Congratulations!! You have made it out on the water and successfully returned home after your maiden voyage on your new fishing kayak. If you are like most of us, now the real fun begins. It is time to dress the old girl up!
Almost all of us now use the internet to research. As they say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true, right? Well, there is a lot of great advice on the internet, but in the case of fishing kayaks, a lot of that advice can run you right into the poor house. If you are a seasoned kayak fisherman, this post isn't for you. Chances are you have already ran up the credit card and learned what works and doesn't work. If you are a new guy are gal though, read on.
Just as I mentioned in Day One with Your New Fishing Kayak, take Day Two slow as well. If your goal is to get out kayak fishing, I think that there are three items to purchase that will give you the most bang for your buck.
1. A storage crate
2. A front mounted rod holder
3. A safety flag
Let's go into each of these a little bit more in depth.
A storage crate will be mounted behind your seat and will carry all of your extra gear. It can be a simple milk crate or something as complex as the Yak Attack BlackPak. My personal favorite starter set is the Vibe 16 Quart Milk Crate Fishing Kit. I like it because it is reasonably priced, comes with two rod holders, and more importantly, two rod leashes. If you turtle, you want your gear to be secured. No matter what you use, this is a great place to store extra tackle, a dry bag with your lunch, first aid kit, the list goes on.
The second item I suggest is a front mounted rod holder. Let's think about this. You are on a kayak which by design, is a fairly compact platform. You are casting your rod, paddle on your lap, and you hook a fish. Once you get that big 'ol toad to the boat, you have to get her unhooked. That's where the front mounted rod holder comes in to play. No need to turn around and secure your rod behind you, just reach out and put your rod in a holder that is within your reach. This is also a great place to put a rod as you move to the next spot.
Finally, I suggest a safety flag. The primary purpose of the safety flag is visibility. You sit low to the water in a kayak and you certainly want boaters to see you. A big orange flag helps. Whether you use one with a light or not depends on the conditions you will be fishing in. If you fell that you will ever go out in low light conditions, spend the extra money for a light. It is worth the extra safety.
Whatever you buy, pay attention to the way it mounts on your kayak. Some items require extra mounts, so make sure you buy everything you need.
Now you have a great starter setup. Go out and build up some more confidence and get comfortable with your yak. But hurry back. There will be more to come.