Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing – Top Picks [2023]

Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing

Your kayak is fantastic, but what about your paddle? Kayak paddles are one of the most critical decisions you must make after purchasing your kayak. It makes a difference if you have the best kayak paddle for your kayaking adventures. There is a difference between being a hero and being a zero!

But what is the best kayak paddle for fishing with so many options available on the market? In truth, the better question is; What is the best kayak paddle for me? My kayaking friends, do not be afraid. We have gathered the best kayak paddle for fishing on the market today and have outlined five key points to help you on your way to paddle enlightenment.

How to Choose the Best kayak paddle for fishing

Kayak performance is most affected by your paddle, second only to the kayak itself. When it comes to paddles, a good one makes all the difference, Even during a short tour. Choosing a kayak paddle requires consideration of four primary factors:

Paddle Length

Determining the right size (length) of the paddle is surprisingly straightforward. Wider boats require longer paddles. For narrower vessels, your height also matters: taller paddlers need longer paddles.

Accordingly, paddle makers size paddles according to those two factors (even though boats are measured in inches, paddles are sized in centimeters). Below is the Werner Paddles chart. 


Blade Materials

In this case, the truism that saving weight raises both performance and price holds. Lightweight materials pay off in fatigue reduction because you submit your blade higher than your shaft. In addition, different blade materials transfer energy differently.

Here, “plastic” refers to a generic material. Variations such as “polymer” or “polypropylene” can be found in specs and plastic blends incorporating nylon or fiberglass. There might be a modest improvement in performance (and price) with each. “Composite” is a catchall term for carbon fiber and fiberglass.

Plastic/Nylon Blades

Recreational paddlers often choose plastic because of its low price and indestructibility. When exposed to the sun, it can crack and degrade. Even though plastic is flexible, it sacrifices efficiency on your stroke when in the water.

Fiberglass Blades

Despite being in the middle of the price range, these offer excellent performance and durability. Fiberglass blades are lighter than plastic but may chip or crack over time. It is efficient to use fiberglass blades in the water since they are rigid.

Carbon-Fiber Blades

Carbon fiber is the only material you should use if you want top performance at a reasonable price. Additionally, it’s ultra stiff, so each stroke transfers energy well.

Shaft Materials

The use of plastic shafts is rare. The most wallet-friendly shaft material is aluminum, which is durable and easy to maintain. In cold weather, you might want to glove up before you grab it; in hot weather, you should stow it in the shade.

Using carbon and fiberglass shafts is durable, strong, and lightweight. The lightest and most efficient paddle option is created when you combine one of those shaft materials with one of those thin composite blade materials — and the price reflects that level of performance.

Blade Design

Today, most paddle blades have an asymmetrical dihedral shape. Asymmetrical blades are relatively narrow and shorter on one side. The blade’s surface area is more uniform when it pushes through the water.

There is a rib down the center of a dihedral blade. Water flows smoothly and evenly over both blade halves as a result.  It is more difficult to track straight with edges without this flutter.

A full-day or multi-day tour is more accessible with narrower blades because they’re lighter and more comfortable. The wide blades allow you to accelerate quickly with quick and powerful strokes. It is for this reason that kayak surfers often prefer them. There are also some fishing blades with a J-shaped notch for retrieving hooked or snared fishing lines.

Shaft Design

The straight shaft or bent shaft? In bent-shaft paddles, the “kinked” section positions your hands at a more comfortable angle during the power portion of a stroke, minimizing discomfort and fatigue. Prepare for a day on the water if you’re switching from a straight shaft to a bent shaft.

Two-piece or four-piece? They are designed to be easily stored because they can be broken down. Four-piece paddles have shorter sections, so they are ideal for hiking with a kayak or flying with your paddle. Small-diameter shafts Provide a less tiring grip for paddlers with small hands. Whenever you grab a paddle, you cannot touch your thumb and index finger together.  Shafts come in either standard or small diameters.

Best kayak paddle for fishing

Comparison Table:

Kalliste Kayak Paddle


Kalliste Kayak Paddle

How did you feel when you first discovered the meaning of the name? Did you think, Wow, that’s a bold statement? That’s right! This was my initial reaction as well, so you’re not alone. These are the words you need to stand out in the premium paddle market.

Kalliste is, without a doubt, a premium paddle. This entails a premium price, as we all know. They charge extra for the tag…okay, I hope that was a joke? What does digging that little deeper into your pockets buy you?

It buys you a performance paddle that weighs more than a pair of men’s jeans. I’m not even kidding. It weighs only 23 ounces. We recommend the Bending Branches Whisper 2 as our ‘budget buy’ recommendation because it’s 40% lighter. That’s just amazing! But before you all reach for your credit cards, it can cost 3 times more depending on the retailer.


  • A lightweight design
  • Delivers excellent power
  • Angles of feathering are adjustable


  • Expensive
  • A limited range of paddle lengths is available
  • There is no telescopic feature

Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle


Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

Are you looking for a lightweight paddle that won’t require you to remortgage your home? Could you sell your kidney? Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon may be the answer.

It is located in the middle of the price range for paddles. A mixed-material paddle that offers an impressive price-to-weight ratio. The 29.5oz/836g weight is undeniably light.

The elephant in the room needs to be addressed! There are other materials used in this paddle besides carbon fiber, nor does Aqua-Bound claim it is. Due to the name, there is some confusion online.

