Category Archives: Assault Hand Paddle

Assassin Kayak Paddle Ready For Battle

Finally the Assassin Kayak Paddle has arrived…just in time to do battle!  With the onslaught of  trade shows, kayak fishing tournaments, new outfitters, novel products, social media…it s critical to purchase wisely.  It is time to prove your paddle gear!

Paddle sports continues to grow at an exponential rate. Performance based equipment, gear and accessories are constantly being developed and introduced to meet the demand.  Overwhelmed with choices, sizes, colors, prices, status, effectiveness…the money is flowing and lines are a tangling.  It feels like the kayak gear wars are on the verge of beginning.

Behold, the ONLY paddle ready for battle.  The arrival of the Assassin Kayak Paddle shows who is serious about winning!  It is here, and waiting for your command.

NEW: Assassin Kayak Paddle video showing the Assassin in action!  Produced by Yak Gear.

The patented “hook and teeth” blade design not only creates the feel of a warrior, it also proves itself on the battlefield!  With the Assassin Kayak Paddle in hand, you feel invincible on the water!

The hook allows for grabbing, pulling and snatching while the teeth provide positive purchase when shoving or pushing.  Need to get in and out stealthily, retrieve a treed lure, grab your line, snatch floating gear, pull yourself to the dock, push off the rocks, shove a gator away…whatever you require of it, the Assassin Kayak Paddle has your back.

The Assassin Kayak Paddle simply outperforms the competition.  No other paddle on the market today can match their versatility, and value.  We challenge the competition to go “paddle to paddle” in a heads up performance test.   Can your paddle survive that?

A carbon fiber shaft, adjustable in 10 centimeter increments, ensures you have the correct length for your paddle style and kayak type.  Currently 230cm to 240cm and 250cm to 260cm adjustable shaft lengths are offered.

Another feature to add to the “overall badassery” of Backwater Paddle Company’s products are the blades are molded with raised graphics.  No decals, no silk screening, no appliques to wear off…straight up, everyone will always know you have a Backwater Paddle in your arsenal.

For those newbies in the paddle sports market, the legendary Assault Hand Paddles led the way in the development of the Assassin Kayak Paddles.  These lightweight and compact hand paddles singlehandedly revolutionized paddle sportsmen’s stealth and mobility.

Get your Assassin Kayak Paddle and Assault Hand Paddles today, knowing tomorrow, the “battle on the water” is to your advantage!

MSRP $159.00  Order your Assassin Kayak Paddles today via: or visit Yak Gear at 

The paddles will ship from Houston, Texas via Yak Gear, the new Backwater Paddle Company distributor.

Backwater Paddles…by far, the most versatile paddles ever designed!

ICAST 2017 A Success for Backwater Paddle Company

The ICAST Show is the worlds largest fishing and boating trade show in the world.  This year it was held in Orlando, Florida.  Thousands of water sport manufacturers, distributors and vendors arrive for three days to see all the latest gear designed and available for the future.

Backwater Paddle Company has enjoyed a successful and productive year.  It was 2012 when Backwater Paddle Company last went to ICAST in Las Vegas and experienced this much excitement with the introduction of the plastic injected Assault Hand Paddles.

The concept of a hand paddle with a patented “hook and teeth” blade design revolutionized stealth and mobility for the kayak angler and paddle sportsman.  It was just a few years later when the paddle sports community was demanding a full size paddle with the same properties.

Spring 2017 and the licensing of Backwater Paddle Company by Yak Gear, the largest paddle sports distributor in the nation, provided a much needed injection of new blood and company direction.  Bill Bragman, Yak Gear owner, promised to move Backwater Paddle Company forward under his professional tutelage.

The Assassin Kayak Paddle project had been diligently looking for funding, but trying to identify a paddle sport investor was extremely daunting.   Many avenues were explored, many doors were shut, but persistence always pays off.

