The Art of Customizing Your Fishing Kayak

Are you looking to add a personal touch to your fishing kayak? Whether you have a basic model or a more advanced one, customization is always an option. With a few modifications, you can transform your vessel into the ultimate fishing companion. In this article, we will explore some of the most popular kayak mods that can help you achieve your dream setup.

Discover the Top 21 Mods for Your Kayak

1: Camera Mount

Capturing your paddling adventures on camera is an excellent way to relive those priceless moments. To keep your camera secure while you’re out on the water, consider investing in a camera mount. The GoPro Suction Cup is a popular choice that can easily attach to your kayak. With this modification, you can focus on paddling or reeling in that big fish while your camera captures the action.

2: Anchor System

When you find the perfect fishing spot or want to take pictures of wildlife, staying in one place can be challenging in moving water. An anchor system can be a game-changer in such situations. Compact anchors designed specifically for kayaks, like the one from Best Marine & Outdoors, will help you stay put. Consider making your own anchor system for added convenience.

3: Watertight Storage

Adding watertight storage to your kayak is a practical and customizable solution. Outdoor Products offers a range of watertight boxes in various sizes. These boxes can securely hold your snacks, keys, phone, or fishing accessories, keeping them within easy reach during your fishing expeditions.

4: Fishing Crate

A fishing crate can enhance your kayak fishing experience. Whether you want to add extra rod holders or simply need more storage, a fishing crate is an essential accessory. You can easily make your own with a milk crate and PVC pipes. Alternatively, there are purpose-built kayak fishing crates available that come with rod holders and ample storage for your fishing tackle.

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5: Seat Upgrade

If you plan on spending extended periods on the water, a comfortable seat is a must. A good seat not only provides support for your back but also enhances overall comfort. Consider a seat with a seatback, like the Leader one, which can be easily attached to your kayak. This type of seat is compatible with both sit-insides and sit-on-tops, provided your kayak has attachment points for the straps.

6: Outriggers

For added stability and the ability to stand up while fishing, outriggers are a fantastic modification. By attaching floats to PVC pipes, you can create your own outriggers. This customization helps distribute weight, providing a stable platform that is difficult to tip over.

7: Gear Tracks

While many fishing kayaks already have gear tracks installed, basic recreational models might not. Gear tracks, such as those from YakAttack, offer a versatile solution for adding accessories like rod holders, lights, camera mounts, and fish finders. With gear tracks, you can easily customize your kayak without the need for additional drilling.

8: Trolling Motor

To add extra power and speed to your kayak, consider installing an electric trolling motor. The Newport Vessels 55lb thrust motor is designed specifically for kayaks and offers five forward and three reverse speeds. With this modification, you can effortlessly reach your favorite fishing spots and free up your hands for fishing tasks.

9: Deck Compass

Navigating the waters effectively is crucial for any kayak adventure. A deck compass can be a valuable addition, especially when cell reception is poor or nonexistent. The Seattle Sports Deck Compass is a durable and versatile modification that can be easily attached to your kayak using its quick attach base plate and webbing straps.

10: Bungee Cords

Enhance your kayak’s storage capabilities and security by adding bungee cords. This modification allows you to secure and tie down your gear, ensuring it stays in place during your fishing trips. A deck rigging kit, such as the one available, provides everything you need to install a bungee storage system on your kayak.

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11: Fish Finder

For avid kayak anglers, a fish finder can be a game-changer. There are various options available, including portable models like the Lucky fish finder. This model features a rechargeable lithium battery and provides essential information such as fish size, water depth, temperature, and underwater contours.

12: Spare Kayak Paddle

To avoid being stranded on the water without a paddle, having a spare is essential. Consider a four-piece kayak paddle that can easily fit inside your kayak’s storage compartments or gear bags. The Werner Skagit, made from lightweight fiberglass, is an excellent choice with adjustable feathering angles.

13: Deck Padding

Deck pads offer multiple benefits for your kayak. They reduce noise from the deck, provide non-slip traction when standing, and offer comfort for your four-legged companions. EVA foam deck pads, like the Castaway Customs SeaDek, are self-adhesive and can be cut to fit your kayak’s size and shape.

14: Water Bottle Holder

Staying hydrated during long kayaking trips is essential. Adding a cup or water bottle holder to your kayak allows easy access to your beverage of choice. Yakuzzi’s drink holder, designed for sit-inside kayaks, clips onto the rim of your cockpit, keeping your drink within reach.

15: Fishing Rod Holders

Transform your kayak into a fish-catching machine by adding rod holders. There are various options available, especially if your kayak has accessory tracks. Scotty rod holders, for example, can hold both spinning and baitcasting rods, providing versatility in your fishing setup.

16: Kayak GPS

A GPS device can greatly enhance your kayaking experience, providing safety and technology benefits. The Garmin GPSMAP 78SC is a portable, waterproof GPS designed to float. With built-in coastal charts and the ability to mark routes and waypoints, this device is perfect for paddling adventures.

17: Kayak Lights

If you plan to paddle at night, a light on your kayak is essential for visibility and safety. The Kayalu Kayalite offers a portable and easy-to-install lighting solution without the need for drilling. Its bright LED light is waterproof and floats, ensuring you remain visible on the water.

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18: Kayak Battery

To power your gadgets while on the water, a kayak battery is a must-have accessory. AGM batteries, like the Mighty Max 12-volt 35 Ah battery, are designed for marine use and are perfect for kayaks. This compact battery weighs only 23 pounds but still packs enough power to run a trolling motor or keep your fish finder and GPS charged.

19: Sun Shade

Protect yourself from the elements with a bimini sun shade. This versatile modification provides shade in the sun and protection during rainy weather, allowing you to stay on the water for longer periods. Hobie’s bimini shade is specifically designed for their kayaks, offering increased protection with a rigid support beam.

20: Paddle Leash

A paddle leash is a crucial accessory for any kayaker. It ensures that your paddle stays attached to your kayak, preventing it from floating away. Consider the Sea to Summit paddle keeper, which is compatible with most kayak paddles and features tangle-free nylon webbing for easy use.

21: Dry Bags

An instant and easy kayak modification is adding a dry bag. This waterproof bag provides a safe and dry place to store your gear while on the water. SealLine’s Big Fork dry bag, with its 30-liter capacity and backpack straps, is perfect for overnight trips or keeping your belongings dry during your adventures.


Customizing your kayak is an exciting journey that allows you to create your dream vessel. The possibilities for modification are endless, and you can tailor them to suit your personal preferences. Remember to consider the installation process and how modifications might affect your kayak’s performance and warranty. Share your kayak modifications with us and inspire others to embark on their own customization journey.

For more information, kayak accessories, and gift ideas for kayakers, visit UpStreamPaddle.