Kayak track mount systems are a fairly recent introduction to the marine community. Kayak track mount systems are useful for mounting fishing gear such as a rod holder, transducer arms, or even electronics. There are two main advantages to kayak track mount systems. First is ease of installation. Tracks are attached to the top side of the kayak. Accessories like rod holders are then attached easily to the kayak. The second advantage is ease of adjustment. If you install a long track, the rod holder, transducer arm, or electronic accessory can be mounted anywhere along the full length of the track.
The majority of kayak track systems work the same. The tracks are available in varying lengths or can be mounted to the kayak adjacent to each other. You drill some pilot holes that line up with mounting holes on the track then attach the tracks using provided screws. The inside of the track has a channel that accepts a holder or mount. That holder or mount has a T-screw or similar shaped attachment to fit within the track. You insert that T-screw and twist it to keep it in place. You can install the holder anywhere the track is. So if you happen to install a track along the entire length of your kayak, you can then mount your fishing rod (or whatever) anywhere along the length of the kayak.
There are several manufacturers of kayak track mount systems. Today we will discuss two of those manufacturers. Each manufacturer not only makes the track, but also mounting accessories to fit the track. We will also take a look at mount manufacturers that make holders to fit track systems.
The YakAttack GearTrac 16 Inch Mounting Track comes from a company well-known for their kayak products. The YakAttack line of track mounts have two different types. The most common type is the one in the prior link. You insert a holder into the track from the end of the track and move it to the position desired. YakAttack also offers a top loaded version of their track where one can place their holder into the track wherever they like and not have to feed it in from the end. Unlike many other kayak track systems, the Geartrac line comes in a slew of designer colors including black, blue, lime, orange, pink and a few others. These are available in varying lengths up to 16 inches.
The Scotty Slide Track is another popular kayak track mount system and is made in varying sizes. The Scotty 48 Inch Slide Track is the longest one piece track system I know of. The Scotty Slide Track is made of high-grade PVC. Unlike the YakAttack line, these are only available in black. The Scotty line of fishing rod holders is among the most extensive in the industry and they make what they call a Scotty Gear Head Track Adapter which has a T-bolt on the bottom to fit the Slide Track system (it will probably fit the YakAttack as well). For those familiar with the Scotty line of post mounts, the Gear Head Adapter is used to fit all the Scotty post fishing rod mounts onto the Scotty Slide Track.
You can do a lot of neat things with the Scotty Slide Track. An excellent example is the Kayak/SUP Transducer Mounting Arm with Gear-Head. This setup is added to a Slide Track will allow easy mounting of a transducer. This Scotty Transducer Mount extends from 11.5″ to 18″ and swivels 360 degrees. Easy to remove and install adds convenience when taking your kayak out of the water. It’s made of high strength composite material which minimizes corrosion problems.
RAM Mount also makes a line of adapters that fit both the YakAttack and Scotty Slide Track lines. The RAM adapters also fit the Wilderness Systems SlideTrax which is another popular line of track systems. Use the RAM 1″ Ball Quick Release Track Base Adapter to turn your track system into a mounting point for almost any RAM cradle including the very popular X-Grip lineup which we like a lot. Just a matter of adding a RAM Arm and universal or custom cradle and you have a heavy duty solution for many popular electronic accessories.
I find a kayak track mount system to be the best method for placing rod holders and electronics onto a kayak. I only covered a small number of ways to use a kayak track system. In addition to the obvious rod holder, there are also holders with special adapters available for drinks, cameras, fishfinders and smartphones.