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AT Paddles Exodus Fishstix AT Paddles Exodus FishstixAT Paddles Exodus Fishstix

Manufacturer

Brand
AT Paddles

ExodusFishstix Description
Used by the world’s top kayak anglers, the Exodus Fishstix paddle features camouflage styling and a slightly larger blade for more stability and quicker acceleration in addition to all the standard F-Core features. 

 

Product Details
 
Available Lengths (cm):   210, 220, 230, 240 
Weight:   309 g / 32 oz.
Shaft Material:   Carbon, Aramid, Fiberglass Braid. 
Shaft Shape:   Ergo Shaft   
Blade Material:   Fiberglas, Urethane Foam Core 
Blade Size:   633 sq. cm / 98 sq. inches
MSRP:   $355

 

 

at

Editor reviews

 
AT Paddles Exodus Fishstix 2013-02-25 16:35:42 andyjade
Rate This Paddle 
 
5.0
andyjade Reviewed by andyjade    February 25, 2013 View all my reviews

Adventure Technology Exodus Fishstix Paddle

Adventure Technology, a company well known for innovative and luxuriously built touring and whitewater-centric paddles, also caters to the kayak angling demographic. Their kayak fishing focused offering is dubbed Fishstix, and is, by and large, a sportsman-themed spin on their standard Elite-level Exodus paddle. AT's touring paddles are offered in three tiers of increasing price points and build complexity; the Elite level is the uppermost tier, and is comprised of two models: the Exodus and Xeption. The Fishstix is, therefore, a high-end touring paddle clothed in a camouflage motif. At the time of press, there exists no difference in price between the standard Exodus and the Fishstix; both units feature an MSRP of $355.

When compared to other $300+ models, the paddle in question, like its product of origin, is positioned as a middle of the road performer with regard to weight, stiffness, and paddling angle. Indeed, there exists lighter paddles, looser paddles (less stiff), and angle-specific paddles, but with specificity comes sacrifice. The Fishstix does not make a martyr out any aforementioned categories, and test paddles certainly revealed a well balanced harmony of the three domains. In this regard, the mission statement is met.

Weighing in at 32oz, the Fishstix is certainly devoid of excess poundage. The price point brings about numerous offerings hovering around 30oz, though few have the angler in mind. Anglers, like myself, stepping up from traditional 35-36oz paddles will certainly notice a difference. It seems odd that, for a fit 180 pound man, a mere three ounces can translate to a well perceived reduction in overall work. Alas, that is indeed the case. Intense test paddle exceeding two hours (at a cadence averaging 70-80 strokes per minute) were met with a surprisingly refreshing end. Using the above figures, one can extrapolate that over the stated time, the three lost ounces would result in a reduction of over a thousand pounds of total moved weight. For anglers frequently engaging upon multi-hour or multi-day forays, the weight of the Fishstix is well worth the price of admission.

Aside from an easily detectable flutter or muscle-jarring rigidity, paddle stiffness can be a hard barometer to read. Generally speaking, distance-oriented paddlers tend to prefer a paddle that offers more flex than those required by kayak anglers seeking to travel short distances over a highly compressed time requirement. As mentioned above, the Fishstix caters to neither group, and therefore offers enough flex to prevent overuse injuries and enough rigidity to minimize a loss in power.

With regard to the paddling angle to which the Fishstix caters, I can only comment on those allowed by the 220cm model, which was the size provided. Though a bit shorter than my usual choice of 230cm, I had no trouble paddling across a variety of styles and vessels, and could take my pick of comfortable and effective angles in even the chubbiest of fishing kayaks.

With an affirmation that the product’s main mission statement has been met, we can now focus on some of the details and features that make this paddle unique. It seems as though AT chose the Exodus as the base model for a variety of reasons, including the ergonomic bent shaft and the relatively large blade, the later an attribute touted to provide increased stability and quicker acceleration. Like many of the company’s offerings, the paddle features an infinite array of feathering and a small adjustment in overall length.

The ergonomic shaft is both novel and well executed, and will provide to the uninitiated a paddling experience like no other. For those transferring from traditional straight shaft paddles, a learning curve will be encountered. A slight difficulty can be had when trying to find the sweet spot onto which the hands are placed, and an alteration or refinement of technique will inevitably occur. Both, however, will likely only take place during the initial outing.

The Fishstix retains its parent paddle’s 633 sq cm blade, a size that is typically considered large for touring-specific paddles. Adventure Technology has stated that said size is intended to aide in acceleration, but I did not find this to be the case. Perhaps due to the elongated blade shaped, or simply to my past preferences for truly oversized paddles, the Fishstix did not come across as a product designed for assisting one in the attaining of short bursts of increasing speed. In times when acceleration was paramount, such as those offered by approaching container ships or downstream obstacles, the Fishstix felt a little slow out of the gate. Again, this isn’t attributable to flex-based issues, but it is a noticeable phenomenon. One particular instance had me digging in to quickly avoid a tidal eddy. While the whirlpool was skirted, I felt that, when compared to larger bladed paddles, extra effort was needed to do so.

Typical of the AT lineup, the Fishstix ships complete with an innovative ferrule that gives to the user an infinite amount of feathering, the ability to add a few cm of length, and a closure mechanism that is incredibly smooth and easy to use. With regard to the adjustment of length, I was able to turn my 220cm paddle into one that approached 224cm. Though the middle of the shaft was recessed and illusory of a weakened joint, no compromise in stiffness or slippage was detected. It is truly a fine design and one that allows users to quasi-customize their paddle to fit unique needs and situations.

Though I am still wondering if a camouflage facade constitutes a change in designation from touring paddle to one of angling specificity, I must say that, regardless of targeted demographic, this is one product that excels in propelling wide sit on top kayaks from point A to point B. It may fall short on promises of increased acceleration, (and, to be fair, it could very well be the most sprint-worthy of the company’s offerings), the Fishstix makes up for its shortcomings in terms of lightness, comfort, and looks. It is a luxury paddle that does most everything in ways that will suit 99% of anglers, and does so at a price point comparable to other high end units. In short, buy it for the weight reduction and the looks. If the later is less important, equal or better deals may be found in the traditional touring paddle market.

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