Second only to the kayak itself, the kayak paddle is a key part of a successful trip out on the water. Acting as your motor, steering and brake, a good paddle is crucial to safely navigating the water while kayaking. So it is important to find the right one for you and know the differences between them. It is also important to get the right paddle to work during a kayaking fishing trip to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Finding The Perfect Kayak Paddle For Fishing

ImageProduct 
Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle<br />
Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle
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Werner Camano Hooked PaddleWerner Camano Hooked PaddleCheck Price
Bending Branches Angler Classic Paddle<br />
Bending Branches Angler Classic Paddle
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Werner Camano Straight Two Piece PaddleWerner Camano Straight Two Piece PaddleCheck Price
Werner Skagit FG PaddleWerner Skagit FG PaddleCheck Price
Werner Tybee FG PaddleWerner Tybee FG PaddleCheck Price
Bending Branches Angler Ace PaddleBending Branches Angler Ace PaddleCheck Price
Backwater Assault Hand PaddleBackwater Assault Hand PaddleCheck Price
Bending Branches Whisper PaddleBending Branches Whisper PaddleCheck Price
Aqua Bound Sting Ray PaddleAqua Bound Sting Ray PaddleCheck Price

Important Features To Consider

No matter what you plan to do while out on the water, there are some key features you need to consider on every kayak paddle.

Size

  • Kayak Width

Your kayak needs to be long enough to maneuver through the water without worrying about hitting the side of your kayak. So a wider kayak means you need a longer paddle to guarantee clearance as you paddle without having to worry about slowing down or tipping over.

  • Torso Length

You torso plays a key role in finding the right kayak paddle for you. Longer torsos means your arms are higher up from the water than shorter torsos. So a person with a taller torso will need a longer kayak paddle than someone with a shorter torso.

Weight

If your paddle is too heavy, you can end up getting exhausted very quickly and even hurting yourself trying to paddle through the water. You can pull muscles, strain your body and hurt your shoulders trying to paddle when your paddle is too heavy. But if your paddle is too light, you can end up with improper strokes and having to spend more energy to force your kayak forward. This is why a proper weight is so important.

Shaft

  • Straight or Bent?

Shafts for kayak paddles can either be straight or bent and it is really up to the user as to which you choose. While there is not a huge difference in performance, there can be a difference in comfort for some. Bent shafts can often offer more comfortable grip for your hands and can be easier to paddle for long periods of time or even one handed. The bent shaft of a kayak paddle can also sit in your lap without rolling off so it is easily accessible.

  • Adjustable?

If you want a versatile kayaking paddle that can work in a variety of different situations and different users, an adjustable kayak paddle is the way to go. Typically, an adjustable kayaking paddle can be customizable in length by 15cm. This is great for a shared kayak or for teenagers who may not be done growing. Or if you just want to experiment with different lengths to find the right one for you, an adjustable kayak paddle is a great option.

  • Number of Pieces?

You can choose between a one piece paddle, two piece paddle or even four piece paddle. While the performance of the paddle isn’t hugely different between the paddles in relation to the number of pieces, the number of pieces does make storage and transportation much easier. Rather than a solid one piece paddle that can’t be bent or altered to accommodate smaller doorways or storage spaces. Being able to break down the shaft into pieces means there are no awkward attempts to get it through a doorway.

  • Diameter?

If your paddle’s diameter is too big you can get an improper grip and drop your paddle. But if the diameter is just a little too small or large for your hands you can end up with cramping and blood flow problems while on the water. You should be able to touch your thumb and index finger together when holding your paddle to guarantee you get the right fit.

Blade

  • Symmetrical vs Asymmetrical

You can choose between symmetrical and asymmetrical blades for your kayak paddle. The standard design is symmetrical, but more and more people are choosing asymmetrical paddles for their high efficiency. Symmetrical paddles are great for high vertical strokes like in whitewater kayaking or more high impact kayaking trips. But asymmetrical blades on your paddles are preferred for low angle paddling because it has a greater surface area so you can cover a greater distance quickly.

  • Dihedral

Dihedral blades feature a ribbing down the center of the paddle that allows the water to flow off it smoothly and evenly over both parts of the blade. Without the dihedral in the paddle, the paddle will flutter more and can cause more difficulty in traveling straight.

