Kayak Paddle Ferrule Systems: Snap-Button vs. Plus Telescoping

NOTE: The Plus Telescoping Ferrule is discontinued product. We replaced it with the Versa-Lok™ adjustable-length ferrule system.


kayak paddle ferrule
(photo courtesy of KB—Clermont, Florida)

What’s a Ferrule?

If you’re new to kayaking you’re probably asking: “What in the world is a ferrule?”

The ferrule is the way the two halves of a kayak paddle join together. The most common ferrule, especially on basic paddles, is the snap-button ferrule.

The Snap-Button Ferrule

The snap-button ferrule is the one we’re most familiar with. The end of one half of the paddle has three holes in it, the end of the other half has a button that depresses in and fits in one of the holes.

The paddle snaps together with either a 0º angle (both blades are facing the same way) or a 60º angle (one blade is cockeyed from the other). This allows for a bit of paddle feathering.

For more on that, read: Kayak Paddle Feathering: What is It and Why does it Matter?

kayak paddle snap ferrule
Our Whisper kayak paddle, like most of ours, comes with the snap-button ferrule option


A snap-button ferrule is the simplest and least expensive ferrule option. It’ll continue to work well as long as you keep your paddle free of debris and grit, and don’t allow rust to build up on the metal parts.

The Plus Telescoping Ferrule

Bending Branches’ other ferrule option is the Plus Telescoping Ferrule. Several of our mid-to-high end kayak paddles offer this option for about $25 more than its snap-button counterpart.

kayak paddle plus telescoping ferrule
Our Plus Telescoping ferrule (photo courtesy of Tyler Thiede)


The Plus ferrule has several advantages over the snap-button ferrule:

  • It has a 15-cm adjustable length—great if you have more than one kayak with different widths, if more than one person will use the paddle, or if you’ll use it in a fishing kayak with an adjustable-height seat.
  • It has no metal components, which means there’s no possibility of corrosion in salt water conditions.
  • It offers infinite feathering angles—when you’re in windy conditions, the more you can refine your paddle feathering, the more efficient your paddling will be.

Here’s an article with many more details on the Plus Telescoping ferrule.

What Our Pro-Staffers Have to Say

Two kayak anglers from our Pro-Staff team offer their comments for you:

National Pro-Staffer Tyler Thiede, owner of Small Craft Outfitters LLC, says: “I have/use both types. Here’s why:

“I use snap ferrule on my wider fishing kayaks. I keep the seat in the high position on these wider kayaks and don't have a need for adjustment so the snap is perfect/consistent.

“My main kayak is narrower and faster. I use the plus ferrule in the shortest size (240cm) for distance paddling. The shorter length provides strokes tighter to the boat, which makes it track straighter. I extend it to 250-255cm for a wider stroke while fishing to help me turn faster.”

Regional Ambassador Courtney Bennett also uses both. She says:

“I recently purchased a new kayak that was considerably wider than my previous kayak models. My new kayak, a whoppingly stable 37.5" wide called for a wider paddle than I had originally thought. Most of my paddles are 240 cm, but for my kayak, I definitely needed a 250 cm paddle to make my trips on the water more enjoyable.

“Luckily, I had purchased a Bending Branches adjustable-ferrule paddle awhile back. I was able to go from my standard 240 cm to a 250 cm with the simple twist of the ferrule. To operate the adjustable ferrule, simply twist the right side of the ferrule down to loosen it. Slide it to the desired length, and then tighten by rotating the right side of the ferrule upward. Easy as pie!

“I have taken my adjustable ferrule paddle on trips with me where I found myself in a rental kayak. I'm prepared for anything!

“I also love my snap ferrule paddle! I had been looking at the Angler Navigator paddle for a a long time and I had admired it serval months. I finally took the plunge and purchased the Angler Navigator in a 250 cm snap ferrule. It's a perfect companion for my Diablo Amigo kayak.”

navigator angler snap kayak paddle
Courtney Bennett with her snap-button Angler Navigator

Choose the Right Ferrule Option for You

All our kayak paddles—both fishing and recreational—come with a snap-button option. Seven of them also come with the Plus Telescoping option:

  • Angler Classic Plus — Nylon-reinforced fiberglass blades and fiberglass shaft. 34 oz.
  • Angler Ace Plus — Carbon-reinforced nylon blades and 100% carbon shaft. 31 oz.
  • Angler Pro Plus — Multi-laminate fiberglass over-sized blades and T-700 carbon shaft. 30 oz.
  • Slice Glass Plus — A touring paddles with epX engineered polymer blades and fiberglass shaft. 34 oz.
  • Slice Hybrid Plus — A touring paddle with epX engineered polymer blades and 100% carbon shaft. 30 oz.
  • Navigator Plus — A touring paddle with red alder and roasted basswood blades, wrapped in fiberglass and edged with Rockgard®. A T-700 carbon shaft. 28 oz.
  • Angler Navigator Plus — Beefed up blades made from red alder and roasted basswood, wrapped in fiberglass and edged with Rockgard®. A 100% carbon shaft. 33 oz.

Have more questions? Let our friendly Customer Service team help you: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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