Gear Review: Branches’ Navigator Kayak Paddle

3-minute read + 10-minute video

Kayak angler and Bending Branches Ambassador Moo Lee has been using our Navigator kayak paddle for two years. His short version review: “I love it!”

Moo Lee paddles his fishing kayak on the ocean with Bending Branches Navigator kayak paddle

Moo Lee of MooMoo Outdoors explains why he loves using the Navigator in this video. Watch his full review below:

About Bending Branches Navigator Kayak Paddle

Our wood and carbon Navigator combines technology and handcrafted beauty perfectly.

The blades are known for their effortless, quiet stroke and the eye-catching blend of basswood and red alder. Our Rockgard® edge protection and two ounces of fiberglass wrap ensure the blades’ durability.

The shaft is constructed of T-700 carbon, the best carbon material available to us. Its cross-dimensional weave gives a better strength-to-weight ratio than almost any other option out there.

The Navigator is available with two ferrule options: a robust and snug snap-button ferrule or our adjustable-length Versa-Lok™ ferrule. Both are made of rust-proof carbon. The entire paddle weighs just 28 ounces (or 29.5 ounces for the Versa-Lok™ model).

Why Moo Lee Loves His Navigator

“The picture does not do this paddle justice,” says Moo Lee. “In real life—oh man, this thing is gorgeous! It doesn’t hurt to have a good-looking paddle, right?”

He shows how his blades, while well-used with some scratches, remain solid. There’s no need to baby this paddle. The Rockgard® and fiberglass wrap protect it from dings on rocks or concrete, freshwater or saltwater, and other “hazards” that come with an avid kayak fishing life.

He loves its lightweight and performance. The blades’ slight curve makes it very forgiving and therefore a great paddle for beginners. But its high-quality construction and flutter-free strokes also make it ideal for advanced kayakers and anglers.

He points out that the natural buoyancy of the wood blades makes the paddle strokes effortless as they almost come up out of the water by themselves.

The Navigator is a “low-angle” paddle, meaning its long, narrow blades are designed for long-range touring with a relaxed cadence. Because Moo Lee does a lot of ocean fishing where he paddles long distances, the low-angle design suits his angling style very well.

He also brings along a high-angle fiberglass/carbon paddle when he needs a burst of speed (in ocean breakers, for example). But for the most part, the Navigator is his paddle of choice for his style of fishing.

Moo Lee in his fishing kayak with a fish

The Angler Navigator is the High-Angle Counterpart

If you don’t paddle a mile or two into the ocean, our Angler Navigator kayak fishing paddle is another option. It’s very similar with its wood blades and 100% carbon shaft. It’s also available with either a snap-button or Versa-Lok™ ferrule system.

The Angler Navigator’s blades are wider and shorter, 105 square inches instead of the Navigator’s 96 square inches of surface. This “high-angle” design gives you more power with each stroke for a higher cadence or when your kayak is loaded down with fishing gear.

A Final Word

Moo Lee says, “When it comes to a paddle, you get what you pay for. A more expensive rod is not going to help you catch more fish. But with a good paddle, you are going to be able to go a longer distance or stay on the water longer.

“The Bending Branches Navigator is the perfect paddle for me. I love this paddle.”

All photos courtesy of Moo Lee. You can see more of his videos on his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

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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