  • Paddling Angle

There are two distinct styles of paddle strokes people use. The high angle paddling style is ideal for whitewater kayaking, fitness oriented trips and more extreme kayaking adventures. This is because the high angle paddling style is much more vertically oriented and is more like cutting down through the water than the low angle. Low angle paddling, while you will not move as quickly as you will with the high angle, is much more effective in calmer waters. The low angle style covers more distance with every stroke while still being more leisurely and relaxing.

  • Narrower

Narrower blades are designed to be lighter to make it easier to travel longer distances without having to work as hard. It takes less effort to get the paddle through the water so your won’t exert so much energy so quickly.

  • Wider

While it takes more energy to paddle, the wider paddle blade works wonders for accelerating through the water and creating quick and powerful strokes. This allows you to cover a greater distance very quickly.

Length

On average kayaking paddles are approximately 210cm to 260cm long. But getting a paddle that is too long can cause you to paddle awkwardly and zigzag through the water. It can also cause fatigue to set in faster because it takes more energy to move all of that length every time you paddle. Paddles that are too short cause you to have to use your torso more and tilt to get the paddle into the water without clipping the boat. So as a rule of thumb, you should follow the height guide provided. If you are between sizes you should opt for the shorter option because it is easier to accommodate a shorter paddle than a longer one.

Paddler Height Boat Width
Under 23″ 23″ to 28″ 28″ to 32″ Over 32″
Under 5′ tall 210cm 220cm 230cm 240cm
5′ to 5’6″ tall 215cm 220cm 230cm 240cm
5’6″ to 6′ tall 220cm 220cm 230cm 250cm
Over 6′ tall 220cm 230cm 240cm 250cm

 

Shape

There are a variety of blade shapes you can choose from when it comes to kayaking paddles. There are the standard flat paddles everyone is accustomed to, but there are also other styles designed to aid in more effective paddling. All purpose and recreational paddle blade shapes are also available and are designed to be more versatile than the standard flat design. They can range in length, width and even include special features to help you with the specific tasks you require on the water.

  • J-Shape Notch

Wider kayak paddle blades can often feature a j-shaped notch that allows you to utilize your paddle to retrieve your snared fishing lines and hooks.

Feathered vs Un-feathered

Feathering on kayak paddles refers to the alignment of the two paddle blades. Non- feathered blades are perfectly even to each other, whereas the feathered option are not on the same plane and are mounted at different angles to be more aerodynamic and efficient. While the efficiency in the air is a major plus, this type of paddle does require you to use a dominant hand rather than alternating between the two.

Material

Kayaking paddles come in a variety of materials that all have pros and cons that you will have to weigh when choosing a paddle. They include:

For The Shaft

You need to consider durability, weight and easy of use when choosing the material for your kayak paddle’s shaft. The top materials used for a kayak paddle shaft are:

  • Fiberglass

For a great mid-range paddle that is both durable and lightweight, fiberglass is the way to go. Fiberglass, because it is a mid-range material, will have the greatest number of choices out of all the material options. This includes price, color and style so you can customize it to your needs and preferences.

  • Carbon Fiber

Extremely lightweight, high performance and incredibly durable, carbon fiber is the epidemy of high end paddle material. Perfect for long journeys because the material is so light and comfortable, you don’t need to worry about cracks or breaking with the carbon fiber paddle option.

  • Aluminum/Nylon/Plastic

The most affordable options, most beginners opt to go with one of these three materials. While not as durable or lightweight as the other materials, it allows you to test out kayaking without making a big investment. They will get the job done though so they can be a great option for a backup paddle.

For The Blade

You want to find the right blend of durability and efficiency as the blade needs to be lightweight and aerodynamic enough to easily maneuver, while still strong enough to avoid cracks, breaks and degrading as you use it.

  • Carbon fiber

Much like the shaft, carbon fiber is the top material for the blade of the paddle. Incredibly lightweight, durable, and designed to give you the best possible performance, carbon fiber may cost more, but is well worth the money.

  • Fiberglass

Providing a great combination of affordability and durability, fiberglass can provide you with the needed performance without breaking the bank. Although fiberglass won’t crack, it can chip so it isn’t ideal for areas with a lot of stones and debris.

