Kayak Rigging with the Experts – Jackson Cuda 14

Brand Ambassador Edward P – Paddling a Jackson Cuda 14 Rigged for Fly Fishing

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 Ed P's Jackson Cuda Rigged with Yak Gear and Railblaza
Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Ed P’s Jackson Cuda Rigged with Yak Gear and Railblaza

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

After purchasing my Cuda, the first thing I installed was an anchor trolley.  An effective anchor trolley acts as an adjustable anchor cleat, thus allowing you to adjust the angle of your boat based on changing wind conditions or tide movement. Advanced kayak anglers even use anchor trolleys on each side of their kayak to provide versatility in choosing an anchored position. After all, the potential for versatility is only as strong as the amount of anchoring options you give yourself when rigging!


2. How do you attach your paddle to the boat when you are fishing? 

The Jackson Cuda comes with a stock bungee paddle keeper.  Essentially, all I do is place my paddle on my kayak and strap the bungee paddle keeper over it to hold it in place.  I also use a paddle leash attached to a pad-eye with velcro. The velcro is important because it prevents noise you would get from a carabiner or something similar.  Minimizing the noise will minimize the potential to spook fish.


3. Where do you keep your primary and secondary rods?

My primary rod is almost always in my Railblaza Rod Holder II which I switch between 1) a StarPort in the front of the cockpit or 2) on a Railblaza TelePole behind me for when I am standing.  This way, while I am standing and sight casting with my fly rod, I don’t have to bend over constantly.


Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Ed P keeps his primary fly rod in a Railblaza Rod Holder II while paddling.
Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Ed P keeps his primary fly rod in a Railblaza Rod Holder II while paddling.

4. While anchoring strategies vary based on location, how do you typically anchor?

If I’m in the flats, I use a push pole/stake out stick for anchoring.  This is good for shallow water paddling and fishing.  All you do is stick it in the mud and connect a leash/anchor trolley to it.  In anything deeper than a few feet I use my bruce style claw anchor with an anchor float leash for coastal, soft bottom anchoring.


5. Do you use a light? If so where & why?

I use a Navisafe 360 Light on a Railblaza TelePole that’s mounted on the stern of my yak. It’s rarely on because of the times I prefer to fish, but it sure is nice to have it with you when you need it in dense fog or unfavorable weather.  In the bay where I paddle, paddling in the dark with no light is a scary and really a dangerous experience.


6. How do you store pliers, tackle boxes, fish grips, bogas…etc?

My pliers and fish grips are in a pocket under my seat (comes standard with Jackson Elite Seat). Everything else is in or attached to the mounting system on my crate, in the mesh pockets of the kayak, or in the tackle trays in the tank well.  Everything in danger of slipping gets leashed.  I’m tired of losing stuff…


7. Where and how do you mount your camera(s)?

I have two Railblaza SidePorts mounted in the stern end of my tank well for a camera boom.


Rigged and ready to go hit the water!
Rigged and ready to go hit the water!

8. When using live bait, where do you store it while paddling?

I can’t use live bait with a fly rod 🙂


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

I bring my cell phone in a dry bag which is mounted by my Railblaza MobiHolder.  I also have the Railblaza Flag Whip behind me that I customized with the University of Miami flag.  Other than that I have installed a Platform Boom 150 in the center of the cockpit (towards the bow) for a future GPS purchase.


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?

PADDLE LEASH. Don’t leave the dock without it, or you may not be returning to the dock.


We want to know what you think! What do you like about Yak Gear Brand Ambassador Ed P’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!