KAYAK OUTRIGGER FOR OCEAN: INTRODUCTION
Kayak fishing, particularly when properly trained in using a Kayak Outrigger of Ocean kayak fishing, is one of the most exciting and rewarding ways to spend a day on the water. Well, actually, if you were to ask us, we’d tell you that kayak fishing is one of the best ways to spend a day, period!
KayakFishingCorner.com encourages the kayak fishing community to venture out to ever new bodies of water so that they can experience all that kayak fishing has to offer!
Many of our readers are familiar with kayak fishing in fresh water, like lakes or streams. But what about kayak fishing in the ocean? Trust us, it is a blast! But, before you paddle out to sea, and after you’ve read our Kayak Outrigger Ultimate Guide, make sure you’ve considered a kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing. Don’t worry, we have ranked The 5 Best Kayak Outriggers for your convenience!
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A kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing will keep your fishing kayak nice and stable, even in the waviest of waters. In this article you’ll find out which kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing KayakFishingCorner suggests and why. We have thoroughly researched the model, and we know that you will love it as much as we do!
In this post, we have included all of the important details about our favorite kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing. We’ve organized the post into a handful of important categories, including a brief tutorial on how to use a kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing, a handful of features found in this particular kayak outrigger, and brief history of our own experience using a kayak outrigger while kayak fishing in the ocean.
Near the end of this article, we’ve included a link where you can learn more about the kayak outrigger you find showcased in this KFC post. It goes without saying that we are convinced of the need for a kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing, but it isn’t the size of the waves alone that drew us to this conclusion. Find out the other reasons why you should include a kayak outrigger while you are kayak fishing in the great blue sea and be sure to let us know of your own experiences while out on the water!
Parts of a Kayak Outrigger
How to Use a Kayak Outrigger for Ocean Kayak Fishing
Unless you are as talented of a kayaker as the individual pictured above, you’re going to want to use a kayak outrigger system when you are on the high seas. Even if you are convinced of the new for a kayak outrigger, having one installed on your fishing kayak isn’t going to do you any good unless you have a solid understanding of the proper way to use the kayak outrigger.
Using a kayak outrigger, while kayak fishing, and while in the ocean, can be a bit of a tricky undertaking. That’s why we have written this short bulleted list of things to remember when you’ve decided to use a kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing!
- First, you need to identify where on your fishing kayak you want to locate your kayak outrigger.
- We always suggest that you locate the kayak outrigger somewhere between 2/3rds and 3/4ths of the way towards the stern of the fishing kayak.
- Locating the outrigger near the rear of the kayak keeps the outrigger’s pontoons out of the way of your paddle stroke and also tends to result in fewer entanglements of the fishing line.
- Another benefit? Locating near the rear of the kayak allows for the creation of greater stability for the kayak fisherman, as kayak fishermen tend to stand near the stern, just in front of the kayak’s seat.
- Once located, attach the kayak outrigger to the hull of the fishing kayak with the mounting hardware included in your kayak outrigger package. The result should look something like the image below:
- If they aren’t already attached, now is the time to attach the pontoons to the arms of the kayak outrigger.
- Ensure that your pontoons are snuggly attached to the arms, as it is critical that they do not become separated while you are out on the water.
- Finally, set the height (or angle) of the kayak outrigger arms to align with the amount of pressure you want to place upon the water.
- Angle them upwards if you only want them to engage when the fishing kayak is leaning far to one side or the other.
- Angle them nearly parallel to the water (as shown below) if you want them to glide evenly along with the fishing kayak.
- Angle them slightly downward if you want to apply the most pressure to the water, and thus provide the maximum amount of leverage against the “pitching” of the kayak while in turbulent waters.
- Be careful to not position the outrigger at too steep of a downward angle, as this will put a significant amount of strain on the connection point to the kayak and may cause damage to the kayak’s hull.
The entire purpose of an outrigger system, regardless of whether you are talking about kayaks, barges, or even cranes, is to assist in keeping the base unit safe and stable. This applies during times of movement, like cresting a wave, and even during stationary times, like when you’ve found the prime fishing hole and want to stay put for awhile.
The outrigger provides a larger surface area, or really a system of counterbalancing, such that the kayak has something to “push” against. This is important for when the kayak itself is having pressure asserted against it from the opposite side (think of a wave hitting the left side of the fishing kayak, with the kayak outrigger located on the right side, or even both sides).
While kayak outriggers, or kayak “stabilizers” as they are sometimes called, are not always necessary on freshwater lakes, they should always be used when on the ocean. You will find , as with the kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing that we highlight in this article, that most kayak riggers are removable. This allows for them to be easily attached during times of need, and detached for storage when you will be fishing calmer waters.
