There is a common misconception that it makes sense to buy the best of kayaking gear and that the paddle should just be an afterthought. A day’s kayak fishing could potentially mean that the paddler makes well over ten thousand strokes with their paddle. When you realise how integral a paddle is to enjoying your kayak fishing then it makes sense to get a good one.
The ‘Oracle Angler’ paddle by Adventure Technologies is an excellent option. The paddle 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 10cms in length. With kayak seating options ranging from low to high, the extra 10cms is a great help for the higher seating option. The design of the shaft also allows for unlimited feathering, allowing 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 refer to as a ‘Duraweave’ finish. To you or me, that means that the tips of the blades are reinforced and far more abrasion resistant than a normal paddle blade. Great news for those of us that like to fish shallow and rocky areas where bass and wrasse like to hang around.
A stiff blade and shaft combination mean 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 have added a few details that will be of benefit to some anglers. The shaft of the paddle itself has been finished to include a measure that runs from 0 – 91cms and 0 – 36 inches. All important for measuring the trophy catches. Most specimens are weight based but in Ireland there is a growing tendency to measure fish rather than weigh them for specimen claims. Indeed some species can only be claimed with a length rather than a weight like tope and smooth hounds so a paddle like this one could be a great help.
One of the paddle blades also features a line guide. This can be used to try to retrieve lures form 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 sixty feet below will most likely have to stay there!
One final addition for us anglers was the inclusion of a fish as a 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 all the same.
Retailing at approximately €250 this paddle is not cheap. That said, it is by no means near the expensive end of the scale either. I think the Oracle Angler is 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. For those of you that think I am slightly mental for even suggesting a paddle that comes in at €250 look at it this way – if you forked out big money for a boat would you treat the engine as an afterthought? The paddle is the kayak angler’s engine.
The Adventure Technology Paddles ‘Oracle Angler’ can be found in Ireland at the Canoe Centre along with a range of other paddles.
Here’s a look at the paddle in action: