By Bill Schultz–Guest Correspondent
I’ve touched on this in the past, but after the kayak itself, the next big question relates to your paddle. For years I have recommended buying the lightest, most expensive paddle you can afford. Andrew Stern, Marketing Director for Bending Branches and Aqua-Bound Paddles, tells me, “Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of a day. The formula is one-ounce savings in a kayak paddle equates to 100 lbs. per hour you don’t have to pull around. So, a 3-ounce lighter paddle saves you 300 pounds per hour”.
From my own experience, I use the 30-ounce weight as my limit and am using paddles in the 24 to 27-ounce range. For those of you using a sit-in kayak a traditional sized blade is fine, but, for the wider, heavier fishing sit-on-tops, look to getting a paddle with an oversized blade to push your kayak even better. Two paddles that I’ve recommended over the years for kayak fishing are the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray and Manta Ray Hybrid at $189 and $139 respectively with the weight just under and just over 30-ounces. Paddle length is also very important and is based on your height and the width of your kayak. Most outfitters can help.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org