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Setting up your kayak


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No pre-set goal but the overall goal (and advise) would be to keep things as simple and as practical as possible. Adding a lot of useless stuff to a kayak can be cumbersome. I've seen kayaks so jacked up that it was miracle that they even float. The kayak monkey can take hold quickly! First thing is the make sure most everything is tethered in some form or another. Onboard my Old Town 106 minn kota, for example, I have a good pair of easy reach tethered stainless scissors. I have a good pair of tethered easy reach anodized split ring plyers with cutter. I have a phone tether. I carry a mini stainless multi tool in my motor dry compartment with just about every flip tool needed for emergency use. Spare prop, pin, nut, and towing rope in my hull storage. Attached to the back of my seat is a Native Kayak dual Plano multi storage box, easy reach. On the front lower part of my seat is a Yak Gear YakSac storage pouch, easy reach. So my seat is basically compartmentalized as a complete unit that carries most everything used to fish with, easy in, easy out. On the right front track I have a forward (landing) rod holder, a Garmin Striker fish finder mount, a landing net handle cradle, and a light switch for my bow mounted running lights. On my left track is a landing net 'neck' holder, so the fish can be supported in the net while in the water. In the rear is Yak Attack 13x16 black box with four rod holders. That's it for me. Simple and effective.  

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My advice is to get a plastic welding rig and get some practice with plastic welding.  Over the years, I've had countless setups on my kayak.  Things are constantly changing as I get new gear, new ideas, work out old problems, etc.  If you're like me, you'll never settle into a permanent solution for anything.  Everything's in flux.  So rather than worry about making "permanent" holes, learn how to patch the holes, so everything you do can be undone.  It might not look as pretty, but it'll be structurally sound as new.  

 

Keep the mindset of a minimal setup.  With more space, you'll carry more gear, obviously.  But try to keep it as minimal as you can stand.  The more complex you make it, the more room for frustration.  There's a balance you want to strike, but our natural tendencies are to overcomplicate things, so our minds should be focused on doing the opposite.  

 

And taking the kayak out a few times before making any semi-permanent installs is good advise.  What works for one person with a YouTube channel might not work for you.  It doesn't hurt to get some inspiration and be introduced to new ideas, but ultimately, you want to be making these decisions based on personal experience, not advice. 

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Yeah I'm keeping it simple. Like i said, my tenton was simple mostly due to the lack of space, but it's what i like and got used to. 

 

Having the option to add more had me thinking about what else i COULD do but the more i think about it, the more i think I'm just going to stick with what already has been working for me. Maybe upgrade the DIY stuff i made. But not adding a bunch of stuff i didn't already have. I actually hate track mount rod holders for the reason that they add clutter and things in the way. The only add on that i didn't have on the tenton that I'm seriously considering is a fish finder. Not so much for finding fish, but for finding structure/cover. Was really interested in the garmin that had side scan and down imaging. But even that, not sure how much use I'd get out of it. I'm often fishing shallow stuff. I'll take at least til next season to make that decision.... probably.... maybe. 

 

I work as a HVAC/R mechanic. A mantra of mine for installs is "see the finished job". At work that's great so time isn't wasted and mistakes aren't made. When it comes to the yak, i don't think that works. And doesn't sound like it works for you guys either. Still surprised by that. But it does make sense. 

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Although not necessary, having a fish finder with GPS mapping is a good idea for a fishing kayak. I use the Garmin Striker 4 Clear View on my yak, which is small and compact, never gets in the way. It's more than adequate for shallow water fishing. The GPS mapping feature has helped me out immensely in getting back to the launch site, espeically at night!  

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On 3/25/2024 at 6:59 PM, JayMac89 said:

Was really interested in the garmin that had side scan and down imaging. But even that, not sure how much use I'd get out of it.

In my opinion, the true strengths of side imaging and even down imaging is you are taking the time to map out sections of the lake and place markers. Find the shell beds, rocks, stumps, and brush piles.

 

Though still time consuming, it's a lot easier to do that in a boat because you can cover water at a decent pace. In a kayak it can take a heck of a lot longer to cover, map, and mark water.

 

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13 hours ago, Zcoker said:

Although not necessary, having a fish finder with GPS mapping is a good idea for a fishing kayak. I use the Garmin Striker 4 Clear View on my yak, which is small and compact, never gets in the way. It's more than adequate for shallow water fishing. The GPS mapping feature has helped me out immensely in getting back to the launch site, espeically at night!  

I particularly like my casting circles feature on my humminbird.  Allows me to mark a way point and then I don't have to guess the distance or direction to cast.  

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