Every avid kayak angler probably knows that there’s more to kayak fishing than a rod, reel, or kayak.
From electronics that catch fish to gear that keep you safe to carts that safely transport a heavy kayak, the list is practically endless!
You need the proper kayaking accessories to match your kayak, the environment, the waterway, weather conditions, and the length and type of adventure.
I’ve prepared a list of kayak fishing accessories to help seasonal anglers and newcomers, too. This guide will highlight 22 must-have kayak fishing accessories and offer recommendations for the best products that fit each category.
Quick Glance at The Best Kayak Fishing Accessories:
Your Essential Gear
Whether you’re paddle boarding, kayaking, a seasoned kayaker, or just a beginner, these are the accessories you need on board.
1. Water Bottle
As with any outdoor or sports adventure, staying hydrated is essential. A water bottle will help you stay hydrated and calm throughout your day. The best water bottle to consider is the Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle.
Its quality construction keeps your drink cool through its vacuum-insulated stainless steel. You can look forward to a cool, nice drink on hot days!
It’s also the right water bottle, especially if you go for long kayaking adventures. The water you should bring along depends on how long you go out. But the larger your water bottle, the better, especially in a hot summer. Fortunately, Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle has a capacity of 64 ounces, nearly thrice your standard water bottle.
2. Kayak Life Vest
It would help if you had a life jacket or PFD for a safe, comfortable kayaking experience. A good PFD should have an ergonomic design to fit comfortably and keep you afloat when the water gets rough.
I recommend NRS Chinook Fishing Life Vest. It is a popular kayak fishing life jacket that offers the right balance of comfort and storage.
NRS has five pockets, shaped and sized to hold essential fishing tools and quick-grab tackle, including a pocket that can perfectly hold pliers. It also has a high back and plush fit foam that puts your body in a comfort class.
A life vest helps save your life if you wear it, and the NRS Chinook is the best kayak life jacket you’ll want to wear.
You need to protect your skin while out on the water, particularly when it’s hot and the sun is shining brightly. Opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen that provides full coverage, and choose a waterproof option if you mostly get in and out of the water.
The Natural Water-Resistant SPF 50 Sunscreen is the best option for kayakers who enjoy jumping into the water to cool down. This sunblock is both good for your skin and safe for the environment. Unlike other brands, the Natural Water-Resistant SPF 50 Sunscreen is harmless to marine and coral life.
It also offers a smooth formula that feels like lotion after applying it. It doesn’t leave a rough or chalky texture or residue behind. Instead, it feels like a moisturizer that replenishes and hydrates your skin.
Please reapply your sunscreen regularly if you are kayaking for long hours. Besides sunscreen, ensure you have a baseball cap or brimmed hat to protect your skin further.
4. Waterproof Spray Jacket
A spray jacket is helpful if you tend to kayak in colder conditions. My spray jacket is perhaps my favorite kayaking gear because it keeps me cozy the way a sweater does without retaining too much heat.
A spray jacket helps keep you dry and retains your body’s heat. I recommend the WindRider Waterproof Paddling Sailing Spray Top because it’s lightweight and fits comfortably.
It helps you stay dry and snug even after getting splashed by water. My favorite part of WindRider Waterproof Paddling Sailing Spray Top is the neck coverage. It gives you a comfortable fit like a turtleneck would. Ensure you don’t forget to cover your neck, especially if you kayak in colder conditions.
Remember to prepare for anything whenever you go out kayaking. That’s why you need the appropriate safety accessories with you.
Here are some kayak safety accessories you should consider, no matter your kayak type, skill level, or experience.
5. First Aid Kit
One of the essential kayak safety gear is a basic first aid kit. Your kayaking first aid kit should contain all the essentials that you need in case of an injury. These include gauze, Band-Aids, a bandage wrap, and an antibacterial or disinfectant lotion or spray.
These first aid kits are specifically designed for kayaking, but any first aid kit can still work. Please ensure you store your first aid kit in the kayak’s storage compartment. I recommend storing it in a waterproof compartment.
If you don’t have one, opt for a waterproof kit like Compact First Aid Kit (228pcs). Besides, you can keep it safe in your dry bag.
6. Kayak Anchor
Source: Best Marine & Outdoors
Having a kayak anchor is mandatory when you’re out for a fishing trip. It also helps if you want to dock your kayak and refresh.
I recommend an anchor that folds up, doesn’t take up much space, and does the job perfectly.
A kayak anchor like Best Marin is a good option if you want something simple. It stows away easily on the back of your boat and against a side chamber.
7. Kayak Helmet
Please bring your kayaking helmet, especially for extreme water activities like white water rafting. The Tontron Adult Kayaking Helmet is the best option to consider for such activities. It keeps you safe when hitting rough waves or your kayak tips over.
