Comparing Branches’ Angler Pro and Angler Ace

4-minute read + 6-minute video

Bending Branches ProStaff team member Chris Funk and his wife Angie compare our Angler Pro and Angler Ace kayak fishing paddles side-by-side in the video below:


In the video, Chris explains there are two kayak fishing necessities he refuses to skimp on: PFDs and paddles. He believes it’s very important to give new kayak anglers the very best experience they can have up-front. This includes putting a high-quality paddle in their hands.

Unlike some husbands he knows, when it came time to buy a paddle for Angie, he wanted to get her the best one he could—not just a cheaper one to get by with. “Don’t go to the box store and buy a junk paddle!” he emphasizes.

Angie agrees. “You get a plastic one from a box store and you’re going to get a very heavy paddle that is not going to be comfortable for paddling very long. And if you’ve got an inexperienced paddler or one who doesn’t paddle often, that’s going to be a bad experience for them.”

If you have one close by, staff at a paddlesports retailer can recommend the best options for your paddling and angling needs. Check our Dealer Locator tool to find a Branches retailer near you.

Here’s why Chris and Angie love both the Angler Pro and the Angler Ace:

Angler Pro Benefits

The Angler Pro, Chris says, is “the top of the top of the top…the cream of the top! I love my Angler Pros. They’re incredibly powerful, no flex, and I put them through everything.”

“And they have a lot better dig,” adds Angie. For paddlers like her who are small in size and not as strong as men like her husband, it makes a difference to have that extra “oomph.”

 woman in fishing kayak using Angler Pro paddle

Angie paddles with the Angler Pro in “Radiant”

The Angler Pro comes with two different blade materials: with fiberglass blades (shown in this video) and with carbon blades. Each blade model is available with the Versa-Lok™ ferrule or the snap-button ferrule. The shaft for both models is made of ultra-light 100% carbon weave.

The blades of the fiberglass model are handmade of compression-molded fiberglass, renowned for their light weight, longevity and stunning pattern options. The carbon model’s blades are handmade of compression-molded layup carbon fiber, the lightest material available for paddles.

Angler Pro Versa-Lok™ weighs 30 ounces and sells for $349.95. Angler Pro Carbon Versa-Lok™ weighs 27 ounces and sells for $449.95. (2023 prices)

Angler Ace Benefits

A longtime Bending Branches fan, Chris comments that he’s always appreciated the hook retrieval system available on the Angler Ace and other fishing paddle models. He uses it to get lures out of trees, out of “toothy critters” and even venomous fish.

 Bending Branches' Angler Ace paddle blade with hook retrieval system

The Angler Ace hook retrieval system comes in handy

The Ace has been updated for 2023 with redefined and stronger blades for a smoother forward stroke and stiffer feel. Made of carbon-reinforced nylon, these blades give you plenty of torque and efficiency. The shaft is the same 100% carbon weave we use for the Angler Pro.

The Angler Ace Versa-Lok™ weighs 32 ounces and sells for $249.95. It’s an excellent option that’s slightly heavier than Angler Pro, but at a lower price point for those with a tighter budget. The nylon blade material is a bit more durable on rocky river bottoms than fiberglass. If you fish rocky areas frequently, the Ace may be a better option for you.

Versa-Lok™ Ferrule System

Both the paddles in the video above include our Versa-Lok™ carbon ferrule system, brand new in 2023. Chris used our previous adjustable-length ferrule, the Plus, but the Versa-Lok™ offers a more secure locking function and more intuitive adjustability.

versa-loktm ferrule system

This ferrule is extremely easy to use, it gives you up to 15 cm of length adjustability, and snaps in place firmly with no wiggle. The versatility makes it easy to paddle in different-width boats or to use the same paddle whether your kayak seat is in the low or high position. It’s easy to adjust even in mid-stroke. Use a longer length for more relaxed paddling, and shorten it up for high-angle horsepower.

The bottom line? “Either one of these paddles would be an excellent choice to push your boats around,” concludes Chris.

 Chris & Angie Funk

Chris and Angie Funk

All photos courtesy of Chris Funk

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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