Promising simplicity, versatility and access to new waters, kayaks are the ultimate fishing machines. Here’s how to get in on the action
#3 CUSTOMIZE WITH CAUTION
If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, you might prefer a pre-rigged boat. But if you’re even minimally handy—as in competent enough to hang a shelf or change a windshield wiper—you can modify your own kayak. This is inexpensive, and it lets you customize the boat exactly as you like.
In fact, there are so many options that I’ve never seen two boats rigged the same way. Just proceed with caution. You don’t want a kayak festooned with crap you’ll never use or, even worse, installed in annoying spots.
The idea of cutting holes in my boat filled me with terror, so I waited a full season before making any modifications. This gave me a feel for what I needed, and where to put it. For example, I added a trolling rod holder behind my left shoulder. Owing to my build and my kayak’s dimensions, that’s the easiest spot for me to reach in a hurry.
Since I sometimes fly fish (above), I was careful not to install any fittings that would interfere with my line. I also went with a modular mounting system, so I can swap in accessories as needed, such as a camera post or extra rod holder.