What is the best kayak paddle?


What is the best kayak paddle?To be successful in your kayak fishing endeavors, you will need to find the best kayak paddle for fishing. Contrary to fishing from an ordinary boat, Kayak fishing is highly demanding as it requires you to find the perfect balance between equipment and skill. Kayak paddles vary in design, length and even the materials used. To get the most out of kayak paddles, ensure you know which activities you intend to partake before purchasing a paddle. Most kayakers assume a kayak is all it takes to enjoy an afternoon or early morning out in the water, however, this is not the case. Choosing the right paddle determines whether you will be productive when kayak fishing. Thus, understanding the various features of a kayak paddle is vital to select the most appropriate option. To help select the best kayak paddle for your fishing activities, we have compiled a list of important, must-read features below.


How to Choose the Best Paddle for Kayak Fishing?

How to Choose the Best Paddle for Kayak Fishing?Before purchasing a paddle for your kayak, you will need to consider several features such as the type , size , and materials of the paddle used in both the blade and shaft, and overall paddle design. These factors are discussed in efforts to arm you with information that will help you select the best paddle for your money. On top of providing a description of the main features, we will also make recommendations of what you should go for depending on the intended use and of course, skill level. A simple guideline you should always remember is, ‘what works for a friend may not necessarily work for you.’ If you keep this in mind, you will find the perfect kayak paddle that will not only enhance your productivity but also improve your fishing experience.


What type of Kayak paddle should I buy?

High-angle or low-angle kayak paddle


In kayaking, you can either be a high-angle or low-angle paddler. Low-angle paddles are preferred for low-speed anglers. That is, if you prefer to cruise at a relaxed, slow pace, a low-angle paddle is your best option. Also, if you are relatively new to kayaking, it is advisable to start off with low-angle paddles since they are less demanding in regards to technique. Low-angled paddles are designed for calm waters due to their thin horizontal blades which are slightly longer to help you navigate with little effort. On the other hand, high-angled paddles are appropriate for turbulent and fast-flowing waters where the paddler must be aggressive to achieve maneuverability and speed. High angled paddles usually give you the much-required edge when navigating through tricky and unpredictable waters. However, when using high-angled kayak paddles, ensure you are both mentally and physically prepared to use force. The low-angle kayak paddle is your best option when indulging in fishing activities as it enables you to navigate smoothly through calm waters, and reserve energy for your fishing exploits.


What size kayak paddle do I need?

What size kayak paddle do I need?When it comes to kayak paddles, size matters. A simple rule we use as a guideline is ‘the wider your kayak, the longer the paddle.’ Your overall height as a paddler is also vital in determining the most appropriate paddle length. For short kayakers, we advise going for fairly short paddles to help you navigate smoothly. The ideal paddle length if you are under 5’ tall is 210 cm for a kayak under 23“ wide. Taller paddlers will need longer paddles to maneuver their kayaks effectively. Therefore, before settling down for a particular paddle, be sure to consider your height, the kayak`s width, and the paddle`s length. Once you consider these factors, you’ll guarantee choosing the best paddle. A good kayak paddle is neither short nor long, instead, it perfectly suits your weight, height, and fitness. The longest kayak paddle can suit a tall paddler but prove to be a shorter paddler`s nightmare. Therefore, choose a paddle based on your individual features and the dimensions of your kayak.


Materials of a Kayak paddle

Blade and shaft materials are important factors that either contribute or take away from your kayaking experience. When selecting blade materials, consider weight, durability, and strength. Below is a brief description of the main blade materials.


Nylon/ Plastic blades

Nylon/ Plastic blades of paddleFor first timers, plastic blades are without doubt the most appropriate option. Plastic blades are heavy and are fairly strong to help you navigate across the water. Regarding upkeep costs, nylon blades cost little. This makes them appropriate for recreational paddlers who do not wish to incur expensive costs for a one-time activity. In addition to being affordable, plastic blades are flexible. Their flexibility prevents breakage during use, however, the flexibility comes at a cost of stroke efficiency. Thus, when working with a plastic blade, consider storing it in a cool location away from direct sunlight to avoid degradation.


