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Up to date Jan 13, 2023 11:49 AM

Selecting a kayak paddle for fishing isn’t as difficult as selecting your kayak, however it’s practically as essential. A paddle could appear to be an adjunct, however it’s a essential device for the kayak angler and shouldn’t be neglected. Anglers that don’t give it a lot thought find yourself utilizing an ill-fitting, heavy, or inefficient paddle, and so they finally catch much less fish.

So how do you select the precise paddle? I’ll get you began with these important ideas. I’ll additionally stroll you thru the most effective kayak paddles for fishing so that you’ll hit the water prepared.

How I Made My Picks

My alternative of kayak paddles is predicated on practically 30 years of angling expertise, together with 20 years of kayak angling in each recent and saltwater. I’ve owned a bunch of kayaks through the years—fashions costing from $200 to over $3,000—and began fishing out of a kayak earlier than specialty angling kayaks had been accessible for buy. I’ve owned a wide range of paddles, top-tier full carbon touring paddles, all-aluminum bargains, and a number of other fiberglass and carbon composite choices in between. I additionally spoke with many professionals within the trade about their fishing experiences, preferences, and high picks. When evaluating fishing kayak paddles, I primarily based my decisions on:

  • Size: Does the paddle are available in lengths acceptable for anglers?
  • Weight: How mild is the paddle?
  • Blade Design: Is the blade designed for high- or low-angle paddling, or can or not it’s used for each? How environment friendly is it over lengthy distances, versus how highly effective is it for fast acceleration? How stiff is it total?
  • Adjustability: Is the paddle size adjustable? By how a lot, and the way simple is it to regulate? How adjustable is the feathering?
  • Sturdiness: Can the paddle maintain as much as angling abuse?
  • Angling-specific options: Does it supply a hook puller, docking help, measuring tape, or different options?
  • Value: Does the paddle present good worth?

Greatest Kayak Paddles for Fishing: Critiques and Suggestions

Greatest Total: Wilderness Programs Alpha Angler Carbon

Greatest Total

Why It Made the Reduce: Within the premium paddle market, there are a number of actually nice choices, however the Wilderness Programs Alpha Angler Carbon provides the most effective mixture of weight, adjustability, and effectivity. 

Key Options

  • Shaft and Blade Building: 100% carbon fiber shaft, carbon fiber composite blades 
  • Weight: 1.7 kilos
  • Lengths: 1 size, 240-280cm adjustable


  • Extremely-lightweight shaft and blades have few rivals
  • Infinitely adjustable size between 240- and 280-centimeters, and infinite feathering
  • Blade design strikes an ideal steadiness between energy, pace, and endurance
  • Regardless of the carbon composite blade, this paddle has a very good status for being rugged sufficient for many anglers


  • Some of the costly paddles accessible throughout all disciplines 
  • No hook puller

Wilderness Programs didn’t begin making angling paddles till lengthy after different manufactures had established fishing-specific choices, however they entered into the sport with one of many best ever made. The Alpha Angler Carbon is without doubt one of the lightest paddles accessible—even amongst touring paddles. At solely 27-ounces, you would possibly fear that every one this 100% carbon paddle is fragile, however customers have discovered that it holds up nicely to common angling abuse. Simply watch out to not get it wedged and twist it, as that is when full-carbon paddles are most probably to interrupt. The blades are an ideal compromise between pace and acceleration, and all-day endurance. At 610-square-centimeters they’re common in complete floor space, however their form creates the right steadiness.

There are two different actually nice alternate options that have to be mentioned at this stage of efficiency: the Bending Branches Angler Professional Plus and the Werner Camano Adjustable Shaft. For my part, the Bending Branches Angler Professional Plus paddle is the first competitors. It’s a actually legendary full-carbon paddle with very excessive marks throughout the board, together with sturdiness and effectivity, and weighs the identical because the Wilderness Programs Alpha Angler Carbon. Nevertheless, the principle motive I’d select the Wilderness Programs over the Bending Branches mannequin is the last word flexibility in sizing and feathering. 

The Werner Camano Adjustable Shaft is 3-ounces heavier than the Wildness System paddle, however it’s additionally $90 cheaper. This alone could make it a better option over the Wilderness Programs for lots of anglers. Nevertheless, it’s a extra endurance-oriented paddle, designed primarily for low-angle paddling. That is both  a pro- or con- relying in your type.

Greatest for Newbies: Pelican Poseidon Angler

Greatest for Newbies

Pelican Poseidon Angler are the best kayak paddles for fishing for beginners.

