So you’ve caught a few fish. You got a few pictures, you told a few stories, you survived a few storms. You’re kind of a big deal, mmk? The rig is looking fresh and you’re thinking it might be time to add a little extra swag. Below are some of the best accessories you can add to leave the other paddlers scooping up their jaws.
|YakAttack Omega Pro Rod Holder||$39.95|
|YakAttack Kayak LeverLoc HD Anchor Trolley||$44.95|
|Huk Men's Icon X Hoodie||$63.80|
|Columbia Men’s PFG Bahama II Long Sleeve Shirt||$50.64|
Yak Attack Rod Holder
Lots of kayaks these days have molded in rod holders, and most of the times, like a low-carb strawberry beer, it’s…. okay. Once you’ve added a few extra rods to your arsenal though you’ll quickly find that you need more places to store them. Additional rod holders provide quick and convenient access for your rods without having them tangle up your other gear.
The Yak Attack Omega Pro rod holder is impressive because of its versatility and ease of use. The holder can handle any type of rod/reel combination (i.e. spin, baitcaster, or fly) and is open/locked with one hand. Two points of articulation and the rotating base allow fine-tuning to stow your rods exactly how you want them. Place them diagonally and you can fashion some outriggers for easy trolling, or orient them horizontally for better clearance under branches.
The t-track base allows you to put these rod holders anywhere you have track on the yak. The quick disconnect feature also makes for fast removal during transportation.
Yak Attack Anchor Trolley
Anchoring in kayaking is an art, and an unappreciated one at that. You probably won’t ever notice somebody who is properly anchored, it’s uneventful, it’s serene, it’s professional. An improperly anchored kayaker, though, is a sight to behold – it’s like seeing the bag from American Beauty. It feels like it’s a minute away from snowing, and there’s an electricity in the air, you can almost feel it…because you know that guy is about to f**k up.
I’ve come close to capsizing (and adding to the beauty in the world) a few times, and each time it’s been because of a bad anchoring spot. I dropped anchor and tied it off near my seat in the middle of the boat because, well, because that’s where I could reach. The problem with an anchor line coming off the mid-section of a boat is that it causes your vessel to orient perpendicular to any current – which is the absolute worst way to position yourself in the water. The Andrea Gail didn’t turn sideways into the wave during the Perfect Storm for a wicked good reason.
Happy Little Anchors
An anchor trolley is the paintbrush for your anchoring art. It permits fine tuning of the anchor position with minimal effort. If the current is light you can position the anchor in the middle of your yak and hang your feet over the side for some lazy day fishing. When you’re in a river you can drop near the bow so your lures float downstream for a more natural presentation, or flip it to the stern and pretend your lure is a salmon during spawn.
While there are numerous anchor trolley products, to include DIY solutions as well, we’re convinced that the Yak Attack LeverLoc Kayak Anchor Trolley HD is your best bet. The HD stands for heavy duty (not high definition) and includes a few extra cleats to make sure your line doesn’t sneak away from you. It has the same high quality components that Yak Attack is known for and can be fitted to just about any fishing kayak.
My usual kayak fishing attire used to be an old white tee and even older cargo shorts. I abide by the age old adage “Suns out Guns out”, and who am I do deprave lake bunnies of the show? Just a few sticky sunburns later and I decided that maybe bare arms were best reserved for motor boaters, and guys with bigger biceps.
Open water is an inhospitable place for your skin. There’s not a ton of shade on most bodies of water, so if you’re out there you’re taking the full brunt of the sun and then some. UV radiation is the leading cause of sunburns and sunburns are a significant contributor to skin cancer. UV radiation reflects off smooth surfaces (i.e. water and sand) especially well, which can really stress out your skin. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that ~ 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day. Nearly 20 people will die from melanoma every day.
Save your Skin
A white cotton tee has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of ~5, which means 1/5th (20%) of UV radiation will penetrate the fabric. Tightly knit synthetic fabrics provide better protection against the sun’s death rays. Most fishing shirts offer UPF 30, which means only .033% of the Sun’s UV radiation will reach your skin. High UPF fishing apparel will save your skin and your wallet – use sun screen for your face and feet and let your clothes protect everything else.
Plenty of clothing brands make fishing specific or fishing suitable clothing. We’re partial to two: Huk and Columbia. Both brands make shirts specifically for fishing and are known for their high quality products. Huk’s Icon Camo Hoodie has some striking and colorful designs with a great fabric blend that’s breathable, comfortable, and looks great both on and off the water.
Columbia’s PFG Bahama II shirt has a more office casual look and comes in a variety of colors. These shirts breath well, dry super quick, and feel fantastic. I use mine for hiking and travelling and love the cuff ties – rolled up sleeves will stay rolled up. They do tend to run big and the fit is relaxed meaning they can look fairly baggy. Definitely consider ordering a size down.
Yeti Side Kick
The Yeti Hopper Side Kick was designed to accompany the larger Yeti Hopper. Think of the Side Kick as the Robin to Yeti’s Batman, it’s smaller, more nimble, and it’s gray son. I don’t understand why a cooler needs a side-kick, but unlike Robin these dry-bags are strong enough to support themselves without a rich vigilante benefactor.
Like most other Yeti products the Side Kick is a simple functional item, in this case a dry-bag, that’s been re-engineered to survive the next mission to Mars. Rather than employing fold-over clips or zippers the Side Kick uses a clever magnetic latch that effectively keeps water out but also allows for quicker access. The smaller form factor along with high quality construction make for a great option to stow your phone, wallet, and keys while you’re on the boat. The straps on the backside also make it easy to secure to the backside of your seat.
While there are plenty of other options for dry bags out there the defining feature with the Yeti Hopper Side Kick is its easy accessibility. I’ve tried keeping my phone in other containers before and it’s never as simple or fast to retrieve it when I want to take a photo. It can also hold 4 beer cans if you need to go incognito mode on the water.
If you’re just starting out or in the market for some less expensive options consider checking out the best gear under $30.