View Full Version : Beginner's gear - let's talk about the essentials

08-07-2010, 01:28 PM
I know electronics are important, many guys wouldn't go out without the right setup.

I thought for this thread, we could talk about everything else a beginner would need.

We have a new member, JeffKess, who asked me about fish stringers a few days ago, and I wanted to respond to him and others who might want to compare some basic items that make life easier.

So feel free to post up any beginner or basic gear that you're using, and why ya like it over the other choices out there. :thumbsup:

08-07-2010, 01:36 PM
There are lots of choices here, a lot of them are stainless with clips, etc.

While there's nothing wrong with them, I like simple. To me, simple works until you decide you need something more specific.

To me, that's part of what kayaking is about, your ability to make the choices that best fit your needs.

One of our newest members Jeff asked me about the fish stringer. This divers stringer, shown in the middle of the pic, is the one I would use. If others have better options, feel free to post up.

This advice comes from www.kayaksportfishing.com (http://www.kayaksportfishing.com), a great resource that provides a wealth of other info. Check out the site when you get a chance. :thumbsup:


Gaff The gaff is one of your most useful tools when landing larger fish. Though rarely used, you shouldn't go fishing without at least bringing one along. Using the gaff can sometimes be a judgment call. You're not going to gaff a fish you intend on releasing. You sure don't need to gaff a 4lb bass either (overkill). And you only want to gaff a fish if you're absolutely sure the size of the fish falls within the guidelines of your local fish regulations. With some practice you can learn to become quite effective at landing fish this way. Tip: When you're ready to land a fish, lower the gaff into the water at a depth less than the fish (below the fish) . With your other hand holding your rod, guide the fish over the gaff "trap" you've set. When the fish gets over the gaff, pull the gaff straight up (vertically), sending the gaff hook into the fish. When possible, try gaffing the head and neck region (easier said than done).

Fish Stringer (aka-divers stringer, game clip) Without a doubt, this tool can save your fish from swimming back into the abyss more than any other. Some fishermen like to use it just like the divers do, stringing their catch one by one on it. When fishing from a kayak, it's more useful tool to use as a landing aid. Gaff your fish (keep the fish below the waterline), open your stringer up and run it up the gills and through the mouth, or down the mouth and out the gills. Secure the stringer and the fish by latching it shut. If you notice from the photo, the stringer has a clip on it. That clip fits into a retractor that I fasten to one of the back straps in my tank well. As soon as the stringer is strung through the fish and closed, it is secure. You can then extract the gaff hook from the fish and determine if the fish needs to be subdued by further action (see below).

08-07-2010, 02:02 PM
Some possible choices:


^ Topic search.



Fish slick makes a 6' kayak style stringer:

Ocean Kayak fish stringer kit:

You could also make your own by buying stainless steel carabiner clips, and rigging some rope, but at the prices listed on ebay, I like the diver's clip. A lot of yakkers I meet seem to prefer that one as well.