So you made it to the lake, now what?
A decade ago when I began the journey into fishing from a kayak, things were not as complicated as they are today. I’m not even sure if complicated is the correct word, but either way, kayak fishing has grown, and with its growth, a massive industry has developed to support it. Our kayaks are now built as fishing specific machines, equipped to carry more weight, and every crevice and crease is used to house more gear. With this, the kayaks have become heavier, but more stable in the water, and better equipped to serve as an awesome fishing vessel. With the heavier kayaks, kayak carts have become a necessity.
Back when I started, kayaks were generally lighter, not as wide, and they had carrying capacities that are not even close to the limits of modern day fishing kayaks. Back then a couple rods, a milk crate loaded with a little tackle, a set of pliers, and you were kayak fishing. When you take a minute and think about how much the sport has grown over the last ten years it’s just crazy… but crazy in a good way.
Kayak Carts Allow For Ease of Transportation
With all of this said, we need a way to get our heavy rigs to the water’s edge from our transport vehicle. Getting the kayak to the parking lot is a whole other article that we will unpack at another time.
There are several ways to accomplish getting the kayak to the water, but one way I have found changed my life. This is the kayak cart. There are many types sold as well as the DIY versions where the sky is the limit as far as your design and build go. They can be made as simple, or as complicated as you want them to be. With the weights of some popular fishing kayaks, kayak carts have almost become a necessity.
Weights of some popular fishing kayaks on the market today:
Wilderness Systems ATAK 140: 95-pounds
Hobie Pro Angler 14: 120.5-pounds
Old Town PDL: 117-pounds
Popular Kayak Cart Models
Popular Kayak Cart Models: The C-Tug by Railblaza
I personally use the C-Tug made by Railblaza. I have put this cart through its paces and have had only one issue the entire time. I broke the kickstand on a boat ramp that I had no business dropping the kayak off of, the break was completely my fault. The cool thing is, all of the parts are replaceable as the unit breaks down for storage and requires no tools for disassembly or assembling.
Pictured above is the C-Tug made by Railblaza. It can be found today on some sites for around $140.00. The picture above belongs to shop.potomacpaddlesports.com.
All of the C-Tug’s parts are replaceable should you break the cart dropping it off of a boat ramp you have no business dropping it off of. The cart will fit most kayaks due to its adjustable pads and is corrosion free. There are several different tire choices for the many different terrains we encounter as kayak anglers. The maximum load weight is 120kg/300-pounds static loading. If you are in the market for a kayak cart you can check out the C-Tug at https://www.c-tug.com.
Popular Kayak Cart Models: The Boonedox Landing Gear
Another very popular cart, or more like a flight system for a kayak, is the Boonedox Landing Gear. The landing gear is made by Boonedox in Thomasville, North Carolina.
The above picture is the property of boonedoxusa.com
The Boonedox Landing gear is made to actually bolt onto the kayak. When you are in the water the legs simply fold up and are out of your way while fishing or just leisurely paddling around. When you make it back to the dock simply fold the legs down and roll your kayak back to your vehicle, house, or wherever you may need to go. The wheels are always with you so lifting a heavy kayak to place a cart under it is not a factor.
For our heavy fishing kayaks, this has become a very popular option. I have not used one personally, but I have a couple close buddies that swear by the Boonedox Landing Gear.
The Boonedox Landing gear can be purchased for around the $270.00-$300.00 and comes in some different models that are kayak specific. On the site, if your kayak model does not have a specific landing gear listed, then the general Landing Gear can be purchased and in most cases should work for you. Like the C-Tug cart, there are replacement parts that can be purchased if you were to break something. There are also different tires available for the many different terrains we traverse trying to get to that one magical place that holds the bass of a lifetime. Check the Boonedox Landing Gear out at https://boonedoxusa.com.
Popular Kayak Cart Models: Hobie’s Kayak Carts
Let’s take a look at Hobie’s kayak Carts. Hobie makes their own carts for their very popular line of kayaks, and generally, have one for whatever Hobie kayak you paddle or peddle. Their carts work by inserting the scupper tube into the scupper holes of the kayak near the rear of the boat, behind the seat. Hobie makes a few different carts.
- Fold & Stow Plug-in Cart – This cart weighs in at just over 5-pounds and will break down (no tools) to fit inside a large hatch. The maximum capacity for this cart is 175-pounds. It comes with a nice carrying bag for storage.
- Hobie Plug-in Carts – This cart comes with removable wheels and is made out of Stainless Steel. Your choice of wheels, Standard with a 150-pounds capacity and Heavy-Duty allowing you to carry up to 225-pounds.
- Trax 2 Plug-in Cart – This cart is great in the sand because of its pneumatic tires. The tire pressures can be lowered to assist you in softer sand or soil. This cart has a 176-pound capacity.
- Trax 2-30 Plug-in Cart – This cart is the same as the above listed Trax 2, but with a higher carrying capacity because of the 30cm pneumatic tires. This allows you to carry up to 242-pounds and is the best Hobie cart for sand duty.
Contact a Hobie dealer near you or check them out online at https://www.hobie.com/accessories/carts/.
Popular Kayak Cart Models: Other Kayak Cart Options
There are also some kayak carts that are made for general duty or purpose. A simple google search will provide you with several options for a basic cart. Some of the ones on the market today are:
- Sea to Summit Kayak Cart, Medium – $119.95
- Malone Xpress Scupper Kayak Cart – $98.95
- Seattle Sports ATC (Al-Terrain Cart) Center Kayak Cart – $149.95
- Suspenz Deluxe Airless Kayak Cart – $109.95
A Final Option: DIY Kayak Carts
Some PVC and lawn mower wheels can get you well on your way to a DIY cart. The picture below is a fine example of a DIY cart that someone made for probably a really affordable cost. It uses the above-mentioned items along with a pool noodle that can be picked up at your local Walmart or General Dollar Store. The PVC, glue, and wheels can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot. You will find many instructional videos on YouTube in reference to building a kayak cart.
The above picture was obtained from gearcloud.net
No matter who you are or how old you are, your back is taking a beating by lifting and moving your kayak around every day. If you are one of those kayak anglers like myself that doesn’t live on the water, then do yourself a favor now and get a cart. Some of them are expensive, but the DIY carts will work fine and at least get you started, your back will thank you later.
As always stay safe on the water, take care of each other, promote our sport in a positive light every chance you get, and always have fun.