Usually penciled in around the same time as Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), Rigging Season pushes kayak anglers into daydream mode. We look at all the new gadgets from ICAST, Outdoor Retailer and individual companies, scheme up ways to use them and then reallocate all the money we were spending on gas, entry fees and Zebra Cakes to buy more gear to rig up our already rigged kayaks. And more Zebra Cakes.
While not everyone can rush out and buy the newest gear every winter, you might be able to find a steal on some lightly used gear. Most of the gear heads will sell off last year’s gear at a song. That depth finder you had your eye on? You can usually get it for 30% off or more just slightly used.
Pro Tip: When buying a used depth finder with GPS, buy local whenever possible. Usually they will have a ton of waypoints stored in them still.
Rigging Season, especially for the new comers can be a little stressful. The idea of drilling a hole in a boat you are going to have in water has a bit of pucker factor for the first timers. After the first one, they get easier.
Pro Tip: Make sure you drill above the water line whenever possible. This will ensure the sealant you use sees less abuse from underwater obstructions and will greatly cut down on leak potential.
Before you drill, find some tape. I know that sounds weird but follow me here. Take the kayak out in the water, or if you can’t the grass in the yard. Get your roll of masking or Scotch tape. Tear off about three inches and make it into a circle where the adhesive is on the outside. Sit down in the seat and reach as far forward as you can comfortably. Place the tape there. Repeat to the back, left and right. This will show you the limits of how far in each direction to mount any hardware you might need to change around while on the water. This will help prevent turtling (flipping) the kayak because you won’t have to get out of the seat.
You should also have a friend help you mark the foremost and aft most point of your paddle stroke. You don’t want to mount a rod holder right where your paddle descends. (I’m looking at you Ascend FS12T).
Take your time this Rigging Season. Measure twice (or more) and drill once. If you are impatient, you should look up the YouTube videos on how to plastic weld. You’ll need it.