Rigging Your Fishing Kayak: Essential Tools and Equipment


Are you a passionate angler who loves to personalize your fishing kayak? Whether it’s making adjustments, rigging, or repairs, having the right tools and equipment is crucial. While we can’t promise you’ll be able to install a fishfinder or put running lights on your yak with these tools alone, they will undoubtedly make your job a lot easier. In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of must-have items for any fishing kayak enthusiast.

Power Equipment

  • Roto Zip or a Dremel with cutout bit: These tools allow you to make precise cutouts, like flush mount rod holders, without the need for a starter hole. They provide better control for smaller circular cuts compared to a jigsaw.
  • Jigsaw (preferably with 2 speeds): Perfect for longer straight cuts, such as hatch installations.
  • Cordless Drill: Used for drilling holes to apply rivets and making smaller holes for wire seals with spade bits.
  • Solder Iron with an iron tip: Mistakes are inevitable, but this tool makes them easy to fix. Save cutout material from previous projects to patch unwanted holes or cracks. Carve out a small dab of plastic using the solder iron and melt it over the damaged area. For larger holes or cracks, create a template, trace it onto scrap plastic, and cut it out. OEX store usually has spare plastic pieces if you need a larger scrap. Secure the plastic with tape, solder the exposed area, remove the tape, and repeat until the repair is complete. The end result will be as good as new once the plastic cools.
  • Shop-Vac with long pull-out extension cord: Ideal for reaching those hard-to-access areas inside your kayak and cleaning up scraps and dust leftover from installations.
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  • Rivet Gun: A must-have tool for rigging.
  • Files: After making cuts, use metal files (flat and rat-tail) to smooth out the openings.
  • 3/16 drill bits (for rivets)
  • Set of spade bits (for smaller holes, wire seals, etc.)
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdrivers
  • Wire Stripper
  • Vice Grips: Used to crimp the tag wire to all connectors.
  • Small Butane Torch: Used to heat up shrink connectors and shrink tubing.
  • Large Butane Torch: Perfect for fixing small cracks and cutouts.
  • Scissors: A versatile tool with many uses.


  • Marine Goop: Considered the duct tape of the kayak world, it can fix almost anything and is a must-have.
  • Dielectric Grease: Apply this grease to coat your electrical connectors after every 5 trips.
  • Zip Ties: Keep your wires neat and organized.
  • Electrical Tape: If budget permits, opt for the 3M 130C tape. It is stretchable, wraps tightly, and provides a uniform seal.
  • Electrical Connectors
  • Butt Connectors: If you can splurge, go for the heat shrink butt connectors. Otherwise, regular connectors can be used with shrink tubing.
  • Terminal Connectors: Used to connect wires to batteries.
  • Wire: Black and red wire in 18-22 gauge. Opt for Marine Grade wire to prevent corrosion.

Remember, there are numerous other materials available in the market, but unless you are undertaking heavy-duty rigging for multiple boats, the aforementioned items should suffice.


In conclusion, when it comes to rigging your fishing kayak, take your time and measure twice before making any cuts. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to visit OEX. Our team of experts is always ready to help. Whether you lack the time or tools to execute your desired modifications, we offer professional rigging and installation services. So, bring your fishing kayak to us, and let’s make your dream setup a reality.

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Brent Torgeson