Best Kayak Fishing Crates in 2020 – Buyers Guide by Atlantic Coast Kayak

Kayak fishing crate options should be personalized choices, based on your needs and requirements. It is an ideal gear for those looking to stay neat and clean and well organized before and during the kayaking trip.

If you aren’t sure about the right kind of crate, you can always start with something cheap and available at home like a modified milk crate, and then move on to something more professional and purpose-built, once you have ascertained your usage.

To help you with your decision-making, we have written this guide and reviewed some of the best fishing crates and accessories available in the market. Let us look at them in more detail.

Recommended Kayak Fishing Crates

Flambeau Outdoors

Pelican Exocrate Fishing Bag

Plano Kayak V-Crate Tackle Box & Bait Storage

Flambeau Outdoors
Pelican Exocrate Fishing Bag
Plano Kayak V-Crate Tackle Box & Bait Storage

$72.56

$58.99

$69.88

4/5
5/5
4.5/5

How To Choose The Right Kayak Fishing Crate?

You need to know the different types of kayak crates available for you to choose from. For example, the easy to use milk crate, sleek and modern shaped fishing crates or the kitted-out crates that include all bells and whistles for the avid gear collectors. The storage choices are endless and you need to decide on the one that suits your requirements the best.

The utility of a kayak fishing crate can never be underestimated and can be useful in a variety of situations – for a kayak angler who wants an organized kayak and easy access to the accessories or a recreational kayaker who simply wants a storage compartment for food and cold beverages.

Milk Crates

A kayak milk crate has been used by kayak anglers for several decades – thanks to its durability and affordability. It is also relatively compact in size and fits well into a tank well of a kayak. It can be customized in countless ways which adds to its utility and versatility. It’s also super light that makes it portable and easy to store.

Some kayak anglers cut out the bottom of a milk crate and mount it on top of another with the help of zip ties, to act as a lid. These types of crates should be secured with rod holders and bungee netting.

Kayak Bag

These bags are seen as a mix of a milk crate and a soft insulated tackle bag. The standard ones can accommodate within a standard milk crate, and can be placed inside or outside the primary compartment. The bag can be used for storage purposes on its own (like a tackle bag for shoreline or pier fishing purposes), or may add more firmness to your crate.

High-end Kayak Crates

There are sophisticated and purpose-built kayak crates available that have evolved a great deal over time. They are constructed from durable materials to provide them with longevity, and at the same time are light weight for easier portability. They also come with multiple external mounting options, so you can customize your setup in countless ways.

These crates are also water-proof which helps protect your gear and tackle, as they will, at some point in time, come in contact with the splashing water around you, or in case of an untoward accident.

Features To Consider

A fishing crate is an integral part of any fish kayaking trip, and helps you and your mind in staying clear and clean at all times, during the trip.

There are certain important aspects that you should pay special attention to whilst buying the fish kayaking crates. We have discussed the key ones below, so you always remember to factor them in before purchasing one.

Size

Size of the crate is, by far, the most important consideration when you are deciding on buying one. As you can imagine, there is limited space available on a kayak, and that needs to be utilized intelligently.

You need to ensure that the exact dimensions and weight of the crate are an exact fit (or fit for purpose), as far as your kayak is concerned.

Materials

This is an important aspect when choosing the kayak fishing crate or any related accessory, as this dictates the durability and longevity of the product. The stronger the material, the better the quality of the gear, as it will be able to withstand forceful wear and tear. Always check whether the product’s body is hard or soft and ascertain its sturdiness accordingly.

Another important components is that the material should be water-proof. This should be commonsensical as you will be using the crate in the middle of water and for storage purposes.

Compatibility

It is important, and pretty elementary, to review and assess, as to which product will work best with which brands. Not all kayaks are meant to accommodate all types and kinds of crates and related accessories. Although you may find exact matches for some of the products or kayaks that you use, but this may not always be the case.

