Outfitting A Jackson Kayak Kilroy


Since launching our new Jackson Kayak Kilroy and releasing theWalkthrough/User Manual video, I’ve gotten a lot of requests about how I personally outfit my Kilroy. I’ve taken some photos of just that, so let’s walk through them and show more of the versatility of this kayak for whatever kayak fishing style best suits your needs.

First, lets talk loading and transporting your Kilroy. My preference is to carry the Kilroy cockpit down, just like a canoe, and I do the same with our other fishing kayaks as well. It rests quite nicely on the cockpit rim. If I don’t have enough rack width to carry multiple kayaks like that, I’ll add in some J-hook style cradles to stand them up on edge while supporting the hull. Before I load it, I remove the hard deck, and either remove the seat or strap it down tight. Secure it with cam straps and you’re off to your favorite fishing destination.



Once unloaded, I’ll start to rig the kayak based on where I am and what I’m fishing for. The first decision is usually whether to use the hard deck or not. As a fly fisherman who likes to stand a lot and sight fish, I will usually put it behind the seat, or leave it in the truck if I’m using a crate system (more on that later). If I plan to casually fish/relax, I’ll leave it on the front. Here you can see it behind the seat, and I’m securing a dry bag underneath it using the floor bungee system. The seat back folds easily allowing access to load and unload gear without removing the deck.

On the front right track, you can see my GoPro camera mounted on a YakAttack Panfish Portrait. On the left rear track, you can see a large net mounted on the YakAttack Screwball/RAM 2007 Jr style rod holder combo that comes standard on the Kilroy. I use a second combination of the same for holding my fly rod behind me on the right rear. I will sometimes add a second GoPro on a RAM camera arm to the track with the net (top photos).


As a fly fisherman, one of the real benefits of the Kilroy is the super clean standing area, with nothing to snag a fly line. With everything in its place, the open cockpit acts like a large stripping basket. If the photos here you can see how everything is neatly stored. In the front right storage area I keep a dry box of camera gear. In the front left I keep my fly fishing kit, a Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling, with a few fly boxes, tippet, etc. It’s taper is perfectly shaped to match the contour of the front of the Kilroy, so it fits in there nicely, while rod tips are protected by the tubes. I leave the nippers on the side facing me so I can just lean forward to use them. It also provides a nice alternate location for the Nalgene to keep water handy, but not snag any fly line.

I keep extra fly boxes, my iPhone in a waterproof LifeProof case, sun protection from 12 WT, etc on the sidewalls, secured by the bungees. In the photo to the left you’ll also notice a YakAttack ParkNPole stake out pole, secured in one of the rod storage slots. You’ll also notice that if you don’t use the front lower extra rod storage bungee on the tower, it makes a great cold beverage holder. I also like to keep large flies in Cliff Bugger Barns, right next to the seat. Some more photos of that are below.




I like to keep a small Pelican dry box under my seat with another point and shoot camera for quick access to candid shots.







Behind the seat, I like to keep dry bags, or a fishing crate. In this photo you can see both, with the crate behind the seat, and red dry bag laid behind it. I’ll often put wading boots there too if I plan on fishing from the kayak and doing some wading along the way. You can also see a 9 foot fly rod stored on the upper rod storage location, and the ParkNPole stored on the lower. You can get a 9 ft fly in and out of the sidewall rod storage locations while on the water, but its easier with shorter fly/spin/baitcasting rods.

The two photos below show a Jackson crate (coming soon), net, rod holders, etc all stored nicely. The crate is secured by wrapping the floor system bungees around the handles on either side.






In the photo above, you can see how nice and clean the standing area is for stripping fly line. Unlike sit-on-tops, your line remains contained and won’t drag in the water or be pulled out. Line management is quite easy.

Once on the water, there are a few options for paddle management. My personal preference is to scoop it under the bungees on the deck. On the top photo and some others above, you can also see my paddle stored on the side paddle holder. There are also troughs on the hard deck for laying your paddle sideways across it, or scooping a blade on top of it.

The side paddle storage bungee is also a good place to store a stake out pole. In the photo below, you can see how I secure myself using a stake out pole (or paddle blade) without any scuppers. You simply slide the stake out pole or paddle blade down in between the bungee and the side of the kayak.










Stability of the Kilroy is incredible since your center is significantly lower than a sit on top. Standing and fishing isn’t for everybody, but with the all day comfort of the Elite Seat, the choice is yours. If you like to sit and still cast a fly line, the upper position still provides plenty of room to manage the line.





