Best Kayak Fishing Paddles Reviewed: 2021 Buying Guide

A good paddle can transform your kayak from a lazy, slow boat into a powerful fishing tool.

This is not hype.

A good paddle is the best piece of kayaking equipment. A quality paddle will extract every bit of performance from your ‘yak’s hull.

You need to choose the right paddle for you, no matter if you are trying to make long runs to reach a peak from a launch or to fight the current in your local river.

However, if you are new to ‘yaks you may not be familiar with what you need. Even experienced kayakers might not know what to look out for in an angling paddle.

We are here to help. Below, you will find a complete buying guide and reviews of some of our favorite angling paddles.

Reviewed: Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing

Bending Branches Angler Ace Best Kayak Fishing Paddle All-Around

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Ace 2-Piece Snap-Button Fishing Kayak Paddle, Black, 250cm

Length250 cm and 230 cm

Weight: 30 oz.

Shaft material: Carbon fiber

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: carbon reinforced nylon

Take-down two-piece push-button ferrule

Bending Branches is a respected paddle company that has been in business for decades. The Angler Ace shows how Bending Branches really understands what kayak anglers want.

Carbon fiber reinforced nylon and carbon-fiber-reinforced nylon are the main materials used in this paddle. The weight. Paddling efficiency is exceptional, as it’s extremely light and stiff. It won’t take much strength to flex and you’ll soon appreciate this when you paddle long.

The Angler Ace’s hybrid blade shape combines the best of fat and slim, giving you both control when you need it and efficiency over long distances. In a nod towards real-world experience, the left blade has a line catcher notch. This is something I have found useful when I need extra reach.

Push-button ferrules allow for either 60-degree offset or matched blades. The shaft also features pre-marked increments that help you measure your fish.

The Angler Ace is the best choice for long, open-water paddles and long trips to and from your honey hole. While there are better paddles for moving water than this one, it is also capable of paddling on rivers.

Amazon currently carries models measuring 230 cm or 250 cm. Bending Branches has the complete line-up at 240 cm.

This is the best kayak paddle for kayak anglers. It’s hard to say, but there is fierce competition!

However, I can assure you that you will not be disappointed by the Angler Ace.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Extremely stiff
  • Great hybrid blade shape
  • Line-catching notch on the left blade
  • An adjustable ferrule lets you match or feather your blades

Cons

  • ???? ??

Bending Branches Angler Classic

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic 2-Piece Snap-Button Fishing Kayak Paddle; (Black Shaft/Sage Green Blade - 260cm)

Length220 cm, 250cm, and 260cm

Weight: 30 oz.

Shaft material: Fiberglass

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: fiberglass reinforced nylon

Take-down two-piece push-button ferrule

Bending Branches Angler Classic is a price-conscious product that doesn’t compromise quality. Bending Branches is the Angler Ace, but with cheaper materials. However, it manages to maintain weight compared with its more expensive counterpart.

Fiberglass is very heavy and can be quite stiff. The Angler Classic’s efficiency is immediately apparent. Each pull through the water will give you just a little more power than a paddle that is less stiff.

Is carbon fiber Ace worth the price? It’s difficult to say. The Ace is more efficient than the Classic in terms of efficiency. If you prefer long paddles, the Ace is your best choice.

The Classic is also available in high-viz orange which can be life-saving on the water.

You can switch between 60-degree feathering and matched blades with the push-button ferrule, just like the Ace. The shaft will have the same measurements as the Ace, the same blade shapes, and the line-catching notch on your left blade.

The Angler Classic is the best option if you have a smaller budget than the Ace.

Amazon currently carries three lengths. Bending Branches has the complete range if you require them.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Extremely stiff
  • Great hybrid blade shape
  • Line-catching notch on the left blade
  • An adjustable ferrule lets you match or feather your blades

Cons

  • The Angler Ace is not as stiff as it seems.

Werner Cyprus

Werner Cyprus Straight Shaft Kayak Paddle 2 PC

Length220 cm, 235, and 250 cm

Weight: 23.25 oz.

Shaft material: Carbon fiber

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: Carbon fiber

Take-down two-piece push-button ferrule

I have had to run short rapids on many rivers, some with unexpectedly difficult sections and when the current was really pushing around rocks. A fat-bladed ultra-stiff paddle will be your best friend if you fish rivers with strong currents.

Werner’s Cyprus paddle for river fishing is my favorite.

This featherweight is entirely made from carbon fiber and provides instant total energy transfer. It also improves control over other options. The fat blades of Cyprus are really tough and move more water than shorter, skinnier options.

Werner is well-known for its ferrule system. Two-piece Cyprus can be adjusted in increments of 15 degrees from matched to 75 degrees right-hand offset. This customization is something I value and expect to get at this price!

Although Cyprus was not specifically designed for anglers it is made to meet our needs when the current is strong.

