Best Fishing Paddle Boards

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Paddle Board Fishing can add a unique dimension to your fishing arsenal that you won’t be able to get with any other vessel. 

You can follow the fish to some of the shallowest depths. No one is safe! You can also fish in a wide variety of fishing environments from coastal oceans to calm lakes

In fact, this is what this list is all about. Below we choose the best fishing paddle boards for:

  • Stability
  • A wide range of budgets
  • A wide range of environments
  • Lots of add-on accessories
  • High maximum capacities
  • Made of strong materials
  • Good customer ratings

Sounds good? Let’s dive into the best paddle boards for fishing below

Best Fishing Paddle Boards List

Below are some of our top picks for best stand up fishing paddle boards. While most of these are specialist boards made specifically for fishing. We did manage to sprinkle some All Around/ Expedition boards in here to make this an appealing list to all budgets.

SUP NameAverage LengthAverage WidthAverage Max CapacityStarting Price
1. Sea Eagle FS12612’6″40″485 Lbs$$$$$$
2. Bote Rackham Aero12’4″38″400 Lbs$$$$$$$$
3. Atoll 1111′32″550 Lbs$$$$

See Review
4. Bote HD Aero11’6″34″315 Lbs$$$$$$
5. Nixy Monterey11’6″34″400 Lbs$$$$$

See Review
6. iRocker Blackfin XL11’6″34″485 Lbs$$$$$$
7. NRS Heron11′39″300 Lbs$$$$$$$$
8. Bote Rackham (Hardboard)14′34″400 Lbs$$$$$$$$$$$$
9. Hala Fame11’3″36″300 Lbs$$$$$$$$
Averages Excluding Hard SUP11’9″35.9″404.4 Lbs$1275
Total Averages12’1″35.7″403.9 Lbs$1400
**$ = $200** I do this because Companies may increase or decrease prices so I go for the ball park starting price

1. Sea Eagle FS126 (Top Rated Pick)

Fishing Paddle Board

Features

  • Dimensions: 12’6” X 40” X 6”
  • Weight: 44 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
  • Materials: 1100 Decitex Reinforced Drop Stitch

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

Probably the most appealing feature about the FS126 is that its 40” width makes you feel like you are standing on a firm and steady platform

This makes the paddle board stable enough to do just about any kind of casting on it including motions that may be a bit more sketch on a paddle board like fly fishing.

On top of this, the FS126 has 7 packages to choose from that start at $1180 to packages that feature a swivel chair, a Minn Kota Watersnake Venom 34 trolling motor, and even a solar panel to give you sun powered charging. Add with that 14 D rings and the possibilities really are endless with this SUP.

On Water Performance

The FS126 is about as stable as they come but to get any real on-water performance out of this SUP it’s recommended that you get this fishing paddle board with a motor. 

While this SUP is exceptionally stable it definitely will take more effort to manually paddle this board. The wide shape coupled with its 44-pound hull weight makes its a bit cumbersome to paddle out further distances. Hence the motor package recommendation.

Make no mistake about it if you are just paddling to your local honey hole or have a small calm lake that you want to put a few lines in. It’s fine to paddle but if you really want to go anywhere fast the trolling motor will be a godsend

Transportation and Storage

I won’t sugarcoat this, if you are looking for a SUP that you can throw into a backpack and hike a few miles to just cast a line in, this is probably not what you are looking for (take a look at Atoll for minimalism). 

But if you got your car with you and you just have a short distance from set-up to the water then it’s more than sufficient. Thankfully Sea Eagle does have a package that comes with an EZ cart where you can wheel the SUP to the water.

Its storage size folded takes up 44” X 14” X 25” according to the Sea Eagle website. So it can easily fit in your trunk/ SUV for transportation and your closet/ storage locker for over winter storage 

What Customers Think

A lot of customers really appreciated the fact this you can get a swivel seat in 4 of the 7 packages available. Some also commented how the board allows them to catch fish they could never dream of getting on a boat because of its ability to access shallower waters.

Tom Schlichter from Coastal Angler Magazine lamented that

I’ve had one for a year now, and I’m thrilled with its performance. I’ve fished it from Long Island, NY to the Florida Keys, in freshwater and salt water, amongst mangroves, bulrushes, phragmites and boulder fields. I really put it to the test and it’s come through unscathed.

