Riggin an sit-inside-kayak for fishing

Ok I have already added two-rod holders to my kayak that I absolutely love but now I am looking to do a little more and I need some ideas. Mainly I am wanting to add a depth/fish finder to my kayak so I can locate the deep pools in the shallow rivers and streams that I fish in I will not have a problem with mounting the unit, where I will run into a problem is the battery and wires for the unit if anybody has any ideas or pictures of how they did it I would really appreciate it. Ohyea some info on my boat might help out huh. I have a 10’ liquidlogic tuxedo sink it has no hatches and just the factory flotation in it. The two rod holders that I have installed are on the aft deck right behind me. Here is a link so you can better see what I am talking about. http://community.webshots.com/user/b_smith29

Most use one of two types of battery set
ups. My finder is run off 8 AA cell batteries in a battery pack I picked up at Radio Shack. Besides the battery pack, also get a 9 volt pigtail. The battery pack comes with a 9 volt type connection to which the pigtail attaches and then you attach the pigtail to the finder wires. Light weight and the batteries are readily available. I chose that method because I was fishing out of a 9.6 Necky Sky.

The other method is to purchase a deer feeder battery. The come in 12 and 6 volt so be sure to get a 12 volt. You also will need a charger, the place you buy the battery will have units good enough for the deer feeder battery. The problem you then have is a) finding room in a small kayak b) cushioning the battery from shock. Check out texaskayakfishing.com, kayakfishingstuff.com, or one of the now numerous kayak fishing websites and you will find all the answers to your questions. Register and post your question and you’ll get more responses than you will ever need.

Pros for the first method: Its light and cheaps, batteries are readily available, and it takes minimum space. Cons, limited battery life. Most seem to get 10 contiuous hours of operation. If you want to use rechargable AA’s, be aware most are 1.2 volts each, it takes 10 AA rechargables to operate the finder, and you’ll need an extra 2 AA battery holder, pigtail, and to wire it into the pigtail for the other battery holder.

Pros for the deer feeder battery, it’ll hold a charge longer, the battery can be recharged. Cons are its weight, finding a way to isolate from shock, the size (especially in a small sit in), the fact that if you don’t have a charger that will trickle charge, you need to buy another one, and finally, the cost of the battery itself.

Hope this helps.

Jerl covered it pretty well.

Just wanted to add my $0.02

Another con on the AA answer = a LOT of contact points subject to corrosion. Not as big a deal in freshwater as it is in salt.

One other option = two smaller sealed, rechargable, six volt batteries wired in series can give you 12v and be smaller/lighter than the small 12v batteries.

Someone mentioned recently that they took apart a rechargable Q-beam and that it had a great lil sealed, rechargable 12v in it.

All that being said, I have the heavy 12v and want to replace it with a lighter solution.

If you opt for a heavy answer try to mount it right behind your seat. Mine is in the bow and I don’t like it there. I’ve gotta tackle that problem one of these days.

I use the AA setup
I got a cheap tupperware-type water bottle to store the battery pack in, but it its a little extra work. Drill a hole in the cap a little smaller than the diameter of the FF wire. Put the wire in before you attach the 9v connector. this has kept the batteries dry, so far.

12 volt set up/custom mount
I can send you photo’s of how I set up my SIK with a 12 volt batt. and a custom made mount for the finder, I purchased the battery from a local sporting goods shop which came with a charger. Email me at ZR2SONOMA@hotmail.com if your interested and reference this subject.

Couple of things to think about…

– Last Updated: Mar-10-06 9:42 PM EST –

I paddle a Loon 111 I have modified over the years to where I think I have the perfect setup (for me) for a SINK. Two Berkley Flush mount holders behind me to either side, a work deck modeled after the Old Town version, but had my Child-Bride make it for me. (she's a VERY talented seamtress)I've also added extra deck rigging up front to hold a 3600 box or what-have- you.

If you paddle thru any ww...you may want to think about a postive method for keeping those rods IN the holders. Trust me..I learned this the hard way. I use small bungees then use them to wrap my rods into the holders before doing ANYthing bigger than a gentle class I riffle. Not sure how you'd handle the thru-the-deck holders but I think it could done.

I also have a piece of sturdy line directly behind the seat, Caribeanered to the seat rails and then caribeaners threaded on the line to clip my dry bag, bail out bag and other things to.

Trust me..if you dump, you don't wanna have to be diving for your emergency gear. Keep it with the boat, the boat won't sink and you can drag it all to the bank and take care o' business.

BTW...I like that rack in the truck. I made a block from 2x4 and shelfing board that slips over the tail gate, bonded one of those universal foam blocks to it for cushioning, this elevates the Yak to the same level as the tool box in bed, and I bungee the bow to the box, and the aft end to the tie down ring at the back with ta strap behind the cockpit rim and over the top to keep it from bouncing up and down....takes me 3 minutes, tops to heft the boat up on the bed and have it strapped down and ready to go.

Sent you an e-mail from my Earthlink account. Would love to see pictures of your rig.

Do you have photos of your rigged loon that you could post?