The Tontron Adult Kayaking Helmet also protects you while kayaking in a rocky area. A helmet is a necessary accessory for relaxing kayaking excursions and light touring on a calm pond or lake.
8. Waterproof Patch and Seal Tape
Unfortunately, inflatable kayaks aren’t immune to puncture. That’s why you should carry a waterproof patch and seal tape if you have to fix a puncture. Opt for the Gorilla 101895 Waterproof Patch and Seal Tape to help temporarily fix the puncture when you’re out on the water.
You can safely paddle back to shore for a permanent repair. A Gorilla 101895 Waterproof Patch and Seal can also help fix unexpected air leaks like pinhole punctures.
So, always carry along with you one to help fix what might turn into an emergency, disastrous situation.
9. Kayak Bilge Pump
Your kayak safety kit should include a bilge pump, sometimes referred to as a manual hand pump. It helps expel water that gets inside your kayak. If your kayak is filled with water, it capsizes, and you flip it back over.
The easiest, quickest, and most convenient way to remove this water is by using Manual Bilge Pump for Boats Kayak Canoe Hand Water Pump. Insert the bilge pump in your kayak, pump the water manually, and remove all the collected water.
Kayak Accessories for Added Comfort
Since now you’ve the essentials, let’s add some comfort items. Here are some of the best kayak accessories that can make your kayaking adventure more amazing.
10. Dry Bag
Source: earth pak
Many fishing kayaks have storage hatches and compartments that are great for keeping your most essential gear items securely and safely. But many budget-minded kayak brands don’t offer these features, so having a dry bag is beneficial for ensuring that some gear items don’t succumb to the risks of wet conditions.
You can use a dry bag to store food and valuable items like wallets, cellphones, etc. Some anglers store the dry bags in a storage hatch to be more precautious. A durable dry bag like Earth Pak comes with a shoulder strap. Try out the 20L version.
11. Kayaking Shoes
Kayaking shoes are fit for you if you have a hybrid kayak like a standup paddleboard combo. They will give you a good grip on your kayak’s floor for better balance.
If you fish while standing, these shoes might offer an added level of support for balance and reel in your catch. You also need kayaking shoes if you routinely jump into the water while kayaking. They help protect your feet from any rough water debris that might cut your feet.
Other extreme water activities like white water rafting require kayaking shoes to help you keep your grip. The best kayaking shoes should offer a tight fit and full coverage. The YALOX Water Shoes are the best pair of flexible, well-fitted, breathable kayaking shoes.
12. Kayaking Gloves
Paddle gloves and grips are two must-have kayak accessories, particularly when going out for long fishing trips. Avoid handing the paddles for long as it might cause calluses and blisters on your skin. That’s why you need gloves. They help protect skin from the harsh effects of too much paddling.
Gloves can also make your hand sweat profusely during hot summer days. That’s why grips are a better option than gloves in hot weather. Non-slip grips fit the job. So, opt for KastKing Sol Armis Sun Gloves because of their protection and the quality grip.
Always narrow your needs when you’re shopping for kayak gloves. If you prefer a solid pair of gloves for the summer months, go for a pair made of Lycra or Spandex. Neoprene gloves will suit you perfectly if you live in a cooler climate.
A kayaking wetsuit is best for you if you kayak in an area where the water stays below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also essential if you spend a lot of time in the water. Opt for Kokatat NeoZip Long John Neoprene Wetsuit because it helps trap your body’s heat to stay warm even in cold weather.
A great wetsuit should be made out of a foam neoprene fabric. They’re tight-fitting since they’re meant to hug your body. Typically, a bathing suit is worn underneath a wetsuit. The material of the suit helps you retain your body’s heat.
A suit like Kokatat NeoZip provides nearly total protection. But other brands are designed for the level of warmth and exposure you want. There are full-body wetsuits that cover everything except your feet and hands. You can also purchase a suit that covers your feet and torso for more coverage.
Wetsuits are great essentials if you hop in and out of the water while kayaking. If you accidentally tip over or enjoy activities like white water rafting, then a wetsuit helps keep you protected from the cold.
Cool Kayak Accessories
If you want a fantastic kayaking experience, consider these accessories designed specifically for comfort and performance while kayaking.
14. Dry Box
A dry box works similarly to a dry bag. But, unlike a dry bag, a dry box is usually installed in the back of your kayak. If you’ve a kayak hybrid and a stand-up paddle board like the Bote Lono Aero, then a dry box might take place where your cooler is set up.
Generally, for sit-in kayaks, you might install a smaller-sized dry box like the Plano Shallow Dry Box on your stern using bungee cords. Use it to store and keep cool snacks and drinks. It’s also the best place to store items prone to water damage like wallets, keys, or phones.
