The Ultimate Guide to Kayak Fishing Accessories

Having the right kayak fishing accessories can make a world of difference in your experience.

Buying Guides
Simon Palmer

Published: August 1, 2023


Hey there, fellow angler! If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve discovered the joy of kayak fishing. There’s nothing quite like the serenity of the water, the thrill of the catch, and the satisfaction of doing it all from your trusty kayak.

Kayak fishing is a unique blend of kayaking and fishing, bringing together the best of both worlds. It’s an activity that allows you to access remote fishing spots, enjoy the tranquility of the water, and engage in a fun, active pastime. But it’s not just about having a kayak and a fishing rod. The accessories you choose to accompany you on your fishing adventures can significantly enhance your experience.

Think about it. With the right accessories, you can navigate waters more efficiently, keep your gear organized, increase your safety, and even improve your fishing success rate. From essential gear like personal floatation devices and paddles to advanced equipment like fish finders and GPS systems, the right accessories can transform your kayak fishing experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned kayak fisher or just starting out, this guide is for you. We’re going to dive into the world of kayak fishing accessories, exploring everything from the essentials to advanced gear. We’ll discuss what each accessory is, why it’s important, and even give you some top recommendations based on user reviews and expert opinions.

So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s get started on elevating your angling game with the right kayak fishing accessories!

The Essentials of Kayak Fishing Accessories

So, you’ve got your kayak and your fishing gear. You’re ready to hit the water, right? Well, not so fast. Before you paddle out, let’s make sure you’ve got the essentials covered. These are the kayak fishing accessories that, in our opinion, every angler should have on board.

  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs): Safety first, folks! A PFD is a non-negotiable when you’re on the water. It’s not just about complying with safety regulations; it’s about protecting your life. Look for a PFD designed specifically for kayak fishing. These have pockets and attachment points for your gear, and they’re cut to allow comfortable paddling and casting.
  • Paddles: Your paddle is your engine, your steering wheel, and sometimes, your anchor. It’s worth investing in a good one. Consider factors like length, weight, blade shape, and materials. Some paddles even break down into pieces for easy transport and storage.
  • Rod Holders: Unless you’ve mastered the art of octopus-style multitasking, you’re going to need somewhere to put your rod while you paddle, bait your hook, or reel in a fish. That’s where rod holders come in. There are different types, including flush-mount, clamp-on, and adjustable, so you can choose what works best for you.
  • Tackle Boxes: Organization is key when you’re out on the water. A good tackle box will help you keep your lures, lines, hooks, and other small items tidy and within easy reach. Look for one that’s sturdy, waterproof, and fits well in your kayak.
  • Anchor Systems: When you find the perfect fishing spot, you don’t want to drift away. An anchor system lets you stay put, even in current or wind. There are various types, including folding anchors, stake-out poles, and even electronic anchor systems.

These are just the basics, but they’ll go a long way towards making your kayak fishing trips safer, more organized, and more productive. But why stop there? In the next section, we’ll dive deeper into each of these accessories and explore some advanced gear to take your angling game to the next level.

Deep Dive into Kayak Fishing Accessories

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at each of these essential kayak fishing accessories. We’ll discuss their features, top brands, pros and cons, and give you some tips for use and maintenance.

Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs): Kayak fishing PFDs are designed with mobility in mind. Brands like NRS, Stohlquist, and Onyx make PFDs with high backrests that accommodate kayak seats, and large armholes for paddling and casting. Look for models with pockets and attachment points for gear. Remember, a PFD is only useful if you wear it, so comfort is key!

Stohlquist Misty Personal Flotation Device

The Stohlquist Misty Personal Flotation Device is a high-quality life jacket designed for comfort and safety. It features a thin back design that works with all seat styles, making it ideal for use with boats that have a higher seat back. The thin profile provides more mobility and comfort, while reducing interference with today’s taller seat backs.

The Misty PFD is designed to fit different body shapes and sizes, whether small framed or large framed, thanks to its graded sizing. It has open sides for ventilation and a cross-chest cinch harness for zero ride-up. The mesh shoulders and interior panels provide maximum ventilation, ensuring you stay cool during your water adventures.

This life jacket also comes with multiple pockets that can hold a beverage, your sunglasses, and other small items. It is available in a grey color and is made from durable neoprene material.

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ONYX M-16 Belt Pack Manual Inflatable Life Jacket

This life jacket provides comfort, safety, and peace of mind for the sportsman, flatwater paddler, or recreational boater without knowing you have it on, until you may need it. It’s lightweight, low profile design keeps you safe in various water environments without limiting movement.

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Paddles: Lightweight materials like carbon fiber or fiberglass make paddling less tiring. Brands like Werner, Bending Branches, and Aqua-Bound are known for their high-quality paddles. Consider a paddle leash to prevent accidental loss, and remember to choose the right length for your kayak and height.

Rod Holders: Rod holders free up your hands and keep your gear secure. There are adjustable rod holders, like those from Railblaza and Scotty, which allow you to change the rod’s angle, and flush-mount holders for a low-profile option. Some kayaks come with pre-installed rod holders, but you can also add your own.

Tackle Boxes: Plano, Flambeau, and Pelican are popular tackle box brands. Look for boxes with removable dividers for flexibility, and rust-proof latches for durability. Some tackle boxes are designed to fit in specific kayak models, so check compatibility before buying.

Plano Guide Series 3500 Field Box

The Plano Guide Series 3500 Polycarbonate Field Box is a durable and compact field box with a patented Dri-Loc seal that creates a watertight, airtight shield. It features a soft rubber lining that protects valuables and a triple cam lock for security. The box is also resistant to UV rays, corrosion, and impact, making it suitable for various outdoor activities.

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Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Box

The Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Box is a versatile and compact solution for all your fishing storage needs. This tackle box is designed with adjustable and removable dividers, allowing you to customize the compartments to fit your specific needs.

Constructed from high-quality plastic, this tackle box is durable and designed to withstand the rigors of fishing trips. It features a clear lid that allows you to see your tackle without opening the box, saving you time and effort.

The Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Box is lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry with you on your fishing adventures. It’s an excellent choice for organizing your lures, hooks, sinkers, and other fishing accessories.

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Anchor Systems: From simple folding anchors to sophisticated electronic systems like Power-Pole, there’s an anchor for every angler. Your choice will depend on your fishing environment and budget. Remember, safety is crucial when using an anchor, so learn how to use it correctly and always have a quick-release mechanism.

Remember, the right accessories can significantly enhance your kayak fishing experience. But they’re only part of the equation. In the next section, we’ll explore some advanced accessories for those looking to take their angling game to the next level.

Advanced Kayak Fishing Accessories

So, you’ve got the basics covered and you’re ready to take your kayak fishing game to the next level. Let’s talk about some advanced kayak fishing accessories that can give you an edge on the water.

Fish Finders: These handy devices use sonar to locate fish, giving you a major advantage. Brands like Garmin, Lowrance, and Humminbird offer models with various features, from basic sonar to GPS integration and detailed lake maps. Read our article for more information on fish finders and echo sounders. Remember, you’ll need a mount and possibly a battery pack too.

Humminbird HELIX Series

Humminbird has a strong reputation for its innovative fish finders. The HELIX series offers a range of models with features like mega side and down imaging, dual spectrum CHIRP sonar, and GPS mapping.


  • Innovative features like mega side and down imaging.
  • Dual spectrum CHIRP sonar.
  • GPS mapping capabilities.


  • Some advanced features may have a learning curve.
  • Higher-end models can be expensive.
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Lowrance Elite FS

Lowrance is another leading brand in the fish finder market. The Elite FS series offers high-resolution touchscreens, preloaded high-detail mapping, and a wide range of sonar options.


  • High-resolution touchscreen for easy use.
  • Preloaded high-detail mapping.
  • Wide range of sonar options.


  • May require professional installation.
  • Some users may find the interface less intuitive than other models.
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Garmin Striker Vivid Series

Garmin is a global leader in GPS technology. The Striker Vivid series offers high-contrast color palettes making it easier to distinguish fish and structure. It also includes built-in GPS for waypoint marking and navigation.


  • High-contrast color palettes for easy viewing.
  • Built-in GPS for waypoint marking and navigation.
  • Known for durability and build quality.


  • Does not include detailed maps (though waypoints can be marked).
  • Some models may lack advanced sonar features found in other brands.
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GPS Systems: Never worry about getting lost again with a GPS system. Some fish finders include GPS, or you can get a standalone unit. Look for one that’s waterproof and has good battery life. Brands like Garmin and Magellan are known for their reliable GPS systems.

