What do I take afloat ?

I’ve been asked on many occasions as to what gear do I take afloat with me. Well I’m certainly not a minimalist, I do tend to cater for the unexpected. Many of my trips are alone and for several hours at a time, the last thing I need is for a trip to be cut short due to the lack of having spare equipment to see me through the session.

My terminal tackle is fairly simple, a box of assorted lead weights plus a box of pre-tied traces which includes an assortments of line, hooks, beads, swivels, etc.


My ‘working’ box has a piece of chopping board bolted to the lid and is strapped to the kayak in between my legs. Here I keep a certain amount of bait, two knifes (one for filleting the other for crunching through crabs, etc), a hook stone, bait elastic, baiting needle plus the odd lead weight.


If I take frozen bait I’ll keep it separately in a collapsible cool bag or Marine Box with ice blocks, only removing bait a few minutes before it’s needed. Keeping it tightly wrapped in newspaper helps tremendously. That way whatever isn’t used is still frozen and can be returned to the freezer once back home. I also prefer to keep my bait as fresh as possible, defrosted bait can turn quite quickly in the warmer months becoming very poor in quality within a couple of hours.


The Flambeau Marine Box is the green box pictured in the kayak, the bag located behind is the Yakmate 3. It’s a good bag, though I now much prefer my dry box featured later in this article.

I also take an ‘emergency’ box that contains an assortment of first aid items which includes bandages, plasters, disinfectant, etc. There’s also batteries, , braid scissors, spare bulb, super glue, bungee cord & fittings, shock cord, small carbines, spare bait elastic, spare headlamp, tip lights, hand warmer sticks, ty-wraps, headache tablet, lighter, multi-tool, etc. There are also other minor items in there. All items that will allow me to continue fishing should I sustain a minor injury or an important item be lost or broken.

I almost always carry my dry box/livewell when afloat.  I don’t carry a huge amount in there, well at least that’s what I think Eye rolling smile. There’s a buoy leash, cyalumes, gloves/hat, ‘pee’ bottle, small Peli case for valuables, headlamp, scales, sunblock, mosquito spray, VISICarbon Pro light, fish bag, spare baiting needles/knife and the ‘emergency box’ as mentioned earlier. That leaves room for a flask of hot coffee and some food.


The only additional items that I take (bar rods, leashes, anchor and paddle) are the main battery, fish finder, GPS, drogue and an additional navigation light and anchor if deemed necessary.


To me it’s not a lot, after four years afloat it’s what I’ve worked out will be sufficient to allow me to have a successful fishing trip for several hours when operating well away from home.


Rob said...

Great article Rob - interesting to see what you take as 'spares ... made me have a rethink ...

Like the storage bin !

Rob Appleby-Goudberg said...

Cheers Rob. It's personal taste at the end of the day, though it works well for me.