Pros

  • Extremely light
  • Extremely stiff
  • Great blade shape to move water
  • An adjustable ferrule allows for feathered or matched blades that can be adjusted with great flexibility

Cons

  • Expensive

Werner Camano – Best Kayak Fishing Paddle Open Water

Werner Camano Fiberglass 2-Piece Paddle - Straight Shaft Red, 220cm

Length240 cm and 245 cm

Weight: 30 oz.

Shaft material: Carbon fiber

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: Fiberglass

Take-down two-piece push-button ferrule

The Werner Camano is a great choice for open water and long paddles.

Werner’s unbeatable carbon fiber shaft is matched to fiberglass blades by Werner, reducing costs and maintaining incredible stiffness. This is something you will notice as soon as you start paddling, and something you will appreciate more the longer you go.

The Camano has a longer and thinner blade than Cyprus. This allows for greater control and paddling efficiency. It’s a great paddle to get you from A to B, especially when the distances increase. It’s not recommended for use in moving water or with strong currents.

It is similar to Cyprus but has the same amazingly adjustable ferrule that allows for matched or feathered blades in increments of 15 degrees up to 75 degrees right-hand offset.

You can also get it in high-vis color, which I highly recommend for open water areas where powerboat traffic can be dangerous.

Pros

  • Very light
  • Extremely stiff
  • Great blade shape for long paddles and open water.
  • High-vis colors available
  • An adjustable ferrule allows for feathered or matched blades that can be adjusted with great flexibility

Cons

  • ?? ??

Backwater Paddles Assassin

Backwater Paddles Assassin Carbon Fiber Paddle - Adjustable 250-260

Length230-240 cm or 250-260 cm (adjustable).

Weight:38 oz. and 42 oz.

Shaft material: Carbon fiber composite

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: nylon

Take-down two-piece, two-piece screw ferrule

Backwater Paddles was a well-known brand for its short, one-handed paddles that were designed for anglers who wanted a tool to help them get their canoes and ‘yaks into the tough stuff.

The Assassin is their next product: a 2-piece kayak paddle that can withstand harsh environments.

First, expect featherweights. The Assassin was designed to be used to cut down foliage, snag branches, and force your way into tight spots. It is not going to match Werner’s offerings.

This is a fact.

It’s instead a paddle that anglers use to fight their way through mangroves, salt marshes, and swamps. If you fall into this category, you will use your paddle just as much as a push pole. It shines in this role.

Even with a stiff shaft, paddling efficiency is a poor one. This can be attributed to the unique blade shape. The Assassin is more designed for control and power, but it can still paddle in currents.

The shaft can be adjusted to allow for custom lengths in either 230-240 cm or 250-260 cm. This is done via a screw-down ferrule, which also offers infinite feathering options.

This system’s price is its weight. It is the largest paddle we have on the list.

The blades have a large notch that can be used to snag lines, branches, rope, and weeds. The tip also features a serrated edge that allows you to grip mud and push or cut weeds.

These additions will not be of many benefits to many anglers. But if you are one of them, don’t hesitate in trusting the Assassin.

Pros

  • Great blade shape for pushing-polling and fighting leaves
  • An adjustable ferrule allows for feathered or matched blades with great customizability
  • Adjustable lengths
  • Extremely, extremely difficult

Cons

  • This is a more push-pole option than a pure paddle and not the best choice for long distances.

Aqua-Bound Manta Ray best Kayak Fishing Paddles for Rivers

AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle, Black CR Blade/Carbon Snap Button Shaft, 250 cm

Length210 cm, 220cm, 230cm, 230cm, 240cm, and 250cm

Weight: 29.5 oz.

Shaft material: Carbon fiber

Shaft type: Straight

Material for the blade: carbon fiber reinforced resin

Take-down two-piece Posi-Lok ferrule

Aqua Bound’s Manta Ray, which is less expensive than the Werner, is an excellent alternative to Cyprus. It’s made from top-quality materials and is designed to perform. This kayak fishing gear is a great choice for those who fish rivers in search of prey.

Carbon fiber shafts and carbon-fiber-reinforced resin blades can be almost as light as the Werner, while still maintaining extreme stiffness. These blades are ideal for any situation where you need to accelerate, brake, turn, or stop on a dime. If you have been practicing your skills using skinnier, more flexible blades, expect to see a significant improvement in power transfer.

Aqua Bound’s PosiLok ferrule, which allows for infinite ferrule angles and doesn’t add weight, is truly amazing. It’s easily my favorite feature of the bunch. You’ll be spoiled and wonder why paddles twice as expensive can’t offer this type of tech.

The Manta Ray’s blade shape means it wouldn’t be my favorite for long paddles. But on rivers, it is very, very difficult to beat.

