Hobie Rod Leash

Hobie Rod Leash: Why Kayak Anglers Should Use a Rod Leash

I have fond memories of the 2018 KBF National Championship. I was able to fish within 20-minutes of my house, on a body of water I know fairly well. Day one I had caught a good limit and was within striking distance to the leader; I had actually led most of the day. Day two, I couldn’t find a fish. I decided to head out to an old railroad bridge at the mouth of a creek where I knew there was always a limit of small fish to be caught. I rigged up a Gary Yamamoto Craw on my All Pro Rod with a Shimano Sahara spinning reel and caught a 12-incher, then a fifteen-incher. I caught the third fish in the span of fifteen minutes, dropped the rod to measure the fish and kicked it over the side of the boat. Because it was late in the tournament, I didn’t have time to cry about it. I picked up another rod, fished the rest of the day – caught an 18-incher with thirty minutes left – and ended up in 7th place. 

A week later I went back to the spot, and because I knew it so well, I was able to fish the rod and reel out with a treble hook. During 2018, in that same creek, I kicked three rods out of my kayak. On another body of water, I kicked out two more. I found myself becoming quite adept at fishing rods out of the water, but it is a skill I do not recommend you acquire… there is still a St. Croix Mojo Bass with a Sahara reel at the bottom of Nolin Lake in Kentucky that I will never see.

I have several friends who have flipped kayaks and lost all of their rods because they, like myself, did not secure rods well enough, so I have gotten better. I keep my rods in the rod holders on my Hobie PA14 and haven’t kicked one over (knock on wood) this year, but I also started “leashing” about everything I could to my kayak. Using a leash for something other than walking a dog was something I had never considered in a regular boat, but after you see friends starting from scratch with a single boat flip… or when you kick rods over every couple of months for a full year… you look for options.

Hobie Rod Leash: Why I Chose the Hobie Rod Leash

Hobie Rod Leash(1)

The Hobie rod leash is a must-have for me! Photo Credit: Hobie

Hobie has a pretty cool rod leash that allows you to wrap one end of the leash around a rod (or any gear; paddle, Ketch board, cooler, etc.) and the other to be connected to the kayak. It uses a quick connect system that makes it easy to switch locations; for example, you can disconnect one rod, switch with another, and just click the old rod to the lanyard. If you are using the leash to hold dry bags, measuring boards or tackle; it is easy to disconnect and reconnect them with minimal effort. The Hobie leash is one of the most flexible systems I have seen on the market due to this quick connect capability.  

Morgan Promnitz has a great YouTube video that demonstrates how easy it is to attach the rod holder to your gear.

You don’t have to use leashes in your kayak, there is no law or rule. After all, I flipped a kayak and got all of my stuff back; I was only a foot or two off of a boat ramp in shallow water and could drag my feet until I stepped on or kicked everything… so you can take that chance and hope you are as fortunate. 

I personally am not a fan of spending an hour (or two) of my fishing time trying to use a treble hook to locate my favorite rods because I didn’t have them secured in the kayak. And I am going to bet that many of you have caught some other poor unfortunate souls rod on your favorite lake… so maybe you should consider the Hobie Rod Leash as a part of your kayak gear; it is to quote Morgan, “pretty awesome, pretty simple, and pretty cheap”.

This article was contributed by an ANGLR Expert

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Mike Cheatham


May 2016, sat in my first kayak. October 2016, skunked in my first tournament. Spring of 2017, placed 11th in the KBF Open and have chased the addiction since. Fishing is the one place my mind gets quiet, the place I have always found peace. To do it competitively with a great bunch of folks is just a bonus. To have an opportunity to combine my love for fishing with writing...I feel like I have finally found a place in this world! I do have the support of a wonderful woman who understands my need to be on the water; she supports my dreams fully....life is truly good.

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