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Fishing from a kayak takes preparation. The space is limited. Plus, you must keep an eye on the weight you are hauling. Consequently, there are only as many gadgets as you can bring.
Although all pieces of gear are important, we will dedicate today’s piece to answering the following question: How many rods do you need on a kayak? For many anglers, including myself, three rods is the magic number.
Ideally, you should choose anything between 6 to 7 feet with medium or medium-heavy power. If possible, they all should have fast action.
But there is much more behind this. So, make sure to stick with us a little longer. We will unfold all the secrets regarding rod and kayak fishing. Let’s get down to it.
What is The Best Rod Length for Kayak Fishing?
Long rods are ideal for long casts. In addition, they can pull bigger and heavier fish from the water without breaking. Nevertheless, the longer the rod gets, the less maneuverable it is. In other words, you will need more space to cast, reel, and manage the rod. As we said before, space is quite limited on a kayak.
A 7-foot-long will be more than ok for kayak fishing. But you can go as short as 6 feet if you are worried about portability. You can also go for a telescopic or breakable pole.
What Rod Action is The Best for Kayak Fishing?
Action refers to how much of the rod length bends. We won’t discuss specifics. But if you want to know more, make sure to check here.
For kayak fishing, we recommend fast or moderate fast-action rods. Why? Well, the chances are that you are targeting small to medium-sized gamefish. As a result, these actions are sensible enough for these catches.
Rod Power and Kayak Fishing
Power, on the other hand, refers to how much pressure it takes to bend the rod. The heavier the rod, the more it can take before bending. Make sure to read here to know more about rod power.
You will be more than ok with a medium or medium-heavy rod for kayak fishing.
Casting or Spinning?
Most professional anglers use casting rods for fishing from a kayak. However, there is nothing that keeps you from using a spinning rod. It all comes down to what your needs are and what you feel most comfortable with.
Personally, I prefer using casting rods on a kayak simply because I have greater control over the cast and retrieve process.
How Many Rods Do I Need?
Most anglers take at least two different rods on a single fishing trip. This allows them to have two lines in the water simultaneously. Alternatively, they can keep the other rod away in case they need a replacement.
So, there is really no reason to take less than two on your kayak. However, we recommend packing an extra one just in case.
I know. You are worried about space. Thankfully, there is something called rod holders. Leave the rods there, and you are good to go.
Now, packing more than three rods is asking for trouble. There is not enough deck space to keep them. Plus, you will be reducing your room to move.
What Reel for Kayak Fishing?
There is no point taking a huge reel in a kayak. I mean, if you don’t have anything else, fine. Bring it. But if you are choosing a kayak fishing setup, then a 3000-4000 reel will be enough. These hit the sweet spot between line capacity and overall weight.
In terms of drag, it all depends on the line and fish you are after. But remember the following rule: Set the drag at one-third of the line test strength. For example, if you use a 10-pound line, then the drag should be set around 3. As a result, there is no need of getting a reel with a 30-pound drag. It is simply way overkill.
Mix and Match
It makes no sense to pack three rod and reel combos if you are replicating the same setup in each one. You have to take advantage of the options and use different rigs with each rod. This way, you can target different sections of the water column as well as maximize your chances of getting a bite.
It might be a good idea to use different power and action combinations. This way, you can adapt to whatever situation you encounter during your trip.
In terms of rigs, we recommend having one weedless setup, one topwater, and one jig head. You will be able to target weeds, shallow, and deep water alike.
Remember to keep spare lures and hooks just in case you have to replace a missing rig.
Can I Use a Fly Fishing Rod on A Kayak?
Yeah, sure. You can try to pull a Jeremy Wade out and use a fly fishing setup on a kayak. But you will be miserable. Fly rods require space to maneuver, something that you lack in a kayak. So, be smart and stay clear of these rods.
Kayak Fishing and Rods: How Many Are Enough?
You have to be smart when fishing from a kayak. The space is limited. As a result, you have to make the most out of it. With that said, three rods are more than enough for any kayak fishing trip. You can take less, sure. However, you will have less flexibility.
We recommend going for 6 to 7-feet poles, with fast or moderate fast tips, and medium to medium-heavy power. You can take less, sure. However, you will have less flexibility.
Remember that if you take three rods, you need to bring the same number of reels. In this case, 3000 or 4000 models will be more than enough!