  • Plastic/nylon

Hands down the most affordable option, plastic and nylon are great for recreational use. But for heavy use and paddling through a lot of rocks and debris, plastic and nylon are not recommended. Cracks, chips and wearing down can all occur and can lead to problems if it happens while on the water. So it really should be a back up paddle when used for kayak fishing.

Durability

Durability is key when choosing a kayak paddle, no matter what you are doing while on the water. Your kayak paddle must be durable enough to withstand use through a trip without cracking or breaking. Without a fully functioning paddle you can end up spending a much longer time trying to get back to shore or even end up stranded. To guarantee you retain the ability to move freely and safely throughout the water, it is crucial you factor in durability in every possible paddle option. From materials to design and everything in between, durability is always a must have.

Difference Between Standard And Fishing Kayaks

The biggest difference between fishing kayaks and standard kayaks is function. All the features should make it easier to fish and provide the most efficiency for the task at hand without causing any extra effort or strain.

Features To Look For In Fishing Kayak Paddles

There are a few key things that you need to opt for when looking for a paddle for kayak fishing. These include:

Flotation

The last thing you need to worry about is losing your paddle. So to prevent getting stranded or having to worry about accidentally knocking over your paddles when fishing, it is ideal to go with a paddle with some kind of foam or other material attached to it to keep it floating no matter what.

Low Angle

You don’t want to disturb the fish while paddling so it is important to stick to a low angle paddling style. This means sticking with the options that will give you the features that correlate with successful and efficient low angle paddling.

Adjustable Feathering

You typically want to go with an un-feathered option when kayak fishing because it is easier to paddle with when going short distances. But if you are looking to get the most out of your paddle and get to a fishing spot further out without difficulty, it may be worthwhile to invest in a paddle with adjustable feathering. This way you can get the aerodynamic efficiency while paddling out to your fishing spot, but then the un-feathered option when you get to your ideal location to move short distances without having to rely too heavily on a dominant paddling system.

Shaft Type

Bent shafts are much more compatible with kayak fishing because they stay in place and make it easy to access. You can also paddle with one hand much easier than with the straight shaft kayak paddle.

Blade Features

Incorporating features like J-shaped notches and other fishing specific options are a fantastic way to make sure you get the most out of your paddle and enjoy your time fishing as much as possible.

 

Top Ten Best Fishing Kayak Paddles

Our vote for the top ten best kayak fishing paddles are:

1. Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle

Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle

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The winner of Kayak Fishing Paddle of The Year in 2013 and 2014, the Bending Branches Angles Pro Paddle is designed to give you everything you need in a fishing paddle. With a choice of sea green, camo, and real tree for color options you can choose to go with a bright and easy to see paddle or something that blends in more with your environment. Made of high grade materials and easy to use, the Bending Branches Angler Pro paddle is easily the best paddle available on the market.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon fiber shaft
  • Fiberglass blade
  • Lightweight
  • Built in fish measuring tool
  • Three color options
  • Straight shaft
Cons:
  • Price

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2. Werner Camano Hooked Paddle

Werner Camano Hooked Paddle

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Ideal for longer trips, the Werner Camano hooked paddle comes in twelve different colors so there is something for everyone to like. The paddle is designed to reduce fatigue so you can continue paddle for hours and even overnight trips without too much exertion or muscle strain.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon blend shaft
  • Fiberglass blade
  • Dihedral blade
  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable ferrule
  • Large variety of color options
  • Asymmetrical blade
Cons:
  • Cost
  • Straight shaft

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3. Bending Branches Angler Classic Paddle

Bending Branches Angler Classic Paddle

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Designed to help you free snagged hooks, lines and lures from trees, branches and other debris, the Bending Branches Angler Classic is made for the avid kayak fishers. All of Bending Branches’ products are made in the United States and designed to fit your needs. While some people have reported broken paddles arriving, but if that does happen, the Bending Branches company will refund your money or send you a replacement.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Fiberglass shaft
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade
  • Built in fish measuring system
  • J notch blade
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • A few buyers’ paddles arrived damaged
  • Straight shaft

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4. Werner Camano Straight Two Piece Paddle

