The best kayak accessories of 2022


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Updated on October 20, 2022 at 17:26

We’ve all been there. You buy a kayak and want to get it out on the water as soon as possible. But the best kayak accessories—paddles, dry storage, rod holders, vests—will turn that kayak into a custom craft that will help you get on fish and game quickly and make you fish and hunt in the most efficient way possible.

There are hundreds of choices for rod holders, paddles, life jackets and dry storage, so we narrowed the list down to the best kayak accessories available for anglers.

How to find the best kayak accessories

Before investing in kayak fishing accessories, take a good, long look at your kayak. Check out the features and check out the specs. You need to know what paddle size is best, what vest will work best for you and the kayak seat, what storage you need, and whether you need rod holders — or additional rod holders.

Your kayak may have rod holders, but they may not be in the best position for you. A gear track makes it easy to adjust the angle and direction of the rod holder and remove it between trips.

To choose the best paddle, look for the lightest, strongest and most ergonomic design. It takes a thousand strokes to cover a few miles, and the extra weight and drag of a low paddle really add up. The best kayaks can cost a little more, but on the water, every penny is worth it.

The same goes for the best kayak life jacket. A comfortable fit and fishing-friendly features make it easy to wear a life jacket all day. The best kayak life jacket will only save your life if you wear it, so comfort and practicality are key.

When it comes to storage, the most important task is keeping your equipment safe and dry without taking up too much space. (This is especially important if you will be using the kayak for hunting as well.)

Best Kayaking: Bending Branches Angler Pro

Best Kayaking

The Bending Branches Angler Pro is the ultimate kayak paddle.

Why did he make the cut?: Bending Branches Angler Pro is strong, efficient, lightweight and available in different sizes to suit all heights. One of the best kayak paddles on the market, it’s a must when it comes to kayak fishing accessories.

Main features

  • Weight: 28.5 ounces
  • Dimensions: 230-260 centimeters
  • Materials: Compression molded fiberglass

Pros

  • Adjustable blade angle
  • Big blades
  • Light shaft

ANTI-

The latest generation of fishing kayaks are large, heavy and stand high out of the water. These paddle kayaks can be difficult to paddle with a traditional kayak (and pedal kayaks, which aren’t light, need a back-up paddle and to get through shallow water), so Bending Branches developed the Angler Pro with larger blades and longer shafts. The oval shaft is very comfortable in the hands and a cam in the ferrule allows the blades to be adjusted so you can quickly dial in the right angle to cut in the wind and bite in the water.

Best Kayak Life Jacket: NRS Chinook Fishing Vest

The best life jacket for kayaking

The NRS Chinook Fishing Life Vest is the ultimate kayak life jacket.

Why did he make the cut?: The NRS Chinook life jacket is designed specifically for kayak anglers and features five pockets, four loops and seven adjustment straps for maximum storage and a perfect fit.

Main features

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Pockets: 5
  • Materials: PlushFit foam

Pros

  • Easy fix
  • Lashes files for security devices
  • Large pockets designed for fishing gear

ANTI-

  • Bigger than inflatable vests

With the right balance of storage and comfort, the NRS Chinook has become a popular kayak fishing life jacket for professional anglers. NRS called on their professional staff to get input on the perfect life jacket and this is the result. Five pockets are sized and shaped to hold fishing essentials and quick-grab tools, including a pocket that’s perfect for holding pliers. Eyelash files are suitable for holding a safety knife, signal strobe, whistle and sniper rifle. A high back and plush foam conforms to your body to put the Chinook in a comfort class of its own. A life jacket can only save your life if you wear it, and the Chinook is a kayak life jacket you want to wear.

The ultimate kayak accessory for hunting: Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof Gun Holster

The ultimate kayak accessory for hunting

The Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof Gun Holster is the ultimate hunting kayak accessory.

Why did he make the cut?: A twist closure on the Alps OutdoorZ Waterproof Gun Holster seals out water while still allowing quick access.

Main features

  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 58 x 9 x 2 inches
  • Materials: 500D welded PVC

Pros

  • Heavy material
  • Convenient twist closure
  • Filled with floats

ANTI-

  • The PVC material is not rip-stop

Guns and water don’t mix…and there is no dry space in a kayak. That’s why the best hunting kayak accessory is the waterproof gun holster from Alps OutdoorZ. The case will keep your gun dry and float if you drop it overboard. Our favorite feature is the twist closure. To keep water out, simply twist the mouth of the box three times and secure with a clip. Keeps your gun dry while taking up little space in the kayak.

