7 Best Kayak Paddles For Fishing: Reviews For Length & Budget

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An essential and mandatory piece of equipment, the kayak paddle is any kayaking angler's best friend. This handy tool gets you where you need to go on the water and can get you out of a jam in no time. However, with such a wide range of styles, features, and prices to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Our handy review will help you figure out the best kayak paddle for fishing.

Preview

Product

Weight

Length

Blade Material

Check Price

Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass Kayak Paddle

Werner Camano Premium

27.75 ounces

215-260 cm

Fiberglass

AQUA BOUND Sting Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak...

AQUA BOUND Sting Ray

20.08 ounces

210 – 250 cm

Carbon abx resin

Bending Branches Angler Scout 2-Piece...

Bending Branches Angler Scout

36 ounces

230 – 260 cm

Polymer and fiberglass

Perception Kayaks Pescador Adjustable Kayak...

Perception Kayaks Pescador

34 ounces

230 – 240 cm

Fiberglass

KERCO Angler Pro Carbon Fiber Kayak Fishing...

KERCO Angler Pro

37 ounces

260 cm

Fiberglass and nylon

Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic Plus Kayak Paddle...

Carlisle Paddle Sunrise

35-39 ounces

220 – 250 cm

Polypropylene and glass

Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle -...

Backwater Paddles Assault

12.8 ounces

55.88 cm

Plastic


How Is a Fishing Paddle Different from a Recreational Paddle?

While a recreational paddle is often a simple and cheaply made one to two blades on a shaft, a fishing kayak paddle is often higher quality and more complex. Some useful features of fishing paddles are built-in line hooks, branch hooks, and measurement systems. The angle of a fishing paddle is often different, and the shaft can be bent or feathered for better paddling. However, all of these features built into a paddle of higher quality materials can rack up the cost. That being said, while you can use both, we would recommend upgrading to an angling paddle if you are a regular fisherman.


Features to Look for in a Kayak Fishing Paddle

Length & Weight

A fishing paddle's length and weight will vary from person to person. Investing in a kayak paddle with a lighter swing weight will reduce fatigue in the long run and keep you enjoying the water for longer. The paddle length for a fishing kayak depends on multiple key factors: your height, seat height, and the width of your kayak.  We discuss sizing your paddle later on, so keep reading to discover which length is best for you.

Material

Fishing paddles can be made of a variety of materials. Many cheap ones are made of aluminum or plastic, which is good for beginners and low budget anglers. The trade-off of these paddles is that they are often heavy and offer lower performance levels than more expensive models. Fiberglass and carbon fiber are commonly used in higher quality paddles as they are durable and well-performing styles. Carbon fiber paddles are very expensive, but fiberglass ones are a great compromise between budget and performance.

Blade Features

In terms of design, the paddle blade can be either dihedral or asymmetrical. Dihedral blades are on two planes and are ribbed to promote a natural flow while asymmetrical blades have a longer top and tapered bottom for efficient paddling.

Fishing paddle blades can be shaped at a high or low angle to promote aggressive or relaxed strokes, respectively. Paddle blades can also be feathered or matched; we recommend that beginners using feathered ones if you have old or healing wrist, arm, or hand injuries.

Shaft

As mentioned, the paddle shaft can be made of a variety of materials, but it can also come in one, two, or four pieces. If you travel regularly, we recommend getting a two or four-piece depending on your travel style. The shaft can also be straight or bent; we recommend the straight shaft for beginners while they learn the ropes.

Ferrule System

A ferrule is a ring or band that strengthens or forms a joint. Ferrules are usually found on two or four-piece kayak paddles and are highly important. Ideally, you want a secure ferrule that will not allow water into the shaft and is easily removable through a button push system. Read reviews and product descriptions carefully to ensure that you get decent ferrules on your paddle.

Extras

These days, a fishing paddle does not have to be a simple paddle; it can have helpful features such as inbuilt line and branch hooks, a measurement system, leashes, and colorful palettes for higher visibility. Consider if these features are right for you and find one within your budget that matches your needs.

