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Paddles...to $pend or not to $pend. That is the question.


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11 replies to this topic

#1 mangonboat

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 03:05 PM

I paddle my MR mostly for recreational paddling on moving water , secondarily for fishing those same waters, occasionally in Class III-IV whitewater, and fish local impoundment lakes and (hopefully) tidal marshes and flats a few times a year. For 6 months I've been using an ubiquitous Werner Skagit paddle_$130 everywhere, everyday, but now that we have a second boat, I want to make a better-informed decision on my go-to paddle. This weekend I was talking with a local who guy has a couple recreational/touring paddles for sale that were Werner's top-of-the-line bent shaft carbon shafts and paddles...11 years ago. But they are in really good shape and the only meaningful functional difference I can identify from 2003 to 2014 technology is the much-improved adjustable ferrule in the post-2009 Werner shafts. So while I salivate over a new 20 ounce bent shaft carbon paddle for $400+, and agonize over whether to buy a gently used one for half that, I can also buy a fiberglass shaft/plastic blade Bending Branches Angler on Craigslist for $40 and pay for other toys with the difference. What are folks paddling with? What have been your best and worst paddle purchases?

#2 NOG Admin

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:26 PM

I've used Werner paddles for over 25 years and have been very pleased with their performance and durability. You might want to consider getting a larger blade surface for greater initial purchase, better/quicker startup and direction change than the skagit, something like A tybee, Cyprus or Shuna.

#3 nj05nismo

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:18 PM

I love my aquabound mantaray carbon. Within an ounch or two of a Werner for 1/2 the cost. Super stiff and works great. I drool over the 400 dollar werners but my sub 200 dollar aquabound is every bit the paddle they are. IMO.
  • Bayouscoot likes this

#4 Mudfish

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:36 PM

I have three Aquabound Carbon paddles; two Eagle Ray Carbons, and one Sting Ray Carbon. None of them have ever failed, zero problems, very light weight, durable, and well under $200. One of the Eagle Rays is over 6 years old. I prefer the Eagle Ray's longer blades for paddling my Ultimate 14.5. I bought the Sting Ray Carbon for one of my Mariners, but due to the Propel drive the paddle is basically just a hood ornament. However, I do really like the twist-lock collar on the Sting Ray. It's always very easy to pull apart the paddle to store.

#5 NOG Admin

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 05:47 AM

One thing of crucial, importance with any paddle, is proper fit, both length and shaft diameter. Some companies do offer standard and small shafts while others don't. We sell a variety of paddles but often use Werner's fit guide when sizing paddles for customers http://wernerpaddles...t_guide_widget/

You can also read on their site about the designed purpose and benefits of the used paddles your friend has and whether they would be a good fit for what you do.

-hope this helps

#6 mangonboat

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 10:15 AM

Thanks for the replies and the good info. I saw on the Werner website that their line up of designated kayak fishing paddles includes several high-angle touring blade configurations and nobody is promoting bent carbon shafts for fishing. I am going to look closer at the Aqua Bound paddles..their price point is certainly more in line with my budget.

#7 tritonboats

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Posted 08 July 2014 - 08:55 PM

You may want to check out the Accent Edge Slider by Accent Paddles....I have used the Aqua Bound Carbon Fiber Surge up until about 6 months ago and loved it. However, having different widths of Native boats it was fine for some but too short on the wider kayaks. Accent has the Slider in a couple different versions...I went with the carbon fiber Edge Slider due to it will adjust from a 230cm up to 250cm I believe. It has a carbon fiber weave shaft and carbon fiber blades as well. That way, I can easily adjust the length to match which boat I'll be paddling for the day. The Accent Edge Slider has been awesome for me so far. I think it's also available in a Wave Slider which has green blades. You can also get the slider in a less expensive version by Cannon which is the Pro Angler Series. It has the same features as the Accent Edge Slider but with a fiberglass shaft and blades which lowers the costs somewhat.....both have the ability to adjust out for the different lengths of paddles if you're using a high seat position for fishing and then a low seat position for paddling.

