My primary kayak was a 2012 Cuda 14 by Jackson Kayak. I bought it before the Cuda 12 was announced so the decal on mine read “Cuda” without the 14. It tracks very straight and is pretty fast. It also has lots of storage space which is always a plus.
For more info of the Jackson Kayak Cuda 14, check out the official video:
On the front is the rod-tip protector. It was designed with the intention that you can slide the tips of your rods under to protect them from low hanging limbs and other things that could damage them. I don’t often use it for that function, because there isn’t many trees in the areas we fish most often. The protector was redesigned for the Big Tuna, and I bought an updated design off of Jackson’s website because I wanted to be able to slide my paddle blade under the bungees when needed. It’s much easier with the updated design.
On top of the rod tip protector, as well as other areas of the boat, I’ve put down an adhesive backed padding that I purchased from Hook1, though a version of it is also now sold at Pack & Paddle in Lafayette. It’s called the Silent Traction System, or Conseal, or whatever other name it’s sold under. I’ve also got it on the rod stagers I’ve most often used, and the paddle stager. I’ve installed it just to keep things quieter in those areas. Redfish spook pretty easily so it’s important that the paddle isn’t bumping the side of the boat when sightcasting, and the silent traction helps to deaden any unwanted noise.
I’m not sure who came up with this anchor system but it’s called the “Choupique system” by the guys over at Pack & Paddle. It’s common to use two halves of a 10 lb. dumbbell. one in the front and the other at the back of the hull. I think they’re usually installed on opposite sides of the hull, which is how I’ve got them. I also prefer to use a cam-cleat near the seat. It just makes the whole process a lot easier.
The only downside to this system is that the pad-eye nearest to the anchor gets eaten up by the line, but that can be remedied by using a type of pulley. I’ll probably change it out eventually.
I also at times will hook up an anchor trolley and use a stake-out pole instead of the dumbbells (mostly on my secondary boat, the Cruise 12). I like the YakAttack Park n Pole for that situation.
The most common question that kayak anglers get is, “where do you put the fish?” I’ve used coolers in the tank-well before but generally prefer to use a cooler bag dropped into the center console of the boat. I use both the cooler bag that Jackson Kayak offers, as well as a cheap cooler bag that I bought at Walmart. I use the cheaper bag just because it can hold more fish for tournaments.
The last main part of the rig is the one thing that most kayak anglers share in common and that is the crate. I’ve used the standard milk crate before. My only issue with it was space and no protection from the elements. I sometimes have clothing stored back there so the summertime showers and storms can be a pain. I now use the YakAttack Blackpak. I have several rod holders hooked up to it as well.
I have a few items that only get use here and there. In the crate you can see the YakAttack Visi-Carbon Pro. It’s a collapsable flagpole/all-around white light. It gets use when we’re in areas that have high motorboat traffic and/or on the water before sunlight.
I also have a basic fish-finder that I’m using for depth finding. The transducer is gooped in right under the front hatch and it is shooting through the hull. It plugs into the monitor mounted next to the center hatch.
As with anything, my setup is catered to what I find the best for me. And while others may do things similarly, you really ought to set your boat up to suit you best. When planning to install anything, the best thing to do is wait until you’ve taken the boat out a few times to figure out where you’d like to put items, and whether they’re needed at all.
To anyone who was interested, here’s my set-up. Hope it helps someone.