Let’s clear things up. 100% carbon shaft, oval in shape, helps reduce joint strain. Over a round or bent shaft, I prefer an oval one. Please see and hold an oval before deciding if it is for you.


  • A multi-chined hull improves stability 
  • Helmet-operated skeg 
  • Tracks well without compromising lightness
  • An oval shaft reduces wrist strain
  • The shaft offset can be adjusted by 60°
  • Materials and construction that are durable


  • The fiber is not webbed, so it is not easy to grip with wet hands
  • Oval shafts aren’t for everyone

Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

Typically, I wouldn’t include a paddle in the same product family. Or a paddle with similar features, but I couldn’t leave the low-angle paddlers out. Despite this, the range offers so much value for money that not including the common angle variant would be foolish. Let me introduce you to the Aqua-Bound Eagle Ray Carbon. 

Eagle Ray paddles are two-pieces like their cousins, the Manta Rays. The shaft is 100% nylon, and the blade is injected with carbon. As a result of this marriage of materials, the blade head has added strength and stiffness.

Like its cousin, it has both advantages and disadvantages. A tapered carbon shaft, for example. There will be people who dislike it and people who love it. If you plan to buy a paddle, I suggest you hold it first. With a weight of 30.3oz (858g), the Eagle Ray is heavier than the Manta Ray. As a result of the increased blade size of 20″ x 6.25″, this could be the case. Between friends, what’re a few ounces? This price point offers nothing!


  • Shaft made of lightweight carbon fiber
  • Low angle paddle paddling blade design
  • Constructed with durability


  • Paddle lengths are limited
  • Hands are not easy to grip when wet because it is everyone isn’t suited to an oval shaft
  • Oval shafts aren’t for everyone

Whisper 2-Piece Snap-Button Recreational Kayak Paddle

Whisper 2-Piece Snap-Button Recreational Kayak Paddle

Do you need a cheap kayak paddle for a tight budget? Your go-to paddle is Bending Branches’ Whisper. It is known as one of the most reliable kayak paddles in the world. This USA-made paddle must be doing something right to keep the orders coming year after year.

I sometimes struggle to break free from the mindset that budget means terrible. If the budget is low, the design and manufacturing will be poor. What is the cost of the Whisper’s materials? That’s right! What does that mean about its quality? No! Does it have a stylistic design, and is it well made? That’s right!

In my grandfather’s words, an expensive suit that doesn’t fit well looks cheap. It seems costly when a cheap case works well. My best description of the Whisper is this.


  • A super budget-friendly product
  • Wrist strain can be reduced with the oval shaft
  • The blade profile of the paddle is mixed. Despite being more suitable for paddling at a high angle than at a low angle
  • Ferrule is adjustable
  • USA’s best-selling paddle


  • A super budget-friendly product
  • Wrist strain can be reduced with the oval shaft
  • The blade profile of the paddle is mixed. Despite being more suitable for paddling at a high angle than at a low angle
  • Ferrule is adjustable
  • USA’s best-selling paddle

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Ace Kayak Paddle

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Ace Kayak Paddle

The re-designed Bending Branches Angler Ace is a hidden gem from the makers of the world’s best-selling paddle. In a variety of classes, it is without a doubt the most popular paddle. The blade edge has a hook retrieval system, and the shaft has a tape measure.

No more excuses for the one that got away or long stories about fish that were ‘this big .’That was a nice try, Buster! With its Carbon Fiber shaft and Nylon blade, this paddle weighs just 30oz (850g). Ferrule extends by 15cm in 2.5cm increments, allowing anglers to adjust paddle length according to seat height. 

As fishing kayak paddles for kayaks, this is an excellent choice. In my opinion, the paddle looks garish and busy because of the number of branded stickers.


  • The lightest possible
  • Carbon Fiber shafts that are budget-friendly
  • An angled blade
  • Adjustable ferrule
  • A telescopic lens
  • The best-selling paddle most popular in the USA
  • A hook retrieval system is built into the paddle head


  • Overly branded, it makes the paddle look garish
  • Definitely worth the price – but not cheap

 Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle

 Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle

This Carlisle Magic Plus is designed for recreational use. With its unique glass-filled asymmetrical blade shape, you will glide across the water with minimal arm fatigue, reducing drag and providing smooth, efficient strokes.

Even though the blades on the Carlisle Magic are made of plastic, they are polypropylene- the steel of plastic. Polypropylene blades are much more rigid than nylon blades found on budget kayak paddles. These fiberglass-reinforced paddles won’t flex and break because Carlisle has filled them with fiberglass to increase their rigidity.


  • Reasonable price
  • Various lengths are available
  • A comfortable grip and a shaft design that reduces wrist fatigue
  • Stroke efficiency is maximized with fiberglass reinforced blades
  • Exceptional customer service and brand reputation


  • It is not the lightest kayak paddle due to its mixed hybrid material construction
  • Recommend only for those who prefer oval-shaped paddle shafts
  • Direct sunlight can cause the blade to deform


You can see kayak paddles come in all different shapes, sizes, materials, and price points in our review of the various Best kayak paddle for fishing. Is it better than a cheaper alternative because it costs three times more? It’s not! You don’t have to sell a kidney or refinance your house to get premium features.  

Is it essential to have a full carbon paddle? Most people don’t need a performance kayak paddle, and the added benefit often outweighs the price increase. Most beginners and intermediate hobbyists will benefit from a hybrid paddle. In addition, there are so offers at deals to be found. Take a look at the reviews above if you don’t believe me.

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