paddle board for fishing
Our favorite thing about SUP'ing is that we can reach places that are unreachable by larger boats or anything else with a motor, thanks to our paddle board for fishing allowing us to do this. Moreover, we love that they're reticent and cause very little disturbance in the water so that they don't scare off any of the local wildlife in the area. As a result of these traits, it is no wonder SUP fishing continues to grow in popularity.
For catching fish, paddleboards allow you to settle into those hard-to-reach sweet spots non-disruptively. This article will outline our favorite Fishing SUPs of 2024 for you to consider when choosing one for yourself. First, let's examine some characteristics that make a genuinely excellent fishing SUP stand out among all the others on the market today.
How Do You Choose a Fantastic Fishing Stand-Up
Undoubtedly, what truly makes a great fishing SUP is how well it fits your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. This article provides a short buyer's guide that will guide you in making an informed decision about a fishing SUP based on a few key characteristics we considered. This will help you make a more informed purchase decision than ever before.
When choosing a SUP in any discipline, stability is the most crucial characteristic when shopping for one. Remember that when you go SUP fishing, you do much more than stand on your board and paddle. With the added stability, it will be easier to move rods, baits, and casts and hopefully reel in a few big ones without worrying about staying balanced as you move between rods, bait, appeal, and form.
A board's stability is primarily determined by its size, especially the width of the board. Wider boards indeed tend to be more stable, but on the other hand, you do lose some maneuverability (but sharp, sudden turns are likely not on your plan for a day of SUP fishing anyway).
The setup of the fins also plays a significant role in determining stability, the most stable configuration being 2+1. In addition, a well-constructed SUP will usually have some added rigidity, which will benefit both the overall performance and durability of your SUP. Once we get to the list of the best fishing SUPs for 2024, we will discuss the construction of each SUP in more detail.
It's not uncommon for weight capacity to go hand in hand with stability, but we'll cover some subtle nuances in this article. A weight capacity listed on most SUP boards will tell you what weight the board will be able to handle while staying afloat. As you get closer to this weight limit, you'll notice a drastic decrease in stability and overall performance as the weight of the device increases.
As we have already mentioned, it is more valuable to determine what size board you need according to your body weight and estimate your gear's combined weight.
For good reference, the board's volume (usually listed in the specs) should equal or be more than 1.5 times the weight of you and your gear. To achieve even more stability, you should increase the volume and vice versa.
Your SUP should be capable of hauling and utilizing any equipment you already have regarding equipment storage. SUPs on this list come with kayak seat compatibility, fishing rac compatibility, action mounts, d-rings, Scotty mounts, and rod holders to help you maximize their use. To get the combination of equipment you need for your SUP, you will need to consider what type and how much gear you want, along with any accessories you intend to use.
Compatibility of fishing mounts and equipment
In most cases, SUP fishing entails a fair amount of standing up. You will therefore want to look for a deck pad that is both comfortable and has the right balance of grip to get the best results. If you want a more comfortable deck pad, consider grooved deck pads. Diamond patterns and deeply stamped deck pads provide more traction, whereas if you want a more comfortable deck pad, consider grooved deck pads. Also, if you value aesthetics, you should believe in a darker color because muck/fish blood will not stain as quickly as a lighter color.
The majority of SUPs come with a paddle that is included in the kit. The quality varies widely; however, it can positively affect your ride if it needs to improve. In particular, fishing SUPs tend to be larger and heavier, so you'll want something more sturdy to pull them.
It is usually the case that entry-level SUPs and those in the lower price range will come with a plastic or aluminum paddle. Although plastic SUP boards are typically the lighter option, they will flex more as you pull them across the water, resulting in less leverage and forcing you to exert more effort in getting your board going. This is not an issue for shorter distances, but it can become more noticeable as distance increases. Even though aluminum is much sturdier, it is also heavier and will cause you to tire out much more quickly if you paddle for long periods.
There is a strong likelihood that a mid-range SUP will have a fiberglass paddle, which is lighter and stiffer than aluminum. Compared to other paddles, it will make you tire out slower when paddling long distances. However, it tends to irritate our hands when swimming long distances, but that's because we are picky.
Regarding performance, paddles made out of carbon fiber or a blend of carbon fiber and other materials will perform the best. Despite being lightweight and rigid, these paddles are tough enough not to make your shoulders hurt (at least not as soon) or that they make it hard to grip the water.
Also, if you find a board that meets your needs but the paddle differs from what you wanted, you can upgrade it.
Undoubtedly, every one of the boards on this list comes from reputable companies that make durable products built to withstand nearly anything you could throw at it. They also offer warranty periods and return window protections that will provide you with peace of mind in the unlikely event that you encounter any issues with your SUP.
You can feel confident in choosing the best fishing SUP for your lifestyle, skills, and preferences if you keep all these factors in mind. The best fishing SUPs of 2024 consist of various boards that match any SUP enthusiast's needs, so keep an eye out for your ideal board as we continue to compile our list of the best fishing SUPs of the year.
The Best Fishing SUPs
BOTE Rackham Aero
This BOTE Rackham Aero has a twin-chambered open deck at 12'4 long and 38" wide. While it's not the easiest SUP to paddle casually, it's a fishing-oriented SUP that doesn't make sacrifices regarding overall paddling performance. Still, swimming casually is more challenging than with BOTE's more all-around option, the HD Aero. With its 400 lb weight capacity and relatively lighter 45 lb weight, Rackham Aero can easily carry your gear or another adult, as it has a weight capacity of 400 lbs.
Regarding features, the Rackham Aero is one of BOTE's best options, aside from the Rover Aero.It has three grab handles, fourteen D-rings, six action mounts, and four Scotty mounts for tons of storage and versatility on this SUP. Additionally, it works with kayak seat conversion kits, a sand spear, a travel strap, a rac system, a paddle sheath, more excellent tie-downs, and a wheel rac.
Rackham's recessed standing area also features an EVA deck pad to keep your feet stable, comfortable, and dry while you stand on it. As with the Rover Aero, there are a few things you can't do on this SUP.
BOTE has done an excellent job of including everything you need to start SUP fishing immediately so you can begin casting directly. Three fiberglass adjustable paddles come with Rackham Aero, a 10" removable center fin, rac receiver slides, a paddle sheath, a spear sheath, a repair kit, a dual action hand pump, and an easy-to-transport roller travel bag for transporting