ICAST is the largest annual fishing trade show in the country. The show features every kind of fishing product you can imagine, from lures to clothes to lights for your boat. But a surprisingly large chunk of floor space gets dedicated to kayak fishing. The six products below are professional kayak angler Elias Vaisberg’s favorites.
Most kayak anglers looking to keep their catch hang their fish off the side on a stringer, but this slows your kayak down and can be cumbersome if you are harvesting a lot of fish. It’s also a great way to attract sharks. A great alternative is a cooler or catch bag, like this 70-quart bow-mounted one from Reliable Fishing Products. Bow space is typically underutilized in kayaks, unlike rear tank wells, which get loaded up with tackle, crates, and other accessories. This bag is 36 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 10 inches tall, with half-inch thick foam to keep ice on long hauls. The bag also comes with heavy duty handles to leash to your kayak for surf launches and re-entry. ($149)
The goLock is a unique cable locking system that’ll give you peace of mind when you have to leave your kayak on your truck in a public spot, like parked on the street. The neat thing about this lock is how it connects to your tablet or smartphone via the goLock app. If the lock is tampered with an alarm goes off on both the device (at 95 decibels!) and on your phone. The system comes in four different cable lengths; 3, 7, 10, and 20 feet. The lock’s battery lasts seven days and can be recharged via usb. The lock is also water resistant in a sealed plastic case and is designed for outdoor use. ($249)
Ketch boards are already very popular in the kayak bass fishing tournament scene. Precise measurement in photos is key in most catch and release fishing tournaments. These stylish boards are 100% aluminum and made in the USA. The color schemes Ketch use on their boards make measurements more visible on camera. Black background and white numbering is ideal during the day, or bright colors for the night angler. Ketch currently offers four different size boards: crappie, bass, walleye, and muskie. All boards come with a hole for a lanyard to secure them to your kayak. You can also get the optional Ketch Cradle attachment to help secure your fish in place as you put it up against the board for a photo. ($24.99-$149.99)
A remarkably lightweight series of rods for any light-tackle big fish enthusiast. Phenix Titan rods are constructed of Nanlite Resin blanks with Toray T40 carbon fiber Multi Helix scrims that are very strong but feather light. These rods come with acid-wrapped Fuji SiC K Frame guides. Acid wrapping positions the guides in a spiral pattern around the blank, which helps make the rod more sensitive and helps reduce pressure on the rod blank when you’re fighting a big fish. Phenix offers ten variations of this rod. The 6’8” sizes and up models will allow most kayak anglers to clear the bow of their boat while fishing. Action on these rods range from light, medium light, medium heavy, and heavy. ($299-$339)
The Pelican Catch 130HD is the first pedal kayak from Pelican and will be available in 2019. Retailing at $1499 this new kayak features Pelican’s HyDryve Pedal Propulsion System, modeled after Hobie’s first generation Mirage Drive. This 12’6” boat weighs approximately 94 pounds. It features a hand steering system and an exterior single line rudder as well. The boat comes with Scotty gear tracks to add rod holders and other accessories. The catamaran style hull helps improve stability for anglers who prefer to fish standing up. ($1499)