Budget

As kayak paddles can often cost anywhere from $20 to $500, you must set a budget for yourself beforehand and find a paddle that sits in that price range. If you like one that is a little over your budget, consider waiting for a sale or discount to get an even better deal.


7 Best Kayak Paddles for Fishing Reviewed

1. Werner Camano Premium

Best Kayak Paddle For Fishing

Weight

27.75 ounces

Length

215-260 cm

Blade Angle

Low angle

Blade Material

Fiberglass

Shaft Design

Straight

The best kayak paddle for fishing, the Werner Camano Premium paddle is an excellent high-quality option for intermediate and expert paddlers. It is lightweight, durable, and available in eleven different design options for those who like to color coordinate. While this paddle is not fishing specific, we do think that it would be the perfect addition to your fishing gear thanks to its high performance touring strokes and gentle power. The light swing weight ensures that you will not become prematurely tired or injured over time.

A wide variety of lengths are available to suit most paddlers, and the fiberglass blades provide excellent performance. That being said, this is not the cheapest model and is not designed for beginners. With this in mind, novice paddlers may want to choose another model on this list. Overall, we love the award-winning performance and design of the Werner Camano Premium paddle and recommend giving it a try for yourself.

Pros
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Quality materials
  • 11 colors and designs to choose from
  • Wide range of lengths to choose from
  • Intermediate to expert
Cons
  • Not the best for beginners
  • Expensive

2. AQUA BOUND Sting Ray

Runner Up

Weight

20.08 ounces

Length

210 – 250 cm

Blade Angle

Low to medium angle

Blade Material

Carbon abx resin

Shaft Design

N/A

Our runner up for top pick is the AQUA BOUND Sting Ray paddle, a two-piece model made in the USA. The AQUA BOUND Sting Ray is available in a wide range of size options and has on ovalized grip area on the seven-layer carbon fiber shaft. A posi lock ferrule keeps the two pieces together in a secure and easy to clean way.

For those looking for flexibility in their paddle shafts, it is possible to adjust this paddle up to 15 degrees incrementally. This light, strong, and durable model comes with drip rings and is available for a reasonable price but is only available in two design options, which is a shame. If you are a regular traveler or backpacker, try out the AQUA BOUND Sting Ray for yourself and see how easy it is to paddle no matter where you travel.

Pros
  • Made in the USA
  • Light, strong, durable
  • Ovalized grip area – ergonomic
  • Wide range of lengths
  • Secure and easy to clean paddle joint
Cons
  • Only two design options

3. Bending Branches Angler Scout

Best Fishing Kayak Paddle For The Money

Weight

36 ounces

Length

230 – 260 cm

Blade Angle

N/A

Blade Material

Polymer and fiberglass

Shaft Design

Straight

Our pick for the best fishing kayak paddle for the money is the Bending Branches Angler Scout. This Bending Branches kayak fishing paddle is light, durable, and made in the USA. Available in a two-piece design, this paddle comes with a built-in tape measure and blade hook for rescuing lost lines. Lefties need not despair as this paddle is both left and right hand friendly and comes with ovalized grips for a more ergonomic design.  A three-hole snap-button ferrule holds the pieces together securely and allows for feathering angles of up to 60 degrees.

The fiberglass-reinforced blade will ensure that this paddle sticks with you through many adventures to come. That being said, this model only comes in two color options and is not short-person-friendly. If you are a taller angler or have a particularly high seat, this may well be an affordable option for you.

Pros
  • Light, strong, and durable
  • Built-in tape measure and hook
  • Two-piece for easy transport and storage
  • Left and right hand friendly with ovalized grip
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Only two color options
  • Not for shorter people

4. Perception Kayaks Pescador

Best Adjustable Kayak Fishing Paddle

Weight

34 ounces

Length

230 – 240 cm

Blade Angle

N/A

Blade Material

Fiberglass

Shaft Design

N/A

The best adjustable kayak fishing paddle on our list, the Perception Kayaks Pescador model is designed for the Pescador but is a great choice no matter your kayak brand or model. This high quality and affordable kayak paddle is lightweight but tough and comes with a built-in line hook for those less than ideal casts. Ribbed dihedral blades power through the water with ease and is capable of pulling even heavy overloaded kayaks.

