Essential Kayak Tournament Gear
Thinking about getting into kayak tournaments? Here is your kayak tournament gear list.
The “Obvious” Kayak Tournament Gear:
I know it’s obvious, but it’s got to be said…You need a kayak and a paddle to compete in a kayak tournament. I’m going to assume you already have a kayak and paddle, but if not, I would suggest that you look at one of these three. All quality, and at 3 different price levels.
For a paddle, I would point you towards the Bending Branches Angler Series. These are my choice for paddles because they are well made, affordable, and adjustable. Being able to extend or shorten your paddle on the fly is very helpful if you own a kayak with a high/low seat.
- The Bending Branches Angler Classic
- The Bending Branches Angler Ace Kayak Paddle, Carbon Blade, 250 cm
- And the Bending Branches Angler Pro Plus
With very few exceptions, all kayak tournaments require the following items.
A life jacket (also known as a PFD – Personal Flotation Device) is required before they will let you compete. Not only is a liability issue for them, but its also just common sense. Our pick for the best PFD on the market is the NRS Chinook. Other required equipment includes a Hawg Trough for measuring fish, a camera, and a sharpie (for writing the tournament I.D. on your hand)
- NRS Chinook
- Hawg Trough (cheaper at a local retailer)
- Kingear Underwater Camera (cell phones may be approved for some tournaments)
- Visi-Carbon Pro (our choice, but any 360 light will work) – Click here to see our write up on 360 lights.
The “Nice To have” Kayak Tournament Gear:
While the following items are not required by tournaments, they are certainly encouraged for a variety of reasons.
- Waterproof Camera Float – You’re gonna drop it eventually, might as well make sure it doesn’t go to the bottom of the lake.
- Waterproof Cell phone case – Same reason.
- Anchor Trolley and anchor – Click here to see our write up on why you need one and how to pick one.
- Fish Finder and Battery: Simply put, those with Fish Finders have an advantage over those without them. A good starter fish finder is the Lowrance Hook-3X Sonar. The best option for kayakers, in my opinion, is the Hummingbird Helix 5
- Crate: Click here to read our write up on how to choose a crate. Includes 3 crate recommendations, fitting all budgets.
- Food, water, fishing rods, and tackle.
Those are our recommendations for your next fishing tournament, but we want to hear yours.
One Simple Question: What “Must have” items do you take with you when fishing a tournament?
Want to see the other gear we have reviewed? Click here!