The 5 best fishing kayak paddles: better paddling & fishing

Man Fishing in Kayak
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You love fishing in your kayak, but for some reason, your paddle just doesn’t feel right for the job; sound familiar? 

Well, it’s probably because the paddle you’re using isn’t right for the job. And this is why we’re here today to show you the best fishing kayak paddle the market has to offer. 

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

What Are The Best Fishing Kayak Paddles?

Kerco Angler Pro Carbon Fiber Kayak Fishing Paddle

If you’re looking for a paddle with a reasonable budget, this could be the perfect option. The paddle features fiberglass reinforced nylon blades, which give you a great balance between weight distribution and strength.

They have also added an upgraded blade design, which you can adjust to different angles depending on your needs. You can change the angles on the carbon fiber shaft with ease.

Thanks to the fiberglass reinforced nylon blades, you have excellent control of the kayak in flat water. And thanks to the length, you can even paddle while standing up on the ‘yak.

And if you’ve paddled yourself into a pickle, you can use the hooks of the blade to grab hold of something, like a tree or the dock.

Pros
  • Adjustable push-button blade with three different angles.
  • The blade’s design gives you the perfect balance between weight distribution and robustness.
  • The carbon fiber shaft looks and feels great, which is enhanced with the grip pattern.
  • Low-cost carbon fiber blades with great performance; if you’re on a budget, it could be a great choice for you.
Cons
  • If you’re a tall paddler with a wide boat, the paddle length isn’t the best option for you.
  • Putting the pieces back together after taking them apart is challenging.
  • The blades aren’t built for rough water, and they may disconnect from the shaft.

Poseidon Angler Fishing Lightweight Kayak Paddle

For anyone new to kayak fishing, it’s understandable if you don’t want to invest a lot of money, which is where this kayak paddle comes in. 

The blades are made with fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene, which adds excellent durability and reduces weight. As we’re talking about the blades, you can adjust them between low and high angles to make them more comfortable for your paddling style.

The paddle shaft is made with aluminum and goes from round to slightly oval in shape, which helps you get a better grip. Thanks to this design, it helps to reduce fatigue which is essential for long kayaking trips.

Another great feature on the aluminum shaft is the drip ring; this stops water from running down the shaft so you can keep a solid grip on the kayak paddle.

Pros
  • The oval shape ensures your blade is in the right position to hit the water.
  • It comes with adjustable drip rings to stop your hands from getting wet and sliding on the shaft.
  • The aluminum shaft and reinforced with fiberglass polypropylene give the paddle a very sturdy design.
  • The blade has plenty of features to assist you with your kayak fishing experience.
Cons
  • The paddle is heavier when compared to other models.
  • The serrated hook on the blade can easily get caught on the grass in the riverbed.
  • If you’re under 5.5 feet, then the paddle isn’t the best option for you.

Marine Kayak Fishing Paddle

The blades are made with Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), giving them a strong and sturdy feeling. You can also use the three adjustment points to adjust the angle, so you can paddle the way you feel most comfortable.

At the end of one of the blades, you’ll notice the hook retrieval notch and a small cutout that helps you remove lures after a poor cast.

The shaft is made with carbon fiber, which adds to the overall durability of the paddle and makes it more lightweight. On the carbon fiber shaft, you’ll find drip rings that help to reduce the chances of your hands getting wet and ultimately losing your grip.

A nice touch to the paddle is the paddle leash, which is included in the pack. The kayak paddle leash decreases the chance of you losing your paddle when you make a catch. 

Pros
  • The paddle leash is an excellent addition; it removes the fear of dropping your paddle in the river.
  • Floating blocks on the paddle prevent it from sinking to the bottom.
  • The hook at the end of the paddle makes it easier to retrieve fish once you’ve pulled them in.
  • The drip rings reduce the chances of your hands getting wet while you’re paddling down the river.
Cons
  • The blades seem weak at the adjustment point; there have been reports of them snapping.
  • The size is not adjustable; if you’re under 5.5 ft, then this kayak paddle isn’t the one for you.
  • The hook notch lifts up water and drips it on you as you paddle.

Bending Branches Angler Classic

When you purchase the Bending Branches paddle, you can choose between five different sizes, so make sure you choose the right size for you (keep reading to find out how to size your paddle).

The Bending Branches shaft is made with fiberglass, which helps to reduce the weight and overall fatigue when paddling. You’ll notice the paddle’s fiberglass shaft has more of an oval shape which helps the paddle sit better in your hands and helps with indexing. This indexing facilitates a loose grip which improves your forward stroke and helps prevent tendonitis.

The built-in tape measure on the fiberglass shaft is a nice touch to the kayak paddle and allows you to measure your fish when you catch it. The blades are made with an epX engineered polymer and are reinforced with fiberglass to increase durability. 

It also comes with a 3 hole snap-button ferrule so you can adjust the angles of the blades for left-handed or right-handed control.

Pros
  • Outstanding value for money when comparing the quality.
  • The built-in measuring tape was an excellent touch if you’re keen on measuring your fish.
  • You can choose various lengths, ensuring you get the right size of kayak paddle for you and your ‘yak.
  • The ovalized grips helped reduce fatigue and make it easier to hold on to the paddle for long durations.
Cons
  • The tightness of the sides can make it hard to put the two pieces together.
  • The measuring tape had a few inches missing.
  • The paint on the shaft scratches way too easily, which is pretty disappointing.

Bending Branches Angler Ace

Another great addition to the list is the Bending Branches Angler Ace. The shaft is built with 100% carbon, which is the lightest material available for kayak fishing paddles. Again, along the shaft is a built-in tape measure for measuring your fish.

