I’ve been very lucky over the past few years; my passion for kayak fishing has taken me to some pretty awesome places around the globe. Florida and Texas in the USA, Victoria - Australia, Lacanau - France, Haringvliet – Holland and Shengzhong, China. One thing all these places have in common is rain.
Australia was the biggest surprise, we expected sunshine and packed shorts and T-shirts, oh and one sweatshirt just in case it was chilly at night, Victoria is just like the UK, bloody chilly most of the time and can be wet.
Knowing what paddle gear to take is always a problem, more so when you have to contend with shrinking baggage limits, which includes all your rods, reels and fishing tackle. Stuff you really can’t leave behind and you need back ups, I snapped a brand new rod in Australia on the first day, first cast, thankfully I had a spare.
When travelling to events in Europe baggage limits aren’t an issue but car space is and I’ll always pack my Bora and/or Cascade drysuits and if competing during the summer months the Bora will be replaced with a Bora Jacket and Bib and Brace, I also pack the Atom pants if the forecast is for warmer weather. Lots of gear, but over several days of competition its always good to have the right gear with you, I’ve seen people turn up to compete without their drysuit and then regretting it when the weather turns foul.
Travelling by plane I have to cut right back on my paddle gear. PFD’s are always supplied at the bigger competitions where competitors are travelling from around the globe. Packing a paddle jacket is always a wise move. I left mine at home this year when travelling to China, wearing my team jacket instead, I stayed dry for a couple of hours. I was missing my Bora jacket, I was cold and wet and the water wicked down my shirt soaking the top half of my trousers.
I did however pack my Vector paddle pants, lightweight over trousers, which battled well against the elements. Being breathable they were comfortable to wear in the humid but very wet conditions, they are a must for the travelling kayak fisherman, best of all they take up no room at all.
I tend to go bare footed if the weather is warm or humid, just a splash of factor 50 and some bug spray, I just have to be mindful of hooks and teeth. If a little cooler then a pair of Gradient Boots keep my feet covered.
Other items I always wear are a Buff, keeps the sun off my neck, or head if pulled up, it will also stop rain running down my neck and inside my Bora Jacket. Sunglasses with a leash and a baseball look after the important bits. I will wear a pair of fingerless gloves if I’m dealing with spikey critters or if sun is very strong.
So if travelling abroad spare some weight for your paddle gear, it doesn’t take up much room or weigh much, maybe leave a pair of jeans behind to compensate, you’ll be wearing shorts most of the time anyway.
About the author
About the author
David is the founder/owner of anglersafloat.co.uk an information site with a popular forum. He’s been kayak fishing since 2003 and fishing since a young lad, spending most of his summer holidays in Sussex on his aunty's farm fishing their private twenty acre lake.
If he’s not fishing, he’s thinking of fishing, or planning for the next tournament.