coastalfreak

Cheap vs. Expensive Equipment for Kayak Angling

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I go with lower end sealed reels like Spinfishers & Shields. My loss solution is a short tether from the end of the butt to a buoy. Makes it easy to move the rod around to the crate etc, doesn't tangle, and doesn't interfere with casting. I lost one overboard and simply had to chase down an orange pool noodle sticking up from the water. It was fine.

 

The hard float on the right was not as nice as the piece of pool noodle. The line only needs to be long enough so your rod goes into the deepest rodholder you have.

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Edited by gellfex

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6 hours ago, Coutel said:

When I kayak,expect everything to get dunked at some point each trip. I use cheap rods like Ugly Stick or a broken tip rod that I modified. Rods have pipe insulation wrapped around so they float.

Reels take a bashing and I have had cheaper reels fail on me at crucial moments. The only item I dont skimp on now is the reel and use VS 100. It has its own lanyard connected to the kayak. Everything is tied down and organised, minimal and simple, even down to just one rod now. 

 

 

 

I agree with this.  

 

Even when I only fished off sandy beaches, my reels ultimately ended up sounding and feeling like coffee grinders.  

 

For me, for any reels getting anywhere near salt or sand they have to be sealed.  So much less to worry about.  Just enjoyment. 

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I guess I'm kinda sorta in the mid-level (for me), mixed with some budget friendly stuff when it comes to gear.  My salt rigs for the yak:

 

-St. Croix Avid 7MHF/ Spheros SW Inshore 4000 (topwater, smaller plugs)

-St. Croix Mojo Inshore 7MHF/ Daiwa BG 3000 (plugs, plastics)

-St. Croix Mojo Inshore 7HF/ Penn Squall 12 (live lining, chunking)

-Ugly Stick 66MH / Penn Fierce II 4000 (chunking)

-BPS Gold Cup Inshore 7HF/ Penn Fierce III 4000 (bigger plugs, plastics)

-St. Croix Avid Inshore 7MXF/ Daiwa BG 2500 (for schoolies)

 

I have other setups for FW in similar price ranges.

 

I don't tether stuff like I should, stupid but true.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎12‎/‎2022 at 3:13 PM, EricDice said:

Take it with a grain of salt as I only fished from the yak a few times. However, I used a pool noodle taped on by the butt end of the two rods  

Were you able to fit the rod into a rod holder with the noodle taped to the butt?

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2 hours ago, fishless said:

Were you able to fit the rod into a rod holder with the noodle taped to the butt?

Great question. I forgot about that. I had only one rod holder. LOL. (Still do. Work in progress. I said take it with a grain of salt!!!)

 

I had to cut down the noodle amount & reapply tape to allow the one rod to go in the holder enough to stay put. 
 

It’s a paddle kayak only, so I was mostly trolling. The other rod was basically stashed except a few times I drifted & jigged or pulled over on the sodbanks. 
 

In retrospect - I think a better option is a short tether to a float instead of directly attaching the float. The pool noodle idea came from YT but it was cumbersome for the rod holder although not as bad for fishing as I expected because I had the butt of the rod tucked under my arm quite a bit. 

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The very first day I joined this site 20 years ago, a kayak flyfisherman was asking everyone to keep an eye out on his $1,500 setup that he lost behind Sandy Hook when he rolled.

I never forgot that lesson

 

My go to setups are a Penn SS450 - the older all metal, indestructible one, and the Shimano 4500 baitrunner.

I use older slow action rods 

No rig is worth more than $150 to $200, and everything is leashed

 

There's no need for expensive reels with top of the line drag systems on a kayak, the kayak is the drag system.

Expensive rods tend to be fast action, occasionally medium action - on a kayak that's just a long lever trying to pull you over - slower action all the way.

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23 mins ago, EricDice said:

Great question. I forgot about that. I had only one rod holder. LOL. (Still do. Work in progress. I said take it with a grain of salt!!!)

 

I had to cut down the noodle amount & reapply tape to allow the one rod to go in the holder enough to stay put. 
 

It’s a paddle kayak only, so I was mostly trolling. The other rod was basically stashed except a few times I drifted & jigged or pulled over on the sodbanks. 
 

In retrospect - I think a better option is a short tether to a float instead of directly attaching the float. The pool noodle idea came from YT but it was cumbersome for the rod holder although not as bad for fishing as I expected because I had the butt of the rod tucked under my arm quite a bit. 

Quoting myself now. Ugh. Haha. 
 

This was something I learned only after we bought our kayak: 

 

  • Paddle only kayak fishing in even a moderate current or wind is really just trolling and then fishing while you drift. (If possible)
  • You’re unlikely to be able to spot some specific dock or underwater light, or other target and then cast repeatedly at it.
  • Without a pedal system or a trolling motor, bridges are probably only plausible at slack tide. 
  • I would need a tutorial on anchoring, but I suppose that’s possible also. (Again- me dumb)
  • In creeks & small sounds, it’s difficult to drift freely for more than a minute or a few minutes without bumping into the bank, docks, channel markers, a buoy, etc.
  • So, you’re mostly trolling & pulling up to  beach yourself near spots you can’t reach without the boat. 

