit the water in my kayak I must have spent over 100 hours reading reports, blogs, books, and web sites about kayak fishing. Ric Burnsley's book was an early influence to my rig. Of course Kayak Kevin was a huge influence, if you haven;t seen his Youtube channel or DVDs check them out. A few of these ideas I came up with on my own, but I don't think any of my mods are original. There is no right or wrong way to rig as long as it is safe, it works, and you like it. I was inspired by anglers before me, I hope I can help inspire others with what I have come up with.
I use a flag on a bungie-ball (you can find them at Walmart), the bungie-ball makes it easy to put o and take off. The shark face is painted on, I did it a while ago using masking tape and my eye to get it masked before I sprayed it down. If enough people comment asking for how I did it, I will put up a how to. I kept all of the rigging on the bow and never really had a problem with it. For an anchor I used a 3lb barbell secured with parachute chord. I have a crab buoy to save my setup if I need to get off the anchor quickly. I also have a submersible light, more on that later.
I keep my paddle leash secured around the base of my fish finder tucked under the sonar shield. Paddle leashes are for times you are not paddling or expecting to paddle much, because they can get you wrapped up under the kayak if you flip. So I rarely use it. I have used it a few time to secure myself to a buoy in windy weather though. I also keep floating pliers capable of cutting braid, and my sunglasses case under there for safe keeping on the water.  Here you can also see my Kayak Kevin inspired double foot pegs, I installed for comfort. AS well as a Scotty mount above the left foot well and a Ram Mount over the right.
On the rod pod cover I have a Scotty flush-mount  for my swinging camera mount.  I take the mount out when launching on the ocean, it is light and easy to position. All of my self shots are taken with this mount. I use the camera mount to keep my fish grips in easy reach. I used a whistle string around a foam buoy to keep Davy Jones from taking them. I also usually stuff a bait knife in one of the rod pod straps to keep it close at hand.
I bought this Ocean Kayak Comfort Pro Seat because I thought it would help prevent numb butt... Turns out it is better at preventing wet butt. It is a good seat, but I am not sure it is $70 better than the stock seat. I also use lure wraps when ever I can, they save me a ton of time because I don't have to untangling so many things.
Sometimes I will attach my fish grips to the elastic straps behind me as well. Here you see my anchor trolley system, I rarely use it honestly. But when I need it, I will have it. I used a few 90 degree PVC pieces to pick my crate off the deck. It sits high and dry. The Scotty mount on the back of the crate is a great place for the stern light. I always carry a small waterproof first aid kit with a hook puller, just in case. I normally throw it in a dry bag to keep it accessible, but keep the deck less cluttered.  Rod leashes are a must in the surf, after you loose $200 in rod and reel you will use them when you can to.
Here is a view from the back. I like Scotty rocket launcher style rod holders. When my kayak flipped the rod in the rocket launcher was still in there by it's own means when I flipped my kayak back over.
My paddle started out white, but when I started night fishing for bass it became a problem. The glare off the paddle from my head lamp messed with my night vision. So I went to the garage and grabbed a can of green spray paint. It was better but still reflected a lot so I added blue stripes. It is ugly, but does its job.
I keep my PDF in my kayak so I don't forget it. It would suck making it 2 hours away to the ocean or a lake like Pine Flatt that requires a PDF and not have one. Here you can see how I keep my wires coming out of my battery bag nice and neat.

Here is a shot on the inside of the boat. I Gooped my transducer flat to the bottom and used yellow duct tape to make it easier to add and remove fishing rods from the hull. A few zip ties secures my transducer wire and keeps it neat.
Somehow I lost my 7.3 amp hour battery, so I bought a 4 amp hour battery as a replacement. I use mini blade fuses because they are found in most stores. I bought some quick disconnects from Radioshack and taped all the wires tightly to keep the connections from failing.
I know it is a crappy picture, but I keep extra fuses in a trout bait jar just in case
The second plug is wired for my submersible light. I leave the connection open and haven't had any problems in the salt water. Occasionally I douse the terminals with WD-40, and every time it hits salt with gets rinsed and re-coated. I have had the kayak full of salt water with the open plug and fishfinder on with no problems at all.
For navigation I have my Garmin GPS and a good old fashioned Compass. Funny thing about the compass, when I ordered it out of Austin Kayak I thought it would be much larger. The back had an adhesive pad, pull the wax paper off and mount. So far it has stood torture and still stands strong. As you can see, everything is accessible and within reach.
For recording film I have a camera mount attached to a half inch of PVC that fits perfectly in a Scotty mount. It made me nervous having my very sinkable camera at first, but after a while I grew to use it without fear.

    I have been using this setup for a while now and it really works for me. Feel free to use any of the ideas I used, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. This sport and community have been amazing to me. It is never over, the perfect setup is always there, but just out of reach. So keep experimenting.

Thanks for reading,


Ric Burnsley's book:

The Complete Kayak Fisherman

Kayak Kevin's Youtube Channel: 


  1. That is an awesome setup you have there.

  2. Yours is an SST compared to my experience this morning.

  3. What is an SST, I am not familure with that initialism.

  4. I used to have an Old Town Predator many years ago. Never read a thing about kayak fishing. I got in it, paddled out into the river and fished like I usually do. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

    Not convinced your graphic is a good idea. Watched the Nature Channel once and got to see great white sharks mate...

    You don't stand a chance...

    1. It looks nothing like a shark from the bottom.


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