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Hey guys. I'm in the market for a new kayak paddle and was wondering what you guys use or have used that you did or didn't like. I'm rowing a 10 foot Old Town Loon 100, mostly for fishing in rivers and lakes. I weigh around 175 and I'm usually carrying a little gear so I'd estimate the weight of my rig with me in it at about 240 (47 for the boat and add 18 for gear to make a nice round number).
I like a paddle that isn't too long as I'm only about 5'7".
I want a paddle that has "bite". My most common complaint with other people's paddles I've tried is that I can't put enough force in the water.
I would like to stay under $200, around $100 would be even better, but I don't mind paying for quality.
The paddle I have now is a fairly cheap aluminum shafted model (Lifetime Elite). It has good bite but it doesn't feel very ergonomic and you definitely get tired of swinging it after a few hours. I've seen some that I liked in the stores, but I know there's a huge difference between how it feels when you pick it up off the rack vs. how it feels when you're 2 miles down river and they turn the wheels on.
I'm looking for suggestions and you guys' opinions on the following:

Who has a paddle they really like? Who has used one that they definitely wouldn't buy?
How does fiberglass compare to carbon fiber?
What affects the "bite" of the paddle besides blade size? Do the more curved blades always bite harder?
Has anybody ever used a "Greenland" paddle? What was your experience with it?
What manufacturer makes the "best" paddles for the money (in terms of materials, craftsmanship, design, warranty, etc)?

I know you guys can help me out with this one. Thanks in advance.
-Drew :cool:
 

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I would suggest either a Werner Tybee or Skagit depending on if you're a high angle paddler (Tybee) or low angle paddler (Skagit). You also are looking at either a 210cm or 215cm shaft with depending on the width of the kayak. If it's 26" or more then you'll want the 215.

The Tybee will give you more bite as the high angle style is more suited for aggressive paddling or kayak fishing/sit on tops. You may find that you hit the gunwales from a sit inside though.
 

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Werner all the way. Tybee for more blade than a Skagit which is basically a touring shape blade. If you paddle low consider 230 cm.Unless you go sea kayaking(& the sea kayak is crucial) forget about Greenland. Sometimes you may need that extra pull from a fat blade. Especially if you are in the salt or around here when the dams are open but overall it's about efficiency. Carbon fiber is out of the range you ask about but worth every penny. Might want to check out the camano too. Snakehead uses a Werner that's got to be 14 yrs old- a good one pays you back over time.just like you can always catch a big fish on a smaller hook same with paddles you can paddle easier high angle with a longer paddle than the other way around. You can jack it up and pull close to the boat but if a paddle is short and meant to be high angle you can't keep it low and have enough surface in the water.
 

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I recently went to the TKAA tournament and including pre-fishing I was probably on the water 16-18 hours in two days. I had been using a cheap aquaterra aluminum paddle. A budy of mine gave me his Werner Skagit, low angle, 230cm. I never knew a paddle could make so much difference!!! I am now going to get a Skagit. At $130.00 they seem reachable, as oppose to the 100% CF's that are 250+. I am hard on gear for various reasons, so $130 is enough for me, for now. I will just say, the difference between the $75 paddles and the Werner Skagit $130 paddle is like comparing a bug to a ferarri, at least it was for me. I did not fatigue and my speed was better, more efficient. Just my two cents.
 

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Agreed. I have an Aquabound paddle with a carbon fiber shaft, and the difference between it and a decent starter paddle is huge, especially as far as all day fatigue and one hand paddling. Paddling with one hand, especially when floating in swift water while fighting a fish is almost impossible for me with a heavy paddle, but with the lighter carbon fiber shaft, it is much easier. Mine cost about the same as the Skagit. The difference between an entry level paddle and an entry carbon fiber shafted one is huge.
 
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