Best Fishing Kayak Paddle

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Best Fishing Kayak Paddle

To help you select the best kayak paddle for your fishing adventures we have broken it down into four areas based on different price ranges.
If you wish to jump to a specific category click on the links below.

Though not covered here, if you are looking at full carbon paddles we recommend you check out Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon or the Werner Kalliste or Werner Camano Carbon models.

How much importance should I place on the paddle I use?

best fishing kayak paddle - humorous selection

We believe having a good quality paddle is of great importance. Unfortunately it is most often overlooked.
Remember it is the very thing that is doing all the work, it should be as important as the kayak itself.

How much should I spend on a kayak paddle?

We highly recommend not skimping on this vital piece of equipment. It’s often recommended that you buy the lightest paddle that you can afford. We couldn’t agree more. We would even say, aim for your paddle cost to be around 20 – 25 percent of the cost of your kayak.
Just remember, a good quality paddle will last for many years and therefore can be viewed as an investment, long term.

When asking “which is the best kayak fishing paddle?” Two brands consistently come up over and over again. Bending Branches and Werner. Both are great companies that have many years experience in paddle making and are world renowned which is why they feature so heavily here. They are definately not the only great brands out there but they do feature consistently.

What would be my personal top pick? – Bending Branches  Angler Ace

What sets it apart over the others for me? 

In a nutshell: 

  • My budget. – Let’s face it, what one wants and what one can afford are not usually synonymous 
  • It suits my paddling style
  • Cost/weight ratio. 
  • Built from the ground up with the kayak angler in mind. 
  • The hook removal tool. 
  • Great company reputation.

Stick around and check out which of these fantastic options suits you best.

Best fishing kayak paddlebest overall

Bending Branches Angler AceTop Pick.

As stated, one of the things we love about this model is its price/quality/performance ratio. You get a lot of ‘bang for your buck’. They are priced between entry level and top end fishing paddles which makes them a great option if you can’t quite stretch the budget enough.

These are made up of a full carbon shaft with abX carbon reinforced nylon blades making them lightweight and tough.

As rightly mentioned in Bending Branches literature, fishing kayaks tend to be wider and heavier than most others, especially with all the gear that is carried in them. Therefore their kayak fishing paddles are larger enabling you to push more water with each stroke. Makes sense to me.

Two options are available. Choose one of their fixed length options with the Angler Ace Snap-Button or go for the Angler Ace plus option which can be adjusted up to 6 inches (15 cm). This is a great feature if you change between high/low seating and need to adjust your paddle accordingly. Just be aware that there is a price increase plus a weight increase of 1.5 oz if you get the ‘plus’ adjustable option.

The hook retrieval tool comes in handy when rescuing snagged lures from below or even above when those tree branches lash out and grab your tackle unexpectedly!

Nice and light at 30oz (850g) if you choose the fixed length model.  

And not to forget the ruler that runs along the shaft. A great feature for checking the length of your catch.

If you can afford it, paying for less weight is definitely worth it. As I get older I appreciate anything that’s going to fatigue me less and produce less aches and pains the following day! 

It may seem like a big cost outlay in the beginning but when you spread that cost over the lifetime of the paddle it puts it in perspective.  Hey, it’s the argument I use with my wife, and sometimes it works!  “$200 over ten years is only $20 per year, surely my health is worth $20 per year”…. 

One thing to note is that the shortest length available in the fixed length models is 230 cm. It would be nice to see them include a 220 cm offering for those who use a shorter paddle. Particularly youth.  Thankfully this point leads us nicely onto the next alternative!

Aqua Bound Manta Ray Carbon

Equally impressive and at a similar price and weighing in at 29.5 oz with a carbon shaft and Carbon Reinforced Nylon blades these popular paddles are the lightest in this lineup. 

Why is this second choice to the BB Angler Ace?

Purely because this is a ‘fishing kayak paddle’ review!

They lack the ‘fishing features’ seen in the BB Angler Ace

The longest length available is 250, but conversely they do have shorter options available so as long as you require a paddle 250 cm or less. These are a fantastic buy. I don’t think you would be disappointed with one of these.

Best fishing kayak paddlehigh end

The next models are a step up in price from the BB Angler Ace, but if you can afford it, we think you’d appreciate the difference.  (Don’t forget to spread that cost over the lifetime of the paddle though to make the initial cost more palatable!)

Due to the weight difference our top picks are the Werner Camano or Shuna ‘Hooked’ fishing paddles. The Camano is suited for low angle paddlers whereas the Shuna is suited to high angle paddlers.

Werner Camano Hooked – Top pick low angle

Beautiful paddles designed and built with quality and performance in mind. 

Featuring a carbon blend shaft and mid sized fiberglass blades with a long narrow shape, perfect for low angle paddlers but not to the exclusion of other styles.

The asymmetrical blades feature a dihedral angle on the blade face which helps reduce any flutter which equals less energy wasted.   

They have a great ferrule system which is flush meaning there is nothing left protruding in which to get things snagged on. 

Fantastically light at 26.75lb (761g) for the Camano Hooked 2 piece straight shaft which is the fixed length option.

If you are looking for more versitility, the Camano Hooked adjustable straight shaft is their adjustable version. These can be adjusted up to 8 inches (20 cm). Again, this is a great feature if you change between high/low seating and need to adjust your paddle accordingly.  Be aware there is a weight increase of 3.25oz between the two.

