When Chad started kayak fishing there weren’t as many options as there are now, either in kayaks or paddles. And he’s learned a bunch since then, which he’s passing on to us.
Whether you’re a beginning kayak angler or are looking to upgrade, here are Chad’s top tips:
1. Buy the Longest Kayak You Can Handle
The first thing Chad did was buy a kayak—used, from a guy on the beach. It wasn’t performance oriented, just a “floating tackle box.”
If he were doing it today, he’d buy the longest kayak he could afford, haul and store. Why?
- Longer kayaks paddle better and track better (go straight through the water) than shorter ones.
- Longer kayaks are heavier and won’t get blown around in the wind as easily as shorter ones.
2. Buy the Best Paddle You Can Afford
If he were starting over today, Chad would buy the paddle first—even before a kayak. You may go through several boats in your fishing career. But you can stick with the same paddle for many years if it’s high quality, and especially if it’s adjustable.
“I would spend the most money, first, on the best paddle I could get.”
A lot of anglers start on the low end, then upgrade a few times and eventually buy that great paddle anyway—but after investing several hundred dollars altogether. If you start right off with the best your budget allows, you’ll be happier.
What matters in a good paddle?
- Weight—the lighter, the better
- Blade stiffness—the stiffer the blade, the more efficient your strokes
- The proper length—If you get an adjustable-length paddle you’ll be able to use it on an adjustable-seat kayak.
3. Buy a Kayak You Can Stand Up In
The third thing Chad would do if he were starting over today is buy a kayak he can stand up in—even if he knew he’d fish sitting down a lot.
There are many advantages to standing while fishing in your kayak:
- You have a better vantage point.
- You have more leverage.
- You’ll be more comfortable. Over the course of a long day you won’t get stiff from sitting in one position. This is especially important if your kayak doesn’t have a comfortable seat!
Kayaks built for standing in are wide and stable. You’ll give up speed and some performance, but those are usually secondary when fishing anyway.
If you haven’t yet, scroll back up and watch the video for many more details from Chad!
Do you have questions about choosing a kayak fishing paddle? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based customer service team—they’d love to help: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]
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