Truck rack saddles
bsmith where did you get the saddles for your kayak truck rack? How much were they?

dsgreen3 are you talking about the whole setup or just the saddels? I made the rack from scratch myself to fit my needs and i bought the saddels from I think Academy Sports & Outdoors but I can’t remember how much they were.

I was asking about the saddles, thanks for the info.

If you decide to go with a deer feeder battery. Consider adding a electric bilge pump and a small electric boat horn. Small rec boats without bulk heads are a real pain to pump dry with a standard hand pump.

Loon 111 and fish finder
Here’s a related question (maybe I should start a new thread with it–I don’t intend to hijack this one):

I have also have a Loon 111 and am trying to rig a fish finder on it, but I’ve been told that mounting the transducer inside the hull is a no-no because the polylink material has air pockets in it and the transducer signal won’t read properly.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I’ve order a suction cup bracket to mount the transducer along the side of the yak, but for obvious reasons this is less than ideal.

Any help would be much appreciated.


It seems to be true that, because the
polylink on Old Town Loons is a foam sandwich that transducers don’t work through the hull, unless you are willing to scape through to the outer wall…don’t. Don’t know if the suction cup will work either, I tried that with a Necky Sky with some success, but it was difficult to get good suction as there weren’t many flat spots. Also, I was fishing where there was a lot of hydrilla and the stuff kept getting hung up on the transducer/suction cup, somtimes dislodging the suction cup. I’m considering building a little kayak just for the transducer and pulling it along with the boat, if I can figure out the ballast.

You might do a little test run with the transducer “attached” in a big glop of Vaseline. If it doesn’t work you’ll have a five minute clean-up job. No big deal. Transducers are made to shoot through stinkpot boat hulls and they MAY do better than you think.

Next thought… I saw where one guy custom-mounted his transducer on his rudder or on an attachment mounted much like a rudder.

Next… Hummingbird makes a castable, wireless transducer for their “Smartcast” system. I had one. I didn’t like it. While towing it you had to travel at or less than 2.5 mph for it to work. If you cast it you had to reel it real slow for it to work. It’s limited but versatile. Cost about $85.

Hope that helps…

Oh yea… the saddles at Academy run about $60 per set.

I made my own from plastic wheel chocks ($4 per pair) covered with indoor/outdoor carpet. Between the carpet and the chocks are pieces of pool noodles. Not nearly as good as saddles but a LOT cheaper.

Loons & transducers
Thanks, Yak-a-Lou (and jerlfletcher). Good idea to do a test run with vaseline; who knows, maybe the problem isn’t as bad as we think.

I did see the post from last fall about attaching a pipe hanger between the hull and the skid plate along the bottom of the stern. It was posted by loeb1, and I’ve e-mailed him for more detail but haven’t heard back yet.


Tite Lock makes a rod with a clamp that
is specifically for transducer mounting. The rod seems pretty thin, though stout, to me, so don’t know how the trans fits securely, and its kind of pricey. The suction cup may work, though, I’ve thought about giving it another try with my Loon 138. If you haven’t paid for it yet, Gander Mountain, at least in Houston, sells a suction cup mount for about $8.

The Tite Lok holder
is an interesting option that I hadn’t seen. The trick would be to adjust it for minimum drag and so the yak doesn’t pull excessively to one side, which I’d guess would also be the disadvantage of the suction cup bracket. (I did order one from Cabela’s for $8.)

I still think loeb1’s solution could be the best one for Loons. It’s much cheaper and it minimizes how much alignment of the trans you’d have to do everytime you go out. Loeb1, if you read this, please give us more detail.



OT Loon transducer solution
I asked leob1 for more detail about his solution for rigging a transducer on an Old Town Loon, because I think his approach is inexpensive and elegant. My FF hasn’t arrived yet, so I haven’t actually implemented this, but for anyone else with a similar yak, here are leob1’s instructions on how to it. He sent me a diagram of the pipe hanger he uses, but I haven’t been able to include it in this posting. It’s called a Milford-style pipe hanger and you can see a picture of one at http://doityourself.com/store/1842343.htm. Here are his instructions:

“1. The top half of the round part is held on with screws, unscrew it and throw it away. Then bend the other part gently so that the holes face each other. Leave space to put the trans between them.


Match the holes of the skid plate to the holes in the strap of the pipe hanger. You will most likely have re-drill two of them so it lines up. When the holes are right, put the strap of the hanger between the skid plate and mounting holes and put the screws through the skid plate and hanger strap, so the ‘U’ part sticks out the back.

3. The ‘u’ of the hanger will be right at the end of the stern.

4. My transducer has a hole to mount it to the factory bracket, the bolt goes through the holes in the ‘u’ part of the hanger,and the trans hole, secure with a wing nut.

5. the trans is completely submerged, not really problem taking off and landing, just remember it’s there, and don’t tighten it too tight so when it does hit something it will swing up. If it does get a good knock, you will see it in your display.

6. I have a Cuda Eagle 128, if that helps.”

fish finder
I just bought a Humminbird fish finder that the receiver looks like a wrist watch and the sending unit is tied to fishing line and cast out to what ever location you are checking. Range is about 75’. I haven’t tried it out in the kayaking , but it worked great from shore.