When I first started kayak fishing I did not wear gloves and often got blisters or at least tender spots on my hands. 5-10 years ago, I bought a set of Yakgrips (foam sleeves that slide on the paddle shaft). I really like them for two reasons: 1) they provide a cushioned place on the paddle shaft to grip -- they eliminated any blisters or tenderness; and b) they will float most paddles in the event your paddle goes overboard.
Two years ago I was taking an antibiotic ffor a few weeks that made my skin extra sensitive to sunlight. During that period, I had several days of fishing in Florida. After the first day, my hands were badly burned and swollen. I went to a kayak shop and bought a set of fly fishing gloves (finger tips exposed). That solved the sun problem and also reduced the number of times I got pricked by a dorsal fin spine. I now wear them on every trip and don't even realize they are there anymore. I can easily wind in and release fish and can even tie on lures and leaders while wearing the gloves. I have used two varieties -- Cabelas and Buff -- and like them both. I can get a year or more out of a pair of gloves. If you have handled fish during your trip, I recommend washing them with soap and water when you get home.
Regarding paddles there are many choices. I won't recommend any brand or model, but do suggest you consider the following factors:
- weight (inversely related to cost)
- shaft material
- blade material
- shape of blade
- length of shaft
- ability to offset the two blades
Native Watercraft Manta Ray 11 and Slayer Propel 10
Member - Pro Staff team for Native Watercraft
Author - "Fishing in the Comfort Zone" - light tackle fishing techniques for kayaks and small boats