In some ways, choosing the best kayak paddle for fishing is every bit as challenging as picking a kayak, but that’s what you have us for. In this article, we outline 10 of the best kayak fishing paddles for your upcoming water adventures.
Paddles come in lots of shapes and sizes, and you’ll find that most of them are represented on our list. There’s a little something for everyone here, if we do say so ourselves!
Read on until the very end to make an informed decision before casting your rod.
Quick Answer: Best Kayak Paddle for Fishing
10 Top Kayak Fishing Paddles
As oversaturated as the market is, we can confidently say these are 10 of the best kayak paddles for fishing you can hope to find in 2023:
Material: Fiber glass blade, carbon shaft | Weight: 25.5 oz | Length: 220 -260 cm
No list of the best kayak paddles for fishing would be complete without this marvelous specimen, as made apparent by its impressive specs.
The shaft is made of carbon fiber, and the blades are fiberglass, which is an extremely desirable combination if you’re looking for a lighter paddle. None of this is to say it’s brittle, though, as the strong, adjustable ferrule lets you use this thing European style without worrying about it splitting in two at any point.
Although this is more of a footnote, this paddle comes in a variety of eye-catching colors, allowing you to find the perfect match for just about any kayak.
Material: Glass filled nylon blade, aluminum alloy shaft | Weight: 2 lbs 5 oz | Length: 230 cm
While kayak fishing paddles are generally very easy to slot in a bag or car, this particular beauty ranks among the most portable on our list.
True to its name, the PackLite can be split into 4 parts, which means you’ll only need about two feet of empty space to store it. Once you’ve put it together, this thing performs with the best of them – it only weighs around 2 pounds, courtesy of the aluminum alloy shaft, and the dihedral blades do wonders in reducing the flutter, no matter the body of water.
Another benefit of these types of blades is that you can use them in both sit-inside and sit-on-top kayaks without a problem, and the drip rings are guaranteed to keep you dry even if you paddle all day.
Material: ABS injected nylon blade, carbon hybrid shaft | Weight: 38 – 42 oz | Length: 230 – 240 cm
A quick look at the Assassin is enough to inform you it’s one of the best kayak paddles for fishing you can hope to get.
The first thing that sticks out about this paddle is its incredibly sleek design, although there’s much more to it than just aesthetics. What makes this thing stand out are its peripheral features, such as the serrated teeth edge that lets you push yourself from a hard surface to give yourself a bit of extra momentum in a pinch.
Despite the shaft being made of carbon fiber, you’ll find that The Assassin can take quite a bit of abuse without any risk of breaking. Add to that the ‘hook’ feature (especially useful if you’re fishing with a net), and you have yourself a spectacular paddle.
Material: Lightweight aluminum | Weight: 2 lbs | Length: 244 cm
Although we offer plenty of amazing options for a variety of price ranges, this is one of the best kayak fishing paddles you can get if you’re on a budget.
Despite its low price, the Shoreline Marine offers world-class quality thanks to its extremely comfortable foam grips and drip guards. Transporting the paddle is also a cinch, as the aluminum shaft can be split in two, allowing you to fit it inside a bag with no issues.
Best of all, you can readjust the shaft in a variety of positions to suit your kayaking style and the water conditions, so once you buy this paddle, you’d best believe you won’t be needing a new one any time soon.
Material: Fiberglass reinforced blades, carbon shaft | Weight: 1 lb 12 oz | Length: 230 – 270 cm
If there’s one thing all online kayak paddle reviews can agree on, it’s that the Angler Ace is a product like no other.
Like many of our other entries, the paddle can be disassembled into two to make storage easier, and although it’s quite light, the fiberglass blades offer some spectacular performance, on par with products well beyond the price. The ferrule can be adjusted for a variety of angles, and it’s hard to complain about the hook, too!
An interesting feature of this paddle is the built-in ‘tape’ system on the carbon shaft, allowing you to precisely measure your catch as soon as it’s out of the water.
Material: Glass-filled polypropylene blades, fiberglass shaft | Weight: 3 lbs | Length: 220 – 240 cm
The best kayak paddles for fishing offer amazing performance without being too heavy on the wallet, and the Carlisle Magic Plus is proof of that.
The light, fiberglass shaft allows for quick, yet powerful strokes, and the polypropylene blades are incredibly durable. On that topic, the fact that the blades are slightly asymmetrical makes them all the more efficient, and their distinctive spoon shape lets them grab more water and gives you that extra push.
While this is hardly a selling point in and of itself, the designs on the blades really are the icing on the cake, and you’ll have a whopping 5 choices to complement your boat.
Material: Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade, aluminum fiberglass shaft | Weight: 3 lbs | Length: 240 – 250 cm
It’s the minor touches that help make this one of the best kayak paddles for fishing, and it’ll hardly put a dent in your budget!
While it’s not uncommon for the blades of paddles to be adjustable for different kinds of kayaks (as is the case for this one), the fact that you can modify this thing’s length means it’s compatible with just about any kayak under the sun. If you’re still only dipping your toes in the world of kayaking, the ovalized shaft gives you a clear indication of where you should be keeping your hands at all times.