Measuring in at nearly three feet in length, the outriggers showcased in this article are of an appropriate length to ensure that your fishing kayak is able to withstand the cycle of a wave as it safely passes. What do I mean by cycle? As a wave passes, the fishing kayak will tilt, raise, tilt, and lower.
The tilting that occurs during this cycle, if you’ve used the kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing that we’ve highlighted in this post, will be offset by the impact of the wave upon the other part of the kayak or outrigger. When the wave is reaching its crest on the outrigger, the kayak is at a lower point, and likewise when the kayak is at it highest, the outrigger has dropped in height. This counter balancing will keep you from over turning!
The pontoons on this model are of sufficient size to provide ample buoyancy as the unit pushes against the waves. Remember, “buoyancy” can be defined as, “the ability or tendency to float in water or air or some other fluid”. It is important that whatever kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing that you select has high quality and buoyant pontoons. Otherwise, the counter balancing effect that your outrigger is supposed to provide will be diminished.
Lastly, one of the reasons that we felt this particular kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing was worth highlighting is the adjustability of its arms (remember the first picture from above). This adjustability is important because, when you are kayak fishing in the ocean, you will often times encounter waves of different sizes and even rapidly changing conditions.
At these times it will be beneficial to be able to raise or lower your kayak outriggers to equal the level of pressure being asserted against your fishing kayak by the waves. These adjustments will also allow for the fishing kayak to “sit” higher or lower in the water. If you want to dig the rudder of your fishing kayak deeply into the water, such was when you are actively paddling or traveling forward and want to maintain a straight course, you’ll want to raise your outriggers and let the fishing kayak sit lower in the water.
Other times, such as when when the water is particularly choppy and you’d like to maintain your position in the water without having to actively paddle to keep from overturning, you’ll want to lower your outriggers to assert pressure upon the water, thus increasing your surface area and creating the desired counter balancing effect that is the purpose of any outrigger system!
One extra thing to consider. If you will frequently be kayak fishing in the ocean, you need to decide whether you want to buy a kayak trolling motor to assist you in getting from location to location. Especially if there is a strong current. You’ll need to first learn how to use a kayak trolling motor, but once you do, we think you’ll find that your luck on the water increases!
Buy the Best Kayak Outrigger for Ocean Kayak Fishing
This one was clearly built with a kayak fisherman in mind. We like the customizable angles at which the outrigger arms may be set. Also, the installation was very easy!
Components. The hard plastic results in an outrigger coming in at just about 6 pounds. Don’t let the word “plastic” deter you from seriously considering this outrigger, this one means business!
It is very rigid and is more than capable of standing up against large waves and swift currents. Weight is a particularly important consideration! The lighter it is, the easier of a time you will have when it comes to navigation!!
Length of Arms. Measuring 30″ in length, this outrigger’s arms are perfectly sized to create the desired level of balance, while being compact enough to avoid maneuverability concerns.
The larger the width, the easier it is to stand and cast! This is due to your increased surface area!
Floats; Buoys. The buoys on this model are designed as single pieces. We like the ability to replace a damaged buoy with ease. That can be one of the downsides of this particular model of outrigger.
It is easier to find replacement buoys for other outriggers, no doubt about it. However, the buoys on this model are durable, so as long as you don’t subject them to endless abuse, you should be OK! The buoys are dark grey in color, which is a negative when compared to the more brightly colored models. The more you stand out on the water, the safer you are!
Adjustability. The adjustment was quite easy – no special tools required. Once you find the desired angle, it is easy to “lock” the outrigger at the particular point. Take a look at an example of this by referencing the picture below:
Also, you can adjust the arms to be set at different angles. Perhaps you are only casting to one side of the boat, and therefore want your outrigger to be adjusted upon the surface of the water on that side. It is very easy to do!
Extra Features. We like that the Stainless-Steel Installation Hardware. The installation of the outrigger to the hull of the kayak is where the “rubber meets the road” in terms of kayak fishing. If you have a weak connection point, you are very likely to damage your outrigger or your kayak. Stainless-steel not only looks good, it will hold up to the test of time!
We like the kayak outrigger depicted above because they contain a number of features that make them particularly well suited to handle the ocean. However are unable to adjust to a wide number of angles, keeping you from adjusting the outrigger while out on the water in the event that there is a change in the severity of the waves you are encountering.
Components. The aluminum construction (shown in the image below) provides a ton of strength and rigidity without needlessly adding weight (remember, weight is your enemy). The stainless-steel mounting material comes with the product and we found the instructions and overall installation to be quite easy to follow.
