I just got a yak also so I can't give any knowledgeable advise. I intend to start by wearing a PFD. I appears that one should have a leash of somesort so if you become unattached to the paddle you will be able to retrieve it. I will be difficult to move around without a paddle. It might be a good idea to have a leash on the rod as well but that seems awkward. I do believe that one needs a way to hold the paddle on the yak when not in use and the same for the rod. Good sunglasses and protection for other parts of the body as well. In warm weather I like to wear the nylon garments such as made by Columbia and Magelan. At the very least you must have water with you. I intend to lash a small cooler on the back with 2 or 3 bottles of water that are frozen and at least one that is not frozen. Room for a sandwich or 2 would be great for a long day. Gloves of some sort may be in order depending on the weather and where you are located at the time. The above is where I am starting. I will adjust as needed.