Pros

  • Extremely light
  • Extremely stiff
  • Great blade shape to move water
  • Infinitely adjustable ferrule allows matched or feathered blades

Cons

  • ?? ??

There are a few things to consider when choosing a fishing kayak paddle

Length

It is very important to measure the length of your paddle. Fishing kayaks generally require slightly longer paddles to clear their beam with each stroke.

Paddles are measured by centimeters. The lengths that are available range from 210 cm up to 260 cm. Paddling with a paddle that is too short or too long will make you feel uncomfortable and decrease your efficiency.

When determining the length of your paddle, two measurements are essential:

  • Kayak width wider kayak requires a longer paddle, all other things being equal. Because the kayak is narrower, it’s easier to reach the water using the blades. Fishing kayaks have a wider beam which makes them more stable and provides more deck space. Fishing paddles should be slightly longer than the ones you would choose for recreational or touring kayaks.
  • Torso height: The larger your torso is, the more you will need a paddle.
    To measure your torso height, simply sit down in a chair. Measure the distance from your crotch to the tip of the nose. This distance is your torso height. It’s an excellent place to begin to determine the right length paddle for you.

Next, assess your paddling style.

  • Low-angle paddling –When you paddle, your hands should be below your shoulders. This is a sign that you are paddling at a low angle. This reduces fatigue and makes you more efficient.
    However, it cannot provide sudden power for acceleration, stopping, or turning.
    You’ll need a longer paddle if you plan to make long trips to and from the fishing spot.
  • High-angle paddling –High-angle paddling is when your hands are raised above your shoulders while you paddle. This allows the paddle to enter the water at a steeper angle, allowing for more power with each stroke.
  • Unpredictable water can be dangerous this is the best choice if control is an issue. You can choose a shorter paddle if you fish in moving water such as rivers.

Feathering

Feathered blades can be offset to improve their efficiency. Feathered blades require a slight twist of the wrist as you stroke each stroke to turn the blade into the water. This is actually a gentler motion than with matched blades, contrary to what you might think.

By contrast, Matching blades are aligned. Many paddles allow you to switch between feathered or matched strokes and which hand is used to rotate during the stroke.

To find the best solution for you, experiment.

Straight vs. Bent Shaft

It is all about what you do on water that determines the shaft style.

  • Straight shaft –Straight shaft paddles run in a straight line along with the blades. These are an excellent choice to fight strong currents. They also allow you to quickly switch between strokes so that you can maneuver quickly.
    Straight-shaft paddles are best for fishing rivers, creeks, and other moving waters. They are also easier to use for fishing because they can be pulled out of your lap in the correct position to stroke.
  • Bent shaft –Two bends on the shaft allow you to adjust your hand position and give you a more natural grip. This can be used to reduce fatigue and stress on your wrists, and improve paddling efficiency for longer trips.
    A bent-shaft paddle might be best for you if you prefer long paddles on your fishing trips. For most anglers, however, a straight shaft paddle is the best choice.

Shaft and Blade Material

Aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and carbon are the most popular materials for kayak paddle shafts. Each material has its own advantages.

  • PlasticIt’s not the best choice for paddle shafts because it’s too flexible to deliver power. It can be used as a budget blade material, particularly when it is reinforced with carbon, fiberglass, and glass.
  • AluminiumIt’s used in shafts because it is both durable and inexpensive, but also because it’s comparatively heavy. It can also become very hot in direct sunlight. This material is common in cheaper paddles and makes a great choice for beginners or spare paddles.
  • fiberglass is lightweight and strong, making it an ideal choice for a paddle shaft. For more advanced kayakers, fiberglass blades and paddles are a popular choice. They offer excellent performance.
  • Carbon fiber is extremely light and strong, but it can be more expensive than fiberglass. If kayak fishing is a major part of your life, you might consider carbon fiber paddles.

Blade Shape

Even though small differences in the shape and size of blades may seem insignificant, they have huge effects on performance. There are two basic, polar opposing styles and many variations between them.

  • Short, fat blades are more suitable for situations that require immediate power to steer or stop. Fat blades are more suitable for kayak anglers who are stronger and fitter. They can exert more power with each stroke.
  • Long, skinny blades are better for endurance. A skinnier blade is better for endurance if you are driven by efficiency.

One, two, or four pieces

There are three options for kayak paddle storage and transport.

Some paddles can be made from one piece. This gives them the best weight and strength. Most paddles have a ferrule in the middle. Some also offer removable blades. Although four-piece paddles can be stored easily, most people find two-piece paddles to be more difficult to store.

Last Thoughts

The best kayak paddle is the one that suits your needs the most. While any of the options in our list can be used well, there are strengths and weaknesses to each option that should be matched to the fishing conditions and preferences you have.

We hope this article clarified some of the issues you should be aware of and gave you a better understanding of many great options. We’d love for you to let us know if it did.

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Lewis
Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.