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The Right Kayak Fishing Tackle

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Selecting fishing tackle for kayak fishing can be a hit or miss process to find the right setup. Here’s advice from a pro about having the right gear.


Kayak fisherman, are a group of anglers at an advantage. Even if you are a new kayak angler, chances are you have caught fish from either the surf or a boat. I’ve never met anyone that just jumped into kayak fishing without at least an introductory of fishing from the shoreline or a boat. I like many other anglers started fishing from shore in my early 20’s due to how affordable it was. I spent most of my time fishing the bay side all spring and then the ocean side in the fall. After I bought my first kayak I had over a dozen rod and reel combos both for surf and boat purposes. First a few principles about kayak fishing tackle. A good kayak rod should be from 6’ 4” to 7’. I have tried longer but found the extra length too often starts serving as a disadvantage. I have no problem getting a 6’ 4” rod around the bow of my boat if needed. Whatever reel you choose, braided line is a must. Sitting down you are already at a disadvantage, the no stretch from braid really helps improve your hook ups for all saltwater species.


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Unfortunately the majority of my rods didn’t transition well to my first kayak. The biggest problem I had was an issue of leverage. While you are standing on the shore, or at the rail of a boat setting the hook into a fish is pretty straight forward after you get the hang of it. A strong upward lift with your arms and shoulders, you can also use your back to support your stance. On the kayak I spent a whole season trying to figure how to get a hook set with my boat rods. I couldn’t get a powerful enough hook set with my arms alone, this was especially true when I was fishing live bunker for striped bass. My rods of choice were a bit stiff and difficult to get a full hook set into. Even with braided line I found it was a story of swing and miss. I was using a MH Ugly Stik Tiger rod. A great rod for a boat, but the butt end of the rod was extremely awkward while sitting down with it tucked under my arm on a kayak. Unhappy with my hook up ratios I started down scaling my live bait rods. I settled on a light 6’ 4” musky rod after multiple seasons. At first look you would think it’s ridiculously too light to use for live lining bunker, but it’s one of the few rods I am able to get the proper leverage and increase my hook up ratio to 80% or so with live baits. I experimented with 7’ 6” rods also that were lighter, but found them to be too long to get a good hook set with as well. They also tended to suffer from angle related issues. A striped bass would take a bunker swim under the boat, and I wouldn’t have a good angle to set the hook hard and properly.


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Great results are the result of the right kayak fishing tackle

After learning my lessons with live bait fishing I figured out what I was looking for in spinning gear with ease. Rods with a butt of 8”- 12” were what fit the bill perfectly. Eposeidon’s Phantom KastKing Kayak Rod MH 10-20 lb. test rated rod is a good jigging rod from a kayak. The length of the butt is perfect and the sensitivity is unmatched for a rod in the price range. The rod also has a measuring imprint on the side which is great for measuring species like black sea bass and tautog.  I use spinning tackle very frequently for vertical jigging and some casting. When it comes to jigging for striped bass and fluke you are creating a bouncing motion with your wrist. With either bucktails, diamond jigs, or soft plastics the concept is very similar. The advantage of a lighter spinning rod is that the hook set is more natural with your arms. I learned to fish with spinning rods and am most confident with them. You can certainly jig with a bait caster. Once again though, if you choose a fishing tackle setup such as a spinning rod with a long butt, you will find it’s getting in the way all the time. Some boat rods I used for striper jigging don’t make it on the kayak with me due to stiffness and length. If the rod butt is laying past my elbow that part of the rod is much too long.  Eposeidon offers kayak rods in baitcasting models as well.


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The correct fishing tackle took this keeper fluke while kayak jigging


If you asked me when I just started fishing from the shore would I ever use a 2000 series spinner for something like stripers or jigging fluke in 40 feet of water? I would think somewhere around the 4000 series size would be appropriate. The lighter on my hands the better, I’ve come to realize. I don’t need that much line especially if I am fishing with braided lines and light test. When using KastKing 15lb braided line on a 2000 series Ecooda BlackHawk spinning reel I’ve got close to 300 yards of line for species that will generally take no more than 50 yards of line. Casting distance is rarely an issue on a kayak. I’ve never encountered an issue of needing more line in 7 years of kayak fishing. My live bait reel has been downsized to an Abu Garcia Ambassador 6000 series with a power handle. It has more than enough line and it’s light enough in my hands to swing hard with live baits.



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Author Elias Vaisberg competed in the Hobie International Kayak Fishing Challenge using fishing tackle from Eposeidon. KastKing Phantom Kayak Rods and Ecooda reels

 By — Elias Vaisberg

All photos courtesy of Elias Vaisberg

Elias Vaisberg is a highly experience kayak fisherman who lives in Brooklyn, NY. He logs countless hours targeting anything that swims in Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor. He fishes on a 2011 Hobie Outback and is sponsored by Eposeidon and Hobie. He qualified for the Hobie International Kayak Fishing Challenge in 2013 and 2014.




Eposeidon (www.eposeidon.com ) is an e-commerce company (Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.) that brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing(r) fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, Ecooda reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally. Eposeidon is the sole North American Distributor for Ecooda fishing reels.

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