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Kayak Fishing - getting started. Help, What to consider - Safety Issues & Costs

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by GJW, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. GJW

    GJW Rockling

    Well Got my kayak sat waiting in the garage for spring/summer, and hopefully Dav will be getting his in the not to distant future...

    The only trouble is i really need to know what essentials i need as i dont want to be spending a fortune on things i don't really need but i do want to have the right safety equipment...

    I have plenty of fishing rods and reels so that won't be a problem, its more to do with clothing, safety equipment etc, and how much i should be paying...

    (1) VHF radio ???? which one and how much should i be paying??? do i need a set of flares as well??

    (2)Clothing ????? dry suit???

    (3) C tug trolley ?? were do i get one and approx how much should i be paying..

    I am really not bothered about having the latest gadgets just really want to be safe and dry and warm whilst out on the water, if anyone is upgrading any of there equipment just let me know i am willing to buy if its what i need, now christmas is over i am starting to get a few bits together for the kayak..

    Any infomation on what i need, price's i should be paying and were i can purchase the things i need would be truely be appreciated.. :yes: :happy:


  2. newdave

    newdave Guest

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    probably the best way to get a feel for what you need is to have a chat with some of the regulars, your welcome to come for a paddle sometime. for starters thought the minimum you need is

    1. decent clothing of your choice.
    wetsuit, drysuit or chesties with a wading belt & drycag

    2. PFD

    3. VHF radio is not generally looked on as essential, but its my opinion that its the best safety item you can invest in, there are a number of excellent waterproof radios on the market for as little as £70. I would recommend going the whole hog & doing the day course to get your operators license as well which will set you back another £70 + but will give you the knowledge & confidence to use it.

    4. Flares, I carry a couple, check the local chandlers not very expensive and might just be a lifesaver.

    5. A drogue is a good item to carry, if you deploy that it will stop your wind drift

    6. don't forget a paddle tether, if you loose you paddle you have a problem :yes:

    most of the kayak shops sell the C Tug, shop around on the Internet for the best price. there are alternatives but i like it myself. you could always use Ramrods method & just pick the yak up and carry it everywhere :wink:
  3. ian 07

    ian 07 Guest

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    gary i would have a look at sues canoes they have got a web site but if i were you i would ring them and speak to richard just say that i said and they will look after you thats were i got my ctug from and all the other stuff i needed
    cheers ian
  4. Jellyworm

    Jellyworm Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Hi Gary and all the best matey,

    This one has been discussed before and at times all of our opinions have differed on some points and agreed on some,funny of late a lot of what we are all considering is deffo evolving,take Kens slant now on waders and wading belts ?

    To answer your points from my own perspective...
    1. VHF....FOR ME IT IS ESSENTIAL especially if fishing remote locations or on your own anywhere,I think we have all been surprised at how little mobile phone coverage there is tight under the cliffs and even if not in range or sight of a landmast at least there is usually another boat or ship in most of our areas we fish should help be needed.
    Rob and I launched out of Hornsea for a few hours easy fishing....we thought ! No weather warnings of any note,however sat happily a mile or so off and the coastguard put out a weather warning that the wind was going to pick up,we decided to up anchor and head in and it was a good job we did as both of us found it very very dificult to fight wind against tide with side ways swells....had it not been for the radios we wouldn t have had the 10-20 minutes warning that enabled us to get in before the worst came.
    I know a lot don't use a radio,but aside from the reassurance that the cg is listening out for you they are great if out in a party to keep in touch.........funny how little distance you need between eachother to vanish out of sight being so low to the water.
    Like all the add ons yes you can get away without one,but should the need arise to have one and you haven t well..? I know I take mine out every time now.
    I use an Icom waterproof MC71.
    As for flares I carry two on the yak and one on me should I not be able to get to the ones on the yak.
    Oh and a whistle on the PFD.

    2. I think Dorado touched well on this one in one of his recent threads,..if the sea isn t warm enough to go out swimming naked in then dress to cope. For most of my paddling in our area I have quite happily worn a breathable drysuit,however....this is one area I have changed a little on as I have a farmer john type wet suit now and will be wearing that with a dry cag for most of the summer inshore trips this coming season.
    I m afraid I still sit firmly against waders as an option ,which is a personal thing for me based on I wouldn t like to try to swim any distance in waders,having them sealed with a belt will I know keep enough water out but it is the sheer clumsy nature and restriction on movement that I don't like,again each to their own,having done plenty of cannioning in Cornwall and Wales I know I can swim in my wetsuit and pfd so am happy should the worst happen and I have to swim at all I know I can.
    I paid £260.00 for my drysuit and it will be starting its third season this year so don t consider that to have been that expensive as the zips are still good and all seals intact.
    Back to the breathable drysuit,it can be a tad warm in summer but being breathable most of the sweat is wicked outwards so when you do stop you don t get a chill,the disadvantage of the wetsuit is they also can be very very warm without water flushing through.
    Clothing wise,hat ,both a warm one for early season but more importantly a sun shade type for the summer,I couldn t believe how much I burnt my face and neck even on overcast days when there are no shadows to hide form the rays !
    If I was buying from scratch I would go for a two piece drysuit,kayak specific like the Palm ones,so that it is front fastening for ease of access,rather than some of the cheaper diving/watersport ones that are rear access and a pain to get in and out of on your own.

