By Kevin Hofer
The sport of kayak fishing has been growing rapidly the last few years and along with it, companies are designing and providing us anglers with all sorts of fun gadgets to accessorize our adventures.
Recently Wilderness Systems has come out with an array of products and I have had the pleasure of putting them to the test.
Many of you may think “are they worth the added expense?” or “do I really need this stuff to catch more fish?” My answer is… it depends on the accessory, some items are pretty much just luxuries, but others I do believe can help make a big difference in a day of fishing. Let’s look at a few of my favorites and how they have impacted my days on the water.
I guess I will start with the biggest game changer for me, pedals over paddle! The Helix pedal drive with instant hands-free reverse is crucial when trying to control big fish. Another huge advantage to a pedal drive system is the ability to cover more water with ease.No matter which brand you choose, being able to maintain 3-5 mph even against a headwind is just awesome. The day I finally decided to “go pedal” was when I was working my butt off paddling and I look at my buddy next to me… he’s kicking back eating a sandwich and just cruising along. I could go on and on about how awesome pedal kayaks are but I want to move on and tell you all about a few other things.
The next item may be small, but don’t let size fool you, having one could make or break your day of fishing.
On a kayak we do not have a whole lot of extra room on deck and occasionally either by mistake or from a fish flopping around, things can end up overboard.
I have had it happen to me and I’ve heard countless stories of lost items. You don’t want to be the guy in middle of a bass tournament who drops his phone in while trying to take a pic of a monster fish! This is where the retractable tether comes in oh so handy.
I clip it to my vest and attach the other end to phone or whatever item I want easily accessible but don’t want to end up on lake bed. I also like the retraction feature over just tying things off with rope because I if I were to somehow flip the kayak, I don’t want a bunch of tools dangling around to get tangled up in.
To maximize your time on the water and spend those precious minutes catching or at least trying to catch fish, you can’t waste time being unorganized and looking for things.
Digging around for a Plano box with the lure you want in rough seas can be frustrating, and on tournament day you can’t be looking through a scattered mess to find what you need.
Wilderness has come up with a few different solutions to the tackle storage issue. My favorite is the mesh storage sleeve that attaches to the back of your seat. I keep my box of terminal tackle and spools of leaders in there.
If you are the type who likes to bring multiple rods and at least as many tackle boxes each trip then I suggest checking out the Wildy Kayak Krate. It can really help you get organized and fish more efficiently, which could equal a few more casts… which we all know could equal the fish of a lifetime!