I was first introduced to Backwater Paddles earlier this year. When I first saw them I was skeptical, I didn’t think the paddle had a place in my already cramped kayak. Little did I know, the Backwater Piranha was going to become a mainstay on my kayaks.
My first use came on the Georgia Kayak Fishing Tournament Trail. The Lake Harding event made for a great proving ground – the waters were high and fast. Holding over an area without an anchor was going to be difficult, and this is where we kayak anglers usually fish with a rod in one hand and an 8′ paddle in the other. I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t the most ideal situation.
I took my regular paddle out of my lap whenever I wasn’t paddling to my next spot – that is to say, fishing. The Backwater Paddle made keeping my spot easier. I wasn’t fighting 8 feet of paddle lying across my lap or in one of my hands. I was able to make adjustments to my position with the Backwater Paddle with very little effort, and without the splashing around you’d normally get with a standard paddle. This meant I was able to spend more time fishing, and less time spooking fish. It didn’t take long before this paddle impressed me.
Fishing along jetties had me switching up between rod and traditional paddle to keep me off the rocks. The Backwater Piranha Hand paddle worked just as well to shove me off the rocks, and I didn’t have to put my rod down to do it. The cut edge gripped the rocks well and allowed a great push-off.
It’s also come in useful when anchored in moving water. Sometimes water movement might sway you just out of where you wanted to be. This is definitely inconvenient right before you cast. I just drop the Backwater Paddle into the water and use the drag created to swing me back into position.
By far the most important thing I found with the Backwater Paddle is efficiency. Kayak fishing is a very physically active sport. I’ve paddled as much as 12 miles in a day. Any amount of time I can spend not throwing around a heavier kayak paddle one-handed just to maintain position gives me more energy to get from hole to hole. The Backwater Paddle makes it easier to fish more water – that means you can catch more fish.
The only issue I have for the Backwater Paddles is the finish. While this paddle has held up just fine in the last 7 months, I think an epoxy might be better suited. So far it’s held up in fresh and saltwater, so I my concerns with the finish probably are not warranted.
I like the Backwater Paddle so much that I now have one paddle for each of my kayaks, and one to give anyone I might end up fishing with. They’re that nice to have.
You can find this product at Backwater Paddle Company for about $19.95.
Please feel free to leave your comments below if you have used this product or have questions and we will be happy to help.
Outdoor Products 360 Field Staff