Exploring 6 Essential On-Board Features for Fishing Kayaks

Jeff A Sep 01, 2023
6 People Read
Logo: A Crimson Arrow - Explore the Great Outdoors
Table of Contents
  1. Essential On-Board Features for Fishing Kayaks
    1. Rod Holders
    2. Paddle Holders
    3. Storage Solutions
    4. Seating and Comfort Features
    5. Accessory Tracks
    6. Carrying Handles
  2. Conclusion
  3. Kayak Fishing Links and Resources:
    1. Kayaks and Kayak Equipment

First Published on 07/03/2023

When searching for a new fishing kayak it is important to maximize the on-board features to best accommodate your fishing style and desired experience. In this article we will cover seven essential on-board features for fishing kayaks that will have you prepared “right out of the box”.


From rod holders to storage solutions, each feature serves a purpose in enhancing your overall kayak fishing experience. By gaining a deeper understanding of their importance, you'll be well-equipped to make informed decisions when selecting a new fishing kayak.

Essential On-Board Features for Fishing Kayaks

Rod Holders

The rod holders on a fishing kayak are a must-have feature. They allow you to keep your rods securely in place while you tend to other tasks, such as paddling, adjusting your gear, or enjoying a snack. With your rods securely positioned, you can focus on biting fish, reeling, and landing catches without the need to constantly hold your fishing rod.


There are various types of rod holders and mounts available, each offering unique advantages. Flush mount rod holders are built into the kayak itself, providing a sleek and unobstructed appearance. They are typically positioned within easy reach and offer stability and security for your rods. On the other hand, adjustable rod holders allow you to customize the angle and position of your rods, catering to your preferred fishing style and techniques.


The placement of rod holders is key to optimizing your fishing experience. Consider the number of rod holders you need and their strategic placement on your kayak. Common locations include behind the seat, in front of the seat, or on the sides of the kayak depending upon their intended purpose. This allows for easy access to your rods while maintaining a balanced weight distribution on the kayak.


By utilizing rod holders effectively, you can free up your hands, maximize your fishing potential, and increase your chances of landing multiple catches simultaneously. Whether you prefer trolling, baitcasting, or fly fishing, having the right rod holders in the right spots on your kayak will greatly enhance your experience.

Paddle Holders

Paddle holders are another key feature of fishing kayaks. They provide convenience and ease of access to your paddle when you need to keep your hands free or take a break from paddling. There are different types of paddle holders available to suit different preferences and kayak designs.


One common type is the bungee strap paddle holder, which uses an elastic bungee cord to secure the paddle in place. This type offers flexibility and can accommodate various paddle sizes. Another option is the clip-style paddle holder, which uses a secure locking mechanism to hold the paddle firmly in place. This type provides a quick and easy way to secure and release the paddle when needed.


The position of the paddle on the kayak can vary depending on the design of the kayak. Some anglers prefer to place the paddle across the kayak, resting it on the deck, while others prefer to secure it to the side using paddle straps or dedicated holders. Placing the paddle across the kayak allows for easy access and quick retrieval, while securing it to the side keeps it out of the way and reduces the risk of interference with fishing lines and gear.


Having a secured paddle within reach offers convenience and peace of mind. It allows you to focus on fishing, navigating, or simply enjoying the scenery without worrying about the paddle getting lost or floating away. With easy access to your paddle when you need it, you can efficiently maneuver your kayak and make the most of your fishing adventures.

Storage Solutions


When it comes to fishing kayaks, having efficient storage solutions is crucial for organizing your tackle, gear, and personal belongings. There are various types of storage options available to keep your items secure and easily accessible while out on the water.


One common storage feature in fishing kayaks is dry hatches. These are sealed compartments built into the kayak's hull or deck, providing watertight storage for sensitive gear or items you want to keep protected from water exposure. Hatches are typically used to store items like electronics, wallets, phones, or other valuables.


Compartments are another type of storage solution found in fishing kayaks. These are dedicated spaces within the kayak that are designed to hold specific items such as tackle boxes, extra clothing, or food supplies. Compartments can be open or have lids to keep items secure and organized.


In addition to hatches and compartments, many fishing kayaks feature bungee systems. These elastic cords or straps crisscross the kayak's deck and provide a versatile storage solution. Bungee systems are ideal for securing larger items such as coolers, crates, or fishing nets on the deck of the kayak, allowing easy access to frequently used gear.


Having well-organized storage is essential for efficient fishing trips. It helps you easily locate and access your tackle, gear, and personal belongings, saving you time and frustration on the water. Consider the type and quantity of storage options available in a fishing kayak to ensure they align with your specific needs and fishing style.