On top of all that, you get adjustable drip rings to keep any unwanted water out of your sleeves, and the hook’s unique shape lets you latch the blade onto a net without having to worry about ripping it.
Material: Ribbed blade, aluminum shaft | Weight: 1.9 lbs | Length: 244 cm
Even though it’s one of the cheaper options on our list, we wouldn’t have included if we couldn’t vouch for it being one of the best kayak paddles for fishing.
In actuality, these are technically two ores that can be combined to form a paddle, giving them a variety of uses, making them useful for just about any non-motorized watercraft. On top of that, these things just plain look good!
The blades are a bit unique in that they’re ribbed, giving them a level of durability that’s hard to come by at any price range. The aluminum shaft is also very light, to the point where even a small child would have little to no trouble paddling as you fish.
Material: Ultra lightweight carbon fiber composite blade, carbon shaft | Weight: 27 oz | Length: 240 – 260 cm
Although we maintain that you don’t need to blow too much cash for a good kayaking rig, it’s understandable that some of the best kayak paddles for fishing would also be the most expensive.
You don’t have to plan around your boat’s specifications if you want to use this puppy – the lower-profile lever lets you the feathering and the length of the shaft with ease. On top of looking incredibly sleek, the blades offer some amazing performance, even on the carbon blades model, which only weighs around 1.6 pounds.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, you can also opt for the fiberglass blade variant, which adds some weight but significantly boosts your movement speed.
Material: Fiberglass blade, carbon blend shaft | Weight: 28 oz | Length: 220 – 260 cm
If you’re itching to get to your favorite angling spot as fast as possible, this is one of the best kayak paddles for fishing you can find today.
The tried-and-true combo of a carbon fiber shaft and fiberglass blade is on full display here, and it gives the paddle its distinctive light weight and ease of use. Despite making your strokes feel breezy and uninhibited, this thing has practically no flutter, making it a great pick for beginner kayakers, and there’s also a handy hook.
The paddle is a two-parter, but the ferrule seamlessly combines the halves into a one-piece that doesn’t disappoint. It’s a bit pricier than your average entry-level paddle, but it’s money well spent knowing you’ll be using it for years to come.
Key Considerations for Buying a Kayak Paddle for Fishing
When it comes to picking out the best kayak paddle for fishing (and the best paddle period, for that matter), the minute details can make all the difference. These are some of the things you may want to keep in mind:
The length of your paddle of choice should depend on a number of factors, chief among them being the width of the kayak and the length of your arms. In general, you’ll want the widest kayak you can get your hands on to help you carry the biggest haul you can, which by extension means you’ll probably want an above-average paddle in terms of length. Also, if you have longer arms, you’ll want your paddles to be longer too.
On top of that, while fishing kayaks tend to have adjustable seats, allowing for both low and high-seating configurations, some only have one or the other. This is where the math gets a bit trickier. Generally speaking, high-seaters require you to hold the paddles at a bit of an angle, so you may need to compensate for that by going for a longer paddle.
One thing you may or may not know about kayak angling is that fish are very sensitive to sound waves traveling through water, so you may wind up scaring off some otherwise easy catches if you have a short paddle that keeps banging against your kayak.
As an added note, you’ll find that paddle lengths are generally represented in centimeters as opposed to feet or inches, so if you’re only familiar with imperial units of measurement, you may need to whip out a calculator to figure out the perfect paddle for you.
Although there are a number of different parameters along which two paddles may vary, it’s important for fishermen to remember the difference between high and low-angle blades.
High-angle blades are generally recommended for recreational kayaking, especially if you have a fair bit of experience. As you might imagine, tilting your paddle at a near-90-degree angle with each stroke is a lot more efficient in terms of movement speed, but it’s a lot more taxing on the muscles.
If your goal is to fish, on the other hand, we’d generally recommend going for low-angle blades. Since you’ll likely be fishing for several hours with little to no rest, you’ll find that paddles with low-angle blades are a lot less unwieldy and produce much less fatigue.
Although it might seem counterintuitive, even fishermen that use high-seaters would probably be better off with a low-angle blade, since the last thing you want is to tucker yourself out paddling to your desired fishing spot or doing something as simple as reorienting your kayak.
The material of the paddle is just as important as the material of the kayak itself, especially if you’re a beginner. If you haven’t done much kayaking, you should probably opt for a lighter paddle, preferably one made of aluminum.
If you know your way around a cockpit (or if you just have good cardio), go for a carbon fiber or fiberglass paddle. These are obviously a bit heavier, not to mention more expensive, but in the right hands, they can really increase stroking efficiency and get a kayak to its destination much quicker than their cheaper counterparts.
And that concludes our list of the ten best kayak paddles for fishing, as well as our checklist of important considerations. We hope we’ve made this admittedly head-scratching process a bit easier for you, as we’d like nothing more than for you to reel in the biggest catch of your fishing career!
Looking for more kayak advice? Check out these guides:
- Best Cooler for Kayaking: Top 10 Picks for 2023
- Best Beginner Fishing Kayak: Top 10 Picks for 2023
- The Best Fishing Kayak Buying Guide: Top 10 Picks for All Budgets