Beginner’s Guide to Kayak Fishing Gear [Video]

Anytime you start a new activity it’s nice to have advice from the pros. This video covers all the basics to help you assemble your kayak fishing gear:

The 2 Types of Kayaks

Angling kayaks include both sit-inside and sit-on-top models. Most anglers prefer the sit-on-top style both for ease of accessing all their gear and for the option of standing. (The sit-on-top style is featured in the above video.)

Wherever your main fishing waters will be—rivers, lakes or the ocean—there’s a fishing kayak for you.

(Take a look at this post about fishing kayak brands)

The 3 Types of Propulsion

Getting your kayak through the water can be done three different ways: a paddle, a pedal system or an electric motor that can be fastened to your boat.

If you choose to paddle only, you’ll have virtually no limits in the waters you choose to fish. Shallows, river bottoms, weeds, narrow channels—all are accessible to you without fear of damaging anything hanging below your kayak.

Pedal kayaks allow you to be hands-free while you’re fishing. Whether you’re moving or want to stay in one place, you’ll have a lot of motion control without continual switching from pole to paddle.

That said, you’ll still want a paddle with you—in fact, boating regulations require it!


There’s a good chance you’ll need a longer paddle for fishing than for standard recreational kayaking. That’s because fishing kayaks are usually wider, and the seats are usually higher to make casting easier. A length of 240-260 centimeters is common for kayak fishing paddles. An adjustable-length paddle is ideal if your seat is also adjustable.

(Here’s our Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide to help you out.)

Blade shapes vary quite a bit. If you plan to stand while you fish and use your paddle as a pole, you might be happier with a broad, high-angle blade. That’ll give your paddling a lot of oomph, especially with a loaded-down boat.

If you think you’ll cover long distances when fishing, a low-angle, narrower blade might be better for you.

Some paddles are made specifically for fishing, including extras such as a hook retrieval system and on-shaft tape measure.

(See fishing-specific kayak paddles)

Life Jackets (PFDs)

Fishing-specific PFDs have some great features designed specifically with anglers in mind. Things like a cut-away back panel, pockets for baits, plier tethers, knife attachment points and rod tethers are all designed to make things more comfortable and convenient for you.

kayak fishing gear

Kayak Angling Accessories

Kayaks designed specifically for fishing almost always come with accessory tracks. You can attach all kinds of things to these without having to drill holes. Accessories you’ll want to consider are: rod holders, cup holders and mounts for your electronics.

Some kind of storage unit for the back of your kayak is nice, too. Many anglers use a basic milk crate. You can also use a fishing-specific unit that have extra features like built-in rod holders, storage compartments and a zippered closure.

If you plan to fish on lakes frequented by motor boats, consider a visibility flag with an LED light for safety. A light also means you can fish into the later evening hours and still be seen by other boaters.

So there you have it—your guide to the basic kayak fishing gear you’ll want to start with.

To learn more about Aquabatics Calgary, visit their website.

Questions? Give our Wisconsin-based customer service team call or email today and we’ll be glad to help you out: 715-755-3405 or [email protected]

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