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KAYAK PADDLE LEASH: INTRO
Several items exist in the world of kayak fishing that are often overlooked but necessary for a fun and safe experience. It can take time to find these products, but this community was created as a shortcut to obtain valuble information. One prominent member of this category is the Kayak Paddle Leash. Discover what a paddle leash is and why you should buy one on this Kayak Paddle Leash Guide.
Kayak paddles have become increasingly ergonomic in recent years, with improvements in their weight, shape, flexibility, durability, grip, and length. KayakFishingCorner has written extensively about things to consider when deciding among kayak paddles. But what happens once you’ve decided upon a particular kayak paddle? What is the next step to consider, perhaps more important than the initial decision about which kayak paddle to purchase? Well, as the saying goes, you don’t want to find yourself up a creek without a paddle.
The ability to keep your kayak paddle safely secured to the fishing kayak is critically important. Fortunately for the kayak fishing community, along with improvements to the kayak paddle itself, have come improvements in technologies and products designed to protect your kayak paddle from getting lost up or downstream. This particular type of product is known in the kayak fishing community as a kayak “paddle leash” and it comes in a variety of forms. KayakFishingCorner has written this post to help educate the kayak fishing community on the variety of leashing products on the market today.
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All of the product reviews included on KFC are premised on my independent investigation and reporting. I have years of kayak fishing experience, which is necessary for me to rate these products, and I treat doing so very seriously. I won’t ever give any brands or companies preferred treatment or manipulate their scores, and I review every product on an equal playing field.
I author each review to help all KFC members and readers purchase the best kayak fishing products. In this case, I want you to learn about the best “kayak paddle leash”. I make it my top priority to earn the trust of the entire KFC community. Once I do earn your trust, I do my best to keep it. If you have any questions about how I review products, please send me a message.
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One of the most important parts of the kayak fishing experience is powering the movement of your craft. Although several methods of propelling kayaks exist (all of them discussed on KFC), the traditional method of utilizing paddles is still the most popular. If you have ever kayaked before, you probably have experienced the anxiety associated with losing your paddles to the water. Fortunately, a product was created long ago to avoid this experience, and it is called a Kayak Paddle Leash.
Parts of a Kayak Fishing Paddle
Kayak Paddle Leash General Info
A kayak paddle leash is essentially a product designed for the purpose of ensuring a continuous connection between the kayak paddle and the hull of the fishing kayak. While a kayak paddle leash can come in a variety of different forms, it is nearly always comprised of 3 basic components: An attachment piece for the kayak paddle/paddle leash connection, the rope which serves as the leash portion of the paddle leash, and an attachment piece for the paddle leash/fishing kayak connection.
Often times the rope portion of the paddle leash is constructed of a coiled or elastic material, which importantly allows the kayak fisherman to utilize his or her kayak paddle without the paddle leash becoming a hinderance to the kayak fisherman’s paddle stroke. After securing your paddle, learn how to secure your fishing rod with a Kayak Rod Holder!
Kayak Paddle Leash Features
So you’ve decided you are fond of your kayak paddle, and don’t want it to swim away from you while you are out on the water. You’ve decided that a paddle leash is the best product on the market for securing the paddle leash to the fishing kayak, and now you are trying to determine what you should consider when making the decision among the hundreds of these kinds of products on the market today.
KayakFishingCorner has compiled a number of factors that are critical in the decision making process, and each factor focuses on a particular feature or component of a paddle leash that we deem critical for it to be deemed a top of the line product.
First, you need to consider the composition of the “rope”. What does that mean? It means you need to evaluate the material that the rope is constructed of, and also ought to consider whether there is any protective covering over the rope itself. A paddle leash, by virtue of its purpose alone, is going to be exposed to the elements in a continual manner, and will frequently be either wet, or in the sun, or even both.
These two elements alone are enough to compromise the integrity of a paddle leash, but when you also consider that the product will be under frequent movement while being exposed to these two elements, you begin to understand why rope construction is so important. KayakFishingCorner suggests that its readers select paddle leashes that feature nylon wrapping around a stainless steel cord, or a “bungee” style cord.
Each type of leash has proven durable to various water conditions, even salt water, and offers the durability required to last for many seasons under periods of heavy and frequent use.
Second, how does the paddle leash connect to the kayak paddle itself? There are a number of products on the market that connect to the kayak paddle by means other than velcro or cinch style systems.
These “other” connectors are to be avoided, as they will either quickly wear out, or will even prove to not “fit” the handle of the kayak paddle itself.
Velcro and cinch style systems, however, ensure an adjustable and tight connection of the paddle leash to the kayak paddle, and there are a number of products on the market that combine these high quality connection systems with high quality paddle leashes.
Third, and arguably most important, is the elasticity and length of the rope portion of the paddle leash. KayakFishingCorner would highly suggest never purchasing a paddle leash that isn’t elastic in nature, as the leash rope would quickly become intertwined in the fishing kayak and/or the body of the kayak fisherman, interfering with the stroke of the kayak paddle.
Nearly all high quality paddle leashes come in either a “coiled” or “bungee” design to circumvent the entanglement problem. We suggest opting for a rope that is 1 – 2 feet long when “at rest”, and can stretch to between 4 and 6 feet when necessary. A leash that features lengths of this nature will allow a kayak fisherman a sweet spot where his or her kayak paddle isn’t uncomfortably close to his or her body, but can still be easily stretched to suit the kayak fisherman’s paddling style. Worried about your child holding onto their kayak fishing paddle? You likely have the same concerns about them holding onto a kayak fishing rod. Check out the Rocket Fishing Rod, and we suspect your concerns will be resolved!
