How to Choose the Right Paddle for Kayak Fishing

By Dennis Kieselhorst

Dennis Kieselhorst, kayak angler

After you have found the right kayak for yourself, the second most important decision for beginners of kayak fishing is: what is the right paddle for me?

A few aspects play a crucial role in the choice of the paddle:

  • The width of your kayak
  • The height of your seat position
  • The weight of the paddle
  • Your paddling style
  • Your existing budget for a paddle

The Width of Your Kayak

When choosing a paddle, you have to keep in mind that fishing kayaks have become wider in recent years. If you choose a paddle that is too short, you often hit the sides of the kayak. If the paddle is too long, you cannot keep the kayak on track.

Almost all kayak anglers I know use a paddle length of 240 to 250 cm. With this length, most kayak anglers get along very well. But there are exceptions: sporty kayak anglers who spend a lot of time on the sea usually prefer shorter paddles.

As a normal kayak angler or beginner, a length of 240 to 250 cm is ideal. If you have a very wide kayak (from approx. 95 cm), then a 260 cm paddle is better.

The Height of Your Seat Position

The height of the seat position must also be taken into account. In the lower seating position, I paddle many kayaks with a 240 cm paddle. In the higher seating position I prefer a paddle length of 250 cm.

The perfect solution for this is a telescopic paddle, such as the Bending Branches Angler Pro 240-255 cm.

kayak angler paddling

The Weight of the Paddle

The weight of the paddle is just as important as the length. If you've spent an entire day fishing on the water and paddled from spot to spot, you'll appreciate a light paddle! I always advise every beginner to choose the paddle as light as possible.

The differences in weight are noticeable in the price. The lightest paddles are made with the best, lightest materials and so cost more.

Your Paddling Style

As a beginner, you do not yet know which paddling style you have. You will notice this later. If you already have experience with kayaking, then you know best how to do the paddle strokes. Beginners are not wrong with a 240 to 250 cm paddle in most cases.

Your Existing Budget for a Paddle

Now the important question is: How much money do you want to spend on a paddle?

As an angler, you have spent an endless amount of money on rods, reels and bait for years and now you want to save a few bucks on the paddle? Don't save at the wrong end. The difference between a basic paddle and a high-end paddle is huge!

Many always say to me, “A paddle is a paddle.” No, they are wrong!

But there is nothing wrong with starting with a cheap but high-quality paddle such as the Bending Branches Scout. Ideal for the small budget! You can upgrade later, and in most cases, will do this as a serious kayak angler.

Do You Have a Pedal Kayak?

Even if you have a pedal kayak, you need a good paddle. There are many situations in which you need a paddle, such as in shallow water, heavily weeded water or when your drive breaks down and you are 10 miles from your starting point.

Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon kayak fishing paddle

In Conclusion

Ultimately, the height of the kayak angler may have little influence on the choice of paddle length. In my opinion, it matters only if the person is very small or very tall.

Your kids want to paddle too? My daughter has the Jackson Kayak Skipper and copes very well with a paddle length of 200-220 cm. Longer paddles are not easy for children to handle.

Maybe these tips have helped you a little.

My most important note: Light, high-quality paddles are definitely worth the money. As a kayak angler, you will love them!

To read more from Dennis visit his website, or catch up with him on Facebook and Instagram.

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