Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently have a set of 10' Sawyer Squaretop Dyno X oars that I use on a 14' Sotar raft. I love the oars and have nothing, but positive experiences with them. However, I just got a new 16' raft to add to the fleet and am torn between picking up a set of the original Squaretops or Sawyer Bandits. I had a repair in September 2020 to a full tear in my rotator cuff and rowed the Squaretops for 8 days on the San Juan and a day on the Alberton Gorge this spring and it felt great! We (family of 5, wife rows own boat) spend about half of our time rafting split between multiday trips and day runs on class 3/4 water in Montana and Idaho and fishing trips on our local Montana rivers. Hoping someone has had some experience rowing both and can give me some feedback. I like the idea of being able to change out the blades on the Bandits between shoal cut and a traditional blade depending on river and use, as well as, the overall lightweight and ability to remove the blade for transport. However, I am worried about durability for whitewater use, as well as low water fishing trips. Leaning toward another set of squaretops, but defiantly intrigued by the Sawyer Bandits, just haven't been able to find any body that has real experience with Bandit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I am in the process of considering those two oars as well.

Curious for more input, I think the only thing to really do is to try them both!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Definitely! In part I was curious as to the flex of the Bandit. I really have enjoyed the flex, rebound, and swing weight of the Squaretop, but have spent most my rafting days prior to this rowing composite oars...not sure if I want to go back to composite after having rowed the Squaretop! However, maybe the Bandit has this dialed, all in a lightweight package!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The Smoker Bandit is a great option. The swing weight is almost nonextant and they seem durable. I've rowed them on the Grand, MFS, MS and many other rivers with no issues. The flex is as close to wood as you will find in any oar and as you said you have the option of different blades. You would also have the option of different handles like Gilman Grips or traditional grips. Afilateated with Sawyer and Gilman Grips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the offer! I'm in Missoula, but if I make it up that way I may take you up. Glad to hear they have a nice flex and the durability seems good so far. Great to hear some first hand experience in whitewater.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the reply. I've been by the Trailhead, but they don't have any 10' oars in stock. Most of the fly shops have the shoal cut blade and the shorter lengths, but I'd prefer to start with a traditional blade and then add in the shoal cut blades later when I have more cash. From a producer standpoint what are your thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages between the squaretop and bandit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,336 Posts
Bandits have lower swing weight with lighter blades. Squaretops have good balance with light-ish blades and a bit of weight inboard with the squaretop.
Bandits flex better than any other composite oars I've tried...but they don't flex like wood!!

Bandits are more flexible for changing blades later...nothing is sexier than wood oars.
 
Joined
·
16 Posts
OP, these are two different products with characteristics that come down to individual preference, budget, and application. We've built wood oars since the late 60's, and with advances in technique and materials, build them to suit Commercial and Recreational users.

SquareTops, for example, are built with a tapered shaft for a light swing weight and flex in multiple flavors (VLAM, Non-Square, Dynelite, Dyno-X) and blade profiles (Wide, Narrow, Shoal Cut). Some work better for anglers, others for whitewater, and like myself, both. I've rowed a set of Dyno-X Shoal Cuts on the MF Salmon, Selway, Lodore, etc. My favorite shaft flex and blade.

Smoker Bandits are half the weight, don't require a counter balance, have interchangeable blades (smaller as well) and have a particular flex similar to wood but softer than an MX, for example.

Both are on the high-end in price, performance, and demand. Check out www.paddlesandoars.com for more details, or our YouTube Channel for reviews, etc.

Derek
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Go for the Gold Standard...Solid Ash Dynelite! I had to do some arm twisting to get them to make me 10'6" for my 16' boat, but couldn't be happier with them. Light, strong, nice flex, and oooooh so pretty!
They ain't cheap, though!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top