Bill Bragman, true to his word, accepted the challenge and took over the Assassin Kayak Paddle project.  Within months, Bill had secured a manufacturer and had four Assassin Kayak Paddles available for beta testing, and on display at the ICAST Show.

At ICAST 2017, Yak Gear provided Backwater Paddle Company with a portion of their booth to display and promote the new Assassin Kayak Paddles.  Yak Gear, being the largest paddle sports distributor, had continuous traffic through their booth.  Bill and his crew were always engaged with prospective customers, showing, demonstrating and promoting their latest gear, equipment and accessories.

However, the buzz is, at least among paddle sportsmen, that paddle sports is actually an afterthought for the ICAST Show.  It is truly not a paddle sports show.  Kayaks are technically not boats, they have no motors, no registration…and since anglers fish off these platforms, let’s provide them a corner at the party.  The shine has always been elsewhere at the shows.

Despite the Assassin Kayak Paddle not winning the new product award for boating accessories…new, or redesigned kayaks did make a small splash.  By the way, a bucket by YETI won the boating accessories award.  Yes, a bucket!  The badass, patented and innovative paddle design lost to a YETI bucket!  Just goes to show that ICAST has a lot of room to grow.

Now the show is over, it has been a truly rewarding experience.  Bill Bragman and his Yak Gear crew, put together an awesome display.  The crew was professional and very passionate about all the products they chose to represent.  The attention on the Assassin Kayak Paddles was thorough and impressive.  Many thanks to Yak Gear!

Next…after a few weeks of beta testing the Assassin Kayak Paddle, first run production is expected for September 2017.  Once the manufacturing process has begun, orders will be received for the first new and revolutionary paddles to hit the market!

Assassin Kayak Paddle specs:

  • MSRP $169
  • Extremely durable ABS plastic blades, black matte finish
  • Patented “hook and teeth” blade design, with raised graphics
  • Hook for grabbing and pulling, teeth for pushing and shoving
  • Carbon fiber shafts, adjustable in 10cm increments
  • 230 –  240cm, and 250 – 260 cm lengths
  • Mid to high 30 ounce weight, depending on length

Assassin Kayak Paddle…the most versatile paddle ever designed!

Backwater Paddle Company Signs Licensing Agreement With Yak Gear

Backwater Paddle Company’s Assassin Kayak Paddle project is finally coming to life with the assistance of Yak Gear.  Bill Bragman, Yak Gear owner, proposed a generous licensing agreement to manufacture and market the Assassin Kayak Paddles and future paddle products (learn details about such agrrements at

Assassin Kayak Paddles

Yak Gear is the largest paddle sport distributor in the nation…with some 2000 dealers available.   Located in Houston, Texas, Yak Gear has been providing for the paddle sportsman since 2005.

It never happened.  Adventure Capitalist, the CNBC TV show that Backwater Paddle Company auditioned, did not select the Assassin Kayak Paddle for its reality based investor program.  We are not sure what prevailed in the selection process, except that our product was not accepted to participate.  No hard feelings!  We simply moved on to big and better things!  Yak Gear!!

Like everything in life…timing is paramount!  Fortunately for Backwater Paddle Company, Bill Bragman and his crew at Yak Gear were introducing their own branded paddle line.  Yak Gear had committed to manufacturing a base line paddle for the introductory paddle sports market, to be distributed by their dealers.

As todays kayak anglers hit the water in massive sit on top hybrid kayaks, many are equipped with pedal, or electric motor drives.  These anglers are requiring longer and more versatile paddles to successfully maneuver or finesse their boats into final position for proper bait presentation.

Yak Gear felt the Assassin Kayak Paddle’s patented “hook and teeth” blade design could fill that void of “specialty paddles” required for the more seasoned paddle sportsmen.  Bill Bragman recommended using carbon fiber adjustable length shafts with lengths adjustable in 10cm increments.   Basically in the range of 240cm – 250cm and 250cm – 260cm paddle lengths.

