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Kayak Fishing Rig

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Kayak Fishing Rig
I've been more or less a silent observer on this forum for the past several years. Lot's of great insight to be gained from the collective wisdom shared here and a very friendly atmosphere. Maybe I can finally contribute something myself in the hope that this will inspire someone like myself to get off the couch. Most of this build can be done on a tight budget as well. I hope you enjoy reading. This may get lengthy.

So, right to it. A relative gave me an old 12' kayak he was no longer able to use. I was thrilled, but this was not a fishing rig by any means. I mean, it didn't even have a single rod holder. So, last year I set about fixing her up. I may have gone too far (as usual), but time will tell. I think the industrial designer in me met it's redneck counterpart and they ran wild. What follows is a break down of this build, hopefully with the appropriate images correctly attached.

First and foremost, this thing needs rod holders. I ended up purchasing two Cannon rod holders. I am sure most of you are familiar with these. Nothing special. They rotate left and right, up and down. I find these essential when fishing with two rods. There's nothing more frustrating than missing a bite because you're fumbling with your gear. (Sorry, couldn't figure out how to post images inline. The little checkbox doesn't seem to be working when I preview the post. Any advice? See image labeled "Rod Holders" below).

(See "Motor", "Throttle Control", "Battery Box") The next modification is one I have been itching to try on a kayak for a while. Power. I purchased a lightly used Minn Kota 30# trolling motor for $60. I detached the control head, being sure to keep all wires intact. I then opened the head and detached the wires (being sure to document their proper locations first). Next I built a simple transom out of 3/4" oak and bolted it to the stern of the kayak. The cables were all lengthened using the appropriate gauge (but not color, Wink ) and then reconnected to the control head to my left below the seat. This will allow me to adjust speed without reaching or turning. The battery was place in the open compartment behind the seat. I used a 35Ah AGM battery made by a recognized brand and the appropriately sized battery box. This box is actually attached to the floor of the kayak using industrial strength velcro (I didn't want drill any holes in this particular location). It actually worked great. I'm sure I can remove it, but I haven't pulled on it hard enough yet. It's certainly not coming off on accident. Between the control head and battery I used a PWM (Pulse Width Modulator) . It's basically a dimmer switch. Without boring you with the details, it allows me to turn the motor to any power setting, not just the preset 5 forward 3 backward. It also greatly improves battery run time.

(See "Motor", "Pedal Steering") Now to steer it. I drilled a hole though the graphite rod at top end of the motor shaft. I used eyelet screws and various other hardware to make arms for steering. I then ran cables with cable covers through the kayak to the already included pedals. Luckily these pedals slide forward and backward freely when unlocked. This allows me to adjust the motor angle (steer) with my feet, leaving my hands free to fish and hold a drink (dang... forgot the cup holders).

I have been using the above modifications for about a year now with great results. Any electrician would cringe at my work though. The kayak can move along at a much faster clip than I could ever row it (max 7-8 mph? I'm just guessing) and also go slow enough for effective trolling. I have been able to load/unload it from a roof rack by myself and launch anywhere the incline isn't too steep. The motor and cables quickly detach for transport.

Now for the rest.

(See "Anchor Line Location", "Anchor Line", "Retractable Clothesline) One thing that has annoyed me during past use was anchoring. I simply had an anchor tied to some line tied to the kayak. This became a major hassle to deploy or retrieve quickly, and the line frankly became a tangled hazzard. I have seen others use retractable dog leashes and clothes lines to manage the anchor line. I decided to try the retractable clothes line. This comes with 40' of some sort of plastic line. You can look up how to replace this with paracord on Youtube (pretty straightforward). Now, when I retrieve the anchor, the cord automatically retracts neatly out of sight.

(See "Anchor Trolley", "Pole Anchor") I also attached an anchor trolley to allow me to adjust the boat's position in wind or current while anchored. This setup is pretty tried and proven, but my pvc anchor pole (for shallow water on Utah Lake) is not. We'll see how that works.

