Why Weight Distribution Matters When You Rig Your Kayak (Video)

Balancing out your boat will help to boost its performance

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What factor should you stop and consider before bolting that first accessory on your fancy new fishing kayak? Josh Carter from One Objective Bass Fishing explains just how important it is consider weight distribution when rigging your kayak. Your safety and comfort—not to mention performance—are in the balance, so watch along as Carter weighs in on some rigging mistakes to avoid.

Rig Your Kayak with the Right Weight Distribution

Impatience is your first enemy when it comes to a well-rigged kayak. “Everybody wants to get the kayak and…start throwing all kinds of accessories on,” complains Carter.

Instead, he suggests going out 3–4 times with a new boat before adding anything beyond a cup or rod holder. Determine how you’ll fish, how you’ll cast, whether you will stand up and what kind of conditions you’re likely to see. Only then can you choose the best placement for each accessory.

Josh Carter talks about weight distribution in kayak rigging
Josh Carter explains just how important it is to rig your kayai with the right weight distribution. | Image: One Objective/YouTube

Why is it so important to nail the weight distribution? Most factory fishing kayaks are already well balanced between bow and stern. Adding accessories in the wrong place can upset this balancing act and overweight your boat, leading it to flip easier and potentially putting you in danger. “If you get caught in big waves you’re gonna be plowing water,” Carter warns about front-heavy rigging.

Kayak Stability Lives in the Stern

Regardless of your boat, our host’s advice is to “always try to get as much weight in the back, because…that’s where a lot of your stability is.” For a bow-mounted trolling motor, it may seem convenient to install the heavy battery in your ample bow hatch, but for Carter “that’s a no-no.”

Too much weight up front means “bringing the back end of your boat out of the water,” he says. This can mess with a motor’s efficiency and make your kayak feel tippy, preventing you from standing up without pitching forward. For a better weight distribution, Carter mounts his battery box toward the back of the kayak and saves the bow hatch for lighter items—like his lunch.


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