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Kayak outriggers work in the same way as bicycle training wheels – they provide the user with more stability. A kayaker may need outriggers for many reasons. For example, taller individuals find that their kayaks are not stable enough or flip over too quickly. Outriggers also make for a more comfortable fishing experience, allowing anglers to focus on the task at hand. Read on for a list of the most popular kayak outriggers and some ideas on how to make one yourself.
The classic floats and rods model
The golden standard for kayak outriggers is a stabilization system made up of a metal arm that holds two inflatable pontoons by each side of your kayak. The best example for such a product are the Meter Star floats combined with their stabilization rods.
This balancing system won`t weigh you down as it weighs only 2.6lbs. The floats are inflatable and easy to store while the metal rod conveniently attaches to most models of kayaks and canoes.
Solid PVC floats
Another popular type of kayak outrigger is the one featuring solid PVC floats. These stabilization systems have the advantage of added durability and are suitable for choppy waters as they won`t deflate when they hit sharp rocks.
If you need a pair of durable floats that can withstand rough waters, we suggest that you take a look at this Pactrade Marine Outrigger. They are perfect for anyone who spends a lot of time in a canoe or kayak and wants to give stand-up fishing a go.
This outrigger attaches to your vessel with two stainless steel arms. The weight of the whole kit totals at 5lbs while featuring high impact fiber-reinforced polypropylene as its primary material.
Can you DIY a kayak Outrigger?
There are many ways to make an outrigger for those of you who want to add more stability to your yak without spending loads of money. If you enjoy working with your hands, we suggest that you give the following DIY ideas a go.
Making an outrigger mount
The outrigger mount will be the device that holds your DIY pontoons attached to your kayak. To make one, you will need electrical or plumbing PVC pipes. The diameter of the pipes will depend upon your preferred design for an outrigger mount. Some kayaks come with built-in rod holders that are great if you want to use two smaller pipe rods.
Another option is to build a platform that goes around the cockpit of the kayak while holding the floats by its sides. There are many video tutorials you can watch on Youtube that will give you more detailed instructions.
Making the floats/pontoons
You can make the floats for your outrigger out of almost anything. There are many household items such as soda bottles that will do the job just fine. Here are a few ideas on what you can use to DIY the pontoons.
Crab pot floats
These foam devices usually serve to indicate the locations of crab traps, but they can also become excellent flotation pontoons for an outrigger. They come in several different sizes, so we suggest that you consider the weight of your kayak when choosing the crab pot floats.
The method of attaching the floats to the mount will depend on the design of the latter. Most DIY enthusiasts put at least two pots on each side of their yaks. An easy way to do so is to make a hole in the middle of the floats and put the PVC pipe through it.
Who knew you could make an outrigger out of the plastic bottles lying around your house? This option is perfect if you are on a tight budget or in a hurry. You’ll just need some ducktape and plastic soda or milk bottles. The rest of the process is relatively straightforward – tape the bottles to the outrigger mount, and you’ll be ready to hit the water.
Kayak outriggers are a great way to add more stability to your kayak in many different scenarios. You will probably need one to turn your kayak into a fishing platform. These pieces of equipment are also helpful if you want to get your kids into kayaking but are afraid about the boat tipping.
We hope that this article has helped you get a better idea of the stabilization systems sold on the market today. Of course, purchasing a ready-made outrigger is not your only option, as they are fairly easy to make.