That’s it for now. Hope this has been helpful and thanks for all the interest in the Kilroy. If you have any questions about the Kilroy, please fire away, or go visit your local Jackson Kayak dealer.

Comments on “Outfitting A Jackson Kayak Kilroy”

  1. H. Byrd
    June 30, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    My wife wants to know when the two place Kilroy comes out. I told her to ask for herself and I got the look.
    She says a two place sit in with optional facie to front or back seat would be the best.
    Women, they always want what you don’t have. I’m glad she didn’t ask for pink……

    Sorry guys for posting this but it really does beat the alternative.


    1. July 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm

      Hey Hersh,

      Currently this is not on our radar, but thanks for the input. We love to hear ideas like this from our customers. Thanks and cheers to being a good husband!

  2. Neal Tomich
    July 2, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    I just figured an easy way to add a yolk to the yak. I threaded a cam strap between the side handles and secured it with a little give in the tension. Then I just turned the yak over and got the strap over my shoulders with my hands forward to push down on the inside to correct the balance. No sweat, and the cam strap doubles as a tow strap during the trip.

  3. Tim McNamara
    July 8, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    This posting is very informative and helpful. How does the stability of the Kilroy compare to the Coosa for standing fly fishing?

    1. July 16, 2013 at 4:49 pm


      I think because you are slightly lower to the water that the Kilroy feels more stable. It also inspires confidence because you are down in the kayak instead of on top of it.

      good luck

  4. Mark
    July 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    What sort of anchor system have you come up with if any?

    1. July 31, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      Hey Mark,

      You can always set up an anchor trolley system. Also, I know it’s not designed for one, but I’ve ran a drag chain just like on the Coosa. I attached it with the bungee on the side and ran the dog chain down to the rear with deck eyes. Then, ran the anchor through the rear handle. Hope this helps.

  5. Tom Beckmann
    July 18, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Not sure which boat to purchase, the Coosa or Kilroy. Fly fishing small creeks and rivers.
    Any opinion would be appreciated. At age 50 comfort and staying dry are a consideration.

    Thank you

    1. July 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm

      Hey Tom,

      Both are great platforms for fly fishing. I do prefer the Coosa in moving water/rapids, but this is just my personal preference as I have used the Coosa way more than the Kilroy…but that is soon to change. They both are super comfortable with the elite seat. I would recommend getting by your local dealer and testing both out. Good luck, I don’t think you will be disappointed either way.

      Tight Lines,

  6. HJG
    September 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Specs & Pricing
    This was intended for the Specs & Pricing space of your page but I dont see the spacing there to post so here it is. What are going to be the new 2014 improvements for the Kilroy? I see that the Go Hero partnership is supposed to be happening in the whole fishing line of JK’s and saw the camera mount but haven’t seen the Go Hero decal on it. Would or could come with it? The costumers keep asking around for a rudder and I would like to know if this is in the works? Would a rudder be a suitable modification for this model? I already seen the Kilroy on Ebay with a 10% discount (not a reliable source if you ask me) and since Mr. Eric Jackson is a patriot and supports the armed forces I was wondering if the company offers a military discount. Finally to Damon Bungard- You and the rest of the team are doing an awesome job be leading the way with your premiere products. So funny videos with the wrong captions are funny to an extent but that is obviously the end product of competition. Yes I am the general concerned fisherman and sponsored by my own sweat. Up front, thanks a lot to whoever answers.

    1. January 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      Yes there is still the GoPro partnership, and still comes with the gopro mount already attached. There will be no rudder available on the Kilroy. I haven’t heard of anyone who has tried to add a rudder yet. If you do, please let us know how it turns out, because I am sure there are other people who have the same question. To my knowledge, we don’t currently offer any military discounts coming from the factory, but I would bet a lot of our dealers offer them. I will pass along your remarks to Damon and the rest of the crew. But thank you for your support to our brand and family of paddlers.


      1. January 16, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        Also, we support by donating to some leading kayak and kayak fishing organizations for our veterans.

  7. Keith
    January 19, 2014 at 6:28 am

    I have two ideas that IMO would improve the Kilroy. I think that putting the bigger, oval hatch on the rear would be a great place to start. Also, I think that eliminating the foam piece in the front and replacing it with something more innovative would be great as well. Thanks!

  8. Scott Gosnell
    February 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I would snap up a 2 seater Kilroy in a heartbeat!

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