Adventure technology and wilderness systems pro staffer Adam Corry tests the latest innovative design in angler-specific paddle design and functionality.
If you’re in the market for a new paddle, whether you’re a first time buyer or just a gear head, look no further than the latest series of high performance angler-specific paddles from Adventure Technology (AT). Available in retail stores now, the AT angler series delivers the quality, innovation, and performance the industry has come to expect and the features that like-minded paddlers admire. Whether a weekend warrior, a “once in a whiler”or a seasoned pro, the AT Angler lineup is a sure bet.
Recently, I took the new Oracle Angler out for a few test rides to see if this paddle lives up to those very expectations and standards.
I soon found myself coming up with two words to describe the overall feeling of the paddle; rugged confidence.
The Oracle boasts a carbon blend straight shaft, an aggressive and beefy blade face and a proprietary Duraweave fiberglass reinforced tip.
I paddled the Oracle not in search of fin and scale during my recent trips, but for feather and fowl. Knowing that my outings would have me in and out of thick coastal marsh cover, possible shallow flats in need of a good strong blade for pushing off, and the ever present oyster and mussel shells, this paddle was going to get some abuse. When I put a blade in the water, I mean it and I want my paddle to be as aggressive as I need when the time calls. The blade design and strength of the overall package allows for greater power output with each stroke and an aggressive paddling style with little to no flutter. In one word, this paddle is tough.
The Oracle Angler will not take no for an answer in any variety of water conditions and I have complete confidence in the strength and toughness of the blade and shaft.
The Duraweave tip proved true to the designers’ word as I repeatedly pushed off of mussel covered tidal banks time and time again to pick up downed birds and reposition for better shots. Even with the sometimes cringing sound I would hear, after a good cleaning I found few indications of any significant abrasion on the blade face or tip. While making an overland (marsh) crossing from the parking area to open water I repeatedly used the paddle as a walking stick and support. I often put a good bit of my weight on it to get out of a few sticky mud holes and not once did the shaft hinge give way or either blade base feel weak.
Some of the other features of this design that will surely find a home in hearts of anglers are the measuring graphics on the shaft providing inch and centimeter demarcations up to 3 feet, and an integrated line hook that will certainly prove useful. I can vouch for it being a great line grabber when picking up or repositioning waterfowl decoys. The shaft offers unlimited feathering and a full 10 centimeters of length adjustment at the ferrule to accommodate today’s wider SOT platforms, and grant forgiving allowance for adjustable height seating like the new Wilderness Systems Air Pro Max seating system.
If I haven’t convinced you by now, did I mention that it’s just plain cool looking? The Oracle sports a gently fading digital camo graphic on the business side of the blade, and a classic “you see what you get” translucent fiberglass eye popping gloss on the opposite side. Of course it wouldn’t be complete without the AT and fish logos well known in the Angler lineup. I would definitely call this a high-vis blade but I had no complaints from the ducks that dropped into my decoy spread as long as the digital camo was facing out and the sun glare was low.
Weighing in at just over two pounds, the paddle still fits in the lightweight category even with the rugged design and materials. Coming in under the $300.00 dollar mark (MSRP) makes it affordable and a lot of paddle for the money. Offered from 220 to 260 centimeters in length, this paddle will fit all shapes and sizes of paddlers and boats.
Stop by your local paddle sports retailer and ask to see the new Adventure Technology paddles or check them out online at www.atpaddles.com. Make sure you take advantage of the paddle selector tool on the AT website to help find the right paddle for you.
Adventure Technology Pro Staff
Wilderness Systems Pro Staff