Pros

  • Probably the most Stable SUP on this List
  • Packages with Trolling motors open up your world
  • 7 different packages for all budgets
  • Lots of attachment points
  • The swivel seat is a fantastic add on

Cons

  • Unless you have a trolling motor it will be harder to travel longer distances in
  • Not the most compact SUP
  • One of the heaviest on this list

2. BOTE Rackham Aero 12’4” (Pedal Pick)

Features

  • Dimensions: 12’4” X 38” X 7”
  • Weight: 45 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: AeroULTRA Technology

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

While you don’t NEED to install a pedal system onto your SUP it sure is handy to have the option to!

Stability and accessibility are the name of the game for SUP fishing and the Rackham Aero provides it by giving you the option to use it as a traditional SUP or install the APEX pedal drive to get to where you need to go quicker. 

At 38” width this SUP is supremely stable and can act as both a kayak with its removable aero seat and kayak paddle configuration or a traditional SUP.

The SUP also features a spring-loaded kick-up rudder system that allows you to sneak up on fish in shallower waters and its rudder control system gives you full control while in pedal mode. 

On-Water Performance

While the SUP is very wide and stable it does give you 12 ‘4” in length which makes it more than reasonable for tracking purposes. I won’t sugar coat it, this SUP won’t win you any races paddling but it more than does the job in the wake of a small chop. 

However, with that extra length and heavier hull weight, it may be a bit harder to maneuver the board in those tighter areas, so keep this in mind.

To get a bit of extra pep in your paddle (or this case pedal) you can use the APEX pedal drive to get to where you need to go quicker. The rudder system allows this board to be very maneuverable while in pedal mode. 

Transportation and Storage

This SUP has collapsible dimensions of 41” X 19” X 13” and its total loaded bag weight comes in at 79 pounds. So you may want to re-think using this as a backcountry board unless you have your car handy. 

But it does fit in its provided bag fairly well and can still fit in the garage, storage unit, or bigger closet. 

What Customers Think

Taller folks seem to really appreciate the options that this board has opened up for them in terms of stability. One customer even went as far as to say he’s tried a lot of different kinds of boards and has always had trouble with stability, but this one fit his needs perfectly.

Others said it worked great in rougher waters including coastal conditions with some chop. 

However, one customer stated that the board was too big to fit in the car and found it extraordinarily heavy. 

Pros

  • Has a good amount of Innovation to including pedal drive, magnepods and rudder system
  • This board is supremely stable for most sized people
  • If you are a tall or big guy this would be a great choice if budget was not an issue\
  • BOTE always makes their boards with high craftsmanship in their Aerobote technology
  • Chair is surprisingly comfortable

Cons

  • May be too big of a package for some people
  • Some customers thought it was too heavy
  • Not the fastest board on this list

3. Atoll 11 (Affordable Pick)

Derek with Atoll 11

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’ X 32” X 6”
  • Weight: 21 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 550 lbs Tested
  • Materials: Fusion Laminated PBC, Drop Stitch

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

I won’t lie, this is not a pick for you if you want all the bells and whistles included. In fact the Atoll paddle board sits at the minimum threshold for width you want in a fishing SUP so why is it #3? 

I wanted to add an All-Around board that is more representative to people who want a board at a reasonable price. Let’s face it not everyone has over $1000 + to throw at a paddle board. 

As an Atoll owner, I can attest that it actually feels wider than 32” when you are paddling it. You also don’t need all the bells and whistles when fishing. There beauty in simplicity, especially when you want an accessible board that is easy to take along with you in the backcountry. 

On-Water Performance

The Atoll 11 provides a good level of primary stability that does not make you feel wobbly when paddling and standing still. While I have not tried fishing on it I have experimented with standing, sitting, paddling vigorously, and keeping at a standstill while fiddling with my GoPro. 

Its responsiveness is also great because it is one of the lighter boards on the list. Meaning you can maneuver in the spot you like with less effort. Its light weight does make it get bullied by outside elements though so consider bringing an anchor before casting a line!

Transportation and Storage

This is probably one of the best SUPs to have when it comes to storage and transportation. Its lightweight SUP packaged with the comfortable backpack makes this a great travel board to take with you on just about any adventure

Atoll prides itself on being a compact backcountry board. This is ideal for fishing minimalists who just want to cast a rod or two and attach a cooler. 

