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.
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