Werner Shuna Hooked – Top pick high angle

The Werner Shuna Hooked is their ‘high angle’ kayak angler offering.

Featuring all the benefits of the Werner Camano but with a blade design suitable for those with a high angle paddle stroke. 

These really are exceptionally well made high performing paddles. With my paddle style this would be my top pick.

Strong, beautiful and high performing paddles, we don’t think you could go wrong with one of these Werner paddles.

Bending Branches Angler pro

Competing with Werner at this price point is the Bending Branches Angler pro.

Again, these come in two options, either a fixed length or an adjustable option which has the ability to be adjusted up to an extra 6 in (15cm) at a weight increase of 1.5oz.

All the great features of the Angler Ace (minus the hook retrieval tool), in a lighter package. Featuring a full carbon shaft with Compression Molded Fiberglass blades which translates to a lighter swing weight and they have been able to bring the overall weight down to 28.5 oz. All good for reducing fatigue which means more energy for fishing!

Multiple length options even up to 280 cm which is great if you have a wide kayak and use a high seating position.

Best fishing kayak paddle – entry level

Applicable to all the paddles in this line up – The manufacturer’s use of more economical materials means you can get the same design and functionality of their more expensive counterparts but in a more affordable package. 

Aqua Bound Manta Ray HybridTop Pick!

Sticking with our “choose the lightest paddle you can afford” motto the Aqua Bound Manta ray Hybrid pulls ahead into top slot in this category.

The carbon shaft on the Aqua Bound Manta Ray Hybrid saves you some precious weight. 

At 31.75oz this really is light weight, especially for this price bracket.

Featuring a full carbon shaft and fiberglass reinforced blades. 

You could choose the snap button ferrule option but we would recommend paying a little more and going for the Posi-Lok option which is a well engineered multi angle design giving you the choice of which feather angle that suits you best.

Offering a range of length options in 10 cm increments from 210 cm to 250 cm

If you require a longer paddle than 250 cm see the options below.

Werner Tybee Hooked and Werner Skagit Hooked.

The Werner Tybee Hooked for high angle paddlers.

The Werner Skagit Hooked for low angle paddlers.

While not quite on the same level as the Camano and Shuna, the Skagit and Tybee still offer great performance but at a lower price.

At 35.5 oz for the fixed length option these are a great lightweight option for those on a budget.

Length options are available in increments of 10 cm from 220 cm to 260 cm

Bending Branches Angler Classic

One of the most popular fishing paddles out there. A great offering from Bending Branches

Featuring ‘epX Engineered Polymer, Fiberglass Reinforced blades and fiberglass shaft they weigh in at 34 oz for the fixed length model.

Length options in increments of 10 cm from 220 cm to a whopping 280 cm!

Definitely plenty of options there.

Carlisle Magic Angler

A popular entry level choice, the Carlisle Magic Anger is made for the rigours of kayak fishing.  

It features a fiberglass shaft and fiberglass reinforced polypropylene blades with a notch for freeing your line.

It does weigh a touch under 42 oz so it is quite a bit heavier than the previous three. I would therefore still recommend paying a little bit more if you can and going for one of the others.

Best fishing kayak paddle – budget paddles

At the cheaper end of kayak paddles you’re looking at an aluminum shaft and nylon blades

While they do increase the weight, they are still robust, tried and tested materials that serve the purpose well.

This is a hard category to define as the prices fluctuate significantly and I’m guessing that if you’re looking in this category then every dollar counts. I will therefore order these from most expensive to least (At least at the time of writing this article)

Bending Branches Angler Rise

Sticking with a brand we know and trust, the Angler Rise is a great low cost option from Bending Branches. The Angler rise has plenty of length options and features their hook retrieval tool which is great for unhooking those snagged lures.

A popular budget option that will get you out on the water.

Pelican Poseidon Angler Top pick for right handers!

This is a great budget fishing kayak paddle. Aluminum shaft and fiberglass reinforced blades.

We believe this is the best bang for your buck. 

A very popular paddle and sold at a very competitive price.

Why for right handers? The right hand shaft has been intentionally pressed into a slight oval shape. This is to help locate your grip in the correct position, minimizing wrist fatigue and promoting good technique.

Please be aware, this oval profile has unfortunately been mistaken as damage by many reviewers who have left negative reviews accordingly. These should not count against this product.
The information about the ‘ovalisation’ as they call it is very clear on their website.

As the blades are asymmetrical, having the oval on the right hand side means these paddles are not suited to left handed paddlers, especially if you feather your blades.

Oceanbroad kayak paddle

For those on an extreme budget I don’t think you can get much cheaper than the Oceanbroad kayak paddle. 

Very popular with plenty of good reviews the Oceanbroad Kayak paddle has multiple color options available and has three lengths to choose from, 86, 90.5 and 95 inches (218, 230 and 241cm)

An extremely cheap option which is great but just remember, for your own safety to treat them as such.

Best Fishing Kayak Paddle – Conclusion

If you can, we recommend going with Bending Branches, Werner or Aquabound. Three great brands with great pedigree in the paddling world and a long list of happy customers.

As much as you can afford it, buy quality and as a general rule of thumb, buy the lightest paddle you can afford and your body will thank you for it!

We hope you have found our recommendations helpful in your quest for a paddle.

Don’t forget to check out our other articles.

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