Kayak fishing is a continual lesson that helps you learn how to use what you’ve and keep your overall amount of gear minimal. This means that it’s unproductive to carry along your full-size toolbox on your fishing trip. Instead, it would be best to tote a quality multi-tool while kayaking.
We all can agree that when it comes to fishing accessories and tools, you get what you pay for! With a multi-tool unit, you can use its plier to reshape and bend hooks. You can also use various blades for any purpose. Some multi-tool units have elongated plier arms that can help dislodge hooks inside the fish’s mouth. An excellent multi-tool unit should contain a solid pair of snips to help cut braided lines while on the water.
Bringing along a high-quality multi-tool unit like Leatherman Skeletool proves helpful in various situations. A Leatherman Skeletool can be operated with one hand.
16. Rod Holders
Most fishing kayaks come with one or several rod holders. But as an experienced angler, I can attest to the importance of placing your rod holders in the proper position. Many kayak brands have several gear tracks along their kayak’s sides, stern, and bow. You can use these tracks to install your ideal number of the rod holders.
Adjustable models like extra holders allow to position fishing rods at various spots on your kayak strategically. This improves your trolling ability or stows an extra rod in the right point so it can be easily and quickly reached when you arrive at the fishing spot.
Having a well-positioned rod holder significantly contributes to effectively utilizing the space. A fishing rod holder like YakAttack Omega Pro is super easy and flexible to set up.
17. Kayak Float Bag
It would help if you had a floating bag like NRS Kayak Float Bag as a kayak accessory. You can use them in inflatable and hardshell kayaks, but they’re mainly designed for hard shells.
These bags fill the open, unoccupied space when you go out kayaking. Usually, this is the cockpit or any space in the stern. A floating bag gives your kayak added buoyancy and support so that it floats in an emergency.
18. Trolling Motor
Another best kayak accessory to consider should be a trolling motor. It’s a unit that comprises a motor, a control, and propellers. There are manual-powered and electric trolling motors. Both help you navigate the waters quietly and smoothly without disturbing your hook and bait underneath.
There are various trolling motors to choose from, but you’ll need to consider your kayak’s size and installation method. Many kayaks, particularly with an area in the cockpit for foot control, are the best fit for manual pedal-propelled motors.
But if you prefer to stand while casting and reeling in your line, then an electric motor on your boat’s transom is better. The Newport Vessels Kayak Series Electric Trolling Motor is a great deal if you want a durable, quiet, and powerful motor.
It features aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic construction that withstand harsh conditions like saltwater. You can install it on various kayaks like inflatable and hard-shell because it’s a transom-mounted motor.
19. Lightweight Paddle
Usually, nobody wants a bunch of unnecessary weight in when paddling. A great kayak fishing paddle should be lighter but still durable to withstand the rigors of the activity. Experienced and intermediate kayakers looking for the best lightweight paddle might consider the AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle.
The right paddle should also have a hook retrieval system. This will let you free your line from snags and save lures that might otherwise get lost completely. AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle is a two-piece paddle that breaks down easily for compact storage and transportation.
It would help if you also considered a kayak paddle with a measuring device. Luckily, AQUA BOUND has a built-in system that helps you measure your catch. There are numerous brands of kayak paddles designed with anglers in mind. But if you’re looking for a brand to trust, you won’t go wrong with AQUA BOUND.
Transportation, Storage, and Maintenance
It would be best to shop for kayak accessories that can extend the life of your kayak. Here are some of the must-haves for kayak storage and maintenance.
20. Kayak Car Roof Rack
Kayak car roof racks safely and conveniently transport your kayak from home to the waters. You’ll need some ways to get from your home to the bank or beach unless you live near the water. A kayak perfectly fits in the back of most trailers and Utes, but you can use the right roof rack for all other vehicles.
There are various options to consider when choosing suitable roof racks. A roof rack like the TMS J-Bar Rack is a suitable option for one seater, standard-sized kayak. You can use it to track your kayaks and transport them wherever you’d prefer to launch from.
21. Kayak Cart
A kayak cart helps you safely transport your boat to entry points inaccessible by other means. I recommend Wilderness Systems Heavy Duty Kayak Cart as it’s the Paddling magazine’s 2018 winner in the “best storage/launching/transport category.”
It’s designed to transport heavy kayaks. Plus, it’s easy to load and unload kayaks onto it. Transporting your kayak safely can be challenging without a kayak cart
22. Kayak Storage Rack
A storage rack is a must-have kayak accessory if you have a hardshell kayak and nowhere to store it. The RAD Sportz Deluxe Freestanding Kayak Storage Rack allows you to store your kayak horizontally on wall space. This keeps it out of the way and off the floor.
A kayak rack also fits inflatable kayaks. The RAD Sportz makes getting my kayak out on the water easier and quicker and keeps it less prone to damage.