Livewells/Bait Tanks: Keeping your bait fresh can be the difference between catching a big one and going home empty-handed. Livewells and bait tanks keep your bait alive and kicking. There are portable options like the ones from Engel and Frabill, or you can install a built-in system.

Kayak Carts: A good kayak cart can save your back when transporting your kayak from your vehicle to the water. Look for a sturdy model with large wheels to navigate different terrains. Brands like C-Tug and Malone make highly-rated kayak carts.

Outriggers/Stabilizers: These accessories can add stability to your kayak, making it easier to stand up for casting and reeling in. They can be especially useful in choppy water. Check out options from brands like YakGear and Scotty.

Remember, while these advanced accessories can enhance your kayak fishing experience, they’re not necessary for everyone. Consider your needs, budget, and fishing conditions before making a purchase.

Safety Accessories for Kayak Fishing

While we’re on the topic of kayak fishing accessories, it’s crucial to highlight the importance of safety. No matter how calm the water or how sunny the day, you should always be prepared for unexpected situations. Here are some safety accessories that every kayak angler should consider:

  • First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen, so it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand. Look for a waterproof kit that includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and other basic supplies. Adventure Medical Kits and Surviveware are popular choices among outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Bilge Pump: If water gets into your kayak, a bilge pump can help you remove it quickly. It’s a small accessory that can make a big difference in an emergency. Brands like Seattle Sports and Attwood make reliable bilge pumps.
  • Signaling Devices: In case of an emergency, you’ll need a way to signal for help. This could be a whistle, a mirror, or a flare. Some PFDs come with a whistle included. Adventure Signal and Orion Safety are known for their signaling devices.
  • Knife: A good knife can serve multiple purposes in a kayak fishing trip, from cutting line to freeing yourself if you get tangled. Look for a knife that’s sharp, rust-resistant, and easy to open with one hand. Gerber and Spyderco have excellent options for outdoor knives.

Remember, no fish is worth risking your safety. Always let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return, check the weather before you head out, and always wear your PFD.

Tips for Choosing and Using Kayak Fishing Accessories

Choosing the right kayak fishing accessories can seem overwhelming with so many options available. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices:

  • Consider Your Needs: The accessories you need will depend on the type of fishing you do, the conditions you fish in, and your personal preferences. For example, if you fish in deep water, a fish finder and an anchor might be essential. If you fish in shallow water, a stake-out pole might be more useful.
  • Set a Budget: Kayak fishing accessories can range from inexpensive to quite pricey. Set a budget before you start shopping and prioritize your purchases. Remember, safety equipment should always be your first priority.
  • Read Reviews: Check out reviews from other kayak anglers to see what they recommend. Reviews can provide valuable insights into how the product performs in real-world fishing conditions.
  • Maintenance is Key: Once you’ve chosen your accessories, make sure you know how to maintain them. This can extend their life and ensure they perform well when you need them.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: When you get a new accessory, practice using it in a safe environment before you go fishing. This will help you get comfortable with how it works and identify any issues.

Remember, the goal of using accessories is to enhance your kayak fishing experience. Choose the ones that will help you enjoy your time on the water and catch more fish!


Well, there you have it, fellow angler! A comprehensive guide to kayak fishing accessories. We’ve covered everything from the essentials like PFDs and paddles, to advanced gear like fish finders and GPS systems. We’ve also highlighted the importance of safety accessories and given you some tips for choosing and using your gear.

Remember, kayak fishing is about more than just catching fish. It’s about enjoying your time on the water, connecting with nature, and continually learning and improving. The right accessories can enhance your experience, increase your safety, and even help you catch more fish.

So, whether you’re a seasoned kayak angler or just getting started, we hope this guide has been helpful. Here’s to safe and successful fishing adventures with your new kayak fishing accessories!

What are your best kayak fishing accessories?

We hope you’ve found this guide to kayak fishing accessories helpful. But we also know that every angler has their own favorite gear. So, we’d love to hear from you. What are your go-to kayak fishing accessories? Do you have any tips for choosing or using gear? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

And if you found this guide useful, why not share it with your fellow anglers? Let’s help everyone have safer, more successful, and more enjoyable kayak fishing adventures!