Why It Made the Reduce: This angling-specific paddle might not be ultra-lightweight, however it’s extraordinarily reasonably priced, has some angling-specific options, and is tremendous sturdy.

Key Options

  • Shaft and Blade Building: Aluminum shaft, fiberglass strengthened polypropylene blades 
  • Weight: 2.6 kilos
  • Lengths: 2 lengths, 240cm or 250cm solely


  • Very low worth rivals the most cost effective aluminum shaft paddles
  • Sturdy and powerful 
  • Comparatively environment friendly paddle works nicely for high- or low-angle paddlers
  • Has a hook retriever, touchdown hook, hi-vis measuring tape, and an ergonomic shaft


  • Heavy
  • Not the stiffest blade by an extended shot

If you’re new to kayak fishing, not paddling far, on a funds, or wish to add a paddle to a peddle or powered kayak, then the Pelican Poseidon Angler is a superb alternative. It’s a quite simple, funds paddle. Nevertheless, it packs some options which are usually solely discovered on paddles costing three- to five-times extra. Certainly one of these options is an ergonomic grip. It’s oval within the locations that your fingers are to be positioned, serving to you maintain the paddle and determine the optimum hand placement. It’s not the lightest paddle on the market, however it rivals many others with full fiberglass shafts and blades.

The Poseidon Angler permits feathering of the blades, and it’s accessible in two lengths: 240 and 250cm. This received’t work for all kayaks or anglers, however it should for many. You’ll in all probability discover the budget-build essentially the most within the stiffness and effectivity of the blade. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered the blade to be ultra-tough. In case you’re somebody who’s susceptible to dropping paddles, smacking them on rocks, stepping on them, or different mishaps (or intentional abuse like polling with it), this paddle can take a beating. 

A very good various to the Poseidon is the Bending Branches Angler Rise, which is simply barely dearer, but additionally barely lighter and USA made. Pelican additionally makes the Catch paddle, which is a half-pound lighter than the Poseidon with a full fiberglass shaft. It’s a considerable improve, however it’ll price you double the value of the Poseidon. At that worth, the Outdated City Magic Angler is a pleasant various with a extra environment friendly blade that’s accessible in 4 sizes.

Greatest for the Cash: Bending Branches Angler Ace Snap-Button

Greatest for the Cash

Bending Branches Angler Ace Snap-Button are the best kayak paddles for fishing for the money.

Why It Made the Reduce: It’s exhausting to have all of it with any angling or kayaking product, however the Angler Ace paddle is as shut as you may get. The light-weight and environment friendly design, rugged sturdiness, cheap worth, a number of measurement choices, and made within the USA development makes it nearly excellent.

Key Options

  • Shaft and Blade Building: 100% carbon fiber shaft, nylon carbon-reinforced blades 
  • Weight: 1.9 kilos
  • Lengths: 6 lengths, 230-280cm


  • Light-weight and cozy 100% carbon fiber shaft
  • Nylon strengthened blades are mild however robust — prepared for lengthy paddles and the abuse that comes with fishing exhausting
  • USA made, with a status for craftsmanship and sturdiness
  • Paddle has hook retriever and shaft measuring tape


  • None at this worth, but when I’m nit-picking, it solely has two feathering angle choices

Bending Branches has a status for making the easiest kayak paddles. The Angler Ace is without doubt one of the best paddles for fishing, and one of many firm’s most interesting choices. This paddle, whereas definitely not a funds make, is an unimaginable cut price when you think about how mild and highly effective it’s. At lower than two-pounds, it rivals many full-carbon bladed paddles.

Nevertheless, this paddle has an infusion of nylon within the blades to forestall them from splitting or cracking when bumped in opposition to exhausting objects, pushing off from shore, and even utilizing it as a push-pole. That is essential for anglers who discover themselves within the shallows proper within the thick of the logs, stumps, boulders, pilings, and all types of different exhausting objects. It’s the most effective of each worlds. The design of the blade is versatile for each high- and low-angle paddlers and strikes a steadiness between fast acceleration and all-day endurance. Add in a hook-puller and a shaft measuring tape, and you’ve got a tremendous USA-made paddle at an affordable worth.

That being stated, there’s one very critical various at the very same worth. In case you’re in search of infinite feathering (between 0- and 60-degrees) the Aquabound Manta Ray Carbon is the primary place it’s best to look. Aquabound is owned by Bending Department, and the Manta Ray Carbon is strikingly just like the Angler Ace. The Manta Ray beneficial properties absolutely adjustable feathering however misses the hook puller and shaft-mounted tape measure. Relying in your priorities, the Manta Ray is perhaps the higher choose.