    3.The c-tugs are great in that they strip down easily and are well balanced.Down sides to them are that the wheel hubs wear quickly with sand,the straps on mine were rubbish so replaced them with ratchet straps straight away.
    I know Gary at Tri-star angling was doing them very very cheap a couple of months ago,maybe worth ringing him to see. I m sure he was doing them somewhere in the region of £55.00 or thereabouts.

    There you go Gary that is what I take with me as a minimum ,I know some take less some more,I think my minimum was about what was required for the kayak match,even with a safety boat present so it can t be far wrong....I think we have all learnt a few things from eachother on here and it seems to be evolving in the right direction.........be prepared to be spending a lot of money....you will.....just wait till this time next year and add it all up ...you'll see what I mean...lol.. :happy:

    Cheers Dave.
  5. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    As already stated Garry, youll get lots of different opinions and im sure most people will diasagree with something. Best advice I could give is : I would aim towards having only enough gear to start safely then as time goes by use your experience to purchase extras.
    My list would be :

    1. PFD
    2. VHF Radio (ESSENTIAL) From £80
    3. Clothing (waders and Cag with belt, wetsuit or dry suit - all will work).
    4. Flares (debateable), Whistle,
    5. Tackle (As an established angler - you'll likely have a shed or garage full).

    Clives article is worth a read too :


    Would be really good to get some RNLI input at some point on this topic. Anyone able to fix us up with an RNLI meet for advice ??
  6. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Some top advice there from the lads Gary :yes: Of course money is also an issue as is the type of fishing you want to do. I only use my breathables waders in summer and choose my days ie flat, clear water, sunny preferably, and fish very close to the shore usually and if my yak sinks I just step out onto the rocks :cheesy: My problem is that I usually get too hot so always take plenty of fluid. When you start off the best advice I could give is go with some of the lads who have some experience and you won't find any better than the ones from this site
  7. mattylamb

    mattylamb Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    I think it all been said above really Gary and of course you are welcome to join us in the spring when we get out again. Its amazing how much you will learn in your first season
  8. GJW

    GJW Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Thanks Lads, i have had a lot of help from the lads on here, either via PM or over the forum, i just i thought i better start getting my act together and get some gear, and first is safety equipment which i agree is of paramount importance so that is were i will start...

    I have PFD and a few wetsuits, but i do find wetsuits a bit restrictive, so would probably opt for the breathable waders and wadeing belt and cag, or a drysuit..

    Deffo VHF radio, top of the list ..I was once out boat fishing in August it was a really hot day then it got (Heavy and Humid) the clouds started to build and before we knew it was like night time with lightening all round us and the wind got up real strong and the sea got very choppy, it only lasted about 20mins but i would of hated to think i was stuck out there in the kayak that day...

    Thanks for the advice, i am really looking forward to getting a float and (hopefully) catching my first fish from a kayak... :happy:

    Kind Regards,

  9. Dorado

    Dorado New Member

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help


    I would agree with Bob's list, but not necessarily in that order! Plus a couple of things.

    Before you start fishing from your kayak, you need to be able to handle it. Use a day to take it out, just stay within the confines of a sheltered bay and paddle about in the shallows for an hour or so, just to get used to the motion. If you have some immersion protection (wetsuit steamer, drysuit, whatever) practise your re-entries first and foremost. This is the most important technique you will ever learn. The other things are convenient, being able to rescue yourself is a MUST.

    What you need as a basic list changes according to the season: The only thing that doesn't change is your buoyancy aid.
    for the winter you NEED immersion protection - whether that is the form of a winter wetsuit, or a drysuit and appropriate underlayers. Don't forget your feet - neoprene diver type booties are excellent (and what I use) - be careful on slippery rocks, the soles are soft and rocks/stones can be felt through...not much grip either, BUT, on the kayak a bit of feel is very useful. Just be careful on land with them. Chota Mukluks are also brilliant for winter.

    Winter clothing is more important and specialised than summer wear - you hardened lot could get away with rugger shirt and shorts in summer!

    You NEED a first aid kit - however home made and cobbled together (actually better than a bought one, because you can put in exactly what you will be most likely to need). An ASDA air tight sandwich box is ideal for this - about £2, plus what you load it up with:
    plasters, a couple of dressings for cuts. Tape, paracetamol, think what you are likely to have happen, prepare fo rit. Not just to YOU either, what about a mate out with you who stabs himself in the wrist with his filleting knife - bit awkward to paddle home.......KNOW FIRST AID - and better still, know how to avoid needing it!

