There is a common misconception that it makes sense to buy the best kayaking gear and that the paddle should just be an afterthought. However, a day’s kayak fishing could potentially mean that the paddler makes more than 10,000 strokes, which makes you realise how integral a paddle is to your kayak fishing enjoyment.
The Oracle Angler paddle by Adventure Technologies is an excellent option. It features a straight shaft and is available in a range of lengths. Made from carbon, it is both light and strong and features an option of adjusting for an extra 10cm in length. With kayak seating options ranging from low to high, the extra 10cm is a great help for the higher seating option. The design of the shaft also allows for unlimited feathering, enabling the paddler to set the blade angles exactly the way they would like.
The paddle blades are constructed from fibreglass and offer excellent kayak control with the higher angle to be found on the blade. At 610cm², each blade is going to displace a generous amount of water to really help
propel the angler towards their mark. The tips of the blades are coated with what the company refers to as a ‘Duraweave’ finish. That means they are reinforced and far more abrasion-resistant than a normal paddle blade, which is great news for those of us who like to fish shallow and rocky areas where bass and wrasse like to hang around.
A stiff blade and shaft combination means that the energy you expel when paddling is transferred to the water, not lost in bending and warping of the shaft or blade, which makes for a far more efficient paddle stroke. Details like this may seem inconsequential, but when you take the energy lost in one paddle stroke and multiply it by the amount of strokes made in a day, it soon becomes obvious that any advantage a paddle can offer is worth taking.
So what makes this an angler paddle? Adventure Technology Paddles has added a few details that will be of benefit to some anglers. The shaft of the paddle has been finished to include a measure that runs from 0-91cm and 0-36 inches; important for measuring the trophy catches.
One of the paddle blades also features a line guide. This can be used to try to retrieve lures from snags. The paddle can be fed down the line with the aim of using it to help free your snagged item. I have also found it very handy for overhead snags in trees on smaller freshwater systems. Just don’t try it if your snag is out of reach of the paddle; a lure snagged 60ft below will most likely have to stay there.
One final addition for anglers is the inclusion of a fish logo on the blades. The digital camo colour pattern on the blade shows up the logo well. Hardly something that will put more fish in the kayak, but a nice touch.
Retailing at approximately £180, this paddle is not cheap, but is by no means near the expensive end of the scale either. I think buying the Oracle Angler would be money well spent. You get a quality product that will last for years, and has a couple of clever additions to make your time on the water a little bit easier. It is light and will give hours of comfortable paddling, day after day.
If you think that I’m mad for suggesting a paddle at this price, just consider if you paid
big money for a boat. Would you treat the engine as an afterthought?