Yak Gear is shooting to have the Assassin Kayak Paddle available for the ICAST Show in Orlando, Florida this July 2017.  MSRP $159.95

Yak Gear will also take over all manufacturing and distribution of the legendary Assault Hand Paddles.  Eventually Backwater Paddle Company dealers will be contacted by a Yak Gear representative in placing future orders for our hand paddles.

Backwater Paddle Company will still maintain its web store, as well as eBay and Amazon stores.  Assassin Kayak Paddles (when offered) and Assault Hand Paddles will be available to our customers at retail prices.

Backwater Paddle Company will always solve problems, think outside the box, and continue to “revolutionize paddle sportsmen’s stealth and mobility!”

Thanks for the continued support of our company and its products!

Paddle on my friends!

2017 Year of the Assassin

Santa's Orange Assault Hand Paddle

Santa’s Orange Assault Hand Paddle

From Backwater Paddle Company to all of our families, friends and fans…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

To all of our overseas dealers, friends and fans…Feliz Navidad (Spanish), Joyex Noel (French), Buone Feste Natalaizia (Italian) and Froeliche Weihnacten (German)!!  Thanks for your continued dedication and support!

To say we are excited about the New Year is an understatement.  2017 promises to bring new adventures, new products and new attitudes!

Assassin Kayak Paddle

Assassin Kayak Paddle CAD photo.

Our Assassin Kayak Paddle project may have some legs going into the next year.  One of the potential investors, Adventure Capitalists, a CNBC TV show, has been in constant contact about the upcoming project.  We have Skyped a couple of times with the casting team director, provided product information almost weekly, and are just patiently waiting for the next step.

Basically the show is along the lines of Shark Tank, without the “pretentious bozos” who sit there, interrogate your idea and belittle your project, even before investment consideration.  Having seen the show numerous times, my warrior attitude would probably have me jumping across the table and throttling the first obnoxious investor.

However, Adventure Capitalist investors are avid outdoor sportsmen who actually field test your product in its intended environment.  After field testing, they sit the entrepreneur down, outdoors on rocks or stumps, and provide critical feedback and investment opportunities.

Supposedly, the filming of the show takes place in the January/February timeframe.  Not sure where it will happen…but we will take anyplace, and make it happen anywhere.  Failure is not an option!

From a logistics perspective, I have offered up Cocoa Beach, Florida as a potential filming site.  The perfect weather, easy access to water and availability of kayaks for filming the show may help persuade the producers.  Hopefully they will take the offer into consideration.

Backwater Paddle Company continues to expand its dealerships around the nation, and overseas.  We still acquire new dealers on a routine basis…a couple a month, or so.   We currently have around 110 dealers in the states.  Just picked up another Canadian dealer in Toronto.  When we are talking “dealers”…we are talking small scale outfitters, local paddle shops, family owned outdoor retailers and the ubiquitous mom & pop marinas/tackle stores.

Our corporate and product branding efforts have been relatively successful.  Our social media pages are always full of customer provided content.  That bodes well to our marketing efforts.  Until we can get the Assassin Kayak Paddles into the market, our attempts to provide inventory to the big box stores is a constant challenge.  Basically our legendary Assault Hand Paddles just do not provide enough leverage for the big box stores to create shelf space.

Creating shelf space and inventory for the big box stores has nothing to do with “liking or disliking” our company or product.  It has everything to do with their bottom line.  They have to have a high turnover of product on those few precious inches of shelf space to be remain profitable.

Unfortunately, our Assault Hand Paddles are typically used by a select few paddle sportsmen in the industry.   We are a “niche product” in the paddle sport market.  Kayak anglers, kayak fowl hunters, and kayak photographers make up the basic crowd.  Probably no more than 15% of the total market.  As versatile as they are, as badass as they look, as durable as they’re manufactured…our sales are nothing spectacular.  We are dealing with such a small market.

Now, when the Assassin Kayak Paddles come to market, we will have access to pretty much the whole shebang.  ALL kayak paddle sportsmen need a full size kayak paddle!  Our patented blade design will outperform the competition, look more badass, and cost the same.  They will sell!

