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Old 12-24-2008   #1
Rockingham, North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 54
Sawyer Pole Cat oars (good/bad/ugly?)

Been looking for oars. Got my first raft recently and lack the insight to make a good purchase desicion. Thought I would start a new thread since my search has gotten so specific. Looking at the Pole Cats 9' for my 14' raft. Read where Sawyer will do a three piece on this oar. That would make it easy to fly with. Anyone familiar with these oars? Thanks for any thoughts.

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Old 12-24-2008   #2
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
I used them on Cat this year. They had built in counterbalances. I didn't really like them . They were heavy, I didn't notice any of the "flex" people talk about with wood, and in my experience Sawyer products fall apart. I think there is a breakdown Cataract shaft.

That said, the Polecats were WAY better than Carlisle oars.

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Old 12-24-2008   #3
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
I use the 9' Polecats on my Superduper. Sure there are better ones but these should do just fine. They're very durable and they propel u,plus they're somewhat affordable. What else do you need? They do seem a lil heavy at times,esp with some of the other oars that i've felt,but if you learn how to oar on em then you'll never know the difference. I'd say go for em.
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Old 01-04-2009   #4
lmaciag's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670
I have them and really like them (10' counter-balanced for a 15' raft) though they are not the 3-piece you speak of. Bought them in March and have put significant miles on them (Dolores, Rio Chama, Salmon, Lodore, several Westwaters and The Grand)... Let me tell ya... I could feel the flex on The Grand. Others bent/broke oars and lost blades, but mine were in great condition at the end (small bite out of one blade after it popped and was under the boat for a while). Even bent an oarlock (never upside down) and the oar was fine.

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Old 01-04-2009   #5
lmaciag's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 670
The only thing... if you are taking them apart regularly, the blades don't have the push buttons I've seen on other oars, you need an extra wide screw driver to put them on and take them off. I just leave mine assembled.

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Old 01-05-2009   #6
Rockingham, North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 54
Thanks for the input. I appreciate it. Got some on order now with Duramax 7" blades and 2 lb counter balance built in. Look forward to seeing them soon.
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Old 01-05-2009   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
I rowed the grand with Polecat's and liked them. I lost one and had to use a Carlisle spare, the difference was noticeable. The Polecat was better and the flex is easier on your arms.

In terms of weight, counter balances are a noticeable culprit.

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