Must-Have Kayak Fishing Upgrades: Beginner's Guide

Jeff A Sep 01, 2023
6 People Read
A Crimson Arrow logo: Explore the Great Outdoors
Table of Contents
  1. Essential Upgrades For Your Fishing Kayak Setup
    1. Accessory Rails
    2. Paddle Holder
    3. Additional Rod Holders
    4. Anchor Trolley
    5. Kayak Cart
  2. Conclusion

First Published on 08/24/2023

Essential Upgrades For Your Fishing Kayak Setup

Well done on choosing the fishing kayak that is perfect for you! With careful consideration, you've ensured it has the essential on-board features, and perhaps even added a few extra accessories to make it yours. As you take your kayak out on the water for the first few trips, you may start to think of a few enhancements that could improve your experience - this guide will help you with just that. We'll explore some must-have upgrades that will take your kayaking adventures to new heights and make your time on the water even more enjoyable. Let's dive in and discover the exciting possibilities for improving your fishing kayak setup!

Accessory Rails

Starting with accessory rails is a great idea since it will establish a solid foundation for attaching many types of useful accessories. Accessory rails come in different sizes and configurations depending on the intended attachment and functionality. Large rails can be found that will allow a sizable range of positioning and are robust enough to handle the heaviest accessories. Conversely, small low-profile rails can add precise functionality while remaining unobtrusive.


The accessory rails can be paired with a wide range of accessories such as paddle holders, rod holders, fish finder mounts, beverage holders, trays, lights, etc. Some of the accessories can be paired with quick-detach connectors that will make removing or swapping accessories a breeze. The range of customization resulting from well placed accessory rails will allow you to handle any situation or fit any fishing style.

Paddle Holder

Installing a paddle holder will immediately solve several kayak fishing hurdles. It will allow you to have your hands free for managing your other equipment and fishing. Paddle holders will secure your paddle in your choice of a variety of locations that is conveniently out of the way but still within easy reach. With a paddle holder, you will no longer need to be concerned about losing your paddle in the water while kayak fishing.

Additional Rod Holders

It is very likely that your initial fishing kayak setup came with a rod holder. Upgrading with additional rod holders of various styles and positions on your kayak will greatly increase your fishing productivity and comfort. Flush mount rod holders are convenient due to their low profile and being unobstructive but are fixed in position and orientation. By installing adjustable rod holders you will have the flexibility to reposition the holder to fit your desired fishing style. Be sure to consider positioning rod holders towards the front of the kayak for active fishing and positioning others towards the rear of the kayak for transportation and storage. Upgrading your kayak with a variety of rod holders will ensure that you are always equipped and prepared for any fishing scenario that you come across.

Anchor Trolley

An anchor trolley system upgrade can potentially provide the greatest amount of positive impact on kayak fishing for the cost of installation and investment. Anchor trolley systems kits are readily available, easily installed, and reasonably cost efficient. There is also the option of cheaper DIY solutions that most hobbyists can successfully undertake.


The anchor trolley system allows the user to have greater control of the positioning of a kayak. This is especially critical during conditions of swift current or high winds. Without an anchor trolley system, the anchor is fixed at one location along the hull of the kayak. This creates a pivot point which the kayak will rotate around when influenced by current or wind. An anchor trolley gives the user the ability to move the anchor positioning forwards and backwards along the side of the kayak; this changes the pivot point that the kayak will tend to rotate around, providing greater control and positioning of the kayak.

Kayak Cart

Lastly, upgrading your kayak fishing setup with a versatile kayak cart will open a range of possibilities. One of the greatest conveniences of kayak fishing is being able to easily launch the craft in a number of locations. However, it is not always easy to transport a kayak any distance over land without a vehicle or trailer. A kayak cart is nothing more than a set of wheels that can be attached to the bottom hull of a kayak. This makes traversing over land with a kayak incredibly easy and convenient allowing you to launch your kayak anywhere you are able to walk to. Many kayak carts are engineered to be lightweight and robust enough to pull through various terrains such as sand, rocks, grass, mud, pavement, etc. Be aware that there are many types of kayak hulls and the shape will influence which kayak cart is most appropriate for your setup.

Conclusion

From the versatile accessory rails that serve as the foundation for a multitude of useful attachments to the convenient paddle holder that grants you hands-free freedom, these upgrades can revolutionize your kayak fishing setup. Additional rod holders offer flexibility and increased productivity, while an anchor trolley system provides invaluable control, especially in challenging conditions. Lastly, the addition of a kayak cart opens up a world of possibilities, making it a breeze to transport your kayak over various terrains.


With these enhancements, your fishing kayak setup will not only be optimized for performance but also tailored to your unique preferences. So, gear up, give these upgrades a try, and get ready for unforgettable fishing experiences.

Table of Contents
  1. Essential Upgrades For Your Fishing Kayak Setup
    1. Accessory Rails
    2. Paddle Holder
    3. Additional Rod Holders
    4. Anchor Trolley
    5. Kayak Cart
  2. Conclusion