Ten Tackle Box Essentials for Kayak Fishing

Although your kayak, rod and reel, and paddle are essential to fishing from a kayak, you must have a tackle box to hold the baits you use. A well-stocked tackle box will help you catch fish more often than an under-or overstocked one.

However, if you are a beginner kayak angler, then you can easily end up over-or understocking your tackle box. If you fail to stock it correctly, your chances of catching a fish are slim.

And even if you do catch something, it might be smaller than you would like or it may bite off more of your fishing line than you want. Luckily, we’ll go over the most essential fishing gear to have with you in your tackle box for kayak fishing.

10 kayak fishing tackle box must-haves

A fishing license/permit

Always carry your fishing license in your tackle box.

You’ll need it to fish in most places, and if you don’t have it you could be fined heavily. Being willing to contribute toward environmental conservation and ensuring access to fishing and boating makes you a responsible angler.

Extra angling lines

In life, things don’t always go as planned. Your fishing line can snap, or it can get tangled in underwater structures. It’s best to be prepared for such an occurrence by keeping an extra line in your tackle box so that you can keep fishing even after the worst happens.

The additional line should be thin and clear, like a fluorocarbon line, if you’re fishing in crystal-clear lakes, or heavy and strong if you’re fishing in rough conditions.

Extra hooks

When you’re fishing, it’s not just what you catch that matters. The hook you tie at the end of the line is just as important. And when your lines break, you lose your catch.

So stock up on different types including colors and sizes of hooks to ensure you are ready for a range of catches. If its size matters to you, bring them in different sizes. You don’t want to end up with a small hook in a big fish; you will lose it!


Bobbers help anglers know when their lines have been bitten, and keep the bait off the bottom to avoid being caught up in underwater structures. By floating on the water’s surface alongside the current, the bobber appears natural and attracts fish to bite.

When a fish bites, it sinks; signaling the right time to reel it in.

Like hooks, bobbers can get lost in the currents, so many anglers prefer stocking up extra in their tackle box.

Many people like round bobbers because they’re easy to rig; however, they can limit how deep you cast your line. Slip bobbers allow you to slide them up or down to adjust them; however, it might take more time to rig your lure this way compared to using round ones.


Your line can break, and bobbers and hooks can get lost in the water, so keep some extra sinkers on hand.

The lines and baits don’t have enough weight to sink deeply where the fish bite, so you’ll need to add some weight. Sinkers are attached to the fishing rig so they can add the necessary weight to your line, allowing it to reach underwater depths where fish can bite.

Extra lures and live baits

You do not have to end your angling trip because you do not have more lures or baits to catch more fish.

Always stock up on various lures and live baits based on the fishing you intend to do. Carry more colorful lures when planning to fish in brighter and clear waters, and live bait for darker and colder waters.


There are limitless tools to bring along when going out for kayak fishing. But, you should limit yourself to essential ones to avoid unnecessary weight. Below are vital tools to put in your tackle box:

  • Line cutter (knife or nail clippers) – Sometimes, your fishing lines can get caught underwater, and the only way is to cut them off. In such a case, you will need a line cutter: a knife, nail clippers, or even a pair of scissors.
  • Fillet knife Apart from using a knife to cut fishing lines, you need an additional knife that is designed for gutting the fish.
  • Needle nose pliers – You need pliers to bend or twist metal components of your fishing gear. It also comes in handy in unhooking the fish.
  • First aid kit – First aid kit is essential when going on any backcountry trip but more so when going out to fish. You will deal with fish teeth, sharp tools, and tackles, i.e., knives, nail clippers, and hooks that expose you to injuries. It doesn’t have to be fancy; throw in waterproof medical tapes, small bandages, Neosporin, and band-aids to deal with angling-related injuries.
  • A pack of swivels – You will need a swivel to untwist your lines, tie complex hooks and easily swap the lures.

Sunscreen and insect repellent

If you do not put your sunscreen and insect repellent in the tackle box, you can easily leave them behind. You will be out in the sun for a long and you need to apply sunscreen on your exposed skin to prevent burns that can lead to skin cancer.

Insect repellent ensures you stay protected against the bugs which are common in waters.

Sunglasses and an extra hat

If you do not keep your fishing sunglasses and hat in the tackle box, you might forget and regret it when you are already at your fishing location. Sunglasses protect your eyes against harmful sun rays and give you a clear view of the waters.

You will also need a hat to shield your face against the sun.


You need the energy to fish all day long. And although you can carry the snacks in a separate package, always have some non-perishable ones in the tackle box.


Being prepared for your next fishing trip requires careful packing and organization. Once you have acquired your tackle box, please make sure to include the following essentials that will ensure that you’re always ready to grab it and go on your next angling adventure.