Carbon-fiber blades

Carbon-fiber blades of kayak paddleIn addition to its light weight, a carbon fiber blade is also built for power. The combination of light weight and power makes the blade fairly expensive compared to other materials. As a result, we advise you to consider this option after gaining kayaking experience. Carbon-fiber blades are mostly preferred by professionals who require a combination of strength and efficiency. Unlike other blade materials, a carbon-fiber blade is less likely to snap during use. This makes it highly reliable and long-lasting.


Fiberglass blades

Fiberglass blades of kayak paddleFiberglass blades are not as expensive as their carbon-fiber counterparts. On top of their affordability, fiberglass blades are fairly durable. The blades are lighter than plastic and less affected by weather conditions such as extreme heat or cold. Although fiberglass blades are likely to chip after awhile, you can rest assured they will not crack completely. They can be used for fishing, normal kayaking, and even sporting activities that require aggressive paddling.


Shaft materials

Shaft materials of kayak paddleWhen it comes to shaft material, the most common is aluminum which is both serviceable and durable. However, due to aluminum`s conducting properties, it easily absorbs heat or cold depending on the weather. Be sure to glove up when grabbing the paddle in cold weather. During hot summers; store the shafts in the shade to prevent burning your hands when paddling.

Fiberglass and carbon shafts are also durable, lightweight and strong. Depending on the nature of your preferred activity, you can select a combination that suits you perfectly. Selecting fiberglass shafts and pairing them with carbon-fiber blades will give you an ultra-light paddle that is strong. However, the combinations should be determined by how flexibility your budget is.


Kayak Paddle design

Kayak Paddle design

Blade design

Unlike before when symmetrical blades were the popular option, asymmetrical dihedral shaped blades have become common and are used more frequently in kayaking. In addition to being narrow in design – asymmetrical blades are also shorter on one edge. This results to perfect angling that enables the blades surface area to push uniformly through water surfaces. Narrow blades are lighter and as a result, allow for easy navigation for long periods while wider blades are more effective regarding stroke power. If you want to accelerate when fishing, wider blades will be more convenient than narrower blades. Narrow blades will give you a lighter time when paddling due to the dihedral design. Using wide blades might be exhausting, especially for relatively inexperienced kayakers. As such, we advise settling for narrow dihedral blades that enable you to fish for long periods and enjoy the experience.

Kayak paddle Blade designBlades can either be matched or feathered. Unfeathered blades must be aligned with each other to reduce wind resistance. Feathered blades are usually positioned on different planes and are angled so they reduce overall wind resistance when out of the water surface. New models have made it easy to choose your preferred options. Most new model blades come with enhancements that allow you to modify the feathering up to 90 degrees depending on your specific kayaking needs.


Shaft design

Regardless of your experience in kayaking, choosing between a straight or a bent shaft design is quite easy. A bent shaft is more convenient, especially for comfort. The kinked sections will enable you to position your hands for long periods without fatigue or discomfort. A straight shaft is convenient when developing or learning new kayaking techniques. Keep in mind that shifting from a straight to a bent shaft can be challenging. Give yourself time to adjust to the new paddle by practicing before embarking on your fishing exploit.

Two-piece kayak paddle

Also, in regards to shaft design, you should be ready to select between a two-piece or four-piece paddle. Both designs are systematically designed to break down to allow for smooth storage. A four-piece shaft will have shorter sections than a two-piece shaft. Considering portability, we advise settling for a four-piece shaft. However,  be sure you are extra careful with the pieces once disassembled. If not properly stored, the pieces can get lost or damaged.

four-piece kayak paddle

When selecting the best kayak paddle for fishing, remember that shafts come in either small or standard diameter. We advise practical trials before settling for a particular diameter. Attempt to touch your index finger with your thumb when grabbing the paddle. We advocate smaller diameters as they are vital in reducing grip related fatigue.


Kayak fishing is a fun and captivating activity. The experience you get from Kayaking mostly depends on the Kayak you choose and the kayak paddle. Different kayaks have different experiences.

Some factors you should consider when choosing the best kayak paddle include a length which is based on your height and your technique of paddling. The width of the kayak is also an important factor.  A length that would be comfortable one individual may not be comfortable for another. Ensure your paddle is neither too long nor too short.