Atoll Accessories

What Customers Think

As an Atoll customer myself there are a lot of things that I like about the board compared to dislikes. 

One of the things I appreciate most about this board is the fact it’s made by machine laminated fusion layering which helps the SUP save significant weight. It’s pretty rare to find a board as durable and lightweight as the Atoll which features that 11-foot length. 

One of the biggest commonalities I found with this SUP is that the customer service is extremely responsive and uses real people to respond to requests. Not chatbots which we have all become accustomed to (unfortunately). 

Pros

  • Simplistic design but fishing-friendly
  • The board feels more stable than its width says
  • Very maneuverable and easy to control
  • Featured 15 D Rings to attach coolers, seats, etc
  • One of the most portable SUPs around, great for backcountry

Cons

  • It can get bullied by the wind and external elements easier
  • No action mounts for rod holders
  • Rear deck webbing would be appreciated

4. Bote HD Aero 11’6” (Best Design)

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 315 Lbs
  • Materials: AeroBOTE Technology

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

I did not just pick the Bote HD Aero because it had nice fishy designs on it. It’s a great practical SUP for fishing as it has many accessories that are built onto the board to make casting easy

The Bote HD Aero features Scotty mounts that allow you to install a fishing rack, a sand spear to keep you in place while casting, and Kula cooler compatibility that allows you to use it as a seat, bait-well, dry storage, rod/ net holder. 

On Top of this BOTE has the ingenius paddle sheath invention which is a holder that you put your paddle into. This means you don’t have to bend down and fiddle around until your paddle is in the right spot. Because really, who wants to do that?

On-Water Performance

What are the main differences between the BOTE HD Aero and the Aero Rackham 12’4”? Simply put this board is more compact in size meaning that you can go to those shallower and tighter areas. At 30 pounds you can also maneuver this board better and have better tracking and glide as a result of the 4” less width.

However, you will not have that same platform stability that the Rackham Aero 12’4” has and you do not have the same maximum weight capacity. But comparable to most SUPs it’s still very stable with its 34” width.  

So if you are looking for a more “Traditional Fishing Paddleboard Experience” the HD Aero would be the best bet to get. 

Transportation and Storage

To further our Rackham Aero comparisons this is hands down the more compact package of the two. The loaded bag weight of the HD Aero is almost half that of the Rackham Aero! This means for storage and transportation this SUP gets better scores compared to its cousin. 

The travel bag dimensions of the HD Aero are 36″ X 17″ X 13″ which means it can fit most trunks and can even be taken on a bike or a hike!

What Customers Think

Lots of tall customers particularly appreciated the stability that the HD Aero provided them. With a few of them even saying that it’s the most stable board they have paddled! Lots of other customers loved the “Bug Slinger” design of the board. 

However, there has been a few complaints about quality control of this SUP in terms of scuffing and scratching by shipping. A few other customers mentioned that this board is slower than other paddleboarderss that use all-around SUPs. 

Pros

  • Nice and Compact
  • Comes with a good amount of possible accessories you can add
  • Well designed
  • Good board for bigger and taller folks
  • Collects good speed and tracking in the water

Cons

  • A few customer complaints about quality control
  • Some complaints about shipping damaging asthetics

5. Nixy Monterey (Rigidity Pick)

Nixy Monterey SUP

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 25 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: Fusion Laminated PVC with Woven Drop Stitch

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

You won’t find this board on many best fishing SUP lists but I think this board belongs here for a few reasons. Nixy incorporates some cutting-edge technology like fusion laminate and woven drop stitching and double inflation chambers into their boards while still being affordable

This board also has 10 Action mounts, which is the most of any SUP on this list. With the action mounts you can mount cup holders, rod holders, action cameras, and cell phone holders to the board. On Top of this, the Monterey also features  2 Scotty Mounts to which you can install a roof rack to this SUP. 

I’m a big fan of Nixy boards as they hit all the right marks when it comes to quality of board, accessories, customer service and innovation.

Editors Note

On-Water Performance

The Nixy Monterey will be one of the boards that is one of the quicker ones on the list. This is because the board weighs 25 pounds, has an 11’6” frame, and has a well-designed triplefin set-up which allows the board to track well. 

Nixy Monterey relaxed guy

At 34” wide it’s sufficient for stability but also does not drag in the water which gives you that sweet spot of speed and tracking that you normally have to compromise on. This board can also double down as a multi-day expedition board as well.