The best inflatable kayak accessory: Scotty #341 adhesive mount

The best accessory for inflatable kayaks

The Scotty #341 Adhesive Mount is the ultimate inflatable kayak accessory.

Why did he make the cut?: Scotty’s # 341 Glue-On mount provides a solid, low-profile base to install a rod holder, anchor line and other accessories on an inflatable kayak.

Main features

  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 5 x 7 inches
  • Materials: PVC

Pros

  • Thin and flexible
  • Hard PVC
  • Scotty base

ANTI-

Kayaks and inflatable boards are known for their portability and storage, but it is difficult to install accessories on the air-filled hull. To the rescue is Scotty’s Adhesive Base #341, which can be attached to any PVC or Hypalon inflatable. The Scotty accessory has a four-bolt mounting base, which allows you to attach a rod holder, anchor cart and other accessories. Simply attach it to the base and use the stainless steel bolts to attach a Scotty 241L Locking Side Mount or other four-bolt mount.

The best sit-on-top kayak accessory: YakAttack MightyMount XL

The best kayak accessory sitting on top

The YakAttack MightyMount XL is the ultimate sit-on-top kayak accessory.

Why did he make the cut?: Strong, low-profile gear track with stainless steel hardware will withstand harsh marine conditions.

Main features

  • Dimensions: 6 x 1.75 inches
  • Usable track: 4.5 inches
  • Materials: Injection molded plastic

Pros

  • Low profile
  • Strong base
  • Strong construction

ANTI-

The best kayak accessories for a sit-on-top kayak allow you to add, move, and remove rod holders, electronics, and other kayak fishing accessories. YakAttack’s MightMount XL plastic gear track uses self-tapping screws, so you can install it anywhere on the kayak deck. Compatible rod holders, fish finder mounts and other accessories can be installed by sliding a T-bolt into the gear bar and tightening the base. Adjusting the base along the track requires only slightly loosening the T-bolt. Removing the accessory at the end of the fishing trip is quick and easy—just loosen and slide the base out of the gear track. High-impact, injection-molded plastic will stand up to sand and salt.

METHODOLOGY

We’ve tested the top contenders for the best kayak accessories and compared the finalists by design and construction looking for the best performance at the best price.

To pick the best fishing kayak accessories, we first filtered the most essential extras: a paddle, life jacket, dry storage and accessory mounts. Next, we compared dozens of examples among the biggest brands from each category. In the end, our pick is the best kayak fishing accessories by design, construction and price. Not only will you find these award winners on our list of the best kayak fishing accessories, but you’ll find them on our personal kayaks.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What should you carry in a kayak?

The gear you should carry on a kayak focuses on safety, propulsion and practicality. Invest in a good, comfortable life vest so you can always wear it, and get a shovel that will push you efficiently. Next, consider how you will store tools and equipment. Get a gear box with rod holders to hold tool boxes and larger items. To store smaller items, use a dry bag or small dry box.

Q: Where do you put your stuff in a kayak?

A kayak has limited space for tools and equipment, so you need to know exactly where you will put your belongings in a kayak before you set off. Most sit-on-top kayaks have a large interior hull space accessible from the bow and cockpit hatches. It is relatively dry and sheltered, but not easy to access while in the water. Many anglers attach a gear box to the tank to hold tackle boxes, fishing rods and other gear. Inside the gearbox, dry bags and cases hold smaller equipment. Every ounce adds more weight that the rider has to move, so limit gear to essential items to save space and weight. Also, pay attention to weight distribution when loading equipment. Place heavy items closest to the angler’s seat and lighter items in the bow hatch or stern well.

Q: What accessories can you buy for a kayak?

There are many accessories you can buy for a kayak, but limited space means you have to be selective. Rod holders and gear boxes are essential for anglers. Always invest in a good paddle, because a low paddle will be inefficient and tire you out quickly. A dry bag will keep gear protected from the inevitable splashes and errant waves.

Final Thoughts

Weight and efficiency govern all decisions when it comes to accessories, so make sure the device you’re getting is lightweight and performs well. Never skimp on a paddle and always get a vest that fits well so you’ll always wear it. Kayaks get wet, so get gear that won’t get damaged by water and storage bags that will protect gear that will.





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