    You also NEED a hypothermia kit in the kayak.......orange survival bag (Not a space blanket - they will actually make you colder if you are already cold). An orange survival bag can also double as a visibility signal if you are in trouble at sea - deploy it as a large visible target. Take a dry bag with a warm jumper and spare warm trousers and spare warm socks in it. IF you take a dunkng and can get back on the kayak but are suffering from cold - having access to warm clothing as soon as you get onto a beach will make you both more comfortable, and stop you getting more hypothermic. A towel is a good idea in that bag too. Just keep it in the hatch - it is only for use ashore, either for you, or someone else who is a casualty. Get them dry and in warm clothing. Then put them in the survival bag and get in with them - your body heat is needed to stop them from going critically hypothermic. A dry bag is about £6 for the size you need for this - it also acts as buoyancy for your kayak, and makes a good pillow if camping out!

    You NEED a paddle leash (mine are only £8.50 posted - see accesories page on www.kayakuk.com)

    you NEED flares - personal mini flares are good for your PFD, OR a double ended Day/night flare from Pains Wessex, or Comet (same firm now) which can be carried in a pouch on the webbing of your PFD as a minimum.

    You NEED Communications: your mobile, don't bother buying a dedicated waterproof bag thing for it - use a condom. Perfect.
    VHF - very useful, but more useful if you know how to use it correctly - get trained. Buy a good one, a cheapone may seem a saving, but when it plays up in 2 years, you will wish you spent an extra £50 on a better one from the outset: Icom, all are good. Standard Horizon are also good, so are Nexus. There are others, but these are very good ones tried and tested. I have an Icom (old one now IC Euro IV - dropped about 20 feet onto concrete and still working! Only the LCD cracked inside.) I also have a Nexus 1500 - if I go out with my son, we have comms each, and safety kit each. It is possible to get parted, so we don't take chances.

    A WHISTLE - a very underestimated piece of kit, some PFDs will come with it, otherwise 20p plastic one fine - put it on a lanyard.

    A headtorch is useful too. You probably have one for shore fishing. Even if you plan to be home before dark - very often rescue situatins occur in daylight - but continue through into the hours of darkness, especially at this time of year with short days. So ALWAYS carry a waterproof torch of somekind - with fresh batteries in it. At night, on the water, a light can be seen for miles. OR if you are stuck on a remote bit of shoreline - rescuers can be helped to pinpoint you by shinging your torch, plus you can see what you are doign.

    There are plenty of things that make life easier, but are not strictly NECESSARY, the buoyancy, clothing, paddle leash, comms and flares are essentials. I do a kayak drogue too - it isn't necessary and I would wait for summer before getting one. They are only any use if you are drifting and fishing - or to play a big fish against, as it gives you something to put pressure on a fish, otherwise the kayak just goes through the water. Mainly they are used to slow your drift when fishing close to a known hot spot. Fold up to nothing and rot proof.

    An anchor haul system for your kayak is another thing to get done - because of the strong tides up in the NE, I would suggest you make the haul run as far to the stern of the kayak as possible - the nearer the stern the anchor is set from, the less pressure there will be on the kayak, and less tendency to corkscrew too (plenty of people have been turned over by the pressure of water flowing past the kayak when at anchor....the more the pointy ends are into the current, the less liklihood there is of this. It is when the current is on the side, or even part of the side, at one end)

    A 10 foot length of 8mm bungy cord with a carabiner at each end is another useful item, or a carabiner at one end and a loop at the other.....use it for tying up to a pot buoy through your anchor haul. You need a quick release close to the cockpit - just let go and leave the bungy on the buoy. Go back and pick it up after.

    The most important things are the buoyancy, clothing, paddle leash, first aid and comms. Plus learning to handle your kayak.

    ALWAYS tell someone where you going, when you are launching (quick call home?) and where and when you aim to be back ashore (not always the same place you launched from!) IF anything changes in your plans - timing, or place - MAKE SURE YOU UPDATE WHOEVER YOU HAVE TOLD. Also, make sure you phone them to say you are back ashore when you get back ashore.

    If you use the Coastguard 66 scheme, it is them you tell. This just involves letting them know your name and address, boat details (kayak - type, colour, name) your call sign (assigned to your VHF when you register). You can then log your paddle plan with them when you launch.

    You tell them your CG66 number or call sign and all the details come up immediately. You then just say where you are launching, what you intend to do, when you intend to be back and where you are landing. IF you do not report back in, they will initiate a system to see you are alright - this first of all means phoning your mobile.......then they will initiate a search if no response. DO NOT FORGET TO CALL IN WHEN YOU GET BACK! If anything changes while you are afloat, you simply give them a shout on the VHF and tell them what your new plans are. They update the system.

    eg. 6 of you going out from Flamborough S landing to paddle round to N. landing and do some fishing on the way on a wreck, 2 miles off.