The types of crates (and kayaks) are available in countless models and versions, and all of these cannot possibly be listed online or on a manufacturer’s website. It is incumbent on you to ascertain the compatibility of the crate with your kayak, whether it is an online purchase or in a physical store.

Finding the right gear brand that is compatible with the crate option you are looking for is key, and must be established at the outset, i.e. before you make up your mind on a particular crate. A lot of crates have customizable gear options, and you need to see the gear that you have, whether you will be able to conveniently and neatly fit it all in that crate.

Mounting

Mounting the kayak crate on the tank well is fairly easy. The crate can be mounted with the help of bungee cords, clips to D-rings or simply by placing inside the tank well.

You need to have the right measurement of your kayak’s tank that will correspond in size with that of the crate, so that it is a perfect fit inside. A generic sized kayak crate can suitably fit within most of the sit-on-top kayaks, unless your kayak is narrow in size. You also need to ensure that the crate sits comfortably at the back of your kayak seat.

The padding beneath the crate is also important. You should consider using soft silicone or rubber non-slip pads that will help you keep the crate stable and fixated as well as reduce the noise during the paddling.

The bungee cord netting on top of your crate keeps it fastened during harsh conditions and keeps the items within it secured, in the unlikely and untoward incidence of your kayak capsizing.

Top 10 Kayak Fishing Crate and Accessories

Here are the top 10 kayak fishing crates and accessories that are readily available in the market. These have been selected and shortlisted with care so you get to choose from the best brands and functionalities that will match your style, need, and budget.

This guide will also assist you with the best option available and their specifications. However, the final decision has to be yours, as you understand your personal requirements and know the dimensions of your kayak and storage needs, better than anyone.

1. Flambeau Outdoors

flambeau outdoors
This crate is purpose-built for kayaking purposes. The Tuff Krate offers an ultra-light tackle storage equipment that has several mounting surfaces so you can tailor a rig to suit any style of angling that you prefer.

Some if its specialized kayak angler specifications include a top compartment lid with a recessed work surface area, 2 OTC snap latches that provides you a strong closure, safety flag rings, and universal krate-to-kayak tie-down ports.

Tuff Krate Premium has two Flambeau 455TKR rod holders and ten stainless steel screws so you can customize your placements. You can also add rod holders to any of the panel.

This product is made in the USA and is rugged, light weight, and sturdy at the same time.

Some of its dimensions include: 16.75″ L x 12.8″ W x 15.26″ H assembled; holds up to (5) Flambeau 5000 series or (8) 4000 series Tuff Tainers.

It comes unassembled and can be swiftly and easily snapped up for us in a matter of minutes.

2. Pelican Exocrate Fishing Bag

pelican exocrate fishing bag
Removable comfortable handle.

Lined storage compartment with heavy duty zipper. Tie down loops to secure bag to kayak.

Now you can maximize your milk crate – thanks to Pelican’s ExoCrateFishing Bag. It can also be out to use minus the crate, as there are panels included with every bag. This bag can fit in any standard milk crate that is 13″ x 13″. The bag has many key features such as: two fishing rod holders with drainage holes, a lined storage compartment that has a secure and sturdy zipper, multiple compartments for storage of tools, loops that can mount the bag to the kayak, reflective logos (so you get greater visibility), and adjustable padded shoulder strap that can also be removed.

The bag is sunlight resistant as well as water proof to withstand the expected conditions when you are around water. It is constructed from tough 1200D polyester material for outstanding durability, reliability and enhanced performance.

Its dimensions are: 15.2 x 14 x 12.5 inches.

3. Wilderness Systems Kayak Crate

wilderness systems kayak crate
This kayak crate utilizes the kayak tank superbly with a practical interface and modern look that you wouldn’t have experienced in a fish storing crate before. There is a large and open main compartment that can easily fit bigger gear and tackle boxes, whereas lighter and smaller stuff can be stored in the secondary lid storage compartment. It is pragmatic and sturdy within and externally as it is blow-molded, water-proof, has universal lash down points, and can be conveniently lashed with the tank well too. It also has four rod holders that come standard with this product.

