Thursday, February 24, 2011

Build a Large Kayak Fishing Crate

If you fish out of a kayak, chances are you own a kayak crate.  I’ve built a lot of these things in the past few years, mainly starting with the file crates that are available at stores like Office Depot and Walmart.  For me, the plastic milk crates that can be found out back of most grocery stores are a little too small.  The downfall of the office crates is that they don’t have near the rigidity that the milk crates offer.  With as much crap as I typically load into my kayak, the office crates don’t tend hold up for very long.  

I finally found what I was searching for at Home Depot.  The store’s $6.98 “Heavy Duty Work Tote” performs GREAT with a few modifications.   

 I used a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the 4 steel rods that affix the two folding lids to the rest of the crate.  

The whole unit fits nicely in the rear tankwells of my Ocean Kayak Prowler Big Game and my Tarpon 140, holds a ton of gear and does not flex hardly at all. (For reference, the bottom dimensions of the crate measure 12” wide x 19” long, the top 15” x 22” and it is 12 inched deep)

For a while now I have been using Tractor Supply’s 3 quart feed scoops that sell for under $3 each.  The handles fit securely in 1.25” diameter PVC pipe and the extra storage comes in handy for holding all kinds of gear from loose lures to an anchor. 

TSC’s small “Over the Fence Feeder Basket” fits perfectly between the rod holders in the back of the crate.  This little box allows me to effectively use the space at the back of the crate that is hardest to reach. 

I store my dry box with things that I don’t need out on the water (wallet, keys, etc) underneath the red feeder basket.

All the PVC rod holders were cut to 14” in length and ziptied into place with 11” long heavy duty zip-ties - 100 packs are available at Harbor Freight for $1.99.  I mounted 8 rod holders and use them for rods, my telescoping GoPro Hero HD camera setup (writeup coming soon) as well as my telescoping kayak light for night fishing.  

Since the crate flares out from the bottom to the top lip, the space between the PVC at the bottom of the crate is perfect for storing bottled waters while not interfering with Plano box placement.  

So that’s it.  If you are looking for a larger crate or one that is more rigid, this is definitely the way to go.   I have another one of these totes that I plan to cut the narrow wall out of and fabricate something a little different, but as is, this one works great!


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  1. Dude, that's one killer tackle tote. I gotta make me one!

  2. Nice job. I love ingenuity. Thanks for posting your work.

  3. Just finished mine...........just waiting on the Palmetto Kayak Fishing sticker I ordered to make it look just like the one in the picture. Thanks Paul for posting these great projects. They are all a big help.

  4. Looks awesome. Wondering, if it's all behind you then how do you access it while fishing? (I haven't kayaked before).

  5. Just what I have been looking for!! The regular milk crate worked great before I started more and more things.Like you, I take a bunch stuff with me as well.

  6. I was looking at using one of these for my rig prior to finding this article. Thank you. This gives me some ideas to base mine off of.