If you wish to save a couple of extra ounces, are in search of extra effectivity, and are keen to spend one other $75, the Werner Camano is an especially mild (1.7-pound) paddle with a narrower blade design (designed for long-distance effectivity) at round $300.

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for the Greatest Kayak Paddles for Fishing

Why is a paddle so essential? On the most simple stage, a correctly becoming, light-weight paddle could make lengthy days on the water much less bodily taxing. The burden distinction between an affordable leisure paddle and a high-quality carbon fiber paddle will be upwards of two kilos.  Additional, a high-quality paddle is not going to solely make you much less fatigued, however it could actually additionally propel you extra effectively. When it comes right down to it, your paddle straight impacts the quantity and measurement of fish you catch. It truly is that essential!

Paddle Size Issues Most

Paddle size is essential to paddling consolation, effectivity, and endurance—greater than another issue. There are two principal parts that may decide your perfect paddle size. The primary is matching the size to the width of your kayak. Many angling-specific kayaks are huge with excessive seats, so ensuring your kayak paddle is lengthy sufficient is essential. I’ve used extraordinarily huge kayaks with common paddles earlier than, and it’s very uncomfortable, sluggish, and annoying. Don’t make that mistake!

The second issue is angler measurement, primarily total peak. Smaller anglers will likely be extra snug with a shorter paddle. A shorter paddle will likely be simpler to regulate, however the tradeoff is much less leverage and energy (and doubtlessly much less pace and effectivity in consequence).

Most fishing paddles are available in sizes between 200- and 260-centimeters, with some accessible as much as 280. Producers may have suggestions primarily based on boat width and angler peak. When doubtful, it usually is sensible to err on the aspect of barely shorter, because the paddle will likely be lighter, simpler to deal with and stow whereas fishing, and most anglers aren’t making an attempt to paddle very quick or far. Nevertheless, in case you have a really huge boat with a really tall seating place, it could actually make sense to get a barely longer paddle.

Ounces Add Up

Paddle shafts are available in 4 fundamental supplies: aluminum, plastic, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Aluminum and plastic are the heaviest and least costly, whereas carbon fiber is the lightest and costliest, with fiberglass in between. Paddle weight issues quite a bit should you’re protecting lengthy distances or should you’re going to troll with a kayak; ounces make a distinction over hours of paddling. Since paddles can final a lifetime, investing in a lightweight paddle is usually a good suggestion. Although a case will be made for funds choices; a couple of ounces could matter quite a bit lower than saving 200-plus {dollars}.

A full carbon fiber shaft is normally the best choice. It will probably considerably scale back weight, whereas additionally being stiffer for higher energy switch. Nevertheless, I might warning the kayak angler into doing all your homework. Many paddles are a carbon composite (not 100% carbon fiber), and a few low cost carbon paddles are heavier than high-quality fiberglass paddles. Additionally, a carbon fiber paddle could also be completely pointless should you’re by no means paddling greater than a mile. In case you’re including touring or kayak tenting to your angling objectives, then a high-quality, lightweight paddle is a very good funding.

What About Carbon Fiber Blades?

The blade materials can closely affect total paddle weight and the way heavy a paddle feels on the water. The “elephant within the room” is usually whether or not to get absolutely carbon fiber blades. Frankly, a blade product of 100-percent carbon fiber is pointless for many anglers.  Although extremely mild, carbon fiber is a bit fragile for blades. If you’d like many of the advantages of a carbon fiber blade, with much less fragility, I counsel blades strengthened with a mix of nylon or fiberglass. They may nonetheless be very mild whereas being a lot much less prone to crack or chip. 

The most typical and reasonably priced paddles have blades product of both plastic or fiberglass, and are usually enough for the common angler. Plastic is the most cost effective and most rugged, in addition to the heaviest and least environment friendly. Pure fiberglass paddles are a very good compromise between plastic and carbon fiber in weight and fragility. Usually, it’s accepted that plastic or fiberglass blades are sufficient for a lot of kayak anglers.  It finally comes right down to what matches your funds.

Blade Form and Dimension

Blades are available in nearly each measurement, form, and curvature. What’s greatest finally comes right down to the distinctive mixture of the angler, kayak, and situations they most frequently encounter. However for fishing, most will desire a blade that’s on the bigger aspect. This can provide help to transfer extra rapidly over shorter distances; a single stroke will likely be extra highly effective. Slender blades are extra helpful over longer distances, extra for a touring or tenting setup.

