About a month ago the thread on just Paco Pads ran what, nine or more pages. Oars could go...
I own a pair of Cataract SGG's, in addition to my spare Carlisle. They are all 9.5'. I could probably waffle on the choice between 9.5' and 10' for months. The 9.5s work fine, but there are days when I would like just a little longer oar, but not enough that I've been motivated enough to buy an extender.
I use cheap Carlisle blades, primarily because I believe you are more likely to never break a cheap ugly blade than an expensive nice one. I've never lost any of my cheap ugly Carlisle canoe paddles that I've owned for decades.
Cats are a super high-tech shaft, there are vids on various websites on how they are made. I've also rowed but never owned many of the wooden oar brands. There is a nice feel to some of the better wooden oars, that even the high-tech can't equal, but I just can't do the price for the wooden ones. Ditto for the difference between rope wrapped and plastic sleeve. Yes, I use Oar Rights, no, I don't have to. If your manhood is associated with the difference you have bigger problems than just your shaft.
Carlisle are heavy aluminum tube covered with plastic. They have the flex and feel of a medieval jousting lance.
I'm confident there may be other opinions on the subject.