(See "Box Rig", "Box Rig Out", "Tackle Box") In a sporting kayak storage is an issue. I made a simple pvc rod holder, capable of holding 7 rods, nets, or other long things. I then bolted a plastic crate from Home Depot to it. This holds tackle boxes nicely and has a very conveniently recessed lid to hold lures, boxes, or other odds and ends while changing tackle. Two holes in the top of the kayak allow me to easily slip this rig in or out for transport.

(See "Rear Storage", "Front Storage") There is rear storage, but it is not easily accessible. I use it to store life jackets and a repair kit. I also stow the paddles and anchor in the bow of the kayak.

(See "Tools", "Stringer") Forceps, scissors, and a stringer are tied off to the inside of the boat (for the benefit of my butter fingers) and stowed on the side nets.

(See "Kayak Front", "Kayak Side") Lastly, the thing just needed some paint. All the bright blue plastic and white pvc made the whole thing look like a pile of random junk (oh wait.. that's basically what it's made of). I figured some character was in order. A little black, grey, and cyan paint later, the BattleYak was born. Not my best paint job by any means, but the kayak is made of polyethylene and I plan on having to redo it yearly anyways. Anything but the straight blue.

Next on my list is a decent fish finder.

Pfew! If you made it this far, I'm impressed. Anyways, I hope this helps someone to build their own rig. Please post any builds or modifications you have done to kayaks, float tubes, etc. I love to see other's creativity. Feedback and suggestions are more than welcome.
image/jpeg Rod Holders.jpg (2.32 MB)
image/jpeg Motor.jpg (3.12 MB)
image/jpeg Battery Box.jpg (1.43 MB)
image/jpeg Pedal Steering.jpg (1.87 MB)
image/jpeg Anchor Line.jpg (3.63 MB)
image/jpeg Anchor Trolley.jpg (3.49 MB)
image/jpeg Pole Anchor.jpg (4.02 MB)
image/jpeg Box Rig.jpg (2.63 MB)
image/jpeg Box Rig Out.jpg (3.72 MB)
image/jpeg Tackle Box.jpg (2.23 MB)
image/jpeg Rear Storage.jpg (1.96 MB)
image/jpeg Front Storage.jpg (2.00 MB)
image/jpeg Tools.jpg (2.50 MB)
image/jpeg Stringer.jpg (2.72 MB)
image/jpeg Kayak Front.jpg (2.59 MB)
image/jpeg Kayak Side.jpg (3.65 MB)
image/jpeg Kayak Rear.jpg (3.66 MB)
(This post was edited by CatfishKraut on Apr 25, 2018, 10:14 PM)
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Re: [CatfishKraut] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Wow! Thatís some rig you got there. Sounds like you had as much fun building it as fishing in it.
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Re: [amik] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
The regulars will certainly know it's you.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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Re: [RockyRaab] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Not much of a disguise. I'm certainly not fooling my wife Wink
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Re: [CatfishKraut] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Looks good, you will love fishing out of a kayak. Only downside of adding a motor is now the state requires your money to register.
I would suggest adding an orange flag to the rear. Sit in kayaks are low profile on the water and your battle paint job will hide it a little too. Utahís boat crowd doesnít give a crap about kayakers and the further out the see you the better.

Smoke 2, Out.
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Re: [Squawminnow] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Yeah I know what you mean about some boaters. A buddy and I spearfish when and where permitted and we regularly have pop gear or tubers dragged over us despite the large flag and buoy. Even with one of us at the surface screaming Diver Down they just stare blankly while holding their drink.

Interesting that it would now need registration. Guess it makes sense, just never considered it large enough of a motor to matter I guess. Is the same true for motorized float tubes? Course, the state doesn't need much of an excuse to ask for money. Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: [CatfishKraut] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Any craft (repeat ANY) with a motor or a sail requires registration.

The problem with craft like toons, tubes and yaks is providing a hull number and sometimes a bill of sale. Others here can give you first-hand advice. My yak is human-powered only, so I've never gone through the rigmarole.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult
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Re: [RockyRaab] Kayak Fishing Rig In reply to
Thanks for the clarification. I'll look into getting the necessary documents together. Pretty sure I painted over the hull numbers though.