BEST KAYAK PADDLE FOR FISHING: INTRO
Fishing with a recreational kayak paddle is a bit tricky and demanding. But having the best kayak paddle for fishing can make your hobby easier and lesser straining. After all, if there has a paddle specifically designed for kayak fishing, you’d want to know about it, right? Let’s discover together!
Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing – Overview:
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Knowing how fishing relates to kayak paddles (and what features to look for) is a daunting task. Which is why I’ve put together this guide. I have divided this guide up into five sections – this will keep everything very concise and easy to follow.
The first section talks about the basics of kayak fishing paddles. Here you’ll learn what makes the right fishing paddle and why you need to invest in one. You’ll also learn why it will quickly transform you into a better kayak fishermen!
In the second section, I have emphasized a few steps that will make your kayak fishing experience more fulfilling. These are instructions for the type of stroke and how to use your fishing paddle in general. After all, even the best kayak paddle won’t do you any good if you don’t know the right way to use it! Its like learning how to use kayak outriggers – it simply must be done!
The third section goes over important factors to consider to buy the best kayak paddles for fishing. What materials are best? Does it need a line retrieval hook? Should it include a measuring tape? And so on!
Next, I’ve included a link to my favorite kayak paddle for kayak fishing where I have gone into detail about why this paddle is the best, in my opinion. I have summarized my thoughts on it in the “My Experience” section, shedding light on the benefits and drawbacks!
So I hope you find the guide useful. Now let’s get started!
Parts of a Kayak Fishing Paddle
Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing – Basics:
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When you read the title, you might have thought to yourself: what’s so unique about fishing paddles? I mean, I can just take any regular kayak paddle and use it for fishing, right?
While any regular paddle can work, some work even better. Its just like why a standard fish finder will be out performed by a Deeper Start Smart Fish Finder! And why exactly?
Well, for one thing, fishing paddles need to be lightweight. And it’s not just the material that affects this. How well the paddle reduces water and air drag is highly crucial to the perceived weight.
Furthermore, the angle of your stroke will also affect the stress on your wrists. So you’ll have to watch out for things like a flat blade or a high-angle stroke.
Moving forward, fishing paddles require a lot of traction. When your current fishing area isn’t yielding any catches, you’ll need to move a few feet away, but quickly.
It is where you’ll prefer a wide blade that lets you displace more water. A high-angle stroke can help you move faster but takes up more energy. You could also look into getting a Minn Kota Terrova, a type of foot control trolling motor, if you want to expend less energy on the water! Getting the correct kayak paddle length will help deter excessive energy use as well!
How to Use the Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing:
Fishing in your kayak can be fun, but it requires a lot of technique and strategy. You should know when to use a low-angle and a high-angle stroke.
So here’s a step-by-step guide on the low-angle stroke:
- For a low-angle stroke, hold your paddle in front of you.
- Then slightly tilt it to one side in the water.
- Make sure that the top blade is no higher than your shoulders.
- Now gently make a forward stroke, and continue stroking till you get to your destination.
- This type of stroke is useful if you don’t want to disturb the fish in the lake and to minimize the stress on your hands.
Here’s how to do the high-angle stroke:
- For the high-angle stroke, hold the paddle at shoulder-height.
- Then tilt the paddle until one side is fully submerged, and the other is in the air.
- The paddle that’s in the air should be above your head.
- Then make a regular forward stroke and continue stroking.
- High-angle strokes are mainly used in competitive kayaking.
- You can use them in fishing when you want to get from one end of the lake to the other.
- You can also use them when you’re done fishing and want to reach the shore as quickly as possible.
Side Note: Want to get across the water some way other than by paddle? See if the Minn Kota Traxxis 55 could be a good alternative for you! Often times, trolling motors will work in the ocean too, but you’ll want to read about the Best Saltwater Trolling Motor before you make that decision!
Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing – Important Considerations:
The material of the blade, while it may not impact weight, can help you save money. Since most kayak fishing takes place in calm lakes and bodies of water, investing in a sturdy blade isn’t all that useful. A simple nylon or fiberglass blade can suffice you.
I suggest investing in fiberglass, as you can use it for both kayak fishing and recreational kayaking. A carbon fiber blade will be the lightest but will cost more. And it’s unnecessary for daily fishing.
That is what impacts weight the most. The shaft should be strong and sturdy, but at the same time easy to hold and raise above your head. For this, aluminum and carbon fiber are the best.
If you’re on a tight budget, just aluminum is fine. However, I suggest that if you’re buying a kayak paddle, buy a good one instead of a cheap one. If you are going to buy something, might as well buy it right the first time!
Water and air drag are the secondary contributors to weight. You want to reduce drag and maximize traction. For this, look for a curved blade design that has a big fat rib down the middle. The rib helps to part the water and guide it down the two sides.
