Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing


If you haven’t heard of kayak stabilizers, or kayak outriggers as they are sometimes called, you should you take a look at our Kayak Stabilizer Ultimate Guide. The Ultimate Guide is the perfect place to build your kayak stabilizer knowledge before you make a very important kayak fishing decision: Do I really need a kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing? Oh, and you can check out our ranks of The 5 Best Kayak Outriggers as well!

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

Basic Overview

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

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Here, we have included all of the important details that you’ll need to know about a generic kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing. We’ve organized this post into several separate categories. We’ve included a short “how to” section that serves as a quick checklist to get your stabilizers up and running quickly, a paragraph containing a number of the features we like to see in a high quality kayak stabilizer, and a few words about our own experiences with a kayak stabilizer. Finally, we’ve added a section with a link to one of our favorite kayak stabilizers. You can click on the link to learn even more, as the product page contains a lot of great detail!

By the end of this article, we are certain that you’ll be convinced that the decision to buy a kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing is a very simple one. Below, we go over a number of reasons why a kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing would be a great kayak fishing accessory for kayak fishermen of all experience levels! A kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing comes with all of the benefits of a great piece of kayak fishing gear, without the downside of taking up to much space! Let’s find out whether a kayak stabilizer is right for you?

How to use a Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

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Shortcut to Kayak Stabilizer Review

Stabilizers are fantastic tools that are used in a number of different purposes and industries. You’ve probably seen them in things other than boats (like cranes, for example).  Some of our most experienced readers, shockingly, not aware that there are kayak stabilizers for kayak fishing  available on the market. Trust us, they are missing out!

Kayak stabilizers are relatively new pieces of kayak fishing gear. Only in the last couple years have high quality stabilizers come onto the kayak fishing market. Now, you can find all different kinds of kayak stabilizers, even ones  with inflatable pontoons! Let’s take a look at some quick tips for using a kayak stabilizer.

  • The first thing to do is to decide where you want to install your kayak stabilizer.
  • A good place to put it is roughly 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the way towards the rear of the fishing kayak.
  • This location will keep it out of the way of your paddling stroke. It reduces the risk of entanglement of the fishing line and your other kayak fishing accessories.
  • Kayak fishermen usually stand near the rear of the fishing kayak, in the area just in front of the kayak’s seat, while they are casting, and Locating the stabilizer near the area in which you are standing is great for maximum balance!
  • Now it is time to mount the kayak stabilizer to the hull of the fishing kayak.
  • To do this, you need to use the mounting hardware that has come with your stabilizer. A proper installation looks like the below:
    Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing
  • Now is the perfect time to connect the pontoons to the ends of the arms of the kayak stabilizer.
  • Be careful to make sure that the pontoons are safely connected to the stabilizer’s arms. You do not want them to become loose or detached while you away from shore, you would find yourself in a bad situation!
  • Keep in mind that you can adjust the height (or angle) of the stabilizer arms depending on the type of water conditions you will be encountering.
  • Move them upwards when the kayak is intentionally tilting far to one side or the other.
  • Adjust them to sit parallel with the water (like shown below) if you want them to move smoothly along with the fishing kayak.
    Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing
  • Point them downward if you want to put pressure on the water, but be careful…
  • Never, ever, ever angle the stabilizer at too sharp of a downward angle.
  • Doing so will put a lot of strain on the connection point with the kayak. It could even result in damage to the kayak’s frame!

Do you want even more detailed information on how to use a kayak stabilizers? Take a look at KFC’s thorough write up. It’s full of tips, tricks and helpful hints to get you up and running with your kayak stabilizers in no time flat!

Important Features

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

Stability and balance are important while you are actively moving across the water. These abilities are also important when you are attempting to stay stationary, like when you are kayak fishing from the prime spot!

The enlarged surface area created by a kayak stabilizer kit also creates a counter balancing system. When a big wave, swift current, or strong wind, pushes against one side of the kayak, the kayak stabilizer will defuse this action by offsetting it on the other side of the fishing kayak. Speaking of big waves, if you think that most of your kayak fishing trips will occur in the ocean, you might consider taking a look at a kayak stabilizer for ocean based kayak fishing. It has some specialized features making it a great fit for trips to the sea!

We’ll be the first to tell you that kayak stabilizers are not going to be needed for every single kayak fishing trip. A lot of times, your waters will be smooth enough that, even if you had a kayak stabilizer, it wouldn’t help you much (though it wouldn’t harm you either). But remember, water conditions are ever changing. Because you are not harmed by having your kayak stabilizer with you, it is always better to have the kayak stabilizer and not need it, rather than the other way around!

The best stabilizers will be between 30 and 36 inches long. Combining two kayak stabilizers (with the width of the generic fishing kayak) will result in surface area of over 9 feet! 300% bigger than the surface area of a fishing kayak that isn’t set up with an stabilizer kit! The bigger the surface area, the greater stability and control you will have!

Avoid shortened stabilizer arms (less than 30 inches in length). Why? They lack leverage and won’t be able to take advantage of the counter balancing. Remember, counter balancing is necessary to maintain your balance. But don’t go overboard and buy super long stabilizer arms either (40 inches or longer). Why? If the kayak stabilizer arms are too long, you will have difficulty navigating your fishing kayak around tight waterways and might even put too much strain on the hull of the fishing kayak, causing separation to occur!