The fiberglass dihedral blades and aluminum shaft ensures that you do not need to compromise on quality and durability when it comes to your kayaking gear. It is possible to adjust the length of the kayak paddle to take a high or low kayak seat into account. While we do love the Pescador paddle, we do wish that it came in a wider variety of color and size options. With the limited sizes, this kayak paddle would be better for taller folks or those with wider kayaks.

Pros
  • Cheaper
  • Capable of pulling heavy kayaks
  • Adjustable push-button ferrule
  • Built-in hook
  • Ribbed dihedral blades
Cons
  • One color option
  • Small size options.

5. KERCO Angler Pro

Best For Kayak Fishing Beginners

Weight

37 ounces

Length

260 cm

Blade Angle

N/A

Blade Material

Fiberglass and nylon

Shaft Design

N/A

Our recommendation for best kayak fishing paddle for beginners, the KERCO Angler Pro is a well built two-piece paddle with a light swing weight and anti-slip design that will help you cut through the water. Having a lighter swing weight reduces fatigue and the likelihood of strain or overworked muscles in the future. The built-in lure hooks and measurement system means that you can fish without having to rifle in your gear bag whenever you catch something. 

The combination of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and nylon means that you have a durable and robust paddle that will keep you going for years to come. While we do love the build and features of this paddle, other customers have pointed out that the slow shipping and single size option do hold this particular model back. If this paddle is the right size and price for you, we recommend checking it out for yourself.

Pros
  • 12-month replacement guarantee
  • Two hooks and measure built-in
  • Light anti-slip design
  • Good swing weight
Cons
  • Slow shipping
  • One size option

6. Carlisle Paddle Sunrise

Best Lightweight Kayak Fishing Paddle

Weight

35-39 ounces

Length

220 – 250 cm

Blade Angle

High angle

Blade Material

Polypropylene and glass

Shaft Design

Bent

The best lightweight kayak fishing paddle on our list, the Carlisle Paddle Sunrise is a model available in a wide range of sizes. Durable and portable, this two-piece paddle can be feathered up to 60 degrees and has high blade angles for speed and efficiency. An ovalized shaft helps paddlers keep an ergonomic grip on their paddle while they have fun in the sun. Rubber drip rings are built in to keep your hands as dry as possible while you paddle, and a push-button takedown system makes packing and setting up as easy as possible for those on a trip or limited time. The polypropylene and glass blades cut through the water and will stay strong against currents and underwater debris.

While we love the features of this paddle, we do not recommend it for beginners due to the high angle bent shaft design. We would suggest that this paddle is more appropriate for intermediate or advanced kayakers.

Pros
  • Left or right hand friendly
  • Ovalized shaft
  • Push-button takedown
  • Feathered to 60 degrees option
  • Wide range of lengths
Cons
  • Not for beginners

7. Backwater Paddles Assault

Best Kayak Fishing Handle Paddle

Weight

12.8 ounces

Length

55.88 Cm

Blade Angle

N/A

Blade Material

Plastic

Shaft Design

Straight

Our top pick for the best kayak fishing handle paddle, the Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle is undoubtedly the most unique model on this list. A short and lightweight one-handed one bladed paddle is perfect for steering you through windy or rough weather in a pinch for added control. They are easy to store and pack and are affordable backup paddles to your larger two-bladed paddle.

We would not recommend using a short one handed paddle like this for long trips, but we do recommend having it on your person to get you out of a jam. The built-in hook is great for grabbing lost lines, and the serrated edge is helpful when trying to push off of rocks or branches in a bind. Overall, this is a great little tool that would be an excellent addition to your regular kayaking gear; give it a try for yourself and see if it is right for you.

Pros
  • Lightweight, slim, compact
  • Built-in hook and serrated edge
  • One-handed
  • Good backup in windy conditions
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Not for long-distance trips
  • Cheap material

Kayak Paddle Sizing Guide

Getting the best kayak paddle length for fishing can save you plenty of fatigue, blisters, and potential injuries in the future. The key factors in determining your paddle’s length are your height, the width of your kayak, and the height of your seat.  As a general rule, wider kayaks and taller paddlers need longer paddles. Typically, people under 5’5 will use a paddle that is anywhere from 210 to 240 cm long while those above 5’5 will use one that is anywhere from 220 to 260 cm long. If you have a high seat in your kayak, add 10 cm to that number.