Let’s dive into unearth a first-class way of paddling by assembling some of the topmost kayaking activities.

BEST Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle – best kayak paddle for fishing in 2019

BEST Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle - best kayak paddle for fishing in 2019This is a high quality fishing kayak paddle developed by BEST Marine & Outdoors. They champion carbon fiber kayak paddles which are lightweight and have durable fiberglass blades.

Fiberglass and carbon combined give you a stunning paddling experience at all levels of paddling. With this adjustable kayak paddle, you are able to choose from 3 different positions. The 2-piece design makes it the best kayak paddle in terms of transportation.

Special Features

v This paddle is designed in a two-piece assembly for easy transportation.

v The fiberglass shaft enhances its durability and makes sure it is durable.

v The paddle has a medium length. Neither too short nor too long.

v Paddle weighs around.

v 17.5” by 6.75” blade size

  • Lightweight with a soft grip
  • Made of aluminium and fiberglass, this makes it durable
  • Adjustable length
  • Paddle leash included
  • Not as lightweight when compared to others

BEST Marine & Outdoors kayak paddle comes with a perfect length suitable for your kayak needs. You will find a collection of paddles with lengths suitable to all paddlers.

The paddle shaft is built to last with more durable lightweight carbon fiber and an extremely smooth grip. This fishing kayak paddle is available at an affordable price.

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BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic – Best Kayak Paddle for the Money

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic - Best Kayak Paddle for the MoneyAngler Classic from Bending Branches is another of the best kayak paddle for fishing to look for.  This is an ultimate fishing kayak paddle offering incredible features such as hook retrieval system and tape measurements. These specific features make Bending Branches a perfect kayak fishing paddle choice.

The aspects of this paddle are equally amazing. The shaft is constructed with lightweight fiberglass material, known for constructing the best paddles you will find. With a lightweight paddle, you can paddle all day long.

The shaft comes with heavy duty drip wings that keep your hands dry while you are paddling.

The blade is a mix of fiberglass and nylon enhancing its durability while keeping it light enough to easily glide through the water.

Special Features

v The paddle is features a two piece design for easy transportation.

v The rugged fiberglass reinforced blades offer the perfect blend of lightweight and durability.

v The hook retrieval notch helps you retrieve your line in a very short time.

v The classic angler design makes it a high-end fishing paddle with ultimate value

  • Adjustable for feathering angles 0° and 60°
  • Lightweight and highly durable
  • Features a hook-retrieval notch
  • It is expensive compared to other paddles of the same range

Although the price is high, you can be sure you will have obtained the best kayak paddle for the money. The blade sports a hook retrieval design which is highly acknowledged by kayak fishing fans.

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Crooked Creek C11390 Tournament Angler – Top Rated Kayak Angler Paddles in 2019 

Crooked Creek C11390 Tournament Angler - Top Rated Kayak Angler Paddles in 2019 The Crooked Creek C1190 from Crooked Creek Paddle Company comes with excellent 2 piece construction. The 2 piece construction comprises of a simple but strong push-button fitting. This paddle is adjustable for different blade angles.

The Crooked Creek Tournament Angler features a fiberglass shaft and poly-fibre composite dihedral blades adapted for tournament performance. Each blade has reinforced blade tips for push-off as well as a dock hook cut out that will help you pull yourself over. Crooked Creek as a top kayak paddle choice for you.

Special Features

v Dock hook cut out adds convenience.

v Weedless line/lure retrieval slot will help you easily remove stuck lures or line from logs and debris.

v Angle adjustments with a three position push-button feather settings

v 2-piece design convenient for storage and transport.

v Fiberglass shaft that has a laser-engraved measurement scale.

v The paddle has a poly-fibre composite dihedral blade for touring performance.

  • Fiberglass shaft makes the paddle long lasting
  • Can be adjusted in three positions with push-button feather settings
  • Two-piece design for convenient storage
  • Some customers had issues adjusting the blades

One great element about this paddle that makes it suitable for anglers is both blades have a notch to retrieve stuck fishing lines and a 40” measuring scale placed on the handle of the paddle. One of the setbacks is that offsetting the blade angles disrupts the scale.

