It had been a long day of paddling and fishing for smallmouth bass on Crooked Creek in Arkansas. Soon we would be stopping to make our camp along the scenic river banks. In the distance, you could hear the faint roar of the rapids. It was going to be the only challenging section of the river for us novice paddlers. The smallmouth bass fishing had been so good that I had completely forgotten about it. Early in the day, I had secured everything in my NuCanoe down. The only thing not tied down was my hat and paddle. Soon, I was going to lose both of them. As the roar of the rapids got louder, I prepared by putting my fishing pole in the rod holder. I wasn’t going to lose my new rod, but gave little thought to my paddle. As we rounded the corner, the rapids were straight ahead. I wasn’t impressed. Although, they were loud, they weren’t going to be a challenge; in fact, we were going to have to drag our kayaks through the extremely shallow water. What I didn’t realize was how slippery the rocks were. Jumping out of my NuCanoe, I lose my balance and fell on my rear-end. Luckily, my NuCanoe drifted over into the other bank. Unfortunately, I lost my hat and paddle in the ordeal. Of course no one in our group of anglers had an extra paddle. For the first time ever in my life, I was up a creek without a paddle.
Paddle leashes maybe one of the most overlooked accessories for kayak and canoe anglers. Anglers are always worried about lures and what rods to bring instead of preparing their paddling gear for that fishing trip down the river or on a favorite pond. For any angler going down a river or moving water a paddle leash is a necessary accessory to have. Paddle leashes are simple to use. Just secure the carabineer to a pad eye or the seat buckle then attach to the paddle by wrapping the Velcro strap around the paddle shaft or 2 piece paddle shafts can be opened and the loop slipped over the shaft before reattaching.
One company that offers a high quality paddle leash is Yak-Gear.com (www.Yak-Gear.com). “All our leashes are made of nylon bungee to withstand the rigors of paddling and can be used in salt water areas. The loops are hand crafted with 2 galvanized steel crimps and sealed with shrink wrap to deter corrosion. At Yak-Gear.com, we design all of our leashes to be used with aluminum carabineers, or you can just slip the loop through a pad eye and thread the other end through the eye. Other companies use plastic hook ends and when they break, you need to replace the leash,” said Bill Bragman, owner of Yak-Gear.com. Yak-Gear offers 3 styles of leashes including the basic Paddle Leash, Extreme Paddle Leash, and Baja Paddle Leash. The Basic Paddle Leash is a 40-inch light-weight non-absorbent leash that can be used for any general paddling situation that weighs less than 1-ounce. The Extreme Paddle Leash is made from heavy duty ¼-inch nylon bungee and designed for going beyond the breakers. Baja Paddle Leash is a nylon covered ¼-inch bungee and the strongest leash Yak-Gear.com makes. It is available in 36-inches in 3 colors or 48-inches in black only.
Paddle leashes are great when fishing off-shore or on rivers where it’s imperative to keep from losing your paddle. Other anglers can also benefit by having the security of knowing if their paddle drops in excitement of catching a fish their paddle will not float way. Plus it’s a clever accessory for attaching the paddle to your younger paddler’s kayak in case they drop it. It’s one accessory that any paddler can use without restricting their movement and can be easily attached to any kayak. You had better get one for your kayak before you find yourself up a creek without a paddle.
Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved. BRAD WIEGMANN
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Complimentary samples of the products described in this website were provided for evaluation by the manufacturers mentioned.