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Kayak Fly Fishing - Optional Accessories

Updated on March 12, 2012
A paddle keeper.
A paddle keeper.
A fly rod holder
A fly rod holder

Kayak Fly Fishing Accessories

Okay, you have your kayak, paddle, PFD, and anchor. Is there anything else you need for essential fly fishing from a kayak? Not really, but consider the following items – they can make your fly fishing experience more enjoyable. However, do keep this in mind – all the extra stuff you have will potentially catch your fly line while casting and shooting. They can also catch your line while you are landing a fish. Consider the placement of each.

Paddle leash or extra paddle: These items are important if you fish with a current, from either a creek, river, or tide. A paddle leash is connected to your paddle and kayak so that if you let go of your paddle, you can retrieve it with a leash. A paddle leash can be annoying for some people while paddling so an extra paddle, either a half kayak paddle or canoe paddle bungee corded on your kayak deck, can be used to chase down the kayak paddle should you lose it.

Paddle holder: This is nice for paddle storage when not paddling. There are basically two designs, a paddle keeper and a paddle clip or set of clamps. The paddle keeper is a bungee cord fastened at both ends with a hook elevated above the middle of the ends – thus forming a bungee triangle. The paddle is stored above where the cord is fastened and below the hook. Clips or claps are metal or plastic and hold the paddle. Both designs store the paddle on the side of kayak above the water line. The paddle keeper is probably a better option for fly fishing in that you can quietly store the paddle.

Rod Holder: This keeps your fly rod out of the cockpit and out of your way if you have a sit-in (SI) kayak. You can keep your fly rod on the bottom of sit-on-top (SOT) kayak, but there is a risk of losing it if it is not secured. Rod holders have a rubber strap that goes across the reel and prevents loss, even if you capsize. Rod holders generally are placed in front of you on the deck with a SI, while on the sides and rear with a SOT. Some rod holders are designed like paddle clamps that store your fly rod on the side of the kayak. This design is okay if you do not plan to paddle in vegetation or around other obstacles, otherwise stay away from this design as you risk breaking your fly rod.

Dry Storage: You are going to need something to keep your wallet, car keys, cell phone, and other small objects secured and dry. Again, some kayaks have dry storage already build in the body of the kayak. If not, purchasing a dry storage bag is advisable.

Signaling Device: Decide how close to other people you will be while kayaking. If you are close to other people, a whistle is a good investment to tell people you are in distress. If you are some distance from people, a signal mirror, flare, or flare pen are recommended. Fishing with others is always desirable regarding safety, but that does not always happen.

As you can see, purchasing additional items for fly fishing with a kayak will depend on the type of kayak you have, the type of water you will be fishing, and if you will be fishing alone or with others. A signaling device is smart to have in all instances and situations. You are almost ready to hit the water, but there are some planning and safety precautions you need to do first. That is for another article for another time.

This is the third of five articles is a series for kayak fly fishing. The other articles are found in the links below.


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