You do not need to assemble it as it is ready to use. It also includes brackets to adjust the position of the rod holders in case you have narrow tank wells.

Some of its key dimensions and specifications are: 18 x 13.5 x 13.5 inches; 1.99 pounds. Height: 13-1/4″ – Width: 12-1/4″ – Depth: 18″; Weight: 10. 9 lbs; Capacity: 29 liters

4. Jezero Multi-Purpose Milk Crate

jezero multi purpose milk crate
Jezero is essentially a multi-purpose milk crate that serves to provide internal storage space for the boat deck, kayak, fishing, trunk storage, paddleboard, indoor and outdoor storage, garage and as any other storage medium that you prefer.

Moreover, this crate is also ideal to hold tools, books, groceries, home and gardening supplies, and other miscellaneous gear or products of reasonable size that you do not want to carry in hand, all at once. Some of its models come with honeycomb pattern that makes it compatible with almost all the rigging accessories. It has wide ergonomic handles that are meant for easy gripping. The crates can be easily stacked.

It has a lot of protection related detailing – thanks to its smooth internal surfaces that can withhold impacts and safeguard the stored items. The open grid word on all its sides is meant to facilitate efficient airflow and temperature circulation. It also makes for great protection overall as well as easy cleaning.

It has a recessed base that enhances damage prevention and excessive movement of the stored goods when stacked. It is specifically designed as durable and sturdy, particularly when stacked.

It is made out of new and recycled material to afford it the requisite tensile and impact strength. This is also the reason that it has reusable and recyclable qualities.

Its dimensions are: 19 x 13 x 11 inches; 3.9 pounds. Jezero milk crate has a standard rectangular size of 13″ x 11″ x 19” that makes it a good fit for most of your storage needs and requirements. It is made in the USA.

5. Sea-Dog 325039-1 Mount Rod Holder

sea dog three pole holder
This Sea-Dog rod holder has a sturdy construction – thanks to the injection molded polypropylene material. It doesn’t require any assembly and is ready to be used from the moment you buy it, once you have simply put together the parts that are installable.

It features some convenient gear such as a built-in knife, pliers and lure holder that are basic tools that any angler would require on a fish kayaking trip. The holder can accommodate rods up to 1-3/4” in diameter.

It has great aesthetics as well as superb functionality. Having said that, the reel slots may be slightly narrow, in which case, they may not be able to accommodate the neck of some reels that are meant to be ultralight rigs. But once fitted, the rod and reel do stay firmly in place and secured.

Its dimensions are: 17 x 11.69 x 1.87 inches.

6. Yak Gear Triple Rod Holder Kit

yak gear crate kit triple rod
Accessories such as milk crates, buckets and coolers are meant to give you internal storage area on the deck. These do not offer the kayaker any external storage, or more commonly, rod holding features.

Now you can rig the exterior of your existing storage product with the assistance of Yak Gear Build A Crate Kits by optimizing all the storage options.

This kit affords paddlers with a rod holder or an anchor support that can conveniently latch on to your storage container that has internal access.

Some of its features include: three rod or anchor holders and added storage slits for pliers, knives and lures on the mounting brackets. This provides the angler with great utility and ease of use, all neatly and practically stored in the same place by maximizing the space available.

All the rod holders are 12 inches long and also have trigger cut outs so the reels can be appropriately secured and rested.

The kit includes stainless steel installation hardware and helpful installation instructions and rigging tips from Yak Gear. They also recommend water-proof silicone which isn’t included in the kit.

Its dimensions are: 15.4 x 9.4 x 2.6 inches; 1 pounds.

7. YakGear Cratewell

yakgear cratewell
This crate is compatible with standard size milk crates and can be conveniently used for dry storage purposes or to modify your crate into a live well.

You can also add a bubbler (which is not included as part of this product) if you intend to transfer your crate into a live well so that you can hold baits.

The fishing gear can stay dry and secure whilst you fish away with the required peace of mind. The installation is super easy, and it is literally as simple as unpacking and fitting it into your crate.

The top comes with a Velcro flap so you can easily access the crate when zipped up. It also includes screw caps to protect the crate from ripping due to the exposed threads on the inner side of the crate. It is also lightweight and ideal for your expeditions when weight and space are big concerns.

Its dimensions include: 13 x 11 x 11 inches

8. Berkley Tube Rod Rack

berkley tube rod rack
This Berkley tube rod rack is a simple product and can be an excellent addition to your kayak milk crate. It is made from sturdy and ultra-light material and enables you to store added poles and a net in the tubes. Installation of this rack on the crate is one of the easiest chores you could find. The rack comes at a decent price, and you are paying for the quality.

These racks have mounting locations that help you to install it anywhere. The installation hardware is included, however, the screws may be upgraded with better quality stainless ones for more durability.

They rack doesn’t have reel slots like its contemporaries and that ensures that the long rod handles do not extend all the way up to the deck.

Their width is the same as that of the milk crate and hence the size is ideal and works well on fishing rig. It can easily store 3 rods or combos, in a neat and secure manner. It is corrosion proof, durable and a light product and comes in black color only. It also attaches to the wall quite easily.

Its dimensions are: 5 x 3.5 x 1.1 inches.

9. Plano PLAB88140 Kayak Crate Soft Bags

plano kayak crate
Plano has been creating storage accessories since 1952 and has been a renowned name. The kayak soft tackle bag, as the name suggest, is for tackle storage. It fits neatly in milk crate (that is not included in the packaging). It is durable and made from water-resistant material. It is strengthened by sturdy zippers, straps and latches.

It has a four-panel design that can be customized for storage purposes by removing or adding them. It has a wide open interior that affords two sections of bulk storage. The storage panels on the side can also be used as firm carry handles.

The lid can provide a large storage area with added zippered pocket. It has multiple D-rings and two tool holders that can give you convenient access to pliers, hook removers, et al.

The tackle backpack is modern and sleek and provides diversified usage and transportability for anglers who like to conveniently access their gear, all in one place. The air mesh straps are comfortable and come with padded back cushion that makes it easy to load items and offers a fuss-free fishing experience.

Its dimensions are: 13 x 12.5 x 11.5 inches; 1.7 pounds.

10. Plano PLAM80700 Kayak V-Crate Tackle Box & Bait Storage

plano kayak v crate
The ultimate kayak tackle box has four stow away utility boxes (2 on each side) and comes in a unique V-shape for easy access from the sides and particularly helpful for the anglers who have limited mobility. They come with an angled fit and rubber straps that secure the sides and make for easy viewing and reach.

The side rail system conveniently latches the rod holders and other accessories. The base compartment is waterproof and secure your valuables. It is compact, versatile and super light stow away box that keeps items within your reach when you need them most.

Its dimensions are: 26 x 17.3 x 19 inches; 5.6 pounds.

Conclusion

The real test of your organizational skills is when you return to the shore and have a glance around your kayak. It will either look like a messy yard sale (if there is no crate) or a neat collection of assorted gear items that are neatly placed in a box of crate. If it is the former, then it is a good clue for any angler that they need to get their acts (and accessories and gear) together.

One of the best places to keep your kayak crate or other related accessories is the rear tank well. This affords you easy accessibility and better organization. Using a fishing crate ensures that your gear is all kept safe and secure in one place for easy access, as well as de-cluttering, when you are out in the waters.

These crates are available in multiple varieties and functionalities that are particularly designed for angling. There is a crate out there for everyone, whether you require something simple and personalized, a ready-to-use one, or something more sophisticated with added features.