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Accent Paddles Ultimate Angler – Best Vaddlelue Kayak Paddle in 2019

Accent Paddles Ultimate Angler - Best Vaddlelue Kayak Paddle in 2019This paddle from Accent Paddles is one of the best value kayak paddles you will find on the market. The paddle is more reasonably priced considering its high performance in the water.

This ultimate paddle angler is built with strength and has carbon reinforced blades that are highly durable and extremely lightweight. The stealth-like appearance of this paddle makes it a great choice for catching big fish. It is a long kayak paddle with a 20cm adjustable width, and many angle adjustments makes the paddle ideal for today’s high to low seating systems common with most fishing kayaks.

The full sized blades exude maximum power while the dihedral blade design promotes even displacement of water.

The shaft comes in carbon twill with an adjustment range of 240cm to 260cm.

Special Features

v The paddle has dihedral blades that are smooth and produce powerful strokes.                    

v The carbon twill shaft makes the paddles lightweight and durable.

v The kingpin adjustment offset connection system ensures a tight, wiggle-free fit angle adjustment.

v The perfect lightweight kayak fishing paddle with 20cm length adjustment for use with today’s wide angler A2K3S kayaks.

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable length
  • Features an advanced dihedral blade for easier paddling.
  • Takes a few tries to adjust properly

This high-end oar flaunts one of the best strength to weight ratios with an ability to generate a lot of power from each stroke while employing minimal effort. Being lightweight ensures you will not strain your hands while paddling. Make sure to obtain a size that best suits you and the width of your Kayak.

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Perception Kayak Pescador – High Quality Kayak Fishing Paddle

erception Kayak Pescador - High Quality Kayak Fishing PaddlePerception Pescador kayak fishing paddle has a sturdy blade design for maximum control as well as maneuverability of heavy duty kayaks. It also features a measuring tape located on the shaft to quickly measure your catch.

The paddle has a dihedral blade shape that makes it stable, smooth, and gives it flutter free strokes.

The strong blade makes the kayak adaptable to windy and rough conditions, which is the primary feature that the best paddle for kayaks should possess. The paddle flaunts a two-piece design that enables a 0-20 cm length adjustment making the gear suitable for any kayak, paddler, or a given seating arrangement.

Special Features

v Sturdy blade design ensures you have full control of fishing activities.

v Dihedral blade designed for smooth, stable, and stealth strokes

v Adjustable length in a range of 230 cm to 240 cm

v It has an adjustable push button ferrule.

v Its weighs around 34 oz.

  • Sturdy blade design for easier paddling
  • Fully adjustable with a push button ferrule
  • Features two-planed blade design
  • May chip on rocks if not careful

This paddle features a line hook that serves to retrieve snagged lures or anchor line with reduced movement. Thus, if you are considering it for fishing, you can be sure this will be an excellent kayak fishing paddle.

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BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic Kayak Paddle – Top Best Kayak Fishing Paddle

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic Kayak Paddle-Top Best Kayak Fishing PaddleIf you are looking for an option that features high-end angling this paddle is among the top rated kayak paddles you can choose.

The paddle’s fibre construction measurement bar, adjustable shaft, and a hook for retrieving wayward lines makes it the best kayak fishing paddle offered for a perfect price.

Special Features

v Built to free a snagged hook. A small groove in the paddle blade helps rescue lures, pull in a big catch, and get your line out of snags like trees and rocks.

v Fiberglass shaft and fiberglass reinforced nylon blades ensure the paddles last for a longer time.

  • Fully adjustable and comes with a snug-fitting 3 hole snap-button ferrule that allows you to adjust the angles 0° and 60°
  • The blades are crafted sing rugged fiberglass which provides a perfect ratio of weight and durability
  • Features a hook retrieval notch
  • Long lasting with perfect weight
  • Quite costly for a paddle in its range

With this paddle, you can get additional customization with a telescoping ferrule to set the perfect feathering angle or go for a push button ferrule to save money.

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Cannon Paddles Wave Slider – One of the Best Kayak Angler Paddles in 2019

Cannon Paddles Wave Slider - One of the Best Kayak Angler Paddles in 2019This gear manufactured by Cannon Paddles is probably the best fishing paddle at entry level. This paddle features an aircraft grade, anodized aluminium shaft which is extremely light and durable. The shaft flaunts three offset angles that enable you to adjust the desired angle.

