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Essential Electronics You Need For Your Kayak Fishing Rig

Kayak fishing may seem like the minimalist version of modern angling, but to experience the best fishing the water has to offer you will need a few essential electronics to make your kayak rig the best it can be. Modern engineering has produced powerful accessories that are small and easily mounted on a standard fishing kayak. This list of electronic gadgets makes kayak fishing safer and more enjoyable so you can concentrate on filling your limit.

  • Trolling Motor
  • Fish Finder / GPS
  • Mounted Kayak Lighting
  • Deep Cycle Marine Batteries

Using a Trolling Motor For Kayak Fishing

Some kayak anglers use a trolling motor to reach their favorite fishing spot but may switch to a paddle for when they hit shallow water. Others will use the trolling motor to easily maneuver the kayak with their fishing lines in the water for specific fishing styles. If your kayak trolling motor is mounted on the front of the boat (the bow) it can spin 360 degrees and can keep the kayak pointed towards the fish. It may be harder to control the motor from this position considering most kayak fishermen spend their time sitting in the center or near the back of the boat. However, foot-pedal controls are less expensive and easy to install on the stern or bow of the kayak.

If you’re more interested in using the motor to reach a distant fishing spot, it may be better to mount the motor in the stern where it will be more efficient and easier to control. Today, modern trolling motors are connected to Bluetooth and GPS which allows you to control your boat's GPS position with a handheld device or even your smartphone.

Trolling motors offer some key advantages for your kayak fishing rig:

Battery-powered trolling motors are quiet and allow for excellent maneuverability in shallow water. Using a trolling motor on your fishing kayak allows your hands-free to cast-off and reel-in more fish without worrying about paddling or the paddles.

Trolling motors also offer a longer range of travel to cover more areas on your fishing trips leaving you the opportunity to catch more fish. You can reach your favorite spot faster with less energy spent.

Battery Powered Fishing Kayak

Why You Need a Fish Finder and GPS For Your Kayak

A fish finder is crucial if you want to be able to see what’s on the bottom. A fish finder installed on your kayak will give you the ability to see feeding fish, underwater structures, channels, and other habitats. Knowing what lies beneath will help you have a better understanding of where fish are hiding, how deep your lures should be, and what type of terrain you have under the surface. When you find good habitat, you have found the perfect spot to fish in.

One of the handiest features of modern fish finders is their ability to mark spots and plot a course. You can even save a spot to come back to later, as the GPS will track your course and leave a trail programmed into the device.

Mounted Kayak Fishing Lights for Nighttime Anglers

A motorized kayak is required to have red and green directional lights along with a white navigation light. Most night anglers mount the navigation light to a three to four foot pole and attach it to the gear crate on the back bow. LED Safety lights draw less power and are bright enough to be seen for miles without flooding the kayak with light and reducing night vision. If you plan to do any night fishing, be sure to have the proper lighting for your fishing kayak set up.

What Kind of Battery Should You Use for your Fishing Kayak?

Heavy marine batteries can be the #1 hassle when trying to add electronics to your fishing kayak. Powering a fish finder and GPS display will need at least a 10 amp hour battery, and the trolling motor is usually powered with batteries up to 100 amp-hours. Placement of the battery in the kayak is a crucial decision. Lead-acid marine batteries are heavy and require a good deal of maintenance, especially when they are constantly around wet environments. LiFeP04 batteries are lightweight, have zero maintenance, and will last 10 times the life of your standard lead-acid battery. For the best weight distribution, set the battery inside the hull, near the seat, and along the centerline. To keep the battery dry and secure, use an approved battery box with foam padding and sealed connections. The battery must be secure and easy to reach, and the entire system must be quick to install and remove.

Advantages of Using Lithium Batteries for Your Kayak Fishing Rig

With all the advantages lithium marine batteries have over their lead-acid counterpart, it’s easy to understand why they are the best batteries for your fishing kayak electronics. RELiON offers several 12V lithium marine battery options that fill the needs of your rig. For gadgets such as your fishfinder or GPS, you do not need a ton of power. The RB12 12V 12Ah lithium battery is an excellent choice for smaller screen fish finders. If you are wanting to power multiple fishing accessories, you might opt for the 12V 20Ah RB20 for more power.

Relion 80Ah 12V Kayak Fishing Battery

Keep in mind that for 12V trolling motors, the capacity of the battery should be larger than the pounds of thrust of the motor. The RB52 is a compact 52 amp-hour LiFeP04 battery that is powerful enough to be used in many marine applications including smaller boats with lower battery requirements or boats with electrical systems designed for just one battery. Which makes it a great intro battery for your fishing kayak. If you want to step up your range a little bit, then the 80Ah lithium RB80 might be right for you. At only 25 lbs., this battery weighs less than half of a lead-acid battery and with more hours of consistent power.

If you want to optimize your kayak to catch more fish, you will need to rig up some electronics to stay ahead of the game. A solid power source for your trolling motor, fish finder, and navigation lights will be the most important part of your setup. Contact our team of lithium battery experts to discuss what may be the best option for you.