Monday, I grabbed my rod and tackle box and headed to the neighborhood bass pond. Tuesday, I packed the same rod and tackle box and dropped into the closest salt marsh. Wednesday, the combo carried me to a mountain river for smallmouth bass. Three days, three target species, one combo and a handful of lures—here’s all you need to streamline your setup for the ultimate kayak fishing rig.

Ultimate Rig for Saltwater and Freshwater Fishing

St. Croix

Mojo Yak Fishing Rod

$159.99 |

St. Croix Rods Mojo Yak casting rod

St. Croix does one thing: make fishing rods. They do it well. Now, they’ve taken their singular passion to kayak anglers. The Mojo Yak is the latest edition to St. Croix’s line of sport-specific rods priced within reach of the average angler. Their Integrated Polycurve Technology employs a smooth mandrel for reduced wall thickness making the high-modulus SCIII graphite lighter and stronger with increased power. To accommodate a bulky life vest, St. Croix shortened the rod butt. The rod features top-of-the line Fuji reel seats and Kigan Master Hand 3D guides and hook keeper. Inspired by golf clubs, Winn Grips improve sensitivity, reduce weight and increase grip whether your hands are covered with speckled trout slime or smallmouth bass goo.


Shimano Curado DC fishing reelShimano

Curado DC Reel

$249.99 |

The future is here, finally. After several years gaining popularity in Japan, Shimano brought the computer cast-controlled Curado DC to North America. Instead of educating your thumb to avoid a backlash, a tiny computer brain does the thinking. The result is virtually backlash-free casting. Wing the lure as hard as possible and don’t touch the spool, the brain applies brakes to manage the line. To fine-tune the brake, the reel has four presets to handle anything from light worms to heavy swimbaits. To further increase cast control, adjust the spool-tension dial.

Shimano poured their best features into this reel. Micro gears provide a smooth retrieve and carbon drag puts on the pressure. The tough and stiff Hagane body and shielded bearings resist salt and sand. The computer brain reliably prevents backlashes, but does slow down the spool, slightly affecting casting distance. In this case, thumbs are smarter than computers.


Power Pro Super 8 Slick braided fishing line, part of the ultimate kayak fishing rigPowerPro

Super Slick 8 Braided Fishing Line

$19.99 |

To get the most out of a high-quality reel, match it with a high-quality fishing line. PowerPro Super Slick 8 consists of eight threads weaved together under high pressure for a thinner, smoother line without compromising strength. The line also reduces casting noise, for stealth presentation. We’ve noticed the Super Slick 8 cuts the number of line tangles. Combined with the DC Curado, the line helps prevent backlashes. The silky smooth surface holds knots better too.


River2Sea Whopper Plopper fishing lureRiver2Sea

Whopper Plopper Fishing Lure

$16.99 |

Designed by globe-trotting television angler Larry Dahlberg for muskie fishing, River2Sea’s Whopper Plopper has gained fans from bass to redfish fishermen. The lure flies through the air, lands with an attention-getting kersplunk and dangles its hard, propeller tail like a pair of seductive legs. Give it a jerk, and the Whopper Plopper makes a deep, gurgly pop. Retrieve the lure and spray flies as the propeller plops, plops, plops across the surface. The action and sound drive fish crazy and make fishermen happy.


Z-Man ChatterBait in perch/bluegill, part of the ultimate kayak fishing rigZ-Man

ChatterBait Fishing Lure

$4.99 |

Z-Man’s ChatterBait hit the water with a splash by winning tournaments on famous bass lakes and infamous redfish flats. Combining the flash of a spinnerbait or spoon, vibration of a crankbait and profile of a jig, Z-Man’s ChatterBait can be worked near the surface, mid-water column and deep. Add a variety of jig tails to change the look and action. On a fast retrieve, the lure stays just below the surface. Bounce the ChatterBait on the bottom and it won’t get caught on rocks or weeds. A wide variety of colors and models makes it a perfect fit for any inshore or backwater species.


components for ultimate kayak fishing rig for salt and freshwater
Simplify your setup to become lord of the multi-purpose kayak fishing rig. | Feature photo: Ric Burnley

This article was first published in the Winter 2018 issue of Kayak Angler Magazine. Subscribe to Kayak Angler Magazine’s print and digital editions, or browse the archives.

Simplify your setup to become lord of the multi-purpose kayak fishing rig. | Feature photo: Ric Burnley



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