Note that the outrigger “arm” comes in 3 pieces, one for each side, and a middle piece (the middle piece is behind the seat in the above image). These are easily adjoined by snapping together and inserting the ball joint into the prefabricated holes.
Also, the pontoons are made of an inflatable material. While there are a handful of kayak outriggers that feature inflatable pontoons (like the above), KFC is typically hesitant to suggest these models. Why? Sometimes, in lower quality models, inflatable pontoons are more subject to being popped!
More importantly, however, is that the saltwater seems to have a deteriorating effect on the inflatable material of the pontoons over time, eventually causing them to leak or rupture. You won’t have this problem the outrigger depicted above, however, so long as you are mindful to take proper care of it! Just try not to run into any reefs!! That would hurt you AND your buoys!
Arm Size and Layout. The center bar (goes across the inside of the hull of your kayak) measures 24″ in length. The other 2 arms are 27″ each. This results in an overall length of 78″. The 27″ arms are in the sweet spot in terms of KFCs desired length, and the ability to “fix” each of the bars together lends additional strength to the outrigger.
High Efficiency Design. If you look closely at the image below, you can see that the buoys have been thoughtfully designed to tilt upwards at the front and rear. This is obviously a product built by kayak fishermen, for kayak fishermen!!
This is a great feature for reducing the “drag” created by larger (or non-wisely engineered) buoys, but making sure that there is no downside in terms of reduced buoyancy or navigability.
If you’ve read my article about the Kayak Beach Cart, you’d know that I have recently become quite fond of kayak fishing in the ocean. I typically like to travel down to the Gulf of Mexico where I try my luck at a number of different kinds of fish, especially the red snapper!
I learned pretty quickly that the Gulf of Mexico can become rather wavy at even just a moment’s notice. This is true even if the waters are very calm when I set out in the morning. While I must admit that I have become pretty skilled at keeping my fishing kayak upright and stable while I am actively paddling, I have had a number of very close calls when I put the paddles away and have begun to fish.
On more than one occasion I have had a fish on the line and have been blindsided by waves of increasing size and frequency. Sure, I try to throw my weight from one side of the fishing kayak to the other, and to continue reeling as frantically as I can, but this was becoming a dangerous habit. Too many times did I come close to overturning my fishing kayak, which surely would have meant the loss of many hundreds of dollars worth of kayak fishing gear (not to mention losing the fish on the line)!
I was familiar with outriggers and their purpose for catamaran type sail boats, and I was certain that something similar, though on a much smaller scale, was sure to exist for fishing kayaks. Sure enough, it did. I evaluated several models before landing on the one that I felt was the best suited kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing. I must say, it has kept me one heck of a lot safer on the water, and has resulted in better luck fishing. Coincidence? Well, not the safety part!
KAYAK OUTRIGGER FOR OCEAN: SUMMARY
I hope this post has helped you learn more about the different types of kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing on the market today! While kayak outriggers won’t be needed on every kayak fishing outing, KayakFishingCorner.com does recommend that its readers put serious consideration into taking them along when kayak fishing in the ocean.
The best part about the kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing depicted above (in Review #1) is that it is fully adjustable. This means that you can simply lift the outriggers up and out of the way if you have calm waters. Then, if conditions change, you can quickly lower the outriggers and continue about your kayak fishing trip without fear of overturning.
Also, these outriggers are by no means “permanent”. In other words, if you think you will go kayak fishing in the ocean one week, but back to your local lake the next, simply snap the outriggers on and off. While this does take some time, it isn’t unreasonably difficult, and you’ll be happy to have the flexibility afforded by this “on again” “off again” capability.
Finally, in an effort at the full disclosure that KayakFishingCorner.com is known for in the kayak fishing community, we must mention that, while this particular models are some of the best one on the market, they are not without complaints. Some readers have reported difficulty following the instructions, or working with the buoys, and others voice concern about the “snap pin” not being included with the unit (though we think these concerns are the exception rather than the rule).
As we always promise, we will continue to keep an eye on the market to see if another kayak outrigger for ocean based kayak fishing becomes available and knocks the models highlighted above from KFC’s recommendation list!
But, at least for now, we think you’ll be happy with it and will find that it suites your ocean based kayak fishing needs! Looking for an easy way to move your fishing kayak along the path prior to reaching the ocean? See if the standard kayak trolley could be a good choice for you! Remember, if you have any questions about kayak outriggers and why we feel we’ve found a great one for use in the ocean, be sure to comment near the end of this page! Why does the ocean have waves in the first place – find out