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Old 11-19-2009   #1
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 213
Cataract vs Carlisle Oars

I was wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are between these two sets of oars?? Anyone opinion...what do you use.

There is always a reason not to...
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Old 11-19-2009   #2
kayakfreakus's Avatar
Steamboat, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 887
Cataract or Carlisle Oars

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Old 11-20-2009   #3
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
My opinion since then has bee slightly updated...

cataract oar shafts are the bomb. cataract magnum blades are brittle and snap like postal worker. the cataract razor blades are great but very spendy.

i have tried out sawyer polecats and the shafts are not very strong and are fairly easy to snap. the polecat blades break almost as easily as the magnum blades or carlisle blades for that matter.

so for blades I would go with razors or sawyer wooden blades. the carlisle blades have a stupid lip on them that will get hung up on your oar leash when you least want it to.
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Old 11-20-2009   #4
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Mania - I like your new avatar, but is pales in comparison to your old one Congrats on the GC Permit!

I have rowed cataracts, polecats and carlisles. The flex in the composite ones (Cataract and Polecats) is a noticeable improvement. I have had to row with a polecat in one hand and a carlisle in the other for the lower half of the Grand Canyon and my shoulder liked the flex (polecat) a lot better. I haven't had durability issues with the Polecat, but with Mania's much more rigorous commercial use I trust his opinion on durability.

FWIW when I guided in AK we almost exclusively used Cataracts and they held up well but did break on occasion. We had a back stock for busy days of Carlisle shafts, they got bent up, discolored and beaten down, on occasion they too would break. Almost everywhere I have worked we used Carlisle blades. Sun exposure to the plastic blades decreases their life - so store them somewhere shady if you can. With wood blades maintenance of the coating and fiberglass reinforcements makes a big difference in how long they last.
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Old 11-20-2009   #5
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
I'll have to disagree with Mania regarding the magnum blades. I had a friend in a gear boat hit my blade, and the magnum blade bent in almost a 90 deg angle before snapping back into shape. I was sure the blade was going to snap in half, but after a close inspection I could find no damage, stress fractures, etc. The gentleman in the other boat saw the same thing and was amazed that the blade was not damaged as well....perhaps I have some freaky blade or something, but I would hesitate to call them brittle.
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Old 11-20-2009   #6
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 99
I also liked mania's old avatar.....that thing was great
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Old 11-20-2009   #7
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
Fuck 'em both. Get wood, and not the wood blade/composite shaft garbage. Light, strong, laminate, ash, wood. I'll help you rope wrap them. I loved my Gulls and that's what I'll be using from now on, until I can afford some Blunt Family Paddles oars with my name on them. Then Gulls for spares.
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Old 11-20-2009   #8
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
Originally Posted by teleboater5.13 View Post
I was wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are between these two sets of oars?? Anyone opinion...what do you use.
Wood, good quality.
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Old 11-20-2009   #9
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
I have had both Cataract SGX and carlisles in 11, and carlisle in 9 foot length. have broken 2 carlisles and never a cataract. For a heavy boat I hated how much flex without rebound the carlisles have. I have Polecat blades on all my oars, After 4 seasons I have broke on blade during an uncontrolled thrashing, and one broke in my 10hp snowblower.

I have rowed with wood oars, and they are sweet. I cant wait for wood oars for the deeper rivers!
Sport Climbing is Neither
--The Verm
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Old 11-20-2009   #10
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Gardnerville, Nevada
Paddling Since: 00
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 447
I have'nt been around long enough to really test the waters so to speak, but the comments about dry brittle carlise blades ring true. First time I used em they looked like a beaver chewed on them. Have taken some pretty good hits with the replacement magnums and (cross my fingers) they show no signs of failure yet (cross both fingers).
Would like to see mania's old AV back and pictures of DGo's snowblower.

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carlisle, cataract

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