Having this national dealer network already established is a precursor to the Assassin Kayak Paddles future success.  We will instantly be able to provide inventory to the paddle sportsman.  We will be able to provide packaged units of hand paddles and full size paddles, together, for a more powerful purchasing incentive.  A “performance package,” we’ll call it!  I believe once the big box stores begin to realize how successful our full size kayak paddles are, they will establish dialogue.

So, 2017 is coming quick.  This is the year Backwater Paddle Company explodes into the outdoor and paddle sports markets!  We are excited about the future!

Thanks for all your continued support!   Paddle on my friends!

Ed Halm





Poker’s In The Fire…The Assassin Kayak Paddle Project Continues

Assassin Kayak Paddle

Assassin Kayak Paddle left and right blades.

“Heavens to Murgatroyd!”…Snagglepuss used to say.  That was his famous surprise exclamation.  Snaggle-who?  1960’s cartoon?  Never mind…just act surprised!

Adventure Capitalist, Duck Dynasty and two other private equity investors are perusing the Assassin Kayak Paddle project.  Four proverbial “pokers in the fire!”  We are still moving forward in our endeavor to procure the necessary funds to bring this project to market.  Failure is not an option!

CNBC’s own  “entrepreneur meets investors” reality TV show, Adventure Capitalist has shown interest in our Assassin Kayak Paddle Project.  So much so, that we have already had an hour long Skype interview with the shows casting director.  Thumbs up!

The Adventure Capitalist TV show is new and they were soliciting outdoor adventure entrepreneurs to submit projects for their future shows.   What the heck did I have to lose?  Application submitted!  A month later, they are calling about the project!

Duck Dynasty on the other hand has been more of a “guerilla marketing” tactic, than anything else.  It is nearly impossible to contact any of the individual duck people with the layers of office security they utilize.  What the hell, I’ll just back door them.  I figured I’d send them six Assault Hand Paddles,  addressed to Willie, for the duck building crew to play with.  You know how bad-ass those hand paddles are, and if those duck guys get them…something HAS to happen!

I finally got a hold of JD Owen, Willie’s personal assistant.  He told me the Assault Hand Paddles were handed off to Justin Martin, their “new product” manager.  Martin, as he’s called on the show, is one of the duck call builders.  I want them to explore the possibilities the patented “hook and teeth” blade design has to offer.

At this point, I am still trying to establish dialogue with Martin and establish the whereabouts of those legendary hand paddles.  It’s duck season…go figure!  Done gone huntin’!!

We also have two other prospective investors, I assume they are private equity investors, who have solicited information about funding the Assassin Kayak Paddle project.  Out of respect, I will keep their personal information secured until we have reached some contractual agreement.  One is from the Ohio area, the other from the Tennessee area…both involved in the paddle sports communities.

I feel quite good about the Adventure Capitalist TV show.  Apparently from this Skype interview, the casting director edits together a short video presentation about Backwater Paddle Company and the Assassin Kayak Paddle for the CNBC producers.  I sent them our collection of YouTube micro-videos shot earlier this year.  The producers will then select the potential entrepreneurs and products for their future shows.  Shooting begins January 2017!  I feel we have a legitimate chance for the 2017 season!

Assassin Kayak Paddle

Again. I want to reiterate the fact that the table is still open!  If you know someone who wants to explore this investment opportunity before it closes, contact me soon.  Getting in on the ground floor plan now, will yield large returns in the future!

“Exit, Stage Left”…Snagglepuss exclaims when departing!  Snaggle-who? Check the interweb!

Paddle on my friends!



Assassin Kayak Paddle – Revolutionary Design Unveiled

The Assassin Kayak Paddle, a full size kayak paddle, is Backwater Paddle Company’s latest paddle design.  Our innovative paddle projects continue to revolutionize the paddle sports market.

