Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Tuesday, 03 July 2018 08:18

Don't Write Off Paddles Just Yet

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For years the humble paddle has been the quickest and most efficient way to move around in a fishing kayak, but with the release of pedal drives, many anglers have been enticed by this new technology.

Nobody would argue against progress, but there have been times when people have been just a little bit too impulsive to adopt new technology. The rush to do things first instead of doing them right has been the downfall of many companies. Of course, there is no reason why certain innovations cannot comfortably coexist in order to provide consumers with the benefits of both. One of the best examples of this is the kayak fishing industry, where anglers have been divided about their means of propulsion. There is absolutely no denying that pedal drives have been a game changer for the hobby and brought along a myriad of benefits, but anglers who are throwing away their paddles might just be a little too hasty. For those who are not yet convinced, here are some reasons why it makes sense to hang on to your paddle even if you have switched to a pedal drive kayak.

The Need For Speed

Many anglers tout speed as one of the biggest advantages that peddle drives have over paddles, but this is not always the case. Like many things in life, it makes sense on paper, but the reality is somewhat more complicated. Your speed in a fishing kayak is dependent on a large number of factors, including the amount of gear you are hauling as well as the shape of the kayak's hull. In fact, one of the biggest factors will be your own physical capabilities. If you don't have a gym membership for spin classes, you might find that paddlers with good upper body strength can leave your pedal drive kayak in their wake. The other thing to consider is just how much speed you actually need for the areas that you fish. Getting to your favorite spot faster is obviously beneficial, but for anglers who enjoy a more sedate pace or who fish in smaller bodies of water, the paddle is still more than adequate for getting around.

Tools of The Trade

One of the biggest reasons why calling paddles obsolete is a bit premature, especially if you own ones designed by a reputable brand, is that they are more than just a means of propulsion. Unlike pedal drives, which have one primary function, paddles are actually tools that have multiple uses out on the water while angling. In addition to paddling, respected brands like our community-favorite, Bending Branches, have used their years of experience to take fishing paddle designs to the next level in terms of functionality and versatility. Features such as a dual tape measure on the shaft makes it easy to measure the fish you catch and verify them on the spot . Other handy features, such as a hook retrieval system in the blade can also make your life a lot easier as an angler.

The Cost Factor

A good paddle costs money, but for all the benefits that pedal drives have, they also come at a cost. There is obviously the monetary cost as pedal drives are still much more expensive than even high-end paddles. However, pedal drives also have the additional cost of space and weight, both of which can impact your enjoyment of the hobby. Even the heaviest paddle is never going to weigh as much as a pedal drive, which can be a big factor if lugging around a heavy kayak is going to be an issue. There simply is no comparison between a lightweight paddle like those made by Bending Branches and a hefty pedal drive. Cargo space is another issue that can quickly become a nuisance if you are an angler who likes to take along plenty of gear with you. Paddles are easy to stow out of the way while pedal drives take up a lot of space. Finally, there is the matter of underwater clearance, which can be an added worry for anglers who frequent fishing spots where the depth can change abruptly.

Old Doesn’t Mean Obsolete

Paddles are "older" than  pedal drives, but this definitely doesn't mean that they are obsolete. It just means that they have had more time to be refined over the years, which is why innovators like Bending Branches are continually improving their designs and coming up with more efficient paddles. They have also risen to the challenge of assisting anglers, with features such as adjustable ferrules to compliment your fishing kayak with its adjustable-height seat or anglers who prefer standing to sitting.

It Doesn’t Have To Be An Either-Or-Choice

Just like there are plenty of reasons for choosing a pedal drive, there are more than enough pros to sticking with a paddle. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be an either-or-choice as both can come in handy for kayak anglers. Pedal drives are certainly gaining in popularity, but the tried-and-tested paddle will always be a trusted tool for anglers.

Last modified on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 08:51
Naomi Bolton

Yakangler's Community Manager and Editor - in charge of sourcing news and articles for the website. ┬áIf you have any ideas for new content, please do get in touch with me at: [email protected]

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