fishing gear

I am going to do a little bass fishing this summer from my kayak. I haven’t been fishing in several years. I will be mainly on Lake Guntersville and catching mostly bass. Can anyone give me some advice on gear (rods and reels, lures, line, etc.) for this type of fishing. I want to buy the right stuff the first time around. I don’t want a really expensive rod and reel, just something to do some recreational fishing. Thanks!


Getting started
Check with local fishermen to see what is used in your area.

Something like this from or Penn combo’s from Walmart. I would not spend over 100.00 on a rod & reel to get started.

Daiwa® Regal® Xi/CABELA’S Tourney Trail® Spinning (Combos)RG2500-Xi Item: IH-122002$69.98

Power Pro Braid, I use 20# test ( 8lb dia. )$13.99

Color: Moss Green.

Fluorocarbon for leaders.

I hope this will help get you started.

your answers for bass fishing from yaks can be had at

Some suggestions IS a great site for learning about fishing for smallmouth bass in current, much of which is applicable to other fishing as well.

But here’s a few things to consider:

  1. You’ll need a way to keep tackle. If your kayak has deck rigging, I recommend some flat 3600 or 3700 Plano boxes to start. Put them under the deck rigging. 3600 is my preference.

  2. You’ll want a rod holder. I like the Scotty brand rod holders. The Baitcaster version holds both baitcasting rods and spinning rods. It’s an unfortunate name. The RAM mounts are also nice. Avoid the Berkely mounts.

  3. For a rod and reel to get you started, I recommend a spinning combo. If you buy a combo from or, you’ll get a balanced outfit that will feel comfortable in your hand. Expect to spend $60 to $100 for a reasonably good quality outfit. I don’t spend over that for ‘yak rods. Kayaking can be hard on equipment. I’d suggest a 6’ or 6’6" medium (M) spinning combo. I like Diawa brand reels, but the BassPro and Cabelas house brands are good bargains and reliable equipment.

  4. Line is important. I like braided line, particularly PowerPro because of the wonderful sensitivity. I don’t use a leader. Some do, and it gives them confidence. I don’t, because they’re a pain. I catch fish. No one should judge you one way or the other. My advice is forget the leader. Others will advise differently. Go your own road. Also, nothing wrong with monofilament line. It stretches like crazy and feels like fishing with rubber bands after using braid, but there’ve been millions of bass landed on mono line. It’s a lot less expensive up front than braid. My favorite monofilament for spinning equipment for bass is Trilene XL (extra limp) in 8lb test. Bear in mind that saying one line is better than another is like saying that redheads are better than blondes. It’s totally a matter of personal taste.

  5. For lures, you’ll want an assortment. I recommend going to or and searching for old articles that have information on “best lures for bass” or some such. Buy what they suggest. Look for rigging articles too. Outdoor Life hasn’t been publishing every month for over 100 years by giving bad advice. If you don’t have luck, then check with some local fishermen.

  6. In addition to tackle and rod combo, you’ll want a few tools. My suggestions: hemostats, needle nose pliers, small pair of scissors (like Fiscars for kids or similar), knife. I’ve got a Gerber multi-tool that has needle nose pliers and a knife in it. Handy.

  7. I keep my tools all in a small ditty bag. It was designed to hold a nalgene bottle, but it’s got a cincherator thingy at the top and it’s just the right size for a few tools and I can loop the line on my deck rigging. Easy as pie.

  8. Terminal tackle - hooks (3/0 Extra wide gap worm hooks and 3/0 to 5/0 octopus circle hooks will work nicely for a variety of bass applications), jigheads (1/8 to 5/8 are the most popular bass sizes - I tend to use slightly smaller 1/32 to 1/4), bullet weight assortment.

  9. Senkos in natural colors. If you have Case Plastics available to you (everybody does at, get you some 4 1/2 inch Jack’s Worms and Magic Stiks in natural colors. I have had any number of fishing trips saved by Jacks Worms. Wonderful summer time lure, allowed to drift on a long line on an unweighted hook in current seams. You’ll catch bass.

    You don’t need it all at once, just collect it a little at a time. I’ve got a buddy who brings an ancient $20 collapsible rod/reel combo, some 1/8 oz ball head jigheads, white plastic grubs, and a cheap pocket knife. That’s it. He catches plenty fish. I just happen to like to be well prepared.

  • Big D

Spining gear will work fine, but
you may prefer baitcasting, especially if the bass you will be chasing are largemouth bass. Take a look at the Shimano Citica. If an Academy Sporting Goods store is located nearby…there are some in Alabama, they often run specials with the Citica reel mounted on a decent rod. Here, the rod is usually an All Star. I’d suggest a medium light to medium rod with Power Pro or another quality braided line. Big D’s recommendation as to line type etc are fine, but if fishing for largemouth, you’ll want to beef up a bit and the lures will be a bit larger. Rod length of 6-61/2 feet is fine.

March, 2008 Field & Stream
There is an article on favorite lures for a variety of fresh water fish. Should be on news stands now.

  • Big D

Fishing Largemouth ??

– Last Updated: Apr-14-08 11:15 AM EST –

An IM6 rod blank in Medium (M) 1/8 - 5/8 oz. lure weight and 6-1/2' fast action is nice (Berkly Lightning rod, is great with it's light guides and light guide inserts) ...... for a reel you absolutely can't go wrong with a Shimano Stardic 2500 (it isn't cheap, but it's not expensive either) and it will last and perform like new for a lifetime ....... I don't believe in buying or using cheap equipment cause it fails you when you need it most and it gives you hassles all the time , but I don't believe there is any need to buy the high dollar (top of the line) equipment either , sure it's great gear like Shimano's Stella reels and G.Loomis rods ........ there's a gazillion choices out there , if you buy the Berkley Lightning and the Shimano Stradic you will never have a complaint about them , mid range cost and excellent performers ........ Trilene XL is real good stuff ...... a bunch a folks like braided because of it's super low memory and the fact that you can have a heavy line rating in a thin diameter , I tried it and and it wasn't for me !! ......... 8 lb. mono like Xl is sweet and handles nice , you might like Berkley IronSilk in 10 lb. or heavier line because it is a premium mono with very little friction to itself which is important for casting 10 lb. and up lines ( besides you got two spools , one's called the spare spool , put different line on each , easy quick change on the reel if it's a Spinning reel ) , re-spool with new line often , seems a waste but makes a BIG difference ........... all I know about Largemouth Bass is they like to hang in cover ( wood , stumps , logs , lillys and grass edges ) ....... if you locate bottom structure (ledges , humps and depressions) with cover on them , you'll probably find largemouth there also ........ any type of Beaver hut or Dam up is an ideal spot for fish to hang out ........ the best I can advise is to think , Cover and Structure , for largemouth ....... weedless riged plastics get in and out of the thick stuff were they hide without to many snags and break offs , and you can move them around on the bottom , up and over the wood then futter back down slow and stealthy like which works real well too ........ early morning and twilight hours are great times for top water , they explode on the surface plugs then !! ........ ps., probably most largemouth fisherman/women catch more of them than I do , but that may be because I usually don't go fishin for them , but I tossed quite a few patch size back in the water over the years ......

The Stradic has gone up in price
The new one is different than the old. From the Shimano group, the Sedona is a good inexpensive spinning reel that holds up quite well…about $50. The Sahara is the next step up, a bit smoother, but the durability is about the same. The best size for largemouth fishing is the 2500. For smallies, go with the 750 or 1000.

A reel I’ve used for about a year that I’m impressed with is the Penn Captiva. Less than $50, its endured some pretty poor treatment, already has bunches of boat rash marks, but keeps on going. I’d definitely consider it for a bass fishing spinning reel if money is tight.

Daiwa also makes some good spinning reels at a moderate price.

Short handles
Most of the new rods designed for kayak fishing have shorter handles. Fishing with a long handled rod can be awkward from the siting position in a kayak.

Its easy to cut down handles
Just need not be afraid and buy a new end cap.

Buy cheap
Never bring an expensive rig in the yak. I break 2 or 3 rods every year in my yak. I have seen many of my customers loose $300 outfits to davy jones locker. An ugly stick with a

$60 to $80 reel is ideal.

Hey Josh
I’m no pro, but the fish don’t care about which reel you use that much, so it’s generally best to get what you’re comfortable with. I use a nice Zebco 33 and it seems to work well for any type fishing around north Alabama.

A little experience with the SOT this year has convinced me that a long rod is a good thing. You want the ability to move the line across your bow. A 6 1/2 foot rod was good with the 14 foot boat, but when I used a shorter rod, I was careful to fish perpendicular to the boat.

For line, just don’t go too large. &, 10, or 12 lb line should be fine as long as you set your drag.

Local fishing shops can help you with the artificial lures that work well. It’s nice to have some variety and a couple of rods so you don’t spend much time swapping lures/worms/live bait, etc. Get a relatively small tackle box. First time I went with live bait I used an Altoid tin to hold a few hooks, some weights, and a bobber.

Get/make an anchor. My $4 version uses a cheapo 2 lb barbell from Wally world, some cheap poly rope, and a carabiner.

Breaking/losing rods is not uncommon. I had to retrieve one already this year from shallow water. Having a bobber on, even if it slides, allows you to find and potentially rescue a rod.



Plastic jar anchor
I use plastic jars for anchors. Pack with wet sand and fill any tiny voids with water to exclude air. A large peanut butter jar will weigh 5 lbs. Smaller jars less. Eye bolt in the lid and cheap biner. Wont scratch up the boat. Add a piece of pool noodle to the boat end for a float.