Rigging For Fishing

I just purchased a Swifty for fishing the New River in VA. What rigging or add ons do you suggest?



At least one rod holder…a
Scotty with a flush mount…not the flush tubes, but the flush mounting system for the upright rod holder. The flush mounting system allows you to remove the holder for transport as most of us transport open cockpit boats upside down. Some type of work deck helps too. Other than that, a pfd, paddle, rod/reel, and you are in business. Start looking for your next kayak for fishing, small recreational kayaks are ok, but have limitations.

I just helped rig 2 swifty’s
One for my wife and one for a friend. And used the flush mount Scotty rod holders.



And a small tackle box that will slide/fit under the seat. I don’t remember the measurement for the tackle box, I think its about 5 3/4" + 1 3/4" + whatever length you think would work best for you. I think the ones I got are 12". Went out kayak fishing with my wife and a friend Sunday, and caught 8 bass,1 bluegill. Wife caught 2 bass. Friend caught 3 bass. We always bet three dollars. One for first fish caught, one for largest fish, and one for most fish. I won all $9.00 :wink:

Hope this helps. Have fun and good luck.

Depends - here’s some more
Part of this repeats what Jerlfletcher said.

Rod holder - Scotty flush mount is best. Maybe two.

Deck rigging if the Swifty didn’t come with it.

Some tackle binders or flat boxes. I’ve used both. They both get wet. The waterproof ones are really good at locking water inside them and rusting your lures.

A small cooler for lunch and drinks. Stuff it behind the seat.

A paddle - a 210cm is about right, but that’s entirely a matter of preference. Some prefer longer, some shorter. I usually go shorter than otherwise recommended.

A PFD. One that’s comfortable and that you’ll wear. The current in the New can be Surprising (get it!) and treacherous. You may not know until you’re already wet and swimming that you should have had your PFD on.


Bilge pump & sponge

Try to find a rod that doesn’t have a real long handle on it. I don’t know why the handles are so long, but they are. I like about a 6’6" or so ML spinning rod as a mail rod and then usually have a backup or two. If I’m taking a ‘yak with two rod holders, I’ll usually have a 6’M baitcast outfit set up as well. My spare rod is a 6’6" M pack rod from Bass Pro Shops’ house brand.

Let’s see, cooler, PFD, paddle, tackle, rod. Now all you need is a clue, and you’re good to go. Tough to purchase those, but maybe you’ve got one already. If you don’t I highly recommend that you buddy up for a while while learning the ropes.

It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to paddle your new boat a time or two without the distraction of fishing. That way you can get a better idea of where you’d like to mount things and have them positioned. Pay close attention to where your forearms and elbows are and then don’t put stuff there.

You don’t need all of this stuff to get started. Grab a buddy and hit the river. You’ll figure out the priorities. Good choice on the Swifty. I’ve fished from one many times. More versatile than you’d expect.

  • D

Thanks for the info. I put the boat in the river yeaterday. It is surprisingly stable and easy to paddle and control. I took a fly rod but didn’t fish, and I arranged all my tackle. It will take a few times to get everything like I want it.

If you mainly fly fish, Scotty makes a
fly rod holder, more expensive because they don’t sell as many. It will hold a spinning rod also. If carrying a fly rod on a small river or creek, I’d carry it horizontal. The holder I’d mount behind me as most of the time you’d have it in your hand when fishing and behind you is a better placement for avoiding intereference with the line. I usually mount two regular Scotty’s on the sides of my sit insides, though with both my canoe and kakak, I’ve set up them up to carry 4 rods, two in pvc holders attached to crates.

PVC tubes not so good for the New
There are a fair number of 2 and 2+ rapids, so you want something that will hold tight. Plus you don’t want the rod tips up high when fishing banks because there’s a fair bit of canopy coming over the edge of the rivers and you don’t want rod tips getting snagged in the branches when floating downriver fishing banks (where the fish often are). Finally, if you hit one of those 2’s or 3’s wrong, you don’t want the rod tips sticking down low after executing the first half of a roll, which is about all you’re gonna get in a Swifty rigged for fishing. Swimming is not an uncommon phenomenon among New River kayak-fishermen. Everything should be close to the boat, no extra lines dangling around, and items should be strapped under deck rigging or velcroed in. The New exacts a price for her beauty and her fish.

