Kayaking and Fishing are two really interesting and rewarding activities that top the hobby list of many people. The combination of both of these activities is a magnificent combo, don’t you think? You get to make those calming paddling strokes that float your kayak over to that perfect spot on the water where the fishes are abundant, then you cast out your rod.
It gets even better with the innovative kayak add-on, kayak stabilizers. With these, you get the optimum level of stability and balance while fishing. If you have these stabilizers attached to your fishing kayak, you can stand on your kayak without the fear of sacrificing your stability or the kayak flipping over.
However, kayak stabilizers are as many as fishing kayaks themselves on the market. This may cause a little confusion for you when you want to get yourself one. So, this article isn’t so much about fishing kayaks, but mostly about the best kayak stabilizers, along with a short guide to buying one.
Kayak Stabilizers and Outriggers
What You Should Know Before Buying a Kayak Stabilizer
There are a few things that you should know about kayak stabilizers generally before we dive fully into picking their attributes apart to select the best of them. Some of these things are:
You are Sacrificing Speed for Stability
Normally, the longer the hull of your kayak, the faster it is. That is why you find out that long kayaks are generally faster than their short counterparts.
However, the use of stabilizers is like attaching two extra short hulls on either side of your kayak, which effectively slows you down. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean you would be going at a snail’s pace, it just implies that the speed of your kayak would be reduced with the attachments.
Installing the Outriggers
Except you are really great with DIY projects, you might need some assistance with this.
The stabilizers have to be placed in such a way that they don’t interfere with your paddling or your fishing line. With this comes the need to buy the perfect size of outriggers. Generally, the best place to place the outriggers is near your stern.
Also, you might have to get comfortable with drilling a hole in your kayak. In this hole is where you are going to mount the outriggers. Although, some kayaks come with these holes drilled, many others don’t.
What to Consider before Buying a Kayak Stabilizer
There are a few things you would be faced with when buying an outrigger. These things determine the general performance and effectiveness of your outriggers.
Outriggers make your kayak more buoyant than it normally is. The outriggers come in different sizes and kinds, making their buoyancy ratings different. So, you should be on the lookout for outriggers with great buoyancy.
Suffice to say, the build material of your outriggers, or any other thing, goes a long way in determining the durability of the outriggers. Some outrigger pontoons (those balloon-like things that float) are made of PVC while some others are inflatable.
Stabilizer kits always come in different sizes and have different brands and all. These are the things that make the outriggers differ in their prices. Make a little research and go for those that are within your budget.
Some stabilizer kits are complete to the last screw and bolt. Some others aren’t. For those that aren’t, head to the hardware store to get whatever you need.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that concern kayak stabilizers and outriggers
How do I Install the Outriggers?
The first thing you are to do is to mark out holes on your kayak where the holders of the outriggers would sit. Drill the holes and fix the holders while tightening it up with the nuts and bolts. You can then attach the poles of the outriggers afterward.
Note that if you aren’t so much of a DIY person, getting some help would be a reasonable thing to do.
How Do I Align the Outriggers on My Kayak?
If your pontoons aren’t lying parallel to your kayak, you might have some trouble with your balance. So, when you install your holders, make sure you first attach poles to the mounts and find out which position best makes the pontoons well aligned to the kayak. After this, you can go ahead and start drilling the holes and fixing the holders.
Where Do I Place the Kayak Stabilizers?
As mentioned earlier, the stabilizers should be placed in a way that your paddling isn’t compromised, or your fishing line is not obstructed. Although the best place is to fix the system near your stern, you can also do a little experimenting and find out which position works best for you.
Best Kayak Stabilizers and Outriggers
Having mentioned the things to look out for when choosing a stabilizer kit for yourself, I’ll go ahead to mention a few of the best of them here.
This particular kayak stabilizer system is definitely one of the most prominent in on the market today. And suffice to say, nothing would be as popular as it is without being of the best quality that there could be.
This stabilizer system features pontoons that are 30 inches long and made with a PVC outside coating. Their build material makes them really durable and resistant to puncture and tear. The poles are 28 inches long and are made from anodized aluminum, effectively making the strength and durability of this stabilizer system topnotch.
The ease of installation of this stabilizer system is another thing that makes this stabilizer great. The inner bladder of the pontoons is easy to inflate while the whole outriggers could fit easily on almost all kinds of kayaks or canoes without stress.
A massive 30 pounds of buoyancy is what this pair of outriggers effortlessly bring to the table, making it possible for you to pack more gear or store more of your catches when you are angling.
- Extra 30 pounds of buoyancy.
- Easily inflated and deflated.
- Easily installed.
- Can be easily transported.
- Quite expensive.
- Hard to adjust on the fly.
- Doesn’t come with all the needed hardware for mounting.
A respectable brand in the manufacturing of strong and effective kayaks is Hobie. And their kayak outriggers come with the characteristic strength and durability of their products.
One great advantage of the outriggers is that they are incredibly light, weighing less than 5 pounds. The pontoons are easy and quick to inflate because of the one-way valves. Also, deflating them is made really easy by just unscrewing the valve caps.
When talking about ease of installation, these stabilizer kit is up there on the top of the list. The poles are made of stainless steel, which means there is nothing to fear about corrosion. Also, the poles are adjustable to low, medium and high floating positions, making you sacrifice far less than you normally should in terms of maneuverability.
- Easily inflated and deflated.
- Easily installed.
- Come with complete installation hardware
- Durable and strong
- Fitting it on some kayaks may require some adjustments
Forget inflation and deflation. This pair of outriggers are made completely of PVC, making it really extremely durable and strong. With this, you don’t even have to worry about punctures, leakages, inflation, and deflation.
The aluminum poles of the outriggers can be used in salt water without any fear of corrosion. Even the mounting hardware of the outriggers are made from marine-grade aluminum. Also, these poles can extend to a length of 32 inches, effectively adding to the stability of your kayak.
One more advantage of the Brocraft Kayak Outriggers is that the outriggers are held with the two power lock rod holders. These rod holders can be used as fishing rods when you aren’t using your outriggers. Isn’t that just great?
- Strong and durable
- Cannot be punctured
- Comes with 2 years limited warranty
- Comes with a complete set of installation hardware
- Not easily installed
- Not easily adjustable on the fly
It is important to first say that all the mentioned outriggers are really great and would serve you really well if you buy any of them. In fact, there are even some others that aren’t on the list but are just as good.
Having said that, I would pick the Brocraft Kayak Outriggers for one main reason. And this main reason is simply the fact that the PVC floats of the outriggers offer a level of durability that the others don’t. You don’t even have to worry about inflating or deflating them, talk less of puncturing them.
Wrapping it All Up
Kayak Outriggers are an innovative addition to help bolster the stability and balance of the kayak, and it is best enjoyed by anglers. So, if you have the opportunity to buy yourself one, make sure you avail yourself of that opportunity. Also, the guides up there would really be of help in choosing one for yourself.