    You give them the details: 6 kayaks (2 blue, 1 orange, 1 red and 2 yellow) plaaning to paddle 2 miles off Flam S. do some fishing then paddle round to Flam N. ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) Flam N. 16.00 (4pm) USE THE 24 HOUR CLOCK.

    While you are out, the fishing is good, and you leave the wreck 2 hours later than you thought - return to Flam N is now going ot be nearer 18.30....just give them a quick shout and say all is well, fishing better than expected, ETA now 18.30. Thats all it is.

    There are other things - but these are the most important. You can get overload if you try to do it all at once.

    BUT, while you are paddling in, the wind gets up and you can't paddle against it and the tide - plans have to change and you need to divert for Flam S., simply give them a shout to say altered plans, heading back to Flam S due to change in conditions....ETA ashore 18.00 (not so far and less tiring paddling across the wind and tide). Once you ALL hit the shore, you can give another shout to say all safe and sound at Flam S. tatta, till next time....

    Not difficult - BUT if there was an incident, by you keeping them informed, they can work out pretty accurately, where you will be, they have detailed tidal atlas and weather info - they can use this to predict your position quite well. This saves valuable time if a search and rescue op has to be mounted. If you don't tell them anything until you need a hand - then shout on the VHF that you are east of Flam Head, launched at S landing.....that is a big chunk of sea to have to search for a few small blobs.

    Food and tucker on the kayak is also a very good idea - it helps stave off the cold!

    Hi vis warm, waterproof hat can be had from safety shops - the same fluoro yellow caps that the school crossing people wear...like a furry lined baseball cap, with ear flaps. They are fluoro yellow, waterproof (from rain) and very warm - so you have hi vis warm head. About £3.
    A hi vis waistcoat is also a good idea for fishing in the winter, or night where other traffic movements occur - shine a torch on yourself - it will be enough for them to stick a searchlight on you to see what you are.
  10. Dorado

    Dorado New Member

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    How did my post go all out of shape?

    The end is in the middle!
  11. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Nope, no ones touched it Simon. You must have types it like that. You been at the sherry ??
  12. quint

    quint Watch out Emperor Zorg's about

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Welcome to the yak gang Gary, it's all been covered really so can't add any more, I'm sure you'll love it as it's not rocket science, take it easy at first and you'll soon find out and learn what you need to buy, as Ray says it is a diverse hobby, Toping 3 miles out requires a different approach to bassing in the inshore gullies, I think you'll have a great partner in the Davonator and look forward to your exploits, hopefully will link up sometime in the summer, you know you'll get all the help on here
  13. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Good reading Simon. Thanks for that. :yes: :happy:
  14. newdave

    newdave Guest

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Glenn looking at Simon's bit, its so thorough perhaps it could go in the kayak section as an article, with Simon's permission of course.

    I have just one more point as regards the "I only intend to fish close to shore for Bass" thing. we often do exactly that but it can involve a long paddle from a launch site to the chosen location, ie plugging in ******** 100m from shore would involve a paddle of more than 3 miles crossing some rough conditions, very rarely will you paddle out 200m & start fishing. so the preparation should be just as thorough as heading out 2mile offshore :yes:
  15. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Loose lips sinks ships :laugh: good point Dave. Common sense is probably the most important part of yakking and everyone needs to assess their own needs and conditions on the day etc
  16. mattylamb

    mattylamb Rockling

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    The other thing to add to that is that often the close in Bass plugging can be more dangerous than the further out cod fishing - as I nearly found out last year. Waves can appear from nowhere in almost flat conditions so you have to have your wits about you at all times
  17. carpyken

    carpyken New Member

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Some cracking advice there - only one point I can add Gary, if your not already mate, get yourself fit mate, it makes the whole experience just that bit more enjoyable, unlike me who is usually spitting blood by the time I get up the top of some of these slopes dragging the yak behind me :embarrass:
  18. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Like this


    The only positive thing to be said is they always appear in the same place so with a bit of knowledge you know where to avoid. Sadly the bass seem to like the same areas.

    I do feel a tad guilty about this pic as it could have been quite serious. I ended up getting one worse a few minutes later. Its the closeest Ive been to getting thrown out. How the f>>>> I satayed upright I dont know.
  19. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Re: Kayak getting started.....Help

    Good thinking Dave. If Simon doesnt read this I will PM him to see if he would let us use it, or maybe he could write us a saftey guide. Would make a good permanent page I think.
  20. carpyken

    carpyken New Member

    The thing is Glenn, Mike doesn't even look bothered, he's almost grinning :laugh:

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