Fishing Tips

Kayak Fishing Checklist

Photo by: Michael Whitacre

Are you new or thinking about getting into Kayak fishing? If so, there are a couple of things to think about and a few basic items you will need. The below list is a Kayak fishing checklist. It is a good idea to print out a list for quick reference of things you don’t want to forget. We have all had that “oh crap” feeling when we are out and realize we forgot something! Don’t be that person…

Tip: if you store and load your items the same way every time, they are easier to track and makes running through your checklist much quicker.

Kayak Fishing Checklist

Kayak of course

We are not going to spend a lot of time on this one. It is pretty obvious that you will have your kayak but you would be surprised… I’m assuming you already have one. Just make sure it is loaded before pulling out lol.


You paddle is another pretty obvious item but this one can get left behind a little easier. We suggest a lightweight paddle that has a way to attach it to your Kayak for transport. Remember, the best thing you can learn is to set yourself up for success and make travel/preparing as easy as possible.

Safety Gear

You would be surprised on how many people do not pack the correct safety gear. It is not only irresponsible for you, it also would affect you family if you actually needs it.

  • PFD (personal floatation device)
  • A emergency whistle or airhorn
  • Sun block
  • Something hunter orange like a hat (in case you need to be spotted)
  • Headlight if you will be fishing at night
  • Knife
  • Paracord, they make knives and bracelets made with paracord. Search for survival bracelets or knives.
  • If possible and you have room somewhere, it is advised to take a small first aid kit

Portable GPS

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Many people do not think about using GPS while out kayaking but it really is a smart idea. You may think you know your local waters but they can serve couple ways. 1. of course is to know where you are. 2. You can mark honey holes or a turnoff you may not have time to explore but may want to in the future. 3. as a safety device so you can let someone know your exact location if you get into trouble. KayakBest has a good list of the top 5 GPS systems you can find here.

Tackle and Storage

So you will be in a Kayak with limited space, where do you keep your tackle, power bars and water? You want something easy to store and in the limited space you have. This of course depends on the type of fishing your doing.

Engel cooler makes a nice device that has multiple uses. It is a live well if you are using live bait or it can double as a air tight cooler for water and food.  Did you catch it was air tight? The lid locks tightly so if you do capsize and end up dumping it, the cooler stays shut and protects everything in it. Great place to put your phone!

If you don’t want to put your money into one of those, I have two words for you. Milk crate… I have seen many people use these and they make an awesome storage spot. Easy to store and think of how much stuff it can hold. No worries if you have a small tackle box you want to take.

Lastly, think clothing. A cheap fishing vest or cargo pants give you a lot of room to keep lures, etc.


A camera is a must when fishing these days. When fishing by Kayak, using your phone camera is not the best choice. I always suggest always keeping them protected. We suggest something like a GoPro in a waterproof case. You could attach it to your hat or arm band to get some pretty cool shots.

Fishing License

Seems like a no brainer but make sure you have it on you. We also suggest laminating it as well since you will be on the water. Keeping it along with your wallet in something like the cooler above is recommended.


Pack plenty of water along with things like power bars. You will be doing a lot of rowing in the heat. You may be able to get away with a camelbak but a gallon water jug will be just fine (if you have the room).

Proper Attire/Weather Check

Check the weather, always dress for the elements. Remember that you will be doing a lot of rowing. Always wear a hat, wear plenty of sun screen (take extra with you) and wear polarized sunglasses.


Though you may have other things to add to your list, this is a good starting point. Just like everything else in life, you need to tailor the list to your needs. It’s a good idea to make your list, print it out. Laminate it and keep it with your gear.

I also want to stress that coming up with a packing and travel system will save you a ton of headaches. That way, it is always the same, you know where everything is and you will not lose things when your in a hurry.

How to choose the best saltwater spinning reel

You should know that if you are going to fish on the saltwater, normally you will be dealing with large-sized fish. There are so many different types of the spinning reel that comes in different sizes; therefore it might be a challenge to purchase the best spinning reel for saltwater fishing. There are a lot of debris, rocks on saltwater and the corrosion risk are going to be higher that might damage your fishing line; therefore you will be required to have the best saltwater spinning reel. We are here to help you find the best that suits your needs. The following are some of the things you need to consider when choosing one.

Size of the Reel

When fishing it’s important to know that the best spinning reel will determine the size of the fishing line to be used for saltwater fishing. If you want to catch the big sized fish that are found deep in the sea, you require a large sized fishing spinning reel. If you are planning for an in-shore fishing, you don’t need a large sized fishing reel, but a medium sized will work perfectly fine. Remember to choose a fishing rod that will go in-line with the size of the spinning reel.

Ball Bearing

Look for spinning reels that have decent ball bearing count to have a smooth rotation when battling with the fish. A spinning reel with fewer ball bearings is going to lack the steadiness in it. When fighting the big and vigorous fish, it’s important for your spinning reel to have a smooth experience. Keep the amount of ball bearing as high as possible when buying saltwater spinning reel because the more the bearing the play of the body.

Drag Adjustment

A smooth and stable drag adjustment spinning reel will ensure the speed of the line is controlled effectively. If you want to catch the big fish and prevent the fishing line from snapping, then the adjustment of the drag will help battle the fish smoothly.


The saltwater spinning reel is designed to be used for an extended period of time; therefore they are required to be strong and steady. Purchase a spinning reel that is going to be coherent tough; this is because the fish are going to be large. A durable spinning reel is made from aluminum, graphite or any other material that is non-metal like carbon. Check the overall tightness of the frame. The best spinning reel always has a sealed drag washer.


Chose a spinning reel with a spool made from graphite and aluminum because they will not corrode. They are durable and will last for an extended period of time. However, spool made from graphite are lighter compared to spool made from aluminum.

Line Capacity

Choose the line capacity that is heavy enough to hold big fish. The line capacity is determined by the size and weight of the spool. Consider doing some research on what species you are going to catch because spinning reel that holds more line are a bit heavier and expensive.

Gear Selection

Buying cheapest spinning reel or rod will not function well. A mid level gear will give you long service. If you can afford it purchase the top and pricey stuff that have great value to provide durability. Go for a spinning reel with a higher gear ratio to save you the amount of effort you will exert in.

Sturdy Frame

When struggling with the big fish the type of frame construction will be able to cut down the torque of the reel or the spool. Fishing in saltwater can be challenging you aren’t sure you are going to catch something at the end of the day. You can catch either a big or a small fish so ensure you have a sturdy frame that is designed from aluminum or graphite.

In Conclusion

To have the best experience in saltwater fishing you have to be prepared with the right gear for battling the big fish. There is no better experience like trying to haul for the largest fish on saltwater. A good saltwater spinning reel will make a difference and provide the best experience on your fishing adventure. If you are going purchase a fishing reel, it’s significant to consider the tips above to come up with the best saltwater fishing reel.