The shaft made of heat treated aircraft-grade aluminium is a further reinforcement to the weight to strength ratio.

The grips are designed to exude comfort to keep you paddling all day. The heavy-duty drip wings on the shafts will keep water from running down the shaft, you don’t have to worry about getting your hands wet.

Special Features

v Lightweight and durable fiberglass-reinforced black nylon is used to construct the paddle.

v Adjustable length makes the paddle even more convenient.

v 20 cm of paddle length adjustment allows you to use it on boats with variable seat heights or multiple boats.

  • Adjustable length
  • Suitable for recreational use, touring, and all day fishing
  • Lightweight for swift maneuvers
  • Crafted using fiberglass-reinforced blades which makes them long lasting
  • Susceptible to damage

Cannon kayak paddle is so light you will barely feel it in your hands. The great strength to weight ratio will propel you quite far with a single effortless stroke. Your paddle will last a great deal of time proving to be a highly recommended kayak angler paddle.

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Werner Camano 2 PC Straight Paddle Straight Paddle – Best Fiberglass Kayak Paddle For the Money in 2019

Werner Camano 2 PC Straight Paddle Straight Paddle - Best Fiberglass Kayak Paddle For the Money in 2019This is the best fiberglass paddle you will find in stores. It is a high-end paddle from Werner and features a carbon shaft built with ultimate strength and is equally lightweight. The Werner Camano is incredibly durable. It guarantees a long period of service while taking in the harshest abuse. Blades come in an advanced design made of impact resistant fiberglass and nylon that assures efficiency and durability in your paddling.

The paddle has a dihedral shape that gives you stable and smooth paddling, especially when paddling long distances. Its availability in multiple bright colors giving a sense of style and enhances safety by improving visibility.

Special Features

v 2-piece design makes it easy to store and transport.

v Its lightweight and durability are enhanced by blending carbon and fibreglass.

v The pressure molding process ensures there is a balance between lightweight and durability.

v The paddle has amazing angle adjustments.

v The blade has an asymmetrical shape, giving you a smooth paddling experience.

v Strong dihedral power face reduces flutter creating smooth forward strokes

v Drip rings ensure your hands and lap stays dry.

  • The perfect combination of weight and sturdiness
  • Fiberglass blade material guarantees durability
  • Dihedral features allow stable paddling
  • Upholds strength and flex
  • It tends to lightly oscillate up and down for a light pull
  • Quite pricey

With the Werner Camano, you have a cam-locking design to give you a quick and precise way to adjust your blade angle. The high visibility green paddles enhance your visibility keeping you safe from motor boats.

Although its cost may seem pricey, it is actually among the best affordable paddles you can get with the quality and the excellent features it comes with.

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Carlisle Expedition Angler Fiberglass -Best Carbon Fibre Kayak Paddle for Fishing

Carlisle Expedition Angler Fiberglass -Best Carbon Fibre Kayak Paddle for FishingThis is another top-rated paddle made by Carlisle. It is the best carbon fiber kayak paddle that is lightweight and highly durable. It is a relatively economical choice you should consider. It comes with a black shaft and olive blade that bear a simple look, but there is yet a lot more.

Carlisle Expedition is among the lightest kayak paddles you will find. This comes from the fiberglass construction employed for both the shafts and the blades.

This paddle opens up a whole new adventure for kayakers with its impeccable touring finish. With this, you can paddle hours without a feeling strain or exhaustion.

The blade is remarkable in every sense, including the exceptional power through paddling. This makes it all the more fun.

Carlisle is adapted to slow gliding through the water and aggressive movements proving to be the best kayak fishing paddle.  This paddle is equally up to the mark, whether you are out on an aggressive adventure or calculated fishing moves.

Special Features

v Fiberglass blades are of good quality for durability

v The shaft has two pieces made from fiberglass.

v Weighs 34 oz (220 cm)

v The available lengths of the paddle are in 220 cm, 230 cm and 240 cm

  • Incredible balance with a light swing weight and power
  • Feature a fiberglass 2-piece shaft
  • Highly durable
  • Can be slick with wet hands

Carlisle Expedition Angler will exceed your expectations. You will find it extremely quick, and light in the water, and above all its ability to stand abuse from all sorts of obstacles with grace. This paddle is an effective choice for any kayak fishing lover although it calls for a little more open-mindedness with your wallet.

