In the past, I admit, I haven't paid much attention to paddle quality. I bought a paddle in the 100$ range that was light. Was it the right length, was it light? AT Paddles was kind enough to let my try out the Exodus Fishstix model kayak paddle designed for fishermen and kayak fishing. I used this paddle for the last 6 months on rivers, creeks and lakes.
First impression, the camo color scheme was way cool. Useful if you ditch your boat in the woods for a shuttle, or making you really hard to spot on the river when "stealth" fishing. Fish might have a harder time spotting this as you paddle through the water as well. Matches my camo colored Commander 120 kayak. Next thing I noticed was how well built and unbelievably light this paddle is. AT Paddles website claims less than two pounds (30oz). Light. What this meant as I tried the paddle out, fishing is less taxing on my shoulders and arms throughout the day. I could easily one handed paddle to maintain position.
When used to propel the kayak forward the carbon fiber paddle would kick or flex, as water was pushed out of the way. In wider kayaks produced today the paddle can be extended another 5cm via a ferrule system that locks into place.
Everyone who tried the Exodus Fishtix really enjoyed the lightness and the bend in the shaft to keep the paddle rolling off your kayak. The Fishstix stays in place. No reaching for a runaway paddle when the wind hits it.
By far the best paddle I've ever used kayak fishing. If you can afford one get one, if you can't afford one, get it anyways. AT Exodus Fishtix paddle retails for around 350$. An absolute joy to paddle with.