This is part 2 of our guide to dressing properly for kayak fishing. If you would like to know what head wear, eye wear and tops are best for kayak fishing, please read part 1 of our guide. Here, we will be discussing life jackets (PFDs), bottoms and footwear.
A properly fitted PFD is a crucial item to have on your fishing kayak. Make sure that it is adjusted properly. A loose PFD will go over your shoulders and block your view in the event of a capsize. Many modern fishing kayaks have very high seat backs.
If your kayak has a very high back rest, consider getting a low back or backless PFD such as this Hobie Inflatable PFD. A PFD with full back flotation will dig into your back if you use it on a high backrest.
A quality fishing PFD may also have pockets for you to store items such as line clippers, terminal tackle, snacks or your fishing license. This Stohlquist fisherman has hard front pockets that act as secondary tackle boxes.
For a more in depth guide on this subject, look to our article on selecting the best PFD for kayak fishing.
If you choose to wear board shorts, make sure to apply lots of sunscreen to your legs. Quite often, your legs will be the first thing to burn on a day out on the water. If you use a pedal kayak such as a Hobie Mirage kayak, make sure your shorts give you enough range of motion to properly pedal your kayak. Tight or even form fitting shorts can result in bad chafing if you have to pedal your kayak.
If you are fishing in cold or wetter conditions, consider purchasing some dry pants. These pants, specially made for kayaking have gaskets or boots at the end of the ankles as well as a waist gasket. Dry pants such as these Kokatat Splash pants shed water, offer excellent UV protection and keep you warm on cold days.
Much like spray tops, the light material of these pants makes it easy to take them off and store them on your kayak when it gets hot. They can be rolled up into a small bundle and stowed away in your kayak with ease.
There are many options you could use for foot wear. If it is warm enough and you apply sunscreen, you can also go barefoot. If you choose to wear shoes though, make sure they are waterproof! Many anglers seem content to wear an old pair of tennis shoes, but one slog through the sand/mud when landing your kayak will render even an old pair of shoes unusable!
Also stay away from fishing boots. We are not fishing on a tuna boat! You will need something that can get wet and is also low profile.
Flip flops are a popular choice but they are easily lost out on the water. Neoprene wet shoes or paddling shoes are in my opinion, the best option. Wet shoes keep your feet warm in cold conditions and unlike sandals or tennis shoes, will last if you use them in wet sand. Many designs such as these NRS Kicker Remix wet shoes have laceless designs with a grab tab for easy removal.
And there you have it! Wearing proper clothes will pay dividends out on the water. We hope our outfitting guide has at least given you some perspective on what clothes to invest in.
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