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Duramax - I have a set for my cat, and they seem pretty tough. From the folks who helped set me up, nearly everyone said they were more durable than the Carlisle's. I can't add anything about the Cataract blades.
 

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Sawyer Duramax. I really like the screw over the button and even though I have chipped and bent them a lot this season, they have yet to completely fail and are still usable. I don't think any other oar blade out there would take the same abuse I give the duramax blades. That being said there is a need for something stronger/lighter in my opinion...
 

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i can't tell you from personal experience on the sawyers, but i can tell you that i broke a magnum one of the first few times i took it out on the poudre at low water a few years back. one of the reasons i bought those blades is because they supposedly are tough and float. they are neither tough nor do they float. i have yet to break a carlisle, bent one that is now my spare but not yet broken.
 

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there is - Dynalite
+1 on the dynalites. I've scrapped, wedged, pivoted, and generally abused my dynalites and they just keep coming back for more. I remember reading (I think on the buzz) that the dynalites are the #1 choice for guides on the grand specifically because of their longevity. Of course - there aint a heck of a lot of rocks and stuff to mix it up with your blades on the big ditch.
 

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I started a thread about dynelites a while ago and there were definitely several folks that didn't like em' but the majority felt as I do; they're bomber. Prior to switching to them I was going through a carlisle a year, occasionally more. I've had my d-lites for 5 or 6 years, all shallow Montana rivers and not one single problem. I'd have gone through a half dozen Carlisle blades in that time, so I'd say they aren't even expensive from my perspective...probably saved my some cash. Each to his own but if I brake one of the two I have, I'll definitely be buying another, just like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Given that the Dynelites are about twice the price, I'll probably have to see for myself if I'm going through too many of the less expensive ones before I decide to pay the extra.
So, I'm leaning toward the Sawyer Duramx over the Cataract Magnum (just seems like more folks speak well of them), but may wait to see if any other folks have something to say on that before deciding.
Thanks for the input so far.
 

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I like the sawyer v-pro or laminated fir blades over ever the dynamites because the float. This keeps the blade from diving. Sawyer has made the dynalites way stronger than the original ones. In Turn they are also heavier. If you do go dynalites they make a heavy duty version that still fits in the standard 1 5/8" shaft. I live down the road so can help with good deals. [email protected]
 

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As a Sawyer dealer we’re a bit prejudiced, but I feel all three of the Sawyer blade options are stronger than the Cataract products – which most rafters buy for their low weights.
A little history on Carlisle blades and Carlisle products in general: Many years back, around the late 90’s or 2000, a large mega-corp bought out Carlisle from the original owners, who had always made extremely durable oars and paddles. Once that happened, one of the earliest quality issues was with the oar blades. Mega-corp messed with the plastic blend, in a misguided effort to either save a few pennies or shave an ounce of weight. And after they did this, the HD Outfitter blades started snapping with the slightest insult. A while later, they seemed to fix the problem, but since 2003 it has been hit & miss with blade strength. Also, much of the Carlisle product line comes from China now, and even the standard grade raft paddles are not what they used to be.
Fishermen who row dories and have to sit in eddies for long periods definitely appreciate the low weight of the Cataract blades, as do many river runners, but the Duramax is unbeatable for lifespan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just for the two models mentioned by the OP (oh, that's me),
NRS site shows Cataract Magnum blade at 2.8 lbs.
Sawyer site shows their Duramax avg. of 3 lbs.
If reasonably accurate, that's roughly a 3 oz. difference -- doesn't seem like much (noticeable?).
 

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It could be noticeable with a direct comparison but it's doubtfull you'd care in the long haul. 3oz~just less than 1/4 lb, might be noticeable but you'd forget in a half hour...You'll get used to what ever you buy.

You can also counteract blade weight with handle weight, some will argue its harder but I hate rowing boats without counterbalanced oars... I carefully balance mine with the minimum weight (about a pound per handle) and it's definitely noticeable when I get in a boat without them. If you do this blade weight really doesn't matter.
 

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Pony up

How many hundreds of thousands of times are you going to dip your blades in the water? Go Dynelite they row so much sweeter than anything else. Strong, razor thin, light and they float - hmm that about covers it! Rowed all the others and would never go back to anything else.
 

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I suspect the Cataract blades may be quite a bit less than 45 ounces (no offense to NRS, but their weights are not always very accurate). We don't sell Magnums so I don't have one here to weigh, but we have handled plenty of them. The Duramax is 47 ounces on our scale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How many hundreds of thousands of times are you going to dip your blades in the water? Go Dynelite they row so much sweeter than anything else. Strong, razor thin, light and they float - hmm that about covers it! Rowed all the others and would never go back to anything else.
Yeah, that $ounds great (pony up), but I'm buying a ski pass this month...
But, I did sell a Minimax, an AIRE IK and a Hyside Paddlecat this year, so it's not like I'm only SPENDING money on gear.
But, then I did just buy a cataraft... (but it was on sale)...
But, I did just get paid for a music gig...
But, then we did have to buy a new stove...
 

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How many hundreds of thousands of times are you going to dip your blades in the water? Go Dynelite they row so much sweeter than anything else. Strong, razor thin, light and they float - hmm that about covers it! Rowed all the others and would never go back to anything else.
Got that right. I just got off the MF of the Salmon. It was bony and I was thankful for the Dynelites. Tough and light.
 

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magnums are good

I've never tried the Sawyer products, but I rowed for several years with standard Carlisle shafts and blades until I upgraded to used Cataracts with Magnum blades. I've had the Cat/Magnums now for 10 years and have broken only 1 blade in that time over a lot of river miles, both bony and big. After finally snapping one (it was the Middle Fork that got it), I promptly went and bought two new ones for my primary sticks.

I'm sure the Sawyers are great too, but I just thought somebody here ought to stick up for the Magnums. Maybe you guys that keep breaking them should keep a closer eye on where you're dipping them. ;)
 
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