A good rule of rule of thumb is that a high quality kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing will have pontoons that are properly sized to provide adequate buoyancy. The more buoyancy provided by your pontoons, the more ability of the kayak stabilizer to “push” back against the water. The more you push back, the greater your stability and control.  We recommend pontoons made of molded PVC. Why? Durability, buoyancy, and many have the added benefit of increasing the visibility  of fishing kayak – they are frequently bright yellow, just like the ones below!

Also, a good kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing will have fully adjustable arms. This feature is important because there are  times where you want to lift your kayak stabilizers up and out of the water, like when you really want to move quickly. You can also adjust the height of them, like when you need to increase the surface area of your fishing kayak (to push back against increasing wave sizes).

The kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing products in this article will typically include a device to mount the kayak stabilizer to the fishing kayak. This device will feature some kind of internal ratcheting system, allowing a number of angles – the customization is a great feature!

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

Making this adjustment will allow you to deepen your fishing kayak’s rudder into the water. Lowering the rudder will help you keep a straighter course. You can also adjust the stabilizer arms to put pressure on the water. Why? Remember, this will enlarge your surface area! Once enlarged, the fishing kayak will be much more stable, and even the most off balanced kayak fisherman will be able to stand while casting!

Before we forget. Another great feature to add to your fishing kayak, once you have the added stability provided by a kayak stabilizer kit, is a kayak trolling motor. These after market products are great for helping you navigate in tight channels, and we’ve written a thorough review on the Best Kayak Trolling Motor on the market. Check it out and see if its the right fit for you!

Buy the Best Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

We really like this particular kayak stabilizer because of the quality of its components. Yes, there are less expensive models on the market. Stay strong! Do not be tempted to compromise quality for a lower price. The cheaper models typically have stabilizer arms made of low quality plastic or metal. These poor materials leave you exposed to a bending, or even snapping, of the stabilizer arm, especially if you encounter big waves.

(Commissions Earned)

A Great Choice for Kayak Fishing!

We also really like the pontoons of this stabilizer. The yellow coloring is a nice feature. It adds to your visibility, and thus safety, while on the water. Other models on the market come with pontoons that are camouflage or even black. These colors will not help you in terms of increased visibility and safety.

Not interested in buying a traditional kayak stabilizer? Maybe a self balancing kayak pontoon hybrid would better suit your kayak fishing style.

Also, the pontoons on this model are made of a hard, as opposed to inflatable, material. Yes, inflatable pontoons can be great for certain situations, but the pontoons are already quite small, so they aren’t going to be taking up much space. Given that the pontoon isn’t taking up much space to begin with, why spend the extra time inflating and deflating it? We’d rather save our energies for reeling in the big catch!

My Experience

Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

Last year, during the Fall, I went out onto the lake early in the morning. I caught at least 10 large mouth bass in only a couple hours. My good luck on the water was distracting me from keeping an eye on the weather, which was quickly taking a turn for the worse. If you know anything about Oklahoma storms, you know that they can pop up quickly and can be very unforgiving!

I was located near the center of the lake when this began – far from the shore. The severe winds, when added to the wakes from the numerous power boats scrambling for safety from the weather, was almost enough to capsize my small fishing kayak!

I  had nearly a thousand dollars worth of kayak fishing gear, not to mention my kayak itself, to be concerned with. The waves were only getting higher. I was certain that all of my gear would sink to the bottom of the lake if I capsized. Luckily, I did make it safely to shore. When I got there, I decided that it was time to buy a kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing. The price of safety, I suppose. I knew it wasn’t worth it to travel out onto the water again, even if the forecast called for serene weather, without installing a high quality and reliable stabilizer kit on my fishing kayak!


Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing

I hope this post has helped you learn more about the kinds of kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing on the market today! Remember, if you have any questions about the stabilizer we’ve written about in this article, or any questions about whether another type of stabilizer may be a better match for you, please comment at the end of this page and ask us! We’d love to help! A Kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing doesn’t have to stay on your kayak at all times. You can easily snap the stabilizers on and off as your needs change. Yes, this will take some time, but only a few moments, and it doesn’t require any special tools. We love the flexibility of this “on again” and “off again” piece of kayak fishing gear!

If you are looking for a kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing, and you want one that will last you several seasons, KFC is certain that you’ll be satisfied with any of the models that we link to above! Oh and remember our tip about deciding whether you should buy a kayak trolling motor. Trolling motors are truly a great compliment to your stabilizer kit! Here are some other ways to improve your balance, offered by the Mayo Clinic!

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Do you have any questions about the kayak stabilizer for kayak fishing? What about ideas for where to install the stabilizer to create the largest surface area? What about kayak fishing in general?  Please share with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.

One Reply to “Kayak Stabilizer for Kayak Fishing”

  1. Thanks for opening my eyes (as a beginner) and showing me how to avoid falling in the water while I’m fishing. Can’t wait for my next fishing trip with the boys!

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