  • Big D

Here’s my rigging…
I have seen ‘fishing kayaks’ that you couldn’t hardly see the boat for all the stuff attached to it. My ‘rigging’ consists of a light action spinning rod/reel and a couple of cards of feather jigs and roadrunners in my shirt pocket. Way less stuff to pack, attach, and otherwise mess with.

I’m guilty of heavy rigging. Usually
carry 4-5 rods, an Igloo Playmate cooler, bait bucket, cast net, and plenty of hooks, leader material, sinkers, and swivels. Of course, I’m bait fishing for catfish and the principle is to keep as much bait in the water as possible. In the case of fishing a stream with current, I’d peel down to the basics, no more than two rods and tackle I can carry in my PFD pocket or fly fishing vest if wearing one.

jerlfletcher, I took my new Ride 135 out yesterday in a fairly still creek. It did just great and didn’t seem too wide at all. I think it may be just a tad faster then the Redfish 12 I tried. It took a while to get the hang of fishing with it. I was making to many moves and it only took a small bit of paddle to correct my position. I only caught one samll bass, but had some other strikes from small fish. It wasn’t a good fishing day. I got there late and asked some other guys how they did. They said they were not doing so good either aned they had been there since early morning.

Sorry to get off the subject matter. I got my yak from a town about 70 miles from me. My wife did most of the talking because I was working. I foet I had to go ahead and tell the guy we’d put a deposit on the boat, and to hold it for me. My wife got some of the things mixed up. She told him to mount my rodholders. He had a special package deal on an anchor and 2 rodholders and some hardware. My wife told me a little differently so I told her to tell the guy I would take it and to install it for me. There was another guy on another website I vist who had just bought a Ride from the same man. He is the one who told me about the boat. Wilderness systems are having some serious problems with getting boats to dealers. TYhe dealer mounted a Scotty on the console. That was OK, but it is just a little far for a short guy. I can reach it fine and it is out of the way when I cast. If it were much closer to me, I think it would get in the way. I only took 2 rods, in case I dumped on my 1st outing. The boat is very stable, more then the Redfish 12 in my opinion. It is also a little faster, but not much at all. I haven’t gotten a crate yet. I’ll do thast later. I just had a small ice chest behind me. The other rod holder is a flush mount. had rather have had another Scotty that would haold my spinning rod. Do any of you think I could mount one of the flush mount Scotty holders near that flush mount and it be OK? If so, how close do you think I could get to it and not bother the integrity of the yak? I wil, e ventually mount a Scotty rod holder on each side behind me so Ican lay my rods down. I got into the canopy just a little yesterday, but it did not harm my rod.

another rigging question
Where do you guys put your fish if you catch one of any size? I have lots of storage room on my boat in the rear well, but it still looks like a problem. In fresh water, I mostly catch and release, so itdoesn’t matter, but I want to start salt water fishing for Red drum and flounder sometimes this year. I plan to catch a lot, so where do I put all of them? Lets say I was out in the ocean and caught a king mackeral, where would I put it? I wouldn’t tow it behind me because I may get something I don’t want. I can think of a lot of fish that would hang out of both sides of an ice chest that would fit in my well. I have heard some guys say they use a fish bag. I don’t know how large that would be.

Don’t we all brother, don’t we all
"I plan to catch a lot,…" :slight_smile:

There are some cooler bags you can get that will hold your catch on the front deck. Other than that, I don’t know what folks do as I only do catch & release from my kayaks and haven’t spent any time thinking about the issue.

  • Big D

Big_D, I thought you’d like the “I plan to catch a lot statement”. That is my intention, but we all know it only happens occasionally.

I have seen on another web site where some guys use the fish bag I’m referring to. Some of them are planning a king fishing excursion in the ffuture. If I caught a king mackeral, I’d have to keep it for table fare. I am a catch and release person now, but I do keep a fish to eat every now and then.

