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Werner Ikelos

A real beast of a paddle, but well suited to sit on top use and with loads of power on tap if you need it.

This is one of Werner's largest blades, and conventional thinking says its best for the younger, fitter paddler, as using it for long periods of time can be quite tiring. However I think this tends to come from sea kayaking where you are likely to paddling for hours on end. With kayak fishing I tend to just paddle for an hour or so, and then fish, giving me a chance to recover from the effort of paddling.  Used this way, you get the advantage of the huge power on tap for punching out through surf or paddling into a strong current, but don't wear yourself out by using it all day.

The power comes from the Ikelos'  huge blade and the full carbon blade is stiffened by a foam core, which gives an amazingly strong and light weight blade, my 220cm version only weighing around 800gms. The only down side to the foam core construction being that you can't do much about the size of the blade if you find it too big for you, I have heard stories of brave souls reducing the size of the similar sized but non foam cored Corryvrecken, but I'd never have the bottle to do that!

The Ikelos comes with Werner's Smart View adjustable ferrule system, whereby at the press of a button you can change the feather of the blades, and a small window lets you see what feather you've set, a nice touch and a step forward from my older straight Shunas where you couldn't see the feather angle without pulling the blades apart. It also means that newer versions have a completely smooth paddle shaft with no protrusions, like a one piece paddle in fact. With the larger blade size compared to the Shuna I find a slightly longer shaft length more comfortable, and use  220cm shaft, whereas my Shunas are both 115cm.

I've been trying to make up my mind between the Ikelos and the Shuna, both of which are great paddles, but on a recent trip to Wales I ended up having to tow a hire double sit on top, complete with a couple of kids, a decent distance back to the beach in a stiff offshore breeze, and luckily I had the Ikelos with me, and it made the whole process pretty painless. Everything considered, I think the Ikelos is probably my favourite kayak fishing blade, although as a safety feature you should always carry a spare paddle, so the combination of a Ikelos and Shuna covers me for just about any situation, although the two paddles together cost more than the average sit on top!

Recommended book

Discover Kayak Fishing
by Andy Benham

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