Some people also prefer asymmetric blades as these lie flat on the water surface when you hold them at an angle. That, paired with a wide blade, will provide faster stroking and acceleration. Some may prefer a narrow blade as its light, but the difference is minuscule. Remember, when you are kayak fishing, you will not be paddling the WHOLE time, just when moving place to place!
The Angle of Stroke
There are two angles when stroking: low-angle and high-angle strokes. Low-angle strokes require you to keep the shaft only slightly tilted. They are good for slowly traversing through the water and don’t require much energy. Great for kayak fishing, unless you are racing from place to place!
High-angle strokes, on the other hand, require a lot of energy. But they get you from one place to another quickly. Generally, wider blades signify that a paddle is suited for high-angle strokes. But almost any paddle can be used for both types of strokes.
Finally, there are some special features that fishing paddles have. The most common one is the J-shaped groove that is used to retrieve hooks and fishing lines. This groove is featured on only a handful of fishing paddles.
Another special feature would be a telescopic ferrule. The reason why I included it here is that a telescopic ferrule isn’t that common.
But if you can get your hands on one, it can allow for a wider range of feathering. A regular snap-button ferrule only provides two angles of feathering, which is enough for most people.
Buy the Best Kayak Paddle For Fishing:
After trying out multiple fishing paddles, I found that the model I have showcased above is the best kayak paddle for fishing. And here’s why:
First of all, it has a unique build quality. The blades are made from nylon reinforced with fiberglass. And the entire shaft is 100% fiberglass. As I stated before, fiberglass is a good all-rounder – it’s sturdy and cheap. So you don’t spend extra just to fish on calm waters!
The blade is ever-so-slightly curved with a rib down the middle. That’s a design that reduces water resistance and allows smoother strokes. Plus, the blades are bright orange (although they are also available in a hunter green color), so you can see them in the water and plan your next stroke. It also increases your safety with the bright orange being very visible on the water!
The shaft is marked with a graduated scale that can be used for measuring the fishing line or your catch. This is great for places that have laws and regulations governing what size fish you can keep – you no longer have to pull out the tape measure! It can also help you remember where to put your hands when paddling.
Each paddle can be broken down into two pieces for easier storage. Although 4-part storage would be better and more convenient. As for the feathering angles, this paddle features a 3-hole snap-button ferrule. You can change the angle between 0 and 60 degrees.
One of the features that are prominent in most kayak fishing paddles is the “hook-retrieval” groove. The addition of this groove is what ensures that your paddle is made for fishing. Even if you don’t use it, just that satisfaction is good enough. Plus, we suspect that you’ll frequently use this feature and, if you are like me, you may even start slowly paying for your paddle over time in terms of lures and lines saved!
The showcased model of kayak fishing paddle is a great budget-friendly choice. I found that it’s a great fishing paddle for lakes and flat bodies of water. It can take quite a beating, but I generally wouldn’t recommend it for whitewater or rapids. The blade material is just not sturdy enough for those – but, you likely aren’t looking for that anyway!
This model, due to the use of fiberglass, is a great all-rounder. As I said, it’s not for harsh water. But it can take on some moderate current. So don’t be afraid to use it for recreation too!
My only concern is with the shaft. Fiberglass is a very uncommon material to use in the shaft. However, I haven’t noticed any longevity issues yet. But a simple aluminum shaft would’ve been more promising (and far cheaper). Sometimes aluminum shafts “dent” and “ding”, they can also get hot, and fiberglass doesn’t really have this problem!
But if you look at the other features, I think this particular kayak paddle is a win/win for your average kayak fishermen! It’s one of the best all-rounder kayak paddles for fishing, especially with all of the kayak fishing specific features!!!
Here is a quick listing of some “pros” and “cons” to assist you in your evaluation:
- You can use it for both fishing and recreation (versatility).
- Extremely lightweight – weighs only 3.1 pounds.
- Good for those on a light budget.
- Hook retrieval groove included (may even pay for itself).
- Curved dihedral blade design.
- Blades are visible in the water for planning the next stroke.
- Great for low-angle strokes.
- You can use it for high-angle strokes too, but not efficiently.
- Uses fiberglass instead of aluminum for the shaft.
- It only breaks down into two pieces.
There you have it! I hope you learned a lot today about kayak paddles for fishing. Particularly, I hope you now know what sets apart the best kayak paddle for fishing from regular paddles. You’ll be a far more educated consumer when it comes time for your to pick one of these out for yourself!
Of all the fishing paddles I analyzed, I found the showcased model to be the best. By no means is it the ONLY great model out there, but it certainly is at the very top. It has a unique and sturdy blade design along with a lightweight shaft. It did have some flaws, but if you want to stay within budget and get the best experience, then this is the paddle for you!
Have you ever tried a kayak paddle that is built specifically for kayak fishing? What did you think of it? Did you notice how much more effective of a kayak fisherman you were able to become? Did you benefit from the curved paddles and the hook retrieval system? I know I did!! Be sure to share your story with us by commenting below! We read and reply to every comment and we are certain that your story will be well received by this kayak fishing community!