Paddling in itself can be a satisfying and peaceful experience. But, throw in a fishing rod and the promise of a fresh catch then the reward is even more savory. With kayak fishing comes another realm of gear. In order to successfully reel them in from your boat, you need the right gear for the job.
Aside from a kayak that is designed for angling, the next most important piece of equipment for kayak anglers would have to be the paddle that you are using. A fishing paddle is tailored to make the trip out on the water and casting from your boat simpler and more effective.
Whether you’re casting on flatwater lakes or out in tropical seas on an ocean kayak, we’ve found a paddle that’ll help you hook them on the line!
What Size Paddle Do I Need for a Kayak?
The size of the paddle you will require as kayak anglers depends on a few factors including the height and size of the kayak anglers that are doing the paddling and the width and size of the kayak that they are using. The ideal kayak paddle will be lightweight, strong, and comfortable to use.
If you end up choosing the wrong size paddle, then you may end up hitting your hands along the side of the kayak, or the paddling will end up tiring you out a lot sooner which may leave you with no energy for fishing. While you will consider the height of kayak anglers and the width of the kayak, you will also want to consider the amount of gear you will be carrying with you on the kayak, as well as if you are an athletic paddler, if you have an open water ocean kayak, or if you are utilizing a narrower kayak.
Also, if you find you are a bit more relaxed when it comes to paddling, or you use a high seat option in your kayak, then the size of the paddle may vary depending on all these factors and what will be comfortable for you as the kayaker.
How do you make sure you get the right fishing paddle?
Before selecting a kayak paddle for fishing, it is important to know just what you are looking for. Most kayak fishing paddles are built with a low-angle design for mellow touring and longer days on the water.
More aggressive touring or whitewater kayaking requires a higher angle paddle. You can find more info about paddle basics, here.
Fishing Paddle versus Recreation Paddle
Paddles designed for angling often have specific features that are worth considering if you plan to frequently fish from your kayak. Paddles with hooks built into the blades can be a big help in saving lost fishing line, especially if you’re still honing your casting skills.
Many angling paddles also come with a measurement section. The measurement section allows you the opportunity to assess the size of your fish without bringing along any additional tools.
At the same time, many angling paddles can be great for both kayak fishing and mellow touring with a rod. For recreational kayakers and anglers, these versatile paddles offer great bang-for-your-buck.
And don’t forget that with kayak fishing, once you’ve made it out to the fish, you will need to set your paddle down on your boat without losing it. With all the gear that comes with angling from a kayak, it’s crucial to keep your boat organized. Often, that means having the right boat with the right features.
Looking for a kayak to make casting a line easier? We’ve got options for you.
How to Paddle a Kayak
After you have found the appropriate paddle you will need for your fishing kayak; you will want to make sure that you understand how to use it. You will want to learn the proper way to grip the paddle so that you can achieve a more efficient stroke and you will also want to familiarize yourself with a few terms to make the process a bit easier for you to grasp.
For example, the forward stroke is meant for going forward, while a reverse stroke is meant for slowing down or reversing. Simple enough, right? The next stroke to learn is called the sweep stroke, and this stroke is used for turning the kayak. Finally, the draw stroke is for when you need to move or scoot the kayak in a more sideways like direction.
Holding the paddle involved learning a few things as well. First, make sure you are aware of the type of paddle you are using, and you will then want to orient the paddle blades properly. Next, you will have to adjust your grip on the shaft and learn how to relax your hands to provide you with a comfortable and secure grip on the paddle.
1. Werner Camano Hooked
Werner took their popular Camano paddle and made an angling specific version. It easily sits at the top of the line when it comes to kayak fishing paddles. A low-angle blade and dihedral paddle shape allow for easy and powerful strokes.
The carbon fiber blend shaft cuts weight, so you can chase after fish all day long without breaking a sweat. This fishing paddle features a camouflage color scheme on the blade, so you stay elusive above the water.
Like the traditional Camano paddle, this version boast the same ferrule for easy adjustments and a comfortable fit. While this kayak paddle may be a top dollar option, it will prove it’s worth for long days on the water.
2. Carlisle Predator Fishing Paddle
The Carlisle Predator is a solid paddle that won’t cost a fortune. The strong fiberglass construction means that it will be durable while remaining relatively lightweight, and won’t come with the price tag of a carbon paddle.
A low angle design and easy assembly and breakdown make long days on the water a breeze. On top of that, Carlisle went the extra distance when designing this kayak paddle when you consider the blade design.