Transportation and Storage

One of the more transportation-friendly boards on the list the Monterey comes with a roller bag that gives you lots of pockets and compartments to store everything you need. 

As a Nixy G4 Newport owner, I feel the accessories are one of the best parts of the package because there is no wrestling with the bag trying to fit everything in. Everything goes in smoothly. Nixy even has paddle holders on the side that gives you even more room in the bag!

What Customers Think

Most customers give the board positive ratings. Many of the commonalities of these positive ratings included how stable the board was, how well it paddled and how easy it was to deal with Nixy’s customer service. 

The only negative comments were that one of the boards had a manufacturing defect while another customer stated that the 2 chambers made rolling the board a bit more difficult.

Pros

  • Lots of potential accessories that can be added
  • Board is very stable and tracks well
  • Has 2 inflation chambers for added safety and rigidity
  • Nixy has some of the best customer service in the SUP Industry
  • Can be used as an expedition board

Cons

  • Can get more bullied by wind due to lighter weight and longer size
  • It May take longer to set-up
  • It May take a bit of extra might to fold properly due to 2 chambers

6. iRocker Blackfin XL (Popular Pick)

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’6” X 34” X 6”
  • Weight: 29 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 485 Lbs
  • Materials: Triple Layer Composite PVC

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

I don’t even think we can talk about inflatable fishing paddle boards unless we talk about the iRocker Blackfin XL. The Blackfin is one of the most popular fishing SUPs there are. In Fact, it was rated the best SUP by Inflatable Paddle Board Owners Facebook group.

So why is it not the top-rated board like many other sites have? For me it comes down to the fact that it does everything very well but it’s not the best at anything in particular

It does not have the most action mounts, it is not the most stable board and it does not have the highest maximum capacity of any SUP. All of which are important angler paddleboard staples.

On-Water Performance

The Blackfin XL like the Nixy Monterey is great at tracking and can get to some pretty respectable speeds. The tracking is also solid thanks to its tri-fin setup. 

In terms of stability, it’s not the absolute best inflatable SUP for fishing but it gets in that sweet spot of being pretty stable while still allowing the board to have some on-water performance. 

Blackfin XL Dog

The Blackfin XL can also be used as a solid touring/ expedition board should you decide that the fishing rods won’t join you today. But who are we kidding!

Transportation and Storage

The Blackfin XL weighs a total of 39 pounds when fully packaged. So it’s not the lightest package but it’s also not the heaviest. With a bag of 3’6” long and 16” wide it can find a home in most apartments or houses.

What’s interesting about setting up this package is the 3 flip-lock fins which have their own locking propriety system. While this is the fastest fin system I’ve encountered I have also heard of problems of fins getting lost due to damage. Although I personally had no problems when I paddled the iRocker All-Around 11 board. 

What Customers Think

Being one of the most popular SUP brands today also means that you have a lot of good and bad things said about you. So take this with a grain of salt when you come across unbiased comments online

Lots of people were impressed with the Blackfin XL stating that they thought customer service was responsive and that the board was solidly constructed. Many also really appreciated the action mounts that iRocker provides as well. 

Pros

  • One of the most widely distributed SUPs
  • The Board is Stable and solid
  • Comes with Action and Scotty mounts
  • A good Amount of Deck Storage is available
  • Features 3-year warranty

Cons

  • Maybe a bit pricey during high season
  • Heavier compared to some other boards
  • Not the best in any particular fishing category

7. NRS Heron (Stability Pick)

Photo by NRS Fishing FB

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’ X 39” X 5”
  • Weight: 30 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 Lbs
  • Materials: Heavy Duty PVC with double sidewalls

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

The NRS Heron is probably one of the most stable single paddleboards you can board. This is thanks to its double sidewalls that act as the board’s built-in outriggers. On Top of this, the board can inflate to 20 PSI which makes it super rigid. Most SUP boards inflate to about 15 PSI. For those who want added stability doing fly fishing, this is a pick that will keep you sure-footed. 

Some of the features that make the NRS Heron a solid pick is the fact that it has accessory mounts on the sidewalls for rod holders and a YackAttack accessory pad that can hold drink holders, action cameras, and phone holders.

On-Water Performance

Because the Heron is built tough it can take on many different fishing environments such as coastal conditions, rivers, or those calmer lakes for bass and trout fishing. 