If you have seen our legendary Assault Hand Paddles…you would come to expect another very unique and functional designed paddle to follow.  As they preach in the engineering world…”form follows function,” and “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke!!”

Well, we just made the BEST kayak paddle…in the world!!

Our patented “hook and teeth” blade design, and proprietary raised graphics package not only contribute to function and aesthetics, but deliver the energy of the Assassin Kayak Paddle.

Assassin Kayak Paddle

Assassin Kayak Paddle prototypes showing left and right blade designs.

Backwater Paddle Company is known throughout the paddle sports industry for its legendary Assault Hand Paddles.   These unique hand paddles have revolutionized paddle sportsmen’s stealth and mobility.  Paddle sportsmen and kayak anglers utilize the compact and lightweight hand paddle to single-handedly maneuver their kayaks while continuing to stalk their prey.

Comparing the Assassin Kayak Paddle to the Assault Hand Paddle, you note the similarities in the proprietary blade design, with major differences in blade width and length.   Both paddles deliver in performance, yet convey that extreme “awesome” factor!!

Assassin vs Assault Paddles

Assassin Kayak Paddle and Assault Hand Paddle size comparison.

Big brother meet little brother!!  We wanted our kayak paddle to have the same features, and more abilities, than its little hand paddle brother.  We totally achieved success!!

Even better, with your Assassin Kayak Paddle, you now have total capability to paddle out to your fishing hole or hunting grounds, through the densest of brush and around obstacles.  You will be confident in knowing your kayak paddle will help grab, pull or push you…providing unparalleled mobility.  When on station, put the Assassin away, break out the Assault Hand Paddle…and continue fishing or hunting with unequalled stealth and mobility!!

The Assassin Kayak Paddle will be made from a 10% nylon infused polypropylene for strength and durability, with a UV additive for longevity.  The kayak blades are 7 1/2″ wide by 18″ long.  The patented blades will be attached to fiberglass or carbon fiber shafts, coming in standard 230, 240 and 250 cm lengths.  We will provide custom cut shaft lengths per customer order.

Assassin Kayak Paddle prototype

Assassin Kayak Paddle prototype, left blade, back side.

Through our diligent marketing and advertising campaigns, Backwater Paddle Company has grown to 80+ dealers spread around the nation, and 25+ international dealers.   This provides a solid platform for quickly introducing the Assassin Kayak Paddle into the paddle sports market.

MSRP $119 – $129.00  Available Winter 2015.

As more information and photos becomes available, we will post them accordingly.  If you want to become a Backwater Paddle Company dealer, contact Ed at for more information.  Thanks for your continued support.

Paddle on my friends!!

Australian Fishing Network Review Of Assault Hand Paddles


Australian Fishing Network

 Whether you’re angling for freshwater species or sport fishing for saltwater fish; we’ve got the best fishing reports, fishing spots and a great online fishing shop. We demonstrate various fishing techniques – from game fishing to fly fishing; where to get a fishing license and showcase all of the latest fishing tackle. AFN is your one stop destination for fishing in Australia.

Orange Assault Hand Paddle


Backwater Paddle Company’s Assault hand paddle screams “Don’t mess with me, I’ve got your number”. Its scary fish skeleton and teeth motif are a theme carried into the paddle blades physical design, which includes a hook as well as the paddles second set of dentures.

The blade hook assists kayak anglers grab onto an overhanging tree branch or jetty and draw a kayak in. The teeth allow the reverse kayak motion by providing some traction to push away from structure.

With a design evolved from a World War II US Air Force jungle survival tool by company head Ed Halm, the paddle is constructed of 10% fiberglass and infused polypropylene plastic. The Assaults construction ingredients allow it to float should it try an escape. Absconding is hindered by a foam grip and lanyard.

Assault Hand Paddle


In practice, the best endorsement of the Assault’s utility is that the tournament guys use them to gain an edge. “They help set up a silent cast at a snag. When a kayak is disoriented by wind or current, or drifting in too quick, reaching for a full length paddle can create noise and spook fish”, says tournament kayak angler and Hobie guru Scott Lovig. “A quick forward or reverse re-orientating paddle stroke with the Assault can be done with one hand, while a rod is ready for a cast in the other. Alternately, the hook can allow attachment to a branch upstream of a target snag”.

