SOT Paddles

What was your first paddle upgrade once you decided fishing would be included in paddling?

My $38 Carlisle Day Trippers were fine with my first rec boats, but a bit much when sitting a little higher in my 70lb SOT (Marquesa/Redfish14).

I started with an Aquabound
Stingray carbon shaft with plastic blades, still use it as my primary kayak paddle. Its light, durable, and relatively inexpensive. But, there are a host of good paddles out there.

I’m seeing $140-$200 for those . . . .
Is that what you consider “relatively inexpensive”? Not being a smartarse here, I’m seriously asking. If that’s INexpensive, I’m sticking with cheap . . . .

First, second, and third
First was a Carlisle RS Magic fiberglass shaft with plastic blades at 230cm. I like it, but learned that I prefer a shorter paddle. About $80.

Second was an Aquabound Seaquest (or something like that) aluminum shaft with plastic blades. Very light. 210cm. I think it ran me $114. This is my primary paddle for when I use my longer rec kayaks (13’4" and 12’)

Third was another Aquabound whitewater paddle at 200cm. Fiberglass shaft and plastic blades. It ran me around $100, but was part of a package deal with a boat and skirt so I don’t know the precise price. It’s my favorite. I use it with my Dagger Approach.

Those folks who I know who’ve went whole hog and spent a few hundred on paddles have appreciated the paddles greatly. However, I’m pretty happy with $100 range paddles, and I’m not sure that I’d be three times happier with a $300 Werner for example. Meaning nothing against Werner. I’m just cheap. For the same price as one Werner I’ve got three paddles I like and can outfit my wife or a couple friends who want to join me.

  • Big D

Inexpensive when it comes to carbon

– Last Updated: May-26-07 4:01 PM EST –

shaft. There are good Carlisle's for $80 and less, but much heavier. You'd like the price of my double blade I use for my solo canoe. Its a 240 or 250 Aquabound glass shaft with plastic blades. Don't know the length, it was a found paddle. No one answered the lost paddle ads or signs, so I guess its mine. Nothing like a free paddle.

The price on the Aquabound graphites has gone up. Bought mine in March, 2005 for $118.

Ignorance is bliss.
Mine, that is. Since I don’t know the joy of an expensive paddle, I’ll stick with what I’ve got until I have more dollars than sense. . . .

What I always tell people buying a
kayak is not to paddle others after they get it until they have money to buy another. That way, they’re seldom disappointed. Of course, it helps not to read anything about other kayaks too.

Good advice.

– Last Updated: May-26-07 6:06 PM EST –

"You don't know what you're missing" is a lost art these days with better research due to the internet . . .

For example, I just ordered a pair of Teva Gammas online for $30 on sale. I really wanted different pair for $60 not on sale, but I settled based on good reviews of the Gammas. Now, if I'm not totally in love with the Gammas, I'm gonna be thinking about that other pair for awhile . . . .


Found a pair of two model year old
Teva’s…just regular sandals…for $20 on close out. The new model has an "improved footbed for $40. I’ll live with the unimproved pair. So far, they’ve been one of the most comfortable pair of sandals I’ve owned.

good paddle for fishing
A good value is the Bending Branches telescoping paddle with fiberglass shaft with the Glide Blade. By being adjustable we can both use it in various boats and it’s relatively light weight. We own touring kayaks as well as just getting into fishing so we do own full carbon touring paddles and love them. But they are too short for rivers and the wider fishing kayaks we figured to watch the cost and I have the small shaft version since I have small hands. I paid $140 and it’s been a nice paddle so far and pretty easy to adjust.

Paddle Junky
I have to admit I like good paddles (sticks as we called them in my WW days). Over the last 30 years I’ve owned over 20 kayaks, most were in my stable for less than 5 years. However, I’ve still got paddles that are over 25 years old. A paddle is the accelerator, steering wheel and brakes for a yak.

My two favorite paddles I currently use are a 200 cm Bending Branches WW paddle (kevlar/carbon) that I bought off ebay for $12. It mostly gets used with my Dagger Approach. The other is a 220 Bending Branches Spirit Day (carbon/graphite)I use with my Manta Ray 12. I got a good deal on it from my local dealer. (Heck I’ve bought 8 yaks off him so he should treat me good) Both are light, shafts have just enough flex to take strain off my shoulders/forearms, and the blades don’t flutter. They allow me to position my yaks one-handed while I use a fishing rod in the other.

Opinions are like areas of our anatomy - we have them. My opinion is a good stick is worth the money.


I heard from someone a few years ago,
that the material used for the soles of athletic shoes begins to harden or cure or something within about 6 months of manufacture. By the time they’re a year old, they no longer have the suspension/compression that they are designed to have, and can either be uncomfortable or unsupportive. I’ve never noticed a difference other than feeling how much more comfortable a new pair of shoes are compared to an old, worn out pair. Ever heard anything like that? This person was cautioning me against buying from a Nike factory outlet specifically . . . .

Especially considering a good one
will take you through several kayaks.

I have found a machine washing

– Last Updated: May-27-07 9:58 PM EST –

will rejuvenate a pair of jogging shoes.
That is, if they have enough tread worth saving.
Usually another 6 months wears them down.

As for yak paddles, started with a high-tech aluminum crank shaft that was popular, but heavy.
Now use Onno paddles, and will not go back or switch to anything else.

Happy paddling!

You’ll never believe this, but
I don’t know what is meant by the 200 to 230cm that everyone is talking about. I am going to take a stab at it and say it must be the blade width.


– Last Updated: May-28-07 10:27 AM EST –

Of the complete paddle, blade tip to blade tip..

As a reference a 100mm cigarette is 10cm. So the difference between a 200cm and a 220cm paddle would be two cigarettes. :-)

For the kayaks you are looking at,
a 220 paddle would be a good one.

Paddle measurement
Grayhawke, I am so embarrissed. I am rusty on the metric system and wasn’t thinking. Actually, I do know it if I’ll just think.

cedar gp

– Last Updated: May-29-07 2:03 PM EST –

i made a cedar gp. my girlfriend was using it with her sink until recently, now she uses it for everything including her sot necky fishing boat- she loves it! it weighs 28 oz and cost less than $10 for a cedar board.

Aquabound Eagle Ray
Aquabound Eagle Ray 240cm plastic blade/carbon fiber shaft…30-something ounces, I think. You can find them online for around $170 or so. Plenty of paddle face to generate some thrust for a bigger, heavier SOT and still light enough not to wear you out.