Moreover, most anglers will in all probability desire a high-angle blade. Excessive-angle paddles offer you energy to haul gear over brief distances, however they require extra vitality. Low-angle paddles save vitality, on the expense of energy, making them higher for touring. 

Angling-Particular Options

The perfect kayak paddles for fishing usually have some angling-specific options that add to their usefulness. Right here are some things to search for.

  • Feathered or Matched Blade Adjustment: Nearly all paddles help you modify between blades which are aligned (matched) or offset from each other (feathered). Feathered blades scale back wind resistance whereas the paddle is out of the water. Some paddles help you modify the angle in small increments, whereas others solely supply a set variety of feathering positions between 15- and 60-degrees. Most kayak anglers received’t discover extremely adjustable feathering as a make-or-break characteristic.
  • Adjustable Shaft Size: This can be a good characteristic should you’re switching between anglers or kayaks. It additionally may also help with fatigue, as you’ll be able to modify your stroke by adjusting the paddle size on the fly. Many of those adjustable paddles permit infinite feathering as nicely. Nevertheless, this may add weight and complication (one thing else to interrupt). 
  • Lure Retrieving Notch: A hook that permits you to attain right down to a submerged, snagged lure and pull it off a log, rock, or heavy weedy cowl. These are surprisingly helpful within the shallows. However since they scale back the general blade space, they will lower effectivity. I’ve not observed on-the-water variations in paddling however have saved quite a lot of lures with the hook in my present paddle, a pleasant characteristic.
  • Dock/Shore Grip: Some paddles may have a hook, enamel, or serrated edge that may provide help to snag the shore or a dock to help in getting out and in of the kayak. This can be a good characteristic, however it’s not a requirement by any means. This isn’t an choice with carbon fiber paddles, as they’re too fragile.
  • Shaft Measuring Tape: Some paddles have a measuring tape painted onto the shaft. That is good, however pointless because it’s simple so as to add a stick-on tape later.

For more information on choosing kayak paddles, take a look at our article on issues to think about earlier than shopping for a kayak paddle. If fishing isn’t your major aim when out on the water, you’ll be able to overview our high picks for the most effective kayak paddles for touring and different adventures. We even have suggestions for the most effective kayak equipment and high paddle kayaks. And should you’re available in the market for a brand new vessel make sure to learn our kayak opinions, such because the Bonafide SS127, for skilled recommendation and opinions.

Don’t neglect to remain secure on the market. Overview these 5 security guidelines from Paddling.com earlier than you hit the water.


Q: How a lot does a fishing kayak paddle price?

Kayak paddles are available in an enormous vary of costs. You will discover funds paddles that work simply high-quality for lower than $25, whereas high-end touring paddles can exceed $600. Like many different issues in outside sports activities, the very least expensive choices ought to be averted, whereas the very highest are in all probability pointless for many customers. Shaft and blade materials—and subsequently, weight—would be the major driver of worth for many paddles. I feel nearly all anglers will likely be proud of a mid-range or funds paddle between $60 and $250.

Q: Do higher kayak paddles make a distinction for fishing?

Anglers not paddling far or going through any robust wind, present, or waves can get by with a reasonable, fundamental paddle. However anglers which are going to be paddling lengthy distances, spending a number of time on the water, hauling a variety of gear, or having to energy in opposition to present or wind, a pleasant paddle could make kayaking much more environment friendly.

There’s additionally an argument to be made that something that decreases angler fatigue will permit them to focus extra on fishing. So, a paddle might make a distinction within the quantity for fish caught each outing. I feel a mid-range, high-quality paddle is price the additional price for that reason.

Q: Is a carbon fiber kayak paddle price it?

The brief reply is sure, a carbon fiber paddle is price it. Carbon fiber paddles have come down dramatically in worth, and the decrease weight and stiffer shaft at the moment are well worth the worth for many anglers, even these solely protecting brief distances.

Nevertheless, I might warning you in opposition to utilizing full carbon blades. In case you’re going to be in any type of heavy, exhausting construction, a carbon blade is well broken. On this case, it’s in all probability greatest to go along with a full-carbon shaft and a fiberglass or fiberglass-reinforced carbon blade.

Remaining Ideas on the Greatest Kayak Paddles for Fishing

The kayak paddle could appear to be an after-thought for a lot of anglers, however it’s as important to kayak fishing because the boat or rod, and way more essential than any electronics. The perfect kayak paddles for fishing will make lengthy hours on the water extra environment friendly and gratifying. Selecting the one which matches greatest with you and your boat, your angling objectives, and your funds will finally result in extra fish and extra enjoyable this yr on the water.

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