Got the canoe back in the water today. Have never been able to find my Sawyer bent shaft, so used the Mohawk Aluminum/plastic paddles that I got when I bought the canoe. HEAVY. While I liked the bent shaft for straight line paddling, it wasn’t much good for fishing. Can’t afford two new paddles right now, so thinking about getting a decent wood regular paddle. Need one that is good for correction strokes when drift fishing. Any recommmendations? Price is important, so affordable please.
Take a look at Foxworx paddles at www.foxworxpaddle.com
I’ve got the excel and recommend it but they have other models that would also meet your criteria. They’re a small family business and have been doing this for a very long time. Excellent service and price. Just a satisfied customer.
A Special you won’t tire of -
the “special” = blade shape you want
Squared off paddles are not very good at "underwater recoveries" which is what you need for stealth and maximum control.
Another thing that is nice in a fishing paddle is a shaft that is anything but perfectly round. Some are oval shaped. Round shafts are not nearly as good for one handed work. I don't know about you, but when I'm fishing I use the paddle one handed a lot.
The first wieghs in at 24 ozs. The second at 18 ozs. I think the beavertail is a real pretty paddle, but that's my opinion.
I have an American Traders cherry ottertail that I picked up at their shop for $25.00, beautiful paddle and moves through the water very easily, but it feels kind of heavy. My favorite is a beavertail I picked up at the Old Town store. Very light and sweet to use with just a touch of flex. But OT is not selling that on their website.
When drift fishing, I make a lot of
corrections, also when moving slowly and either bait casting or with my flyrod. Usually, I’ve used a kids paddle, a Sawyer I bought my oldest boy back in the 80’s when he was 4. You are right about the completely rounded paddle not being the best fishing paddle. I prefer one that’s rounded, but not round. The beavertail should work well, thanks for the input.
Bending Branches makes, or used to make a nice “beavertail”-style paddle. The grip was horribly block/chunky-ish, however after using somekind of blade to shave(thin) it down/flatten it out…it becomes a nice, slightly flexible, and narrow paddle which is so easy to correct with.
After spending a full day for the first
time in years in the canoe, and using the aluminum shaft, square cut Mohawk paddles I got with the canoe, I will be looking at a beaver tail paddle. I’d never really fished much out of the canoe for the first 20 years I owned it, today was a good experience. I’m a decent flat water paddler, but found the square cut to be not very good for working in tight quarters.
Cheap but functional hate to say it Wal-Mart has some cheap. for the time being until you get ones that are to your likeing
What is working is a kayak paddle. I"ve
paddled kayaks for the last two years exclusively so have become pretty fair at using kayak paddles. I found a 250 paddle at the place I launch, advertised locally and put up a notice, no one claimed it. Its a glass shaft and heavier than my 220 carbon shaft paddle, but works well. The 220 works, but is a bit short.
canoes like the Vagabond work best with a bent shaft paddle. For the Wenonah I used a 57" Foxworx standard bent shaft with the palm grip. A great bargin on a lightweight wood paddle. I also have an Old Town beavertail that I picked up when I first got it because it was under $60 for fishing. It is better for deep water use and I had no idea because I didn’t know anything about canoes or canoe paddles. I don’t like the grip on the OT but was looking at the link above to the LL Bean site. The Bending Branches paddle looks good but can’t tell what the grip feels like.
I’ve been using a very expensive carbon paddle that only weighs 8.5 oz. I can easily use it one handed for steering while I fish because it is so light. The wood OT beavertail I use for stealth it is very quiet compared to the carbon paddle. I wish the blades were thinner and the grip more comfortable but then you are talking about more money and that’s not what you requested.
Modify your mohawk
I didn’t like the blades on some of my mohawk paddles. Big and square is great for white water but I wanted a rounder shape for other uses, so I took another paddle I liked and traced out the shape on the Mohawk. the plastic is easy to cut with a jig saw (or a rotozip if your good at following the lines and practice on a few 5 gallon pails first).
It turned out great!
Another thing I’ve found is that the shorter mohawks aren’t all that heavy when compared to other big bladed paddles so you may want to pull out the handle and shorten it and inch or so too.
The mohawk paddles I’ve tinkered with are some of my favorite paddles, but I DO paddle in a bunch of rocky places.