As a competitive kayak fishing tournament angler I am a big believer in the importance of having a quality paddle while fishing. Other than your kayak and your PFD, it is the next most important piece of equipment you can have on the water. In this Bending Branches Angler Pro Paddle Review I’ll share some thoughts on why this is the ultimate paddle for kayak fishing.
My fleet consists of three kayaks (Wilderness Tarpon100, Wilderness Ride115, and Hobie Pro Angler 12) and four Bending Branches paddles (Sunrise, Angler Ace and two Angler Pros). Bending Branches is my preferred brand because of their superior
engineering, durability, flawless construction and they are assembled in the USA. Within their paddle lineup, the Angler Ace is a great option, but this is an Angler Pro paddle review, so we’ll focus on that model.
More Power, Faster Speed
Whether using a full paddle with my Ride115 or a half paddle on my Hobie PA12, the 104″ surface area of the blade on the Angler Pro provides maximum water displacement to help move you along quickly or to make a turn easier and with less effort. The T-700 Carbon shaft makes a long day on the water easier on your shoulders and joints by providing just the right amount of flex to maximize your paddle stroke and minimizing strain. At only 30 oz. this paddling power comes in an amazingly light package.
Tough as Nails
When I got my first Angler Pro it was a thing of beauty, I was sooo paranoid about scuffing it or messing it up because it looked awesome. Soon though I was using it to fend off everything from rocks to docks and have really put a lot of stress on the blades. This thing is practically indestructible and still looks great. For off the water toughness, just read this previous article about how I used my paddle to help rescue someone on the side of the interstate. The blade on this paddle stands up to anything I’ve been able to throw at it thanks to multi-layer fiberglass blades.
In addition to paddling power and toughness, the Angler Pro comes with several other elite features that make it the ultimate paddle for kayak fishing:
Comes either with a three hole snap-button ferrule feature allowing you to feather the blade angles, and also available with a telescoping ferrule for an adjustable length.
Tape measure imprinted on handle…I use mine sometimes to
determine water visibility by putting one end of the paddle down and measuring with the handle.
Stylish color options include Sea Green, Camo and RealTree Max5. I have one in Sea Grean which is a high visibility color for safety on the water and one in Camo which is a sharp, understated look.
The Angler Pro with a snap-button ferrule comes in sizes ranging from 220cm to 260cm, in 10cm increments. With the Plus ferrule, the Angler Pro is available in adjustable lengths of 230-245cm and 240-255cm. For larger sit on top kayaks, or taller anglers, lean toward the longer length.
Although the price of $329.95 isn’t cheap, you truly get what you pay for. And, what you get with this paddle is unparalleled performance and toughness to give you a competitive edge on the water. I hope you enjoyed this Pro Angler paddle review and will consider it for your kayak fishing needs.
Focus this week crosses over to the professional bass fishing world to some new or lesser-known products which have caught my attention recently:
I recently attended a Bass University event featuring some of the top bass fishing pros around and had a chance to visit with one of
the biggest names about kayak bass fishing. As I stood awaiting the elevator, Mike Iaconelli walks around the corner and we struck up conversation about his recent visit to Swepco Lake. The moment he heard I was a kayak angler, Ike became very interested and started asking me all sorts of questions. He’d just had Hobie out to his place with a sample Pro Angler model and he was awaiting his personal craft to be delivered soon. We talked
for while about fishing from a kayak, standing up, flipping over, and all the general questions a new kayak fisherman might ask. He was telling me that they were trying to figure out a way to mount it up on top of his truck and we talked about how heavy that boat is. At the time, I honestly wasn’t sure how serious he was about it. About two weeks later he posted this photo on his Facebook page – Ike had him a Hobie Pro Angler. I’d love to talk to him again about kayak fishing after he’s had some time on the water. (still not sure how he will load and unload that thing!)
I’ve really become interested in WASPcam as an alternative to GoPro for on the water camera action. First exposed to WASPcam through Angler Combat, as I’ve researched this Canadian company I really like some of the innovative things in their camera options. WASPcam also is at a lower overall price point than GoPro. I’m hoping to share a lot more in the future about WASPCam, including some reviews, but for now this article has some good highlights.
Kayak Fishing Blog continues to crank out great content. This time around I enjoyed the article about choosing a Pedal vs Paddle Kayak. I have owned both and still do, and they both have merit in various situations. Another recent article on Best Bargain Kayaks could be helpful to someone getting into the sport.
Some of my fellow Arkansas Kayak Angler members have been repping the Bait Sack, a product designed to reduce tangling and general mayhem caused by lures tied on your rods but not in use. Here’s a pretty good overview by The Fisherman’s Journal that talks about this tackle organization product. I’m not sure I am detail-oriented enough to use this item, but do see the value.
A good set of kayak LED lights can make all the difference when it comes to lighting up the night, safety and style. When fishing on lakes or rivers with unrestricted motor use it is very important to have high visibility to other boaters, particularly in foggy or rainy situations. In addition to higher visibility, adding kayak LED lights can help with orientation and navigation while night fishing by illuminating some of the bank structure, which is can be important when casting near cover in the dark.
Adding to lights to your kayak can seem daunting, but can be simple if you take your time and follow some key tips in this easy kayak DIY project:
First, choose a good set of lights that are waterproof, durable and bright. My choice and recommendation is to use Vorocon LED Lights which are more affordable than some other high end brands but are very durable and easy to install.
Secondly, spend a good amount of time thinking through where you want your lights on your yak and apply painter’s tape along this line to help you apply the lights evenly when the time comes. I would suggest applying them above the water line, but also in a place where they are not in your eye line while sitting in your kayak. (this will reduce visibility due to glare)
Be sure to have your power source and wiring thought through before applying your lights. Your wires coming from the lights will need to be an appropriate length to reach the battery. I used a 9v battery box with a small switch so I could easily turn the lights on and off and stowed the box in a water tight storage space.
When it is time to apply the light strips, drill the smallest hole possible to fit your wire at one end of the desired light strip position and feed in the wire. Then slowly peel back the adhesive strips and apply an activator solution using a Q-tip along the desired light line. Press down the lights firmly as you move along, using the painter’s tape as a guide. Go slowly but make steady progress to ensure a straight line!
Finally, after the LED strips are applied, pull off the tape and use silicone to fill in any gaps in the wire holes. Hook your wiring together with your battery of choice and you are done!