15 Best Kayak Accessories
As you get more comfortable in your kayak, your next thought may be to pick up some accessories that make your excursions more efficient and exciting. However, this isn’t always an easy task. Choosing the right kayak on its own can be a challenge, so the mere thought of picking out the right accessories can cause a big headache. With all of the different options out there, we understand how stressful this can be. So, to make the process a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the best kayak accessories on the market, from fish finders to trolling motors, to seat pads. If you haven’t purchased your kayak yet then be sure to check out our guide on how to choose the right kayak.
The days of using only your eyes to spot fish are in the past now that we have fish finders. These devices locate fish underwater by detecting reflected pulses of sound energy using the SONAR (Sound Navigation and Ranging) technology systems. But to put it in more simple terms, think of it as a device that tells you if fish are swimming near you.
There are a number of types and brands of fish finders and they usually start at around $100, but it ultimately depends on the model. Some of the most popular fish finders are the Eagle fish finder, the Garmin fish finder, the Furuno fish finder, and our favorites, the Hummingbird and Lowrance fish finders.
The Humminbird Helix features MEGA Side Imaging, MEGA Down Imaging, live GPS tracking, and a pre-loaded split screen that offers you a clear and accurate view of fish as far as 125 feet away from your boat. It also features a two-display mode allows you to account for water depth, temperature, turbulence, and even watch lure presentations.
The downside of the Humminbird Helix is that it’s expensive. If you’re looking for a high-quality fish finder and have the money to spend, this is an awesome choice. But if you need a more affordable fish finder, we suggest considering other options.
Lowrance HOOK2-5 Splitshot
The Lowrance HOOK2-5 Splitshot is one of the easiest-to-use fish finders on the market. The simple menus and easy access to key functions make it effortless to locate fish, and its SplitShot screen allows you to keep track of particular fish while searching for more.
Kayak Trolling Motor
If your arms get tired from paddling for long distances or if you’re just looking for better control and speed on your kayak, trolling motors can help you tremendously. While they aren’t used too often by anglers, when you have a big distance to cover, these come in very handy.
One of the greatest things about these motors is that they not only provide you with extra machine-generated manpower, they also don’t produce noise, meaning they don’t scare fish. With a trolling motor, you can cover a lot of ground and while having plenty of opportunities to catch fish.
Wilderness Systems Helix PD Pedal Drive
The Helix PD Pedal Drive is a top-of-the-line trolling motor. The Helix PD features a 6:1 gear ratio precision-tuned to a 14-17 two-bladed pitch prop. It’s optimized for maximum speed in exchange for less effort so you can be hands-free to fish all day. Its auto-raising mast achieves zero draft with a spring-loaded kick pedal. It comes complete with hand-control steering knob to update your existing rudder kit.
Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Electric Trolling Motor
The Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Electric Trolling Motor is an extremely lightweight trolling motor. Weighing only 16 pounds including the battery, you won’t be left lugging around unnecessary extra weight. If you’re embarking on a trip that doesn’t require the extra power, you can easily dismantle and remove it. The Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Electric Trolling Motor also has an auto kick-up feature to protect from grounding and can be manually operated.
The Torqeedo Ultralight 403 Electric Trolling Motor is the perfect choice for kayaks, small boats, and dinghies.
Imagine trying to catch fish while your kayak floats away with the current or sways side to side over choppy waves. It would be pretty hard to catch anything. For this reason, we highly recommend you bring an anchor out on the water with you.
The Power-Pole Micro Anchor is a great anchor for shallow water. No matter how fast the wind is moving or how strong the current is, this anchor will keep you in place within seven seconds of releasing it. And unlike most anchors, the Power-Pole Micro features Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to control it to your Android-powered device via Power-Pole’s free app.
The Power-Pole Micro Anchor is a top-of-the-line anchor. We highly recommend going with this product.
Wizard Kayak System
The Wizard Kayak Anchoring System doesn’t come with the same frills that the Power-Pole Micro Anchor comes with– it’s as basic and simple as you can get. This anchor operates via crank only, meaning you’re going to have to work your arms to lower it to the floor. We’re not a huge fan of this product because it’s a bit outdated, but if you’re looking for a no-frills, cheap, and standard anchor, this is the one for you.
Most people purchase live bait because, well, they want it to be alive when you use it. There’s no point in buying live bait if it’s going to die before you even get out on the water. Because of this, kayak coolers were created.
Engel Live Bait
The Engel Live Bait Cooler keeps your minnows, shrimp, and other live bait fresh and ready to be eaten. This insulated cooler is constructed of Molded Polystyrene, keeping your bait at the perfect temperature and blocking it from extreme heat or cold. This cooler holds 30 quarts, is durable, light, and easy to clean.
Engel Dry Box
We love the Engel Dry Box Cooler because not only does it carry live bait, but it also comes with four-rod holders, making transporting your equipment super convenient. It’s made of durable Molded Polystyrene material that keeps bait that needs to be cold, cold, and bait that needs to be warm, warm. And in the event that you drop the cooler, its high impact plastic base protects your bait. The Engel Dry Box is an affordable option and we highly recommend this cooler.
Kayak Dry Bag
When you go kayaking, you’re going to need to bring supplies, and because you’re boating on water, there’s a good chance they’ll get wet. Whether it’s food and water or medical supplies, it’s never a bad idea to pack them in a waterproof bag to keep them dry.
Feelfree Fish Bag
The Feelfree Fish Bag is a great bag to store those items in. This large bag has multiple compartments to keep your equipment organized and can also serve as a cooler to keep your food, water, or catch fresh. To make cleanup easy, the inner lining can be removed. The Feelfree Fish Bag is a little pricey, but we know it’s worth it.
Yeti Hopper SideKick
We love the Yeti Hopper SideKick Dry because it’s compact, secure, and durable. It’s the perfect dry bag to store your keys, wallet, phone, or any other small item. It’s made from magnetic HydroShield Closure and RF-weld seams that block water from entering. In fact, the materials used to build the Yeti Hopper SideKick are similar materials that are used to construct high-performance whitewater rafts. You can be confident that your personal belongings will be kept safe, secure, and dry. The Yeti Hopper SideKick is very affordable.
Because kayaks are heavy and difficult to transport, kayak carriers are an essential accessory to have, especially when you’re planning on transporting multiple boats. When purchasing a kayak carrier, the most important things to consider are how many kayaks you’ll be transporting and its ease in loading and unloading the boats.
Thule 898 Pro-Lift
The Thule 898 Pro-Lift is a kayak rack that sits on top of your car. This rack fits multiple boats that measure up to 36 inches wide. It features a latch mechanism to ensure your boats stay in place when loading and unloading. The greatest thing about this rack is that when you are loading and unloading, the lift reduces the height you’ll need to reach to and the weight of the kayak by 40 pounds. You won’t need to reach to the top of your car to secure the kayak and you won’t break your back.
We highly recommend the Thule 898 Pro-Lift.
Malone Saddle Up Pro
A more affordable kayak carrier is the Malone Saddle Up Pro. This carrier only holds one kayak and is just the mounts, it does not include rails or racks. The Malone Saddle Up Pro is a great choice for a kayak carrier. The mounts are compatible with round, square, and factory oval cross rails, and is made from self-adjusting rubber that molds to the shape of your kayak. Also, its low profile means you won’t have to worry about driving through small tunnels or under short passages. The best part about this product is that it’s affordable.
Kayak Seat Pad
When you’re sitting in a kayak, you want to be comfortable. If your seat doesn’t feel right for you bottom or if your back hurts when sitting, it’s not doing its job. Here are two seat pads that do.
The Liquid Logic High Back Seat provides you with the perfect combination of comfort and support. Simply insert the Liquid Logic on top of your seat and feel your pain fade away. This kayak seat pad is one of the most comfortable seat backs we’ve used and because you can’t put a price on your health, we think it’s worth it.
NRS Back Band
The NRS Back Band is a simple seat pad that provides excellent comfort. This pad comes with two sets of straps to anchor it to the seat posts or attach it to the existing seat. This product is made out of foam padding that conforms to your body and makes you feel as though you’re sitting in a cloud.
Kayak Bilge Pump
Kayak bilge pumps are an essential piece of equipment to have when out on the water. Whether you’re kayaking in choppy ocean waters or on a still lake, you’re bound to collect water in your boat.
NRS Kayak Bilge Pump with Float
The NRS Kayak Bilge Pump is the highest-quality, affordable pump on the market. It only takes around eight pumps to remove a gallon of water, which translates to about eight minutes. This pump has a yellow foam covering that makes it easy to see. And if you accidentally drop it in the water, it floats.
If you’re serious about kayaking then you know how important these accessories are to having an enjoying day out on the water. The ease, simplicity, and excitement they’ll add to your excursions are why they are recommended for all kayakers regardless of experience level. Regardless of whether it’s a fish finder, trolling motor, or bilge pump, each accessory has a use and purpose.