In verification mode I tested the Assault in amongst the timber on Lake Fyans, a Victorian trout and redfin water. Paddling a Dagger Drifter II, a kayak more workhorse than a nimble fox, the Assault achieved all expectations. When mooching from tree to tree, only one or two paddle strokes were required to aim a kayak bow, and then fire a cast. With wind assisted kayak motion drifting onto a tree, the Assault blade is effectively an oversized rudder guiding you in.

The hook and teeth aided snag traction, and I was also impressed that it allowed me to navigate under branches more easily than a full paddle length would. In shallow water over rocks, an Assault hand paddle could also save more expensive paddle blade damage. To test the Assault’s strength, I thumped it around during testing and it was unbreakable, no kayak fishing gear is, but there’d have to be a whole lot of force and a good fisherman’s tale behind snapping an Assault. If you’re an in tight and snaggy kayak angler, the Assault is a worthy multi-tasking paddle buddy.

Contact for stockists


Backwater Paddle Company Succesful In 2014

hnyIt’s finally over…2014, that is!

With strong support of the paddle sports community, Backwater Paddle Company has had its best year so far.  We have expanded into many new markets, had a new website designed, increased our brand awareness, introduced the Hi-Vis Orange Assault Hand Paddles, multiplied our social media presence almost four fold, and hooked up with an e-mail design company for better customer contact.

Backwater Paddle Company continued on its strong growth pattern for 2014.  Our dealer network has expanded around the country, with 50+ dealers in 21 states.  As our hand paddles become more available to the sportsmen, the local paddle shops are taking notice and quickly joining the Backwater Paddle Company family.

As the sport of kayak fishing expands, we continue to sponsor local and regional kayak fishing tournaments.  Last year we supported numerous paddle sport tournaments around the nation, gaining mass brand exposure and product awareness.  Our Assault Hand Paddles are the “talk on the water” at most of these tournaments!

This year we have been invited to sponsor some of the nations largest, most recognized and  competitive kayak fishing tournaments.   The “Kayak Fishing Classics” is the nations largest and most prestigious tournament.  The “2015 Kayak Bass Series” is about to get underway January 31st, just around the corner.  These legendary tournaments provide Backwater Paddle Company with exposure we could not afford otherwise.  We are running with the big dogs now!

We had our website professionally re-designed for better flow and updated appearance.  The new site looks and feels…”smooth and fresh.”  No more boxy photos splattered all over the screen, no more links scattered around the site.  The company web store and blog are all integrated with a matching color palette.   It was time!!

Marketing is very expensive…just in case you did not know!!  We continue to advertise in KAYAK ANGLER magazine,, and other smaller forums and digital avenues.  Product reviews play a significant part in brand awareness.  We have received awesome product reviews by some of the top anglers in the sport this year.  Many of these reviews have been posted on previous blogs, earlier this year.

Social media is the biggest part of any companies marketing strategy today.  We have over 8600 fans on the Backwater Paddle Company Face Book page…and growing daily.  As a matter of fact, we put a small amount of capital in advertising and marketing on Face Book every month.  We also have a LinkedIn account, YouTube page, as well as our Pinterest site to see our latest photos.

Having said all that…and this still confounds me…we still have NOT broken into the “big box” stores yet?  Bass Pro, Gander Mountain, Academy, Cabelas to name a few, are stubborningly  refusing to grant us access to their shelf space.  Not sure why…but that nut WILL be cracked!!

Looking forward for 2015…we will introduce another color for the Assault Hand Paddle.  We let our customers and fans choose the color via a survey in the spring.   Nothing better than letting the customers and fans feel like they are part of the process!!

