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Paddle, Pedal Or?

In a world where were bombarded with choices, it’s all about options. Kayaking is no exception. Paddle, pedal or motorize. Realistically it’s all about personal preference and whatever allows you to accomplish your goals on the water. Here’s a breakdown of our choices and the reasons for why we paddle or pedal.

Joey: For me I’m a purist, I like the paddle. No, I don’t own the prehistoric kayak developed by the Inuit tribe. I love the Jackson models in my fleet, I enjoy the glide of my OG Big Rig, it’s smaller cousin the MayFly, the Bite, a Liska and even the old SUP.

Pedal Paddle Or Kayak Fishing
Debbie: “I’ve been kayak fishing for about five years. I started with the paddling and decided to try a pedal model, a BITE FD. I’ve concluded that pedaling is what I most enjoy. I made the switch pretty quickly and easily.
Joey: I paddle because it gives me consistent core body workout. Paddling along with karate helps me keep toned (for my age) and gives me the physical challenge many people embrace.
Debbie: “I’ve realized that my leg strength allows for me to pedal much easier. For many women upper body strength might be a limiting factor as far as long-distance kayaking. I can cover more water and fish more good-looking places”
Joey: The paddle gets me into places certainly big boats can’t enter but also the weed choked back bays that hold lots of fish. Heavy vegetation, shallow waters, literally inches are no problem and log jams, or boulder rock are all accessible for me.
Debbie: “With lily pads, moss or thick vegetation I merely retract my prop with just the pull of a handle and paddle my way in. I always have a Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon lashed to the side of my kayak. Paddling short distances is no problem and when I ready for open water I “drop the prop” and continue to my next spot.”

Pedal Paddle Or Kayak Fishing
Joey: I feel like I can make the smaller position adjustments more precisely with the paddle. I also enjoy the lightweight feel of my Bending Branches paddles, especially the Angler Pro Carbon weighing in at just over 26 ounces! At just over a pound and a half most of the fish I catch weigh more than my paddle. For long days it definitely makes a difference.
Debbie: I concede that I can’t make as sharp a turn but the rudder system does allow me to make necessary adjustments and I’ve learned to back up or pull forward with minimal effort. I also have developed a feel for prepositioning my BITE to the spot I want to work.”
Joey: It’s scientifically proven that sound travels through water five times faster than air so It’s my belief that the paddle strokes are less likely to “announce” my entry into an area. It’s just a theory.
Debbie: “I pedal and glide into my favorite spots and have actually pedaled right into places and immediately caught fish. I do keep my pedal system properly oiled as recommended to eliminate squeaks.”

Pedal Paddle Or Kayak Fishing
Joey: Again, just my belief is that the addition of any component creates the possibility for failure. I go as basic and bare bones as I can with fishing tackle, rods, reels and any type of watercraft I’ve ever owned including my kayaks. I do carry a collapsible spare paddle too. I resist electronics because I believe it has the potential to separate people from their senses. I’m just old school! This again is where personal choice enters in. If what you’re doing works for you by all means do it.
Debbie: I carry a paddle as back up, so I do have a redundant source of propelling my kayak in the event that it’s necessary. We fish about 100 days a year and have yet to have a mechanical failure that required I depend on the paddle to get me anywhere. I do prescribed maintenance to my pedal system and don’t abuse ANY of my kayak components nor my other fishing equipment.
Joey: When I first started kayaking there were tournament participants that feared I would be adding a trolling motor to my kayak as allowed by the rules for anglers over 60. I honestly felt that I didn’t want to take advantage of any rule, I wanted to compete under the same conditions as others regardless of age. I rarely fish tournaments anyway. But if utilizing electric motors is your choice, I say go for it. There will probably become a time when it will be popular transition to fuel type outboard motors (It’s already available). My question is, when does a kayak become just a plastic bass boat? It’s all just a matter of preference. There’s really no wrong way to kayak. (except without a life jacket)
Debbie: “I never say never. If you want to fish or explore or just recreate whatever gets you there and back safely is an individual choice people can make.”
Joey: Bottom line, I have developed and constantly fine tune my own style. I like the most natural way to approach all my outdoor activities. I hunt also and rely on experience, common sense and my intuitive skills developed over the years. It’s all about the ultimate experience, catching fish of all sizes, in diverse places and under many conditions. My viewpoint, that’s why they make chocolate and vanilla ice cream, everybody likes something different. There’s an old saying that might be appropriate now, “Whatever Floats Your Boat.”