Game On 2 Kayak Fishing in Panama Gear Guide

Game On 2 Kayak Fishing in Panama Gear Guide.

I have had several emails asking for more specifics on the gear we used on our trip to Panama, so I thought I would do a top to bottom run down of what we were using.

Starting at the top with head gear. It is very hot down there and you will want the sun protection of a wide brimmed hat. The hat I use is made by Ocean Designs
they are hand made and last for years. I have been wearing these hats for ever.
The guys were wearing hats by Exofficio, again wide brimmed for extra sun protection.

For clothing we were all outfitted by Exofficio, their clothing made a huge difference in our comfort in the heat and humidity.
My favorite items were the Neptune shirts which were cool in the heat, dried very fast after the rains and washed up like new after being covered in blood, something that you would not get from a cotton t-shirt.
I generally prefer wearing shorts and I love the new Nio Amphi Skimr they were not only functional, actually repelling water and stains, but stylish, my daughter even approved.

On the blazing hot days it was nice to put on a pair of pants to keep the sun off the legs. I like the Amphi convertible pants.They dry very fast so you can go from the kayak to the bar without a change. The pants do come with a liner but honestly I cut it out.

On our feet we had the new Reef runner sandals, I wore these in the airport and on the water. I spend my life in sandals and these are top notch and super comfortable. Great for on the kayak, on the beach and on the boat.

While out on the water in the blazing sun a good pair of polarized sunglasses is imperative and we are lucky to have Maui Jim with us for Game On 2. I wear the Stingray sunglasses which thankfully are available in prescription. Maui Jim has their own lab and can get you your prescription in many choices of frames, even in bifocals like mine. You can see I am wearing them in almost all of these photos.

On the fishing gear front I was using all Shimano gear and was glad to have their quality while fight some of these tough fish.
While fishing the rocks tossing lures over and over I used a Calcutta 300 TE reel.
This reel was tough enough to pull the big fish out of the rocks, was comfortable to cast with all day and I even landed a 38 pound tuna on what I would consider a bass rod. The reel was matched with a Shimano Calcutta rod.

While fishing for Snook I went with a lighter setup and used a Shimano Core
This low profile bait caster was more than up to the task and was a blast to catch fish on. I even landed a 15 pound Jack Crevalle on this reel attached to a Calcutta rod.

For throwing some of our heavier lures I used a Shimano Trinidad 16 reel
on a Shimano Teramar rod
With this combo I had the confidence I could stop the fish before he got me in the rocks.

While trolling for bigger game we often used large live baits or bigger lures and having a reel with a lever drag is a huge advantage. That is why we chose the Shimano Torsa and the Tiagra 12 two speed
The Torsa has a lot of pulling power and the two speed Tiagra gave me that something extra I need to land that 120 pound tuna. Both reels were matched to Shimano Tallus Rods.

All of our reels were loaded with PowerPro braided line
which gave us great sensitivity and power. We also used Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon leaders to entice those bite and give us the abrasion resistance we needed in the rocks.

Though we caught some of our fish on live bait, the big tuna included, most of our fishing was done with lures. The lures we chose on this trip really did the trick and that was the lures by Sebile.
Their Magic swimmers were great in the rocks and while trolling from the kayak and landed a huge percentage of our fish on the trip.
With its natural swimming action the fish could not resist it. The other go to lure was the Sebile Splasher surface popper we caught everything from Cubera snapper in the rocks to Tuna with these lures. The fish would absolutely explode on them; it was a thrill to watch.

The kayaks we used while in Panama were the Ocean Kayak Trident 13’s
These were great paddling kayaks, loaded with features to make them awesome fishing boats. They did well on the long distance paddle we did but also handled the roughest condtions with ease.

My paddle of choice on this trip and when ever I travel is the Lendal Kinetik
All carbon fiber with the bent shaft makes it a joy to paddle with; the fact that it breaks down to five pieces makes it a joy to travel with.

Another little item that really saved me during my three hour fight with that big tuna is called the Rod Knobie
This small pad that you slip onto the butt of your fishing rod makes those long fights much more comfortable.

On this trip, like all of our trips, we all carried Standard Horizon VHF radios,
not only a great safety item but also a great way to reach the support boat when you needed anything or to let the camera man know it was Game On.
These radios not only are waterproof but they also float.

Well that covers a good portion of the gear we had with us on the trip, though I am sure I am forgetting some. If you have any questions about any of the gear used please feel free to contact me.


  1. Cant believe you guys fishing from a kayak, but it must be very exciting, coming so close to the elements and fish. I saw a guy in Norway fishing halibut with a kayak, 400 lbs halibuts, its unbelievable but possible.

  2. Great adventure!
    I had been guiding fishing trips in Panama the last 3 years, and I absolutely agree the quoted protection as sun screen, sun hats, correct clothing, etc
    I hope to travel the world fishing, fishing, fishing.
    Great info compilation!

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