#8 J.A. Veil

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 02:26 PM

I upgraded to a Werner Ikelos last fall for use with my Manta Ray 11 and Manta Ray 14. My local dealer was able to custom-order the paddle in a 240-cm shaft. It is very light, has large blade area, and paddles well with far less fatigue factor at the end of the day.

#9 mangonboat

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 09:54 PM

I found the carbon/carbon Aqua Bound Manta Ray on amazon for $152 w/ free shipping , so I figured that wasn't much of a risk. The wife and I went for a little paddle today and about 15 minutes in I handed the new paddle over to her to try , as I noticed her natural paddle rhythm is a much higher angle than mine..10 seconds later she said "Good luck getting this thing back!" and I never touched it again. I guess I need to get back on amazon....

#10 Higgy

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:52 PM

I use Swift paddles. They are $300 but worth every penny. I use the Skookum model, which has a blade profile almost identical to my Werner Sherpa. I now have 4 of these paddles. The customer service at Swift is topnotch.

#11 Kmeng

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 05:12 PM

I have used a cheap Carlisle Day Tripper since I got my "new to me" U14.5. It has an aluminum shaft and was really heavy. I usually paddle 5-6 miles per fishing trip and after a day on the water with that, my arms were gassed. I upgraded to an Aquabound Manta Ray Carbon. The difference is like night and day. Not only do I get a better start and my cruising speed is faster, it's like paddling with a feather.

 

The way I figure it, there are about 1000 paddles per mile, the carlisle weighed about 40 oz (2.5 lbs) so...

1000x2.5 lbs = 2500 lbs of paddling per mile

Aquabound carbon weighs 28.5 oz (1.84xx lbs)  1000x1.84 lbs = 1840 lbs per mile.

 

It doesn't seem like much, but it adds up



#12 mangonboat

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 10:46 AM

By way of an update which may be of interest to folks who paddle similar boats in similar uses, we did a good amount of testing and trying out and ended up getting a 210 cm Werner Shuna for my wife. She has a  more vetrical natual stroke and the Shuna offered a really nice ,light stroke weight and the Azul Wave blade even matched her Blue Lagoon MR 12! Late summer, I watched my 230 cm  Aqua Bound Manta Ray carbon float down the river while I was in the middle of a rescue ..next time I'll remember a paddle leash. DOH! In the meantime, a paddling and fishing friend enlightended me on the zen of no-shuttle kayaking / fishing on the river..paddle upstream and eddy out behind boulders while casting to holes. My wife and I started doing a lot of this - its a great workout, a lot of fun, and its a great way to learn how to read the river. It is also requires some serious digging with a paddle , frequently in rather shallow water amidst ledges and boulders, so it was hard on the tips of my 230 cm carbon paddle blades.

 

When I had to replace the AB Manta Ray, I emailed the tech and support people at Werner and Aqua Bound and ended up with a 220 cm Werner Corryvecken, essentially the same shaft length and blade shape as my wife's Shuna, but the blades are a bit longer and wider.(Ironically, the Corryvecken has orange fiberglass blades, which match my Mango MR11, so I cant make fun of my wife's stylish combo.) The bigger blade has been great, especially pushing the somewhat squat MR11 upriver into sluices, and gives good power strokes for bracing and eddying . But there's no getting around the fact that Aqua Bound's Posi-Lok ferrule is more user-friendly and the Manta Ray is a great paddle, so  I'm planning on getting another Aquabound Manta Ray for flat waters and down-river fishing trips, but with the hybrid blade suggested by Aqua Bound's technical staff.


Mangonboat Asheville,NC Native Manta Ray 11- Mango Manta Ray 12 - Blue Lagoon Old Town Kennebec 16 Old Town Columbia 18




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