You have to give up the crate, but the
tank well on the Ride is big enough to carry a good size cooler. There is a long tapered fish bag lots of kayak fishermen use, toss in either blue ice packs or 2 liter bottles with ice. I think Cabela’s may carry it, but its not cheap. Sam’s used to carry an insulated bag that worked well from what others said, but I never go to Sam’s, don’t buy enough to justify paying for a membership, so don’t know if they still have them.

As for mounting your rod holders, you are right about mounting them yourself, unless you are there when the guy mounts them so that you can choose the spot based on your comfort level. Even when you mount them, you can make mistakes. I mounted my Scotty’s a bit too far in front of me. I have to stretch a little to get them. Was trying to avoid interference with my paddle stroke. but, I could have come back antoher inch or so.

Good to hear the Ride is working out so far. Keep us posted. It will be in a year or two, but the Ride is definitely a kayak I’m interested in…that is, if I don’t get another solo canoe. There’s just something about canoes that fascinates me, though my solo is a bit twitchy. I dump it just about every other time getting in or out.

jerlfletcher, I think you’re right about not taking a crate if you intend to keep fish. I did not have time to get a crate before I took my boat out, and found that that may be what I need to do. I only took a very small ice chest for drinks. I catch and release almost all freshwater fish. Wghen I start salt water fishing, I will need something to keep some of my fish, so the bag may be a good thing, as well as a larger ice chest. The Ride does have a large tank well.

rod holders
jerlfletcher, The console on the Ride 135 is a bit far in front of me. I am a little shorter than average, so I may just have to live with that. I just have to laen over a little more. I’ll have to be careful, but I think I’ll mount another scotty behind my seat, and to the right of me, where the flush m,ount is mounted. I’ll try to keep it as far away from the flushmount as possible, so as to not interfere with the integrity of the boat hull. I’ll eventually mount another Scortty on mt left side behind the seat. I’ll use the flush mount for taking a net. Some of the guys on another web site I frequent, take a crate and use wire ties to put PVC pipe on it for rod holders. All of those guys are salt water and don’t have to worry about the canopy of the small creeks I fish in.

Ride 135
jerlfletcher, I really like the Ride 135, and think I’ll like it even better as time goes by. It was much more maneuverable for the small creeks I fish in than I ever thought it would be. It is a 13’ 4 " boat. I don’t have much experience. I can only say I have the Redfish 12 to compare it to. The Ride is just as fast, if not a little faster, and is a more maneuverable boat. I did not even notice the extra width in the Ride when paddling. It is a great boat for rigging too. There is a small hatch in front of the rider that is really neat. it is small, but has a pocket for helping keep things dry. I know a lot of other boats have that too. It is a very responsive boat. I had to learn not to over paddle it when moving slightly to position it for casting to fishing spots. It has just a little rocker ot it that helps with being a more maneuverable boat. I did not get into any rough water, not even any wakes to speak of, so that will bne the next test. I think it will be just fine because it felt very stable to me.

Thank you so much for giving me the info to help me make my mind up. By the way, if you haven’t checked out the Hurricane boats, give them a look. I have a friend who has one. It is a thermo formed boat, built here in NC. It has a scupper collection system that uses one hole through the hull. It should be a very fast boat. I’m not sure about how stable it is, but i think that shpuld be good too. I was in the shop this weekend and was looking at the weight on it. There was a 16 footer that weighes 10 lbs less than my 13 foot boat. The only thing is, this boat is about $150 to $200 more than comparible boats built with polyethelene, or whatever the material normally used.

The Phoenix is a stable boat.
Nowadays, there are a lot of good SOT kayaks out there. The Phoenix is a good one in all its lenghts, but, as you say, a bit more expensive. I understand a new, lighter poly has been developed. It should start showing up in SOT’s soon.

new boats
jerlfletcher, i am sure with the popularity of fishing yaks, and yaks in general, they will keeep on improving them. I have a fiend who has been helping with design on the Phoenix models who has one of these boats. I’ve only seen pics, but it really looks like a great boat. It should be a much faster boat the the polys because it is so slick. Also, the Phoenix has a scupper collection system that comed down to one scupper hole through the bottom. That shoud take away even more drag.