Kayak Rigging with the Experts – Hobie Pro Angler

Brand Ambassador Barrett F – Paddling a 2013 Hobie Pro Angler Rigged for BTB Trolling

Rigging a new kayak can be an intense experience.  Look no further than the world of social media, where the trending phrase #kayakfishingproblems routinely points out that rigging looks so much easier on an internet post than it is in real life.

Kayak Rigging with the Experts is a brief – 10 generic question – interview with Yak Gear Brand Ambassadors and other advanced kayak anglers to highlight and share some essential strategies involved in the rigging process to ease the intensity of it all.

Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Barrett F heading out for some offshore kayak fishing.
Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Barrett F heading out for some offshore kayak fishing.

1. What is the first accessory you installed on this boat?

48″ Baja Paddle Leash—You can’t go anywhere without a paddle.  Even in a Hobie with a Mirage Drive system, I’m aware of where my paddle is at all times!!!  The heavy duty Baja Paddle Leash will ensure the paddle doesn’t leave you in the roughest of conditions.
2. How do you attach your paddle to the boat?
Molded Rubber Paddle Clips—The Hobie Pro Angler really doesn’t have a nice neat place to store a full paddle without it being in the way.  So, I mount it to the outside of the kayak on the right side (same side as my fish finder) to keep it out of the way when I’m landing fish on the left side.  All I do is pop my paddle in the Molded Rubber Paddle Clips when I want to secure it.  This also works well because I have a pad eye to leash the other end of my paddle leash to while the paddle is in the clips.
3. Where do you keep your primary and secondary rods?
I typically troll while I am offshore kayak fishing.  I have two Railblaza Rod Holder II’s on the forward edge of the handrail of my Hobie Pro-Angler.  Those two rods are in easy reach for when I get a strike.  When trolling, I set the screw on the bottom of the Hobie rails.  I think it’s a HIGHLY recommended thing to do if you’re rail mounting accessories.  Also would never suggest offshore bottom fishing from a rod holder.  A good grouper hit could mean a lost rod, VERY easily. My secondary pair of rods are sitting in Rod Holder Extender Kits directly behind me.  Since it’s not rare for me to go out with more than 4 rods, any other rods are usually upright in my Hobie Livewell.
4. While anchoring strategies vary based on location, how do you typically anchor?
On the rare occasions I anchor, I have a stainless steel caribiner attached to the triangle of my Deluxe Anchor Trolley.   With the carabiner attaching the anchor to the trolley, it allows me to unhook from my anchor quickly if needed.  I also added a zig zag cleat to easily adjust the amount of anchor line I have out quickly and still be able to detach from my anchor if needed.
5. Do you use a light? If so where…why?

I do use a light for night fishing and early morning launches.  I have a Railblaza TelePole with a Navisafe 360 Light mounted on the very back of my right side handrail with a Railblaza RailMount.  That keeps it within reach to adjust settings and not get it tangled in lines while I’m trolling.

Bad things can happen if you can't propel the kayak!!!! -Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Barrett F
Bad things can happen if you can’t propel the kayak!!!! -Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Barrett F
6. How do you store pliers, tackle boxes, fish grips, bogas…etc?
I have Customizable Coil Accessory Leash on my pliers, fish grips, camera, and cell phone!!!!  There are 4 pad eyes on the floor of the new Pro Anglers and I have something important clipped to each of them.  It probably sounds more chaotic than it really is. My pliers are on the right side but more forward near my feet.  My fish grips are near my feet on the left side.  I land most of my fish to the left side so the fish grips are close, once the grips are in I can bring the fish in the kayak and work on getting the hooks out with the pliers on the other side.  Then all that’s left is a photo on the measuring board and a release.  It will make sense in the picture!
7. Where and how do you mount your camera(s)?
My Go Pro is mounted to the Railblaza Camera Boom 600 which is angled out over the water so I don’t end up with a great video of the back of my head.  Again this hangs out off the left side where I land most of the fish so you can see the fish on the way to the side of the kayak.
8. When using live bait, where do you store it while paddling?
Hobie Livewell.  I’m considering making a PVC bait tube as well.

9. What other extra accessories do you have on you kayak? Where?

I have an extra Railblaza Rod Holder II on the nose of my kayak to hold the rod while I’m taking pictures before unhooking and releasing the fish.  I also have a Railblaza G-Hold 35 attached to my camera boom to provide additional lighting from a flashlight for night time fishing videos with the Go Pro.  The Railblaza Platform Boom 150 is mounted to the right gunnel of the kayak and my Humminbird 798 is mounted to it.  It easily rotates away when I’m busy in the kayak and it even rotates easily to show other kayakers my screen.
10. If forced to choose ONLY ONE- What is the one accessory that you would add to a completely empty kayak before taking kayak fishing?
BAJA PADDLE LEASH.  Bad things can happen if you can’t propel the kayak!!!!

We want to know what you think! What do you like about Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Barrett F’s advice?  What would you change? Tell us what you think at socialmedia@yakgear.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the #YakGear hashtag!