Best Kayak Paddle Leash
KayakFishingCorner has heavily researched the current offerings of paddle leash products on the market. There are seemingly more and more leash products offered each season, but two particular types have consistently beaten the competition season after season. For that reason, and due to the high quality components of which they are constructed, and the ergonomics with which they have been designed, KayakFishingCorner strongly suggests the two paddle leash products depicted below:
The first is a “coiled” system, while the second is a “bungee” system. The difference between the two is largely a matter of personal preference for each kayak fisherman. KayakFishingCorner would, however, point out that the “cinch” style of the bungee product shown above allows for a wider array of product connections.
Not only would the bungee style allow for connection to a kayak paddle, it would also allow the kayak fisherman to connect any number of other kayak fishing products, including dry bags, kayak fishing rods, cameras, and other kayak fishing items of various shapes and sizes that would benefit from connection to the hull of the fishing kayak. Simply loop the rope around the item you desire to connect, and “cinch” the rope shut to secure the item to the fishing kayak.
Dual Purpose Kayak Leash
One company has recently begun to offer a combination of two kayak leash style products. This offering combines a “bungee” style paddle leash, with two bungee style kayak fishing rod leashes. If you are looking for a one stop shop for all of your kayak leash related products, KayakFishingCorner would suggest that you put strong consideration into this combination package.
Each leash is comprised of the quality you’d expect from a top tier leash system, and contains all of the features you’d expect to find in a leash that you’d rely upon for many kayak fishing seasons to come. Check it out.
A Kayak paddle lease is critical for my enjoyment on the water. It allows me to focus on fishing without constant worry about my paddle getting loose and drifting downstream. I have also found that its short length keeps the rope from becoming tangled. I have also found that the “cinch” style kayak leash can be used for purposes other than securing just your kayak paddle, and I have used the leash to secure my dry bag and my camera gear on a number of occasions. Very versatile! Keep your fishing kayak in one place with a Fishing Kayak Anchor!
KAYAK PADDLE LEASH: SCORES
Quality – 4/5
At the end of the day, a kayak paddle leash isn’t the world’s most technology advanced piece of equipment – but it doesn’t have to be! All the paddle leash needs to do is perform well enough that it can be relied upon to hold tight to the fisherman’s paddle. The kayak paddle leash is built of quality components and materials that allow it to do this job in a very, very proficient manner. We have used ours in hot and cold temperatures alike, for many years now. It performs just as well today as when we got it out of the box. Needless to say, we’re impressed with the quality!
Performance – 4.25/5
Even when wet, a kayak paddle leash must keep a firm connection to the kayak paddle itself. That is where this kayak paddle leash performs with flying colors! Let’s face it, there are going to be long periods of time during which your kayak paddle will be soaking wet. A kayak paddle leash isn’t going to do you much good if its connection is weakened while the materials are wet. This leash performs equally well, wet or dry, just as any serious kayak fisherman would require!
Price – 4.5/5
One of the less expensive pieces of kayak fishing gear, the kayak paddle leash can usually be found for between $10 and $50. This will largely depend on what kind of paddle leash you decide to buy. In our experience, the coiled paddle leashes can be less or more expensive than the non-coiled models. The difference will depend on the thickness of the coil itself as well as the length. The longer and thicker the coil – the higher the price. Sometimes, however, a thicker coiled paddle leash will be the best performer, making it worth the extra dollars! At the end of the day, we were glad to discover that a kayak paddle leash is one of the less expensive kayak fishing accessories on the market!
Durability – 4.75/5
Because of its relatively simple design, there just aren’t that many areas of the kayak paddle leash that are going to “break down” or otherwise fail. This is great in terms of durability and longevity. So long as you allow your kayak paddle leash to fully dry prior to storing it for a long period of time, and so long as you don’t use it for purposes other than for which it is intended (like as a rope to pull a kayak, for example) your kayak paddle leash will have the durability to last you for literally decades!
Overall – 4.375/5
The paddle leash has earned an average overall score of 4.375 out of a possible 5 points. This is because it is made of quality components, immediately increases your performance as a kayak fisherman on the water, is designed to be durable enough to last decades, and comes at a price at the lower end of the range for kayak fishing gear. This is truly one of the “must have” kayak fishing accessories. It is great for beginners who are embarking to create their first complete set of kayak fishing gear, and also for those more experienced kayak fishermen who find comfort in keeping an extra “hand” on their paddle so that it doesn’t get loose and go drifting down the water!
Now that you know your paddle isn’t going to float away from you, make sure you know the proper paddling techniques!
Kayak paddle leashes are not expensive. The reality is, a kayak paddle leash will pay for itself several times over if it saves you from losing even one paddle downstream. The leashes are strong enough to withstand the currents pulling upon the leashed paddle, and are elastic enough to move and shift with the kayak paddler depending on any number of different types of paddling stroke styles. Don’t want to use a kayak paddle leash? Try a Kayak Paddle Holder instead, it will work just as well for keeping your kayak paddle safe!
If you follow the suggestions of KFC on what features to look for in a kayak paddle leash, and if you decide upon one of the recommended products above, you are sure to be pleased with your decision! Looking for a new kayak fishing adventure? See if inflatable kayak fishing could be the right choice for you! Here are some helpful hints in case you’ve failed to use a paddle leash and your paddle has gotten away from you!
Do you have any questions regarding the kayak paddle leash products described above or kayak fishing in general? Please share with the rest of the KayakFishingCorner community by posting in the Comments section below.