Kayak Paddling Skills: Tips for Beginners

Safety tips:

  • Stretch your body thoroughly before getting into your kayak
  • Take lessons with a qualified instructor beforehand
  • Tell your loved ones about your paddling route and stick to it, using a GPS as your guide
  • Do the research and ask locals about new routes and currents before going somewhere new
  • Always wear a lifejacket or PFD
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared for change
  • Bring enough food, water, and medical supplies for the trip

Holding your paddle:

  • Know what type of paddle you have before getting into your kayak
  • Hold the paddle in front of you with the blades horizontal to the ground
  • Hold it with your large knuckles pointed up
  • Asymmetrical blades – make sure the shorter side of the blades are at the bottom
  • Curved blades – have the concave sides facing your direction

Adjusting your hold on the paddle:

  • Rest your paddle shaft gently on top of your head, so it is balanced on each side
  • Adjust your arms and hands, so your elbows are at a comfortable 90 degrees
  • Bring the paddle down in front of you
  • Using the paddler’s box will give you proper posture as you rotate your torso
  • Maintain the paddler’s box throughout your trip

Gripping the paddle:

  • Make a circle with your index finger and thumb in each hand around the shaft
  • Rest the other fingers on top of the shaft
  • Relaxing your grip prevents fatigue in your arms, hands, and wrists

Forward stroke:

  • The most fundamental stroke in paddling
  • Turn your torso and insert the blade into the water near your feet
  • Rotate your upper body as you pull the blade back behind you. Follow the blade with your eyes for proper posture and push with your upper hand
  • Once the blade reaches behind your hip, slice it back out of the water
  • Use your core muscles and stay upright
  • Keep the blade upright and fully immersed
  • Use paddler’s box throughout
  • Often used for backing up or stopping a kayak
  • Follow the tips above in reverse
  • Use your core and keep your back straight
  • Paddler’s box is key
  • Remember to keep the blade submerged throughout

Sweep stroke:

  • Used to turn the boat efficiently
  • Immerse the blade by your feet on the opposite side of where you want to turn
  • In a wide arc, use a sweeping motion and pull the blade to the hull of the boat
  • When the blade approaches the hull slice the blade out of the water
  • Use your core to power through the motion
  • Picturing a clock face and trying to touch each number can be a helpful way of visualizing the movement

Draw stroke:

  • Used to move the kayak sideways towards the shore or another boat
  • Rotate the blade into a horizontal position
  • Reach the blade tip to the water’s surface two to three feet away from the side of your boat
  • Pull the blade with your lower hand to bring it towards you but stop before it touches the side
  • Slice the blade out of the water and repeat as necessary
  • If you do hit the boat, let go with your top hand to avoid capsizing

People Also Ask (FAQs)

What is a hooked fishing paddle?

A hooked fishing paddle has a built-in hook on the blade to catch your fishing line.

Do these paddles come with a paddle leash?

Not all paddles will come with a paddle leash. Read the product description carefully to make sure you get what you want.

What size paddle do I need for a 10-foot kayak?

It depends on your height and the kayak’s width. Confirm these things and read our guide above to help you decide.

Do fishing paddles float?

Fishing paddles do usually float, but we recommend getting a leash in case.

What is the difference between an oar and a paddle?

An oar usually has one blade and is used for rowing, whereas a paddle can have either one or two blades and is not used in rowing.

Where can I find the right fishing kayak paddle for me?

We recommend searching for your forever paddle on Amazon due to its wide selection of models, customer review database, affordable prices, and speedy delivery.


Conclusion

Out of all the products on our list, we would have to recommend the Werner Camano Premium paddle as the best paddle kayak for fishing due to its construction, wide range of designs, versatility, and performance.

Want more kayaking advice or recommendations? Our website has plenty more available to help you upgrade your fishing gear.