Pelican Catch Angler Paddle Review (In-depth with video)

I bought the Pelican Angler double-bladed paddle for solo canoe trips with my tandem or my solo Kevlar canoes. The qualities of this paddle span a huge range from incredibly amazing to almost a deal-breaker.

I’ll let you know what I like and don’t like about the paddle, and how it stands up to other paddles – both single and double blade!


What is the Pelican Catch Angler Paddle?

The Pelican Catch Angler paddle is a double-bladed “kayak” paddle that is specifically meant for fishing kayaks or canoes.

It has features not found in many other kayak (double-blade) paddles. For example, it’s noticeably longer than most other double-blade paddles, and that makes it far more practical while paddling a wider craft like a fishing kayak (as opposed to a touring kayak) or a canoe with a 33-36 inch (or wider) beam.

It offers drip divots to minimize water drops inside your vessel and it comes with a lure/hook retrieval mechanism built into one of the blades.

It’s also very light (even compared to some carbon-handled paddles) and can be disassembled into 2 pieces for easier transport.

It features a fiberglass shaft with FRN (fiberglass reinforced nylon) blades, so it’s not a super high-end paddle, but it kind of acts like one, and I would trust it on even a longer backwoods trip.


Can I Use a Kayak Paddle in a Solo Canoe?

You absolutely CAN use a kayak paddle (I should say “double-bladed” paddle) for canoeing. A double blade allows you to have a blade in the water more often than using a single-blade paddle and it makes turning a bit easier with no need to apply corrective strokes.

Many wilderness trippers propel their tandem canoe with a double-blade paddle while paddling solo. The Pelican Catch Angler is an excellent choice for a double-blade canoe paddle for reasons we’ll see in this article.


How Long Should a Kayak Paddle be for a Canoe?

While some well-meaning websites attempt to apply a formula for a paddler’s height vs. paddle length, etc. I hold a far simpler and more actionable view. I firmly believe the “length” of a double-blade kayak paddle (if used in a canoe in a solo paddling context) should be AS LONG AS POSSIBLE!

Indeed, a kayak paddle can never be too long for any paddler sitting in the middle of a tandem canoe paddling solo. Most tandem canoes measure anywhere from about 32 inches to over 35 inches at the beam, and if a paddler is sitting in the middle of a seat at that location, he/she will need the longest paddle possible to reach the water effectively and efficiently.


The Pelican Catch Angler Paddle – Specifications

  • Length – 102.3 inches
  • Weight – 33.2 ounces
  • Shaft – Fiberglass
  • Blades – Fiberglass reinforced nylon
  • Construction – 2-piece shaft
  • Performance Feature – Feathering ability to 3 points: center, 65⁰ one direction, and 65⁰ in the other direction
  • Features – water drip divot, hook/lure retrieval cutout on the blade, length-measuring marks on shaft, best for taller paddlers or canoes over 34″ wide

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Pros

  • Very Light (even compared to some carbon paddles
  • Longest paddle available anywhere
  • Offers many features like water drip diverter divots, hook retrieval tool, 2-piece detachable construction, feathering ability, ovalization of the shaft, etc.
  • Excellent price for such features offered
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Cons

  • Ovalization of the shaft is not obvious
  • Water drip diversion divots are not as effective as I would like to see

Overview of Features

According to Pelican’s website, the paddle is ideal for paddlers 6′ and taller or vessels over 34″. However, based on feedback from both myself and several other veteran paddlers, it’s perfect for any paddler (no matter their height) and any craft (no matter the width).

The reason for this is that longer paddles, in general, allow for low-angle paddling, which reduces fatigue and stress in your upper body (shoulders and back).

However, even with the low angle potential, water tends to drip excessively. To avoid excess water in your boat, I’d suggest using it in a kayak with a deck, a canoe with a spray deck, or treat the blades with Never-Wet.

Feathering refers to the ability to rotate part of the shaft to offset the angle of a paddle blade to better enter the water at the most efficient angle based on the ergonomics of the human arms and hands.

The Angler Catch paddle offers the optimum angle (65⁰) in either direction as an option for advanced paddlers.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Like other paddles, the Angler offers lure retrieval and water diversion capabilities

The fiberglass shaft is a massive upgrade from aluminum in that it does not get as cold and “untouchable” in early Spring, Fall or Winter conditions. It also looks very much like carbon and that’s just an added bonus. After all, if you could only afford a $5,000 car, wouldn’t it be kinda cool if it looked a lot like a Ferrari?

The Blades of the Catch are made of Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon (FRN) which is significantly stronger than the standard Polypropylene material that most paddles in this price range offer. The FRN is not only stronger but noticeably lighter.


Key Takeaways

Overall, I like the Pelican Catch Angler paddle, but I can’t give it a 5-star rating. I have to give it 4-stars because the issue of water dripping is so evident. Even with the diversion divots/cutouts, it can produce a 6-inch wide ditch of water in the center of my entire canoe within 5-10 minutes of paddling (even at low angle).

That issue can be helped by using a spray deck or treating the blade with something that sheds water very quickly and efficiently.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
In spite of the water diversion measures built into the blades, the Pelican Catch Angler still delivers many tablespoons of water per minute into my canoe no matter what technique I use or how low I hold my shaft and blades.

Aside from that issue, it’s all thumbs up. It’s long enough for low-angle efficiency with a wide beam, it has an efficient lure-retrieval tool and it looks great. Every possible element or component on the paddle is upgraded from a basic kayak paddle (ie. fiberglass shaft rather than aluminum, FRN blades instead of plastic, longer shaft, measuring marks on shaft, etc.)

When compared to a similar fishing paddle from BENDING BRANCHES, the Angler Catch offers a greater length, same blade material and specifications, and similar weight, even though the Bending Branches model has a carbon blade.

It’s also less than half the price! For those reasons, I consider the Pelican to be a better deal – though Bending Branches has a leg-up when it comes to a great quality name brand.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Pete Stack

After 40 years of experience canoeing, camping, fishing, hiking and climbing in the Ontario wilderness, Pete is eager to combine his love for the outdoors with his passion to write. It is our hope that his knowledge can be passed on through this site and on Rugged Outdoors Guide on YouTube.

Recent Posts

error: Content is protected !!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This