I spent a lot of time at one bridge, regardless. It’s very unnerving drifting free & bumping into bridge pilings with a rod not a paddle in your hands. Fortunately I didn’t hook up there. If I had, I may have drifted right out the inlet fighting a fish. 
 

I definitely had not thought that through. I’m revealing myself to be mentally defective but hopefully I can help someone else not be quite so stupid. 
 

I will be installing a trolling motor on that yak and trying again this summer or next year depending on when I fit time & money in for that project. 

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15 mins ago, Sudsy said:

The very first day I joined this site 20 years ago, a kayak flyfisherman was asking everyone to keep an eye out on his $1,500 setup that he lost behind Sandy Hook when he rolled.

I never forgot that lesson

 

My go to setups are a Penn SS450 - the older all metal, indestructible one, and the Shimano 4500 baitrunner.

I use older slow action rods 

No rig is worth more than $150 to $200, and everything is leashed

 

There's no need for expensive reels with top of the line drag systems on a kayak, the kayak is the drag system.

Expensive rods tend to be fast action, occasionally medium action - on a kayak that's just a long lever trying to pull you over - slower action all the way.

I wanted to say the drag thing more specifically like you did but me dummy. Better for a real source to say it!!

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9 mins ago, EricDice said:

Quoting myself now. Ugh. Haha. 
 

This was something I learned only after we bought our kayak: 

 

  • Paddle only kayak fishing in even a moderate current or wind is really just trolling and then fishing while you drift. (If possible)
  • You’re unlikely to be able to spot some specific dock or underwater light, or other target and then cast repeatedly at it.
  • Without a pedal system or a trolling motor, bridges are probably only plausible at slack tide. 
  • I would need a tutorial on anchoring, but I suppose that’s possible also. (Again- me dumb)
  • In creeks & small sounds, it’s difficult to drift freely for more than a minute or a few minutes without bumping into the bank, docks, channel markers, a buoy, etc.
  • So, you’re mostly trolling & pulling up to  beach yourself near spots you can’t reach without the boat. 

I spent a lot of time at one bridge, regardless. It’s very unnerving drifting free & bumping into bridge pilings with a rod not a paddle in your hands. Fortunately I didn’t hook up there. If I had, I may have drifted right out the inlet fighting a fish. 
 

I definitely had not thought that through. I’m revealing myself to be mentally defective but hopefully I can help someone else not be quite so stupid. 
 

I will be installing a trolling motor on that yak and trying again this summer or next year depending on when I fit time & money in for that project. 

If you're in open water say the RB and find a school of fish you can drift and cast and stay with the fish unless you get a decent breeze. 

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Middle of the road for me too. I wish I told you I leash all my gear because I don't. With that being said I have donated middle of the road stuff once....ok twice. 

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14 mins ago, EricDice said:

Quoting myself now. Ugh. Haha. 
 

This was something I learned only after we bought our kayak: 

 

  • Paddle only kayak fishing in even a moderate current or wind is really just trolling and then fishing while you drift. (If possible)
  • You’re unlikely to be able to spot some specific dock or underwater light, or other target and then cast repeatedly at it.
  • Without a pedal system or a trolling motor, bridges are probably only plausible at slack tide. 
  • I would need a tutorial on anchoring, but I suppose that’s possible also. (Again- me dumb)
  • In creeks & small sounds, it’s difficult to drift freely for more than a minute or a few minutes without bumping into the bank, docks, channel markers, a buoy, etc.
  • So, you’re mostly trolling & pulling up to  beach yourself near spots you can’t reach without the boat. 

I spent a lot of time at one bridge, regardless. It’s very unnerving drifting free & bumping into bridge pilings with a rod not a paddle in your hands. Fortunately I didn’t hook up there. If I had, I may have drifted right out the inlet fighting a fish. 
 

I definitely had not thought that through. I’m revealing myself to be mentally defective but hopefully I can help someone else not be quite so stupid. 
 

I will be installing a trolling motor on that yak and trying again this summer or next year depending on when I fit time & money in for that project. 

Now, I'm not a bass sharpie, don't spend a lot of time targeting them, but it sounds to me like you're still thinking like a shore fisherman rather than a kayaker who can head out and find structure that isn't right up on the shore!

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Just now, fishless said:

If you're in open water say the RB and find a school of fish you can drift and cast and stay with the fish unless you get a decent breeze. 

Interesting. Thanks! I haven’t had it out in open space like that yet.

 

And the breeze thing, I won’t derail the thread further but another “me-kayak-dummy” topic right there. Breeze, tide, changes in both, good times. 

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2 mins ago, gellfex said:

Now, I'm not a bass sharpie, don't spend a lot of time targeting them, but it sounds to me like you're still thinking like a shore fisherman rather than a kayaker who can head out and find structure that isn't right up on the shore!

No doubt. You’re actually being polite the way you said it. It’s probably way worse than that.
 

I only put my two cents out there because I made some poor choices based on lack of understanding & eagerness to get out regardless. Not to say it won’t happen again, but maybe my mistakes in writing here can help someone else be safer. 
 

I put a little effort at that time into preventing my combos from sinking but not nearly enough time into mostly everything else. 

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