In product development, our goal is to move forward with the full size kayak paddles…the “Raptor Project.”  We still need to do some CAD design and prototyping of the new kayak blade design.   As far as securing the necessary capital for the project, around $75K,  we are looking at Kickstarter, a crowd funding program.

As the new season approaches, we look forward to our continued growth for 2015.

We most appreciate the support and commitment of all our families, friends, investors, fans and customers.  See you on the water for 2015!

Paddle on my friends!!

gone kayaking

Backwater Paddle Company Ready For The Holidays

Again, the holidays have snuck up on us.  It is already November!  Thanksgiving is just a week away…and we are already inundated with Christmas advertising!!  TV, newspaper, magazines, radio, Face Book, Twitter, Pinterest, billboards, even the dude standing outside your favorite store ringing the bell soliciting your change for the “red pot”…you cannot escape the fact that Christmas is here!

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…time to get your marketing and advertising campaigns in gear, or get left behind!!  Time waits for no man!!  Not even Santa Claus!!

Below is some of the photos we are using for this seasons holiday advertising campaigns.

Santa's Orange Assault Hand Paddle

Santa’s Orange Assault Hand Paddle

As you can see, the Assault Hand Paddles are a perfect fit for the legendary Christmas stockings.  Paddle sportsmen around the world will be waking up to see what Santa has left under the tree, or hanging from the fireplace mantle.  Along with their new kayak…they are hoping for the latest paddle sports gear, equipment and accessories that will compliment their growing hobby.

Assault Hand Paddles...the perfect stocking stuffer!

Assault Hand Paddles…the perfect stocking stuffer!

Thankfully, we are in the game this year with our holiday marketing.  Having over 50 dealers around the country significantly enhances our brand exposure and availability.  Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) has three stores and buys four to five dozen paddles a month!

We are now working with an e-mail consulting agency.   They provide us with professionally designed templates, from which we add our own text and photos.  They track the sending, opening and bounce rates, providing us feedback for our e-mail campaigns.  This alone has stepped up our corporate identity, profile and professionalism within the paddle sports community.

So, on to the season…from the Backwater Paddle Company family…Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah…

Let it snow…let it snow…let it snow!!

Backwater Paddle Company B/W Logo

Assault Hand Paddle review by Aaron Stiger

By Aaron Stiger

Aaron Stiger is a force in the kayak angling community.  He is a member for the Jackson Kayak Fishing team, Crew for Hook 1 Kayak Fishing Gear and Pro Staff for Manley Rods. 

Backwater Paddle Company most appreciates your time and consideration in providing us with this awesome review Aaron!

How many times have you found yourself floating down a river, or holding a spot on flat water when the current or wind takes you past the area you intended to fish. You are now out of position, and handling your paddle is noisy, clunky and will more than likely scare away any fish in the area.
In situations like this, especially in the fall when the water is very clear, it is important to have a stealth approach to handling and maneuvering your kayak. Today, I am going to review a product that I feel can make a huge impact on your fishing by being a positive fish factor in your kayak. This product is the Assault Hand Paddle by Edward Halm’s Backwater Paddle Company.

When you first see the paddle, you will see it comes it one of two colors: “Orange” or “OD-Green.” Each spring, Backwater Paddle Company also solicits votes from paddle outdoorsmen for new colors, so be on the lookout and vote for your favorite color. This is a great feature and shows that the company is truly in-touch with the kayak anglers and other outdoorsmen it serves.
After picking up the paddle, you will notice it’s almost a full pound. Weighing in at 12 ounces, this brute paddle is made for daily use. It is 22 inches long and the blade is over ¼ inch wide. This sturdy plastic is made for taking punishment on the water. Also featured on the blade is a hook, which is used for pulling, and teeth, which are used for pushing. I will detail these aspects in more detail later in the review. The handle is also covered in foam which aids in the paddle’s buoyancy and comfort. A rope lanyard is also attached, which allows it to stay on your wrist or tethered to you kayak.