The Bending Branches Angler shaft comes in two pieces to keep it compact when traveling and makes it easier to store. The two halves stay together thanks to the three-hole ferrule. Having the three holes also allows you to adjust the feathering angles for left and right-hand control.

As for the blades, they are made with reinforced fiberglass, which again helps keep the kayak fishing paddles’ weight down. Overall, the blades offer durability, smooth paddling, and reduces fatigue when paddling. 

If you’re cast wasn’t 100% accurate and ended up in a tree (we’ve all been there), then you can use the hook-retrieval notch to free it up. You’ll find it on the right-hand blade.

Pros
  • The shaft has a 40-inch tape measure to give you an idea of how big your fish is.
  • The shaft has an oval shape to help secure your grip and help with indexing.
  • You can adjust the feathering angles from 0-60° depending on how you like to paddle and what hand you paddle with.
  • Lightweight dihedral blades provide smoother stokes and more power without fatigue.
Cons
  • The paddle can feel slightly unbalanced at times which feels awkward.
  • When paddling in rough waters, the kayak paddle can flip due to the lightweight.

Our Top Choice

Okay, when you first look at kayak fishing paddles, you might not see much difference between them. But let me tell you now, having the right paddle for the job makes a world of difference when it comes to efficiency.

We looked at the top five fishing kayak paddles, and I have my personal favorite when it comes to a winner.

For me, the Bending Branches Angler Ace is the top choice. It has many features that help with the efficiency of paddling and fishing.

The lightweight nature of the Bending Branches Angler is excellent, but it did have one problem… rough water. Due to the paddle being so lightweight, it easily flipped if you didn’t have a good grip when a wave hit the blade.

Things to Consider Before Buying The Best Kayak Paddle

ten kayak paddles

When you first start looking at fishing kayak paddles, you’re unlikely to know what you’re looking for. To help you make the right decision, I want to spend some time on the key features you should be looking out for:

Paddle Length

Choosing the right length paddle should be the easiest decision, but things can go horribly wrong if you get it wrong. If you don’t get the right length, your going to find it increasingly difficult to paddle.

When choosing a paddle, the main three factors you need to consider are your height, the kayak’s width, and your ride height. 

If you’re a taller paddler, you will require a longer paddle, and the same can be said with the kayak’s width.

You’ll find there are many variations between manufacturers, so you should refer to the brand’s specific sizing. 

Materials 

Kayak Fishing paddles are made with different materials, just like kayaks, so it’s important you understand the differences.

The heaviest kayak paddle material is aluminum and plastic, but they’re also the cheapest option. Carbon fiber is the best option if you’re looking for something on the stronger and lighter side. 

The problem with carbon fiber is the expense that comes with it, and this doesn’t make it the best option for most people.

Other options you have include fiberglass and composite, which almost give you the best of both worlds. 

The final thing I want to mention is just because the blade is made from 100% carbon fiber doesn’t mean the shaft will be made with the same material. 

Blade Shape

When it comes to paddles, you have two different options, high or low-angle blades, and which one you choose is vital.

In general, high-angle blades are used for recreational kayaking. They give you more speed but can be a lot harder on the muscles.

Low-angle blades are a lot better if you are planning to fish. Any keen fisherman will be on the boat for hours on end. So, using up all your energy paddling isn’t the best idea if you have a long day of kayak fishing ahead of you. 

Cost 

The last thing you should think about is how much the paddle will cost you. Price can play a huge role in your final decision. 

There are many things that can affect the overall price of the paddle, including features, materials, and brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Better Kayak Paddles Make A Difference?


The paddle is the only thing that has a bigger impact on your paddling ability than your skills and the kayak.

Even if you’re planning on making a short kayak fishing trip, you’re bound to do thousands of strokes.  And this is why having the best kayak paddle can make all the difference.

When it comes down to it, there are four things to consider when choosing a paddle:

  1. Length: You should consider your height, how high you sit, and the boat’s width.
  2. Material: Lightweight materials help to improve your paddling ability and reduce fatigue.
  3. Shaft: Using bent shafts or feathered blades can go a long way to improving your paddling ability.
  4. Blade: The size and shape of the blade can affect how efficient you are across the water.

The problem is, having all four of these things on a paddle can make it very expensive, and if you’re on a budget, it’s a tough ask.

Ideally, you should pick the feature that most suits your needs. For example, if you’re looking to increase the efficiency on the water, you should look at getting a kayak with specially designed blades.

On the other hand, if you find yourself getting fatigued while holding the kayak paddle, you should maybe look at reducing the weight of the paddle.

How Do You Size A Kayak Fishing Paddle?


As I mentioned earlier, finding the right size paddle is essential if you want to have a good time paddling.
To help you out, I wanted to create a quick chart to help you understand what length you should be looking at:

Kayak Width

6 ft And Shorter

6 ft 1” And Taller

Under 28”

230 cm

240 cm

28 - 31.75”

240 cm

250 cm

32 - 35.75”

250 cm

260 cm

36 - 39.75”

260 cm

270 cm

40” And Over

270 cm

280 cm

But remember, it’s not just your height and the width of the kayak you need t to consider. You also need to think about your ride height.

So, if you have a seat with a higher seating position, you should add another 10 cm to the length of your kayak paddle.

If you want to learn more about how to choose a kayak paddle, read the article in the link.

Jason
Jason
Hey, my name's Jason, and before I was a writer, I worked as an outdoor activity instructor where I took groups kayaking and camping. Now I use my personal experiences to share tips and tricks I've learned over the years. For as long as I can remember, I've been passionate about the outdoors, and now I want to share that passion with my readers.

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