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1 Paddleboy Kayak Cart Schlepping a kayak from your truck to the water is a lot easier on wheels–especially if the yak is loaded. Paddleboy’s Molly Kayak Cart lets you roll your boat like a wheelbarrow. Just lash it to the kayak’s end with the included 9-foot strap. The thermo-molded body and stainless-steel axle assure long life. This lightweight (3.5 pounds) rig not only handles loads up to 200 pounds but is small enough (14 by 10 by 6 inches) to fit into most kayak compartments. ($69;

2 C-Strobe Emergency Strobe You might never need it, but a means to signal for help or warn off boat traffic at night or in low light or fog is a must-have for everyone on the water. The C-Strobe Emergency Strobe is visible for more than a mile. It flashes 50 to 70 times a minute for up to eight hours. The unit is waterproof to 10 feet, as well as corrosion- and temperature-resistant. And it’ll handle a pretty serious impact. You can clip it to your PFD or attach it elsewhere using the included lanyard. ($29;

3 Extrasport Osprey PFD A PFD for kayaking needs to be comfortable and nonrestrictive but at the same time able to float you. Extrasport’s Osprey is engineered with ultra-thin foam at the lower back for a comfortable fit against high kayak seats. Mesh around the shoulders allows for free arm movement and cooling air flow, while the soft foam body conforms to your contours. In addition, the vest has seven tackle pockets and ripstop outer fabric that resists barbs and snags. ($69;

4 Garmin Etrex In a kayak, a GPS that can be controlled simply and with one hand is obviously the way to go. Garmin’s Etrex has five buttons on one side that control all functions. A high-power 12-channel receiver means you get reception even near shorelines with high foliage. Animated graphics highlight your waypoints, and the TracBack feature reverses your track log, helping you to navigate home. The unit is waterproof, runs for up to 18 hours, is just 4 by 2 inches and weighs 6 ounces. ($99; 913-397-8200;

5 Paddler in a Bottle Small, important safety items are difficult to organize, and invariably something goes missing. Paddler in a Bottle holds everything you need to handle an emergency. Included are an all-in-one whistle/compass/waterproof-match case; 2 eight-hour-burn-time Cyalume light sticks; an emergency blanket; a rain poncho; a 19-piece first-aid kit; and a couple of sunscreen packets. The container itself is a tough polycarbonate, 32-ounce water bottle that won’t retain flavors. ($19.95; 800-441-5713;

6 Kodiak Bag On-deck dry bags give you immediate access to essentials while you’re paddling, and they’re extra insurance for protecting valuables when they’re stored in a kayak’s compartments, which can get wet. The Kodiak Bag has a low-to-the-deck profile, so it won’t interfere with paddling. Internal stiffeners help the bag hold its shape. A clear window allows you to spot articles you want to grab, and a D-ring/shock cord system attaches the bag quickly to the deck. ($50; 800-531-9531;

7 Lamiglas Kayak Series Rod Whether you use a spinning or a casting rod, it needs to be long enough to control fish that run around the boat and strong enough to slide them over the gunwale. But it also has to load and cast without much effort and have grips located for fish fighting from a seated position. Lamiglas’s new Kayak Series rods, with fast tips and power butts, do just that. The LK7615 (shown) handles 6- to 15-pound-test line and ¼- to 1-ounce lures. All rods in the series are 7½ feet. ($200; 800-325-9436;

8 Quantum Boca Series Reel Brackish water or saltwater can start reel corrosion in a hurry. But not on the Boca series reels, which are designed specifically for saltwater use. The BSP20PT (shown) is just the right size for inshore saltwater and any a freshwater lake. It holds 140 yards of 6-pound-test line, features a one-piece aluminum frame and side covers, and has a magnetic-trip nickel-titanium bail. The finish is a six-layer Saltgard treatment. ($200; 918-836-5581;