On the water, I found myself finding various uses for this paddle. The first place I found it especially helpful was to approach a partially-submerged brush pile. When fishing shallow or clear water, dipping a paddle and knocking it off of branches underwater puts fish from a predatory to prey mentality. Your chances of catching a fish decrease significantly. Approaching the brush pile, I simply used the hook feature to grab onto a branch. I continued to grab another time to get even closer, and I then tethered off onto one of the branches. I tethered by clipping a small carabineer onto the rope and then securing it to my kayak. This worked brilliantly.

Another significant use I immediately found for the hook was after I got my lure caught in the submerged limbs. Normally, I test the strength of my knot, line and rod tip as I pull and tug, trying to free the lure. With the Assault Hand Paddle, it was a much more simplified process. I took the hook of the paddle, and grabbed the small branch, pulled the branch up, and freed the lure with my hand.

After fishing around the wood pile, it was time to push off. I untethered the orange Assault paddle and used the teeth side of the paddle to dig into a log and push my kayak a sufficient distance away from the brush pile so I could begin my normal paddle stroke.

It was not long when I realized another opportunity arose for the Assault Hand Paddle. Normally on a river, fishing headwater is extremely difficult in a kayak. Most of the time, a kayaker will simply blow through the headwater, riffles, and only fish the back end of a pool. I have tried to fish headwater in the past, but it always required me to drop my anchor in and let it drag, undoubtedly scaring any resident fish I was targeting. Today, I was able to locate a stray tree caught on a rock right at the push water before the riffle. The process I took was to tether the Assault Hand Paddle to the side of my kayak, secure the hook to the exposed limb, and begin fishing. This paddle surprised me at how well it held up in the push water. Even though the water was trying to push my kayak downstream with all its might, the paddle held, and I was able to stand and cast until I was satisfied I had fished the area thoroughly. When I was done, I unhooked the paddle, and pushed off as I was taken quickly downstream through the riffle.

Throughout the day, I tend to target my casts more and more precisely on an ordinary fishing trip. This means I am pinpointing specific targets, often around heavy cover. As I continued this ritual, I found myself hooked up in a tree about 8 feet in a branch. I was unable to reach it by hand, but immediately had an idea. I saw a low-hanging branch and tethered my OD-Green Assault Paddle to it. I then let out line, and took my Orange Assault Paddle and hooked onto the small limb, bringing the lure into reach, and freeing it. In this scenario I was rocking the boat back and forth, and even was able to jump up to reach the limb. The OD-Green Assault Paddle never let off its grip. What a great application of two paddles that scenario proved to be.

One of the most well-known uses of the Assault Hand Paddle is for maneuverability and positioning of your kayak. Today, I did this countless times and the subtle ease of movement around structure or to maintain a position on a slow-moving section of river was invaluable. Not having to occupy both hands with a paddle, and just quickly using a hand stroke to maintain my spot allowed me to fire-off more casts, and catch more fish.

Having my Assault Hand Paddle served one final purpose on the day. The water I typically fish is extremely skinny. I often drag much of the flow or try to paddle through, digging my expensive paddle into the rocky river bottom. By using the Assault Paddle, I was able to save the wear and tear on my other paddle when I would get stuck on bottom. By using the teeth to push into the river bottom, I was able to free myself without getting into the 50 degree water. This was extremely convenient and kept me dry.
One final use I can see for the paddle that I was not able to try today was to use the paddle as an ice breaker. I fish quite often in the winter and sometimes find my kayak surrounded and stuck by skim ice. Normally, I carry a hatchet with me, but now I will simply carry an Assault Hand Paddle. With Backwater Paddle Company’s warranty of “100% Guarantee, You Break it We Replace it,” I feel comfortable placing this paddle through the wringer.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at the Assault Hand Paddle’s versatility. After using it, I realize it is the Swiss Army Knife of kayak paddles, and there are none like it. For $29.95 at it is a no-brainer as far as an accessory for the kayak. It was a great tool to have on the water, and I look forward to exploring many more uses for this paddle in the future.