Seating and Comfort Features

Comfortable seating is a key consideration when it comes to fishing kayaks, especially during long trips on the water. Having a comfortable seat ensures that you can fully enjoy your fishing experience without feeling fatigued or uncomfortable.


One important feature to look for in a fishing kayak's seating is a supportive backrest. A backrest should provide crucial lumbar support, reducing strain on your lower back and promoting proper posture. Look for kayaks with adjustable backrests that allow you to find the most comfortable position for your body.


Consider the ergonomics of the seat as well. A well-designed seat will have contours that conform to your body, providing optimal support and comfort. Look for kayaks with seats that are specifically designed for long hours of sitting, with attention to ergonomics.


Adjustable or swivel seat options are also worth considering. These features allow you to change the seat position or rotate it, providing versatility and convenience. Adjustable seats enable you to find the ideal seating angle for your comfort, while swivel seats allow you to easily access different areas of the kayak without straining.


Prioritizing comfortable seating in your fishing kayak ensures that you can focus on your fishing adventures without discomfort or distraction. Take the time to test and compare different seating options to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences. Remember, a comfortable seat can make a significant difference in your overall kayaking experience.

Accessory Tracks

Accessory tracks on fishing kayaks are versatile systems that allow anglers to customize their kayak setup to suit their specific needs. These tracks are installed along the kayak's gunwales or other designated areas in order to provide a secure and adjustable mounting point for a wide range of accessories.


One of the primary benefits of accessory tracks is their versatility. They offer a variety of mounting options such as rod holders, paddle holders, fish finders, anchor cleats, camera mounts, and even beverage holders. By having these accessories readily available, you can enhance your fishing experience and keep essential gear within arm's reach.


The adjustability of accessory tracks is another valuable feature. Most tracks allow you to slide and lock accessories into different positions along the track, giving you the flexibility to optimize your kayak's layout for different fishing scenarios. Whether you need to reposition your rod holders for trolling, adjust the angle of your fish finder, or secure your paddle within easy reach, accessory tracks make it easy to fine-tune your setup.


When choosing a fishing kayak, consider the number and placement of accessory tracks. Look for kayaks with multiple tracks strategically positioned to accommodate your desired accessories. Some kayaks may even feature pre-installed tracks or include accessory packages tailored to specific fishing needs.

Carrying Handles

Carrying handles are a crucial feature of any fishing kayak, playing a vital role in the transportation and launching of your kayak. These handles should be sturdy, ergonomic, and strategically placed to make it easier for you to maneuver your kayak on land.


The importance of sturdy carrying handles cannot be overstated. A well-built handle should be able to withstand the weight of the kayak and provide a secure grip. Whether you're loading or unloading your kayak from a vehicle, moving it to the water's edge, or carrying it over various terrains, reliable handles ensure a firm and comfortable grip, minimizing the risk of accidents or strain.


Ergonomics also play a key role in carrying handles. They should be designed with the user's comfort in mind, featuring ergonomic shapes and contours that fit naturally in your hands. This helps distribute the weight of the kayak more evenly, reducing the strain on your wrists, arms, and back during transportation.


When choosing a fishing kayak, pay attention to the quality and placement of the carrying handles. Look for kayaks that feature multiple handles, positioned strategically for balanced weight distribution. Some kayaks may even have additional handles at the bow and stern to aid in tandem carrying or launching.

Conclusion

Maximizing the on-board features of your fishing kayak is essential for enhancing your overall experience on the water. By understanding the importance of each feature and how it contributes to your fishing adventures, you can make informed decisions when selecting a new fishing kayak or outfitting your existing one.


From rod holders and paddle holders to anchor trolley systems, storage solutions, seating and comfort features, accessory tracks, and carrying handles, each feature serves a specific purpose in optimizing your fishing trips. Whether you prefer hands-free fishing with rod holders, the convenience of secured paddles, the versatility of accessory tracks, or the comfort provided by adjustable seating, these features are designed to enhance your fishing experience.


When choosing a fishing kayak, consider your fishing style, local conditions, and personal preferences. Test out different models to find the one that offers the right combination of on-board features to suit your needs. By selecting a well-equipped kayak and utilizing its features effectively, you'll be well-prepared for successful and enjoyable fishing adventures.

Kayak Fishing Links and Resources:

Kayaks and Kayak Equipment

Table of Contents
  1. Essential On-Board Features for Fishing Kayaks
    1. Rod Holders
    2. Paddle Holders
    3. Storage Solutions
    4. Seating and Comfort Features
    5. Accessory Tracks
    6. Carrying Handles
  2. Conclusion
  3. Kayak Fishing Links and Resources:
    1. Kayaks and Kayak Equipment