The three-chamber construction makes this one of the safest paddleboards out there which means you can trust that you will be high and dry even in the highly unlikely event of a puncture

Because of its wider width, it does create more drag when tracking. Customers also note that the board can be bouncy when paddling.

Transportation and Storage

While the 3 safety chambers help you keep safe they do add a bit of extra time in your set-up process. These 3 chambers may also take up a bit more room which makes it a bit of a bulkier board when packaged.

What Customers Think

There are not a ton of reviews to be found about this paddle board but the ones I did find seemed to be beaming with positivity in terms of compliments it gets and its stability. 

Pros

  • Pontoon Sidewalls make this board super stable
  • Has 3 main mounting points made by YackAttack
  • NRS makes quality inflatable products
  • Warranty is 3 years for both retail and commercial
  • Good for many different fishing environments

Cons

  • The pontoons make the board drag more which slows the board down
  • Not as many mounting points as other boards
  • Only 2 free D rings
  • Pontoons on each side make the board “bouncy”

8. Bote Rackham 14’ (Best Hardboard)

Bote Rackham 14

Features

  • Dimensions: 14’ X 34” X 8”
  • Weight: 52 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 400 Lbs
  • Materials: Gatorshell Technology

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

What? Inflatable SUP Authority recommends a hard board?! What’s happening!?

Yes, I choose a hardboard because I also admit that not everything is super dandy with inflatable SUPs. In terms of On-water performance, inflatable SUPs are getting closer but they still cannot outcompete solid fiberglass boards like the Rackham 14

The Rackham 14 is a great pic for bigger and taller anglers who want to go a bit further offshore. The pointed nose allows you to smash through chop to get to those deeper areas that you desire. 

On-Water Performance

If on-water performance is super important to you and things like speed and tracking are non-negotiable then the Rackham 14 would be your angler answer to this. The razor-thin nose allows you to cut through coastal chop while the 34” provides a stable base for which you can stand on.

In terms of wind and outside elements, this would be the board that would be least affected by this. 

Transportation and Storage

This is where things get a bit tricky with a hardboard. Roof rack transportation is a must as is finding a spot to put this 14-footboard

I would say inside storage is a must for this board so make sure that you at least have a garage handy to store this board in the off-season.

What Customers Think

One of the most common things that customers said about this board is that it cuts through the water with ease. Lots of people also really appreciated the stability of the board including bigger and taller folks.

There have, however, been a few complaints of the deck pad pieces coming off if the board has too much water exposure. A couple of customers noted that it was damaged because of shipping. 

Pros

  • Tracking and Speed surpasses anything on this list
  • Cuts through chop with ease
  • Very stable in the water
  • Great looking board

Cons

  • You need a roof rack for transporting this board
  • You need storage room for this board
  • Some complaints about pieces of deckpad falling off

9. Hala Fame (River Fishing Pick)

Features

  • Dimensions: 11’3” X 36” X 6”
  • Weight: 26.5 Lbs
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 Lbs
  • Materials: Thick Fusion Construction, Welded Seams and PVC Stringer

Why is it a Good Fishing SUP?

Hala is definitely one of the gold standards when it comes to making high-quality SUPs that can take a beating so I wanted to include their fishing SUP in the list. 

The Hala Fame features 16 D ring attachment points which make the attachment possibilities almost endless. Its square tail coupled with its 36” width makes this SUP feel like a platform while fishing. 

Hala is best known for their river SUPs being durable as the dickens. So if you have some moving water from which you are trying to catch trout or salmon, this is a great pick to do that.

On-Water Performance

This is definitely not a gliding or tracking god by any means. It only features one retractable fin.

But it’s also not built to be as such. Hala makes their boards all about being maneuverable in white water conditions. While I would not classify this as the go-to white waterboard it can feel comfortable fishing in that environment. 

Its 36” width also makes it very stable to stand on. It almost feels like standing on one of those yoga platform mats that you see in rec center pools

Transportation and Storage

The board is relatively lightweight at 26.5 pounds which means it can be a sufficient backcountry board for those rivers and streams. 

The backpack dimensions are 12″ x 18″ x 40″ which makes it compact enough to fit in the trunk, garage, or even in a closet inside of your house.

What Customers Think

There are not a lot of reviews out there for this board as it is a bit more niche compared to other fishing SUPs. But from the few, I did find it seems that people really appreciated it for its camping capabilities and multi-day excursions.