Werner Camano Straight Two Piece Paddle

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Available in five bright color options for high visibility, the Werner Camano straight, two piece paddle features an asymmetrical fiberglass blade with dihedrals for optimum efficiency. Drip rings work to keep your hands and body dry as you go and the paddle is durable enough to handle all your trips.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon and fiberglass blend shaft
  • Fiberglass blade
  • Lightweight
  • Dihedral blade
  • Five color options
  • Asymmetrical blade
  • Drip rings
Cons:
  • Not ideal for people with longer torsos or wider kayaks
  • Straight shaft

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5. Werner Skagit FG Paddle

Werner Skagit FG Paddle

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Available in yellow and brown, the Werner Skagit FG paddle features easy to clean ferrules and adjustable feathering in 15 degree increments. The Skagit FG is designed to optimize low angling paddling style and if you go with the brown color option you will also get a hooked blade to help you get lures and lines back.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon blend shaft
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade
  • Asymmetrical blade
  • Affordable
  • Injection molded blades for impact and wear protection
  • Lightweight
  • Drip rings
Cons:
  • Not as durable as you may want
  • Some paddle drip rings malfunctioning
  • Straight shaft

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6. Werner Tybee FG Paddle

Werner Tybee FG Paddle

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Not directly made for fishing because it is designed for a high angle paddling style, the Werner Tybee FG paddle can be an affordable option for someone who wants one paddle for every kayak activity. Because it is not designed for fishing, there are no specific features related to fishing, but it is still a solid kayaking paddle to have.

Pros:
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon blend shaft
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Drip rings to keep you dry
  • Light dihedral in blade
  • Asymmetrical blade
Cons:
  • Designed for high angle paddling style
  • Some paddles have wiggly joints
  • No features specific to fishing
  • Straight shaft

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7. Bending Branches Angler Ace Paddle

Bending Branches Angler Ace Paddle

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Featuring a tape measure print to easily measure your catches, the Bending Branches Angler Ace paddle features a built in hook retriever into the blade to make it easy for any avid fisherman to enjoy a relaxing time on the water.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • Infinite degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Carbon fiber shaft
  • Carbon reinforced nylon blade
  • Built in hook retriever
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Telescoping ferrule
  • Asymmetrical blade
Cons:
  • Price
  • Straight shaft

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8. Backwater Assault Hand Paddle

Backwater Assault Hand Paddle

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Available in a more natural olive green or a high visibility orange, the Backwater Assault hand paddle functions as an additional paddle and hook to help you retrieve lines. A serrated edge is also included to help you push off of solid surfaces and the hand paddle can also help you to dock.

Pros:
  • Additional paddle for advanced fishing
  • Polypropylene shaft
  • Foam grip handle
  • Polypropylene blade
  • Loop for around your hand for extra security
  • J notch
  • Serrated end
  • Very affordable
Cons:
  • No angle
  • Not a full paddle
  • but an additional fishing paddle

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9. Bending Branches Whisper Paddle

Bending Branches Whisper Paddle

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Bending Branches is on the list yet again with another great kayaking paddle. Made with an aluminum shaft to make it much more affordable, the Whisper paddle features all the things the more expensive Bending Branches paddles do, but is not as durable or lightweight as the more expensive options.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two pieces
  • Aluminum shaft
  • Fiberglass reinforced polypropylene blade
  • J notch for hook retrieval
  • Dihedral curve on blade
  • Asymmetrical blade
  • Drip rings
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Aluminum shaft can be heavier than other material options
  • Straight shaft

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10. Aqua Bound Sting Ray Paddle

Aqua Bound Sting Ray Paddle

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Available in both a two piece option and a four piece option, the Aqua Bound Sting Ray paddle is both functional and affordable. The two piece version is available in either a snap button closure or a Posi-Lok. Made of an aluminum shaft and a carbon fiber blade, the Sting Ray paddle combines durability and affordability to make it accessible to everyone.

Pros:
  • Low angle
  • 0 to 60 degree adjustable feathering
  • Two or four pieces
  • Aluminum shaft
  • abX resin and carbon fiber blade
  • Affordable
  • Drip rings
  • Durable
Cons:
  • Aluminum shaft can be heavier than other material options
  • Straight shaft

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Summary
Finding The Perfect Kayak Paddle For Fishing
Article Name
Finding The Perfect Kayak Paddle For Fishing
Description
Picking out the best paddle for kayaking isn't as easy as many think, so we've put our best picks in this article to help you pick the right paddle for you.
Author
Publisher Name
Jess Baker
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