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AQUA-BOUND Manta Ray Hybrid 2-Piece Kayak Paddle-Good Kayak Angler Paddle

AQUA-BOUND Manta Ray Hybrid 2-Piece Kayak Paddle-Good Kayak Angler PaddleIf you are a high angle paddler looking for more power, we offer you the Manta Ray Hybrid 2 by AQUA BOUND. This paddle has more power for larger boats and flowing water.

The blades are a gas-assist plastic injection moulded and reinforced with fiberglass for durability. The pure carbon shafts give you superior performance with lightweight. The paddle is corrosion free as well. The blade is easily adjustable while the two-piece construction renders it easy to transport and store.

This kayak angler paddle has a flutter-free blade that allows you to churn out speed and feathers quite beautifully. The shaft is ergonomically designed and feels typical of the highest quality paddles ever made. The paddle is neither too short nor too small.

Special Features

v The paddle has been constructed in a two piece design for easy storage and transportation.

v Injection-moulded blades are reinforced with fiberglass which is stronger than plastic.

v The paddle shafts are oversized for a firm grip.

v Your lap and hands are kept dry by the drip rings.

v Hand crafted in Wisconsin, staffed by paddling enthusiasts.   

  • High-angle paddle with wide blades
  • Dihedral blade for smooth paddling
  • Lightweight
  • Quite costly

You can paddle your Aqua-Bound Manta in any water, from the ocean, to large lakes, rivers, and bays with the least trouble, whether in high or low winds.

On average, Aqua-Bound Manta Hybrid Ray comes with great efficiency and more glide with each stroke, and it is less damaging to your budget. It is an equally good and inexpensive kayak paddle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Having outlined what you need for a stunning paddling experience, let’s take it a notch higher to address a few concerns about the daily use of your kayak paddle in this section. We have singled out two questions we have frequently encountered from our customers: how to hold a kayak and how to steer a kayak. Have a look at our responses as outlined below:

How do I hold a paddle?

To ensure your paddle moves swiftly in water, make sure you don’t hold the paddle upside-down. The grip width most recommended is roughly the distance between your elbow or a little less. During paddling, ensure you change your grip now and then. This helps to spread the workload evenly amongst your muscles.

Wide grips will afford you more power and control while narrow grips are usually more useful when you have to paddle for longer distances.

How do you steer a kayak?

How do you steer a kayak?As evident above, holding your paddle with the right grip is the entry point into efficient no fatigue steering. Forward strokes are the most fundamental strokes in paddling. Here you need to engage the stronger torso muscles you do most of the work.

To stroke forward, wind your torso and immerse your blade fully on one side of the boat. Rotate your torso as the blade moves behind you following the in-water blade with your eye. Also, focus on pushing the shaft with your upper arm as you move. When your hand gets just behind your hip, slice the blade out of the water.

To break a moving kayak, you need a reverse stroke. This is the exact opposite of the forward stroke. To do this, you wind your torso and immerse your blade fully on the side of the boat next to your hip. Rotate your torso as the blade moves in your front. When the paddle blade falls even with your feet, slice the blade out of the water.

What is the best kayak paddle?

BEST Marine and Outdoors kayak paddleIt gets quite difficult settling for particular gear in a heavily flooded market. It gets even more challenging when you can’t clearly tell what you are looking for. You would probably be torn between seeking out for the best paddle for fishing and that perfect fit for kayak adventure rides or a similar dilemma. The above guide ends your dilemma and saves the trouble of losing your way into a misinformed purchase.

For our final verdict, we reach out to give you BEST Marine and Outdoors kayak paddle as the best of all the paddles listed above for its outstanding carbon and fiberglass blend that flaunts the best quality, lightweight, and durable paddle you will find. This, however, doesn’t downplay the significance of the rest of the products above. All we want is to ensure you finally have a choice to take home depending on your budget and your specific tastes and preferences. The entire collection highlighted above has won our trust, and we strongly advise your pick falls within our recommendation.