Photo: Ben Duchesney
Pros spend more time on the water and know exactly what they need to catch more fish.

Even with all of the thousands of fishing kayaks available today, some pros are still left wanting when it comes to features. Most make do by rigging a DIY option or begging the designers at their favorite companies to work their magic. Because pros spend more time on the water than anyone else, we figured their dream fishing kayak features were probably worth designing, and we wanted to bring them into the light so that manufacturers can get to work. What’s your dream fishing kayak feature? 

1) Kwanza “Kayaking” Henderson, Ocean KayakVictory Lures and Rat-L-Trap and D.O.A. Lures pro staffer.

–I wish there was a pedal drive in an Ocean Kayak and a live baitwell in the center of the boat, in front of the seat. That would be awesome.

2) James Chappel, Ocean Kayak and UltraProX Cameras pro staffer and founder of the group, Ocean State Kayak Fishing

–I would like to see kayaks come with a built-in cooler in one of the hatches. For example a kayak like the Trident with the mod pod hatch, as a cooler. It would be great to have a insert available where you could keep ice, fish, food, drinks, etc. The same goes for any kayak on the market that has a hatch.

3) Shane Coovert, Wilderness Systems, Eposeidon, Ram Mounts, AT Paddles and Doomsday Lures pro staffer.

–The biggest thing is a propulsion system that doesn’t have to be removed in shallow water.

4) Pat Cohen, owner/fly tier at Super Fly and a Jackson Kayak and Werner Paddles pro staffer.

–Something that I think about a lot when I’m out stalking carp on the flats, I would love a way that when I’m standing up poling my rod was ready by my side to grab. And a place to rest the paddle, all without having to bend down. Maybe a brace of some sort that is waist level to hold the fly rod up and the paddle or push pole. I’ve seen them on flats boats, like a y-shaped pole to set them in, padded so you make no noise. Maybe this exists already, but I haven’t seen it yet.

5) Quinton Echols, Hobie fishing team member and tournament director of Kayak Fishing Ohio.

–My dream kayak would have an air conditioned seat. It would have a coil system throughout, with either hot or cold water running through it dependant upon the weather conditions.

6) Joe Tilley, Old Town Canoes & Kayaks pro staffer, Pure Fishing Brand Ambassador and owner/operator of the blog New Brunswick Kayak Fishing.

–One thing I do find difficult is that when I catch bigger fish, like sturgeon, getting an accurate length measurement is sometimes cumbersome. It requires me to bring a large Handlebarz Musky Bumpboard which measures fish up to 60″. I can fit this bumpboard next to a YakAttack BlackPak in my Predator 13, but in most other models it doesn’t fit well. Measuring the fish on this device does give very accurate measurements, but it does require a lot of free space in front of you, so it restricts the amount of gear you can have set up on the front of the kayak.

Ideally, and I don’t know how it would be designed, a new fishing kayak feature would give us a way of easily measuring longer fish. Not necessarily 10 footers, but perhaps fish up to 5 feet long. Basically if they can get the fish safely and relatively easily into the kayak, then have a way to measure them (length and possibly even weight) without having to go to shore.

7) Christina WeberHobie fishing team member, owner/operator of Christina Weber Fishing and 2015 Kayak Angler Of The Year

–I would have to go in the direction of a better safety flag. Something that I can have mounted to the back of my boat, easily removable, with a small footprint. It needs to withstand the mass amounts of water we take on, badass light, and of course your blaze orange flag that’s at least 12in in length. Anti-manatee juice would be great also!

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