The paddle blades have a hook-shaped notch so you can easily lure stray fishing lines back in. This is the perfect addition to any fishing kayak. Given all the thoughtful features in this paddle, the Predator is a good option for new anglers and seasoned pros alike.
3. Werner Skagit Hooked
The low angle paddle blade design with a dihedral shape keep each stroke as smooth as possible. Like many other Werner models, the Skagit Hooked is a 2-piece fishing paddle that adjusts easily and stows away nicely.
This lightweight kayak paddle will move a larger angling kayak around with ease so that you can focus your energy on casting lines and less energy paddling the kayak.
4. Feelfree Angler Paddle
The Feelfree Angler is a fiberglass kayak paddle designed with fishing-specific features, so you can reel them in all day long. The fiberglass shaft and reinforced blades mean that this paddle is durable and lightweight while maintaining a reasonable price tag.
A variety of colors, including camo options, keep you stealthy out on the water. In addition to the low angle paddle blade and dihedral shaping, Feelfree added a measurement bar to the paddle, so you can brag about the size of your fish as soon as you catch it.
5. Bending Branches Angler Classic
With a fiberglass construction, adjustable shaft, measurement bar, and a hook to retrieve wayward lines, this is the perfect fishing paddle at the perfect price. Bending Branches also gives you options. You can get added customization with a telescoping ferrule, so you find the perfect feathering angle, or opt to save some money with the push-button ferrule.
6. Bending Branches Angler Rise
Built with a sturdy aluminum and polypropylene construction, this kayaking paddle offers an affordable option for recreational kayak anglers. This fishing paddle will not be as lightweight as carbon or fiberglass designs, but still maintains many important features.
The hook notch on the paddle blade retrieves lost lines, while the low angle paddle and dihedral shape reduces flutter, making each stroke more comfortable. For those looking to cast the occasional line without the necessity of a big budget, this is the perfect option.
7. SeaSense X-Treme II
The aluminum shaft and polypropylene paddle blades make this paddle fairly durable, and a low angle design allows for a leisurely stroke and easier paddling. This affordable kayaking paddle gets the job done on short day adventures when saving weight isn’t a top priority.
If you’re looking for something that can stand more abuse, then a carbon fiber or fiberglass constructed kayaking paddle would be more suited to your needs. But, if your goal is to casually cast a few lines, then the price is right with the SeaSense X-Treme II.
8. Cannon Escape
For those looking for an affordable and entry-level paddle, look no further than the aluminum shaft Escape. With fiberglass-reinforced blades, this kayaking paddle is simple and durable.
If you’re looking for something with length options, then the adjustable aluminum shaft Escape will be slightly more expensive, but allow you to tailor the length to your liking.
Wanting a little more performance and durability out of your paddle? Then you should opt for the fiberglass Escape, which saves weight and lasts longer than aluminum shaft paddles. With this kayaking paddle, you will receive high-quality craftsmanship and premium features at an affordable price point.
9. Werner Tybee Hooked Fishing Paddle
Designed like a high-end kayaking paddle but priced for recreational kayaking, the Werner Tybee Hooked is an excellent fishing paddle for the price. A higher-angled blade shape allows for powerful paddling strokes so that you can reach your destination even faster.
Like other Werner paddles, the Tybee has an easily adjustable ferrule so you can customize your feathering angle for more efficient strokes. Along with an ergonomic dihedral blade design and strong fiberglass construction, you will find that this kayaking paddle is both lightweight and durable.
10. Backwater Assault Hand Paddle
With this packable fishing paddle, you can adjust your boat position without pulling out your full-length paddle. When the wind starts ripping out on the water, you’ll need to stay close to the fish so you can go home with a catch.
A serrated edge helps navigate through tricky waters and helps assist when pushing off rocks and cutting through roots and branches that lurk below the surface. For the avid kayak angler, this kayaking paddle is a must-have addition to your gear quiver.
Remember, the kayaking paddle you choose for your fishing kayak is just as important as the fishing gear itself, so it is only wise to take your time and sift through each available option to find the best fit for you and your kayak and all of your future kayaking adventures.
High-quality construction, comfortable grip, the right size, and premium features all make a kayak paddle for fishing worth the small investment you will make. Finding a paddle that makes paddling easier and cuts down on any fatigue you may experience will also go a long way in helping you experience a more successful fishing trip.