Pros

  • Very stable to paddle and stand on, feels like a platform
  • Made to be tough as nails
  • The company features a 5-year warranty on products
  • Great for bigger or taller folks
  • Has Scotty Mounts for Racks

Cons

  • The Fame is a more expensive board
  • Not a lot of reviews out there on this board
  • Not the fastest board by any means

Inflatable vs Hardshell SUPs

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that “inflatable sups are more portable” because you have probably read that half a million times on the internet

But I wanted to deep dive a bit further into this so that you can understand when to go inflatable and when to go solid for fishing. We’ll briefly go over when to use an inflatable board vs when to use a hardboard below. 

When to Use an Inflatable SUP

  • When you are in calm water conditions
  • You want something portable that you can take with you
  • Environments like Lakes, slow rivers, and calm bays are ideal environments
  • You want something less expensive
  • You don’t want to worry about scratches and scuffs

When to Use a Hardshell SUP 

  • You Are Paddling in coastal conditions and tidal zones
  • You want good tracking and paddling speed
  • You are paddling in more challenging environments and need responsiveness
  • You have room to store an 11 – 14 foot SUP
  • Budget is not an issue
  • You want a quick set-up time

Even as an inflatable SUP blog I can recognize that hardboards still have a performance advantage over inflatables

This is because they sit in the water instead of on top of the water. As a result, things like tracking, stability, and speed make the board more responsive. This, on top of the V Shape Hulls being better for cutting through the water. 

However, we are not just discounting inflatable SUP’s just yet! Their popularity has exploded in the past 10 years and the technology has gotten better and better over the past 5 years. 

Inflatable SUPs are great for customizations like action mounts and Scotty mounts. There are a lot of really high-quality ones out there, including the ones in this list like Nixy Monterey, iRocker Blackfin, Bote’s SUP’s and the Hala Fame to name a few. 

Fishing/ Expedition oriented inflatable SUPs also have great stability. The wider the SUP the more stability you will have for those casts.

The other good news is that inflatable SUPs are less expensive than hardboards. A good quality fishing-capable inflatable SUP can start around the $700 range while a hardboard’s starter price would be at about the $1500 range. 

For a complete list check out our article Inflatable Paddle Board Vs Solid Board The Complete Comparison.

Inflatable SUP Fishing Buying Guide: things to Look for

Still onboard with an inflatable SUP? Good, now we will be going through factors to look at when looking for an inflatable paddleboard.

We go through some of the top SUP Fishing tricks reccomended by experienced anglers here.

Fishing Paddle Board Shape/ Size and How it Influences Stability

Monterey board profie

The shape of the paddleboard will influence how stable the board is and how it handles the water. For fishing you typically want a wider width and a bit of a longer length compared to other All Around boards. 

The sweet spot for this is usually around the 11’6” X 34” X 6” dimensions. Don’t use these measurements as exact criteria but more as a general guideline. 

For fishing, stability is the most important thing so look for a SUP that has a bit of wider width. Remember the longer and wider an inflatable SUP is the more it acts like a platform from which you can stand and fish off.

A Wide Spacious Deck pad

We already talked about width but let’s talk about the deck pad and how it can be used to your advantage. A wide spacious deck allows you to bring more fishing accessories with you and gives you more room to land your fish and operate. 

Some things to look for on this Deck pad include:

  • Bungee Deck Rigging for smaller gear
  • Free D rings that you can use
  • Action mounts and Scotty mounts that allow you to attach a wide variety of accessories. 

The deck pad should also be grippy and thicker in nature, especially when you are out there all day on your feet. Most Inflatable SUPs come with EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) pads that come in different shapes, colors, sizes and thicknesses.

Bungee Tie Down Storage Points

Its pretty hard to say you have a good fishing sup if you don’t have bungee tie-down points! How many you want depends on your preferences! But typically I like to see bungee deck lacing on the front and back of the boards. 

Things you can store in them are:

A lot of these will also depend on if you are bringing a cooler with you. If you are bringing said cooler then you may not need the rear bungee deck storage compartments. Thankfully most bungee deck rigging on stand-up fishing paddle boards can be removable

A Weight Capacity that Suits Your Needs

The weight capacity you need for your fishing paddle board will depend on your weight added to the gear you want to bring with you. The boards on this list should all have sufficient weight capacities to hold more gear than average SUPs. 

Inflatable SUPs on this list that have higher weight capacities: Sea Eagle FS126, Bote Rackham Aero, iRocker Blackfin XL, and the Nixy Monterey.

There are usually 2 types of fishermen, the ones who like to bring all the gear gadgets and what have yous and the fishing minimalists that have a rod, some tackle and maybe a cooler. Be honest with yourself as to which type you are and see what is best suited for you and your budget. 

Add-Ons Are not Essential But They Help

Add-Ons refer to mounting points on the board like Action Mounts and Scotty Mounts. Oftentimes SUP manufacturers either partner with a fishing mount company or they make their own. 

fishing rod holder

If you are a fishing minimalist who just wants to throw a line in once and a while you can even just make your own rod holder contraption and add it to your cooler. 

But if you are wanting to bring a lot of fishing gear with you then Add-Ons become more necessary as they give you more room for your stuff on deck. 

Instead of having your fishing rod strapped in by the rear deck bungees, you can add a rod holder mount to one of the action mounts of the board. 

Almost all of the above picks outside of the more simplistic Atoll 11 give you some sort of Action Mounts, Scottie Mounts or their own unique system

Were all about giving you ideas so we’ll list a few things you can do with Scotty Mounts and Action Mounts/

You can Mount:

These add-ons are also a godsend when it comes to keeping everything in place and onboard. 

Good Company Warranty and Customer Service

This is often an afterthought but just as important as any of the above criteria. After all, whats the point in getting the board if it fails on you and you can’t track customer service!

The median acceptable warranty policy in my mind is a 2-year warranty and a 30-day return period. Before purchasing, be sure you read through the warranty terms as sometimes you may have to incur restocking fees depending on the company you deal with. 

How do you find out if a SUP company has good customer service?

  1. Research the company, and look at places like Amazon, Facebook, and Trust Pilot for honest reviews. Often times the SUP brand will have reviews on their website. I would put a bit of grain of salt into these as oftentimes these websites can choose which comments are posted. 
  2. Contact the company. Speak to them and get them to answer questions you have about the SUP. Be sure to include questions about shipping as well. 

Accessories to Include While Fishing

I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail on this one as we have an article on Paddle Board Fishing Setup Here. 

fishing set-up
From Salt Life Youtube Video

But some of the things that are essential for your fishing trip:

PFD’s, Ankle Leashes, Whistles and Fishing Licenses are must-haves. In Fact, most of these are required by law to have. PFDs depend on your environment and preference. If you are a so-so swimmer I’d recommend using a life vest as those are more reliable in my opinion.

Coolers are also pretty handy to have on board as you can use them as a live well to keep your catch fresh. Or simply as a cooler to keep those drinks ice cold on that hot summer day. Coolers can also double down as a seat. All you really need is to make your own strapping system to tie them down to your board. 

Another thing to think about is your paddle. Now, most of the SUP models that I have recommended have pretty good paddles that come with them. 

One paddle that I would avoid like the plague is an aluminum paddle. These are heavy, clunky, and do not allow you to extract as much performance as you need to with your SUP. 

If you really want to UP your fishing game I would upgrade to a carbon paddle. On an average 1-hour SUP trip you will be doing an average of 2000 strokes! It adds up over time! Especially if you are paddling for a longer time period.

SUP Fishing Tips to Get You Started

Below we will be going into some SUP Fishing Tips to help you start off.

Get Used to Paddling a SUP First

me paddling Atoll

Once you find a board that you think is best suited to you. Go out and practice on it WITHOUT the fishing gear. Take a few tours of the like, paddle around the bay.

In my personal experience, it took me about 10 tries before I fully got comfortable paddling and maneuvering on a SUP in calm conditions.

It could take you longer or shorter. Starting out I would have called myself “balance challenged”. But that means if you have a better balance than me you will get used to a SUP quicker!

-Editors Notes

Get a Fishing License

This is the first thing you should get before you even attempt to fish. Take a quick Google of your local laws and see what you need and how much it will cost to get what kind of fishing license.

As an example: Here in BC, You have several license rates depending on if you are a resident or non-resident.

You can get:

  • Annual License
  • One Day License
  • 8 Day License

Observe the Outside Elements and Have a Plan

For your first couple of fishing outings, you will want to fish on clear days with not a lot of wind or chop. If you live by the ocean take out your tide table and find a time to go when the tide is at its highest. 

The first few times I would advise fishing with a friend. If anything were to happen your chances of survival are much greater. As you get more experienced you can fish by yourself but you must have all of your proper equipment with you.

You should also tell a friend or loved ones where you are and when you plan on coming back.

Choose a Rod for a Variety of Fish Species

According to the Product Manager of Sea Eagle: Dan Dejkunchorn

To cover a variety of species and techniques, choose a medium-heavy, six-foot, parabolic rod. Less backbone means I can bring the fish closer to the board without high sticking and breaking the rod. I use a conventional reel spooled with 30-pound braid and four feet of 30-pound monofilament leader. When I’m targeting bluefish, I’ll switch to 100-pound wire leader.

Of course Dan is talking about fishing on the North East coast here but rods between the 5’-7’ range can usually be used for a wide variety of fish if you are casting. 

Consider the Wind Before Casting

Before you do your first cast, pause your paddling and just stand there. Which way is the wind pulling you? 

Preferably you want to be casting in the wind, not against it. This lessens the chance of the hook coming back to hook you. I have friends that have some horror stories about that!

If properly calculated then you can position yourself so that when you cast the wind will carry your lure right to the spot you want to fish from. 

The wind is also known to bully inflatable paddle boards so properly position your SUP away from sunken logs or rocks below

Be Prepared for “Sleigh Rides”

For those new to fishing sleigh riding means you are on a SUP, kayak or boat and the fish is pulling your vessel.

To brace yourself you can get off and wade, use a sand spear or use your paddle one-handed to fight against it. If you choose to be on the SUP board then you can lower your center of gravity to brace yourself. 

The above video shows how bigger fish can pull your SUP!

Inflatable SUP Fishing FAQs

Below are some common questions I hear and see around the internet for inflatable paddle board fishing.

Where do I Store My Fish After I catch them?

Usually, a cooler is the best bet for storing both live and otherwise. Coolers like Yeti and Engel are great coolers to have with you while on your SUP. You can also use Fish Stringers, nets, insulated bags, and dry bags to keep fish onboard as well. 

What’s Better a Kayak or a SUP for Fishing

I can’t tell you outright what’s best as that depends on you but what I can say is that I have come across a lot of anglers who like the fact that they can stand more while casting

SUP fishing also requires a different skill set than kayak fishing as it requires more balance and precision. It’s also wise to get some practice paddling on your SUP first before casting. 

How Do You Rig a Paddle Board for Fishing?

Things like D Rings, Action Mounts, and Scotty Mounts are your friends when it comes to this. You can strap a cooler using a strap and some knots, you can mount accessories like fishing rods and drink holders using action mounts and smaller items can go into front and rear bungee deck storage. 

Take a look at our Paddle Board Fishing Setup guide to really dig into this. 

How Do You Attach a Cooler to an Inflatable Paddle Board?

There are a few ways to attach a cooler to an inflatable paddle board. The easiest way I have found is done by Trip Smith.

  1. Get some 3/4“ velcro strapping
  2. Run velcro through each side of the cooler (fuzzy side facing cooler)
  3. Run it through the closest D ring on deck
  4. The hook side should be able to velcro through the fuzzy side
  5. You are done! You have a hooked cooler!

What Do you Do With Your Phone While Paddle Boarding?

I like to put my phone in a waterproof cell phone pouch and have it around my neck so that it’s accessible. You can find these almost anywhere.

 But you can also put it in a dry bag or keep it in a zippered pocket if your phone is indeed waterproof like they make them today. 

So What’s The Best Fishing Paddle Board and How Do I Get Started?

The best-rated fishing paddle board in our opinion is the Sea Eagle FS126. Not only does it offer 7 different packages for a diverse range of budgets but it also allows you to turn this SUP into an inflatable skiff!

Its wide and stable platform allows you to stand and do just about any kind of casting while its inflatable platform allows you to sneak up onto fish with ease!

To get started sup fishing you need to:

  1. Get all the potential equipment you need (PFD, SUP, rod, cooler, whistle)
  2. Get a Fishing License
  3. Get used to your SUP first before fishing
  4. Learn the environment and the conditions

What do you think? What are some of your recommendations? Tell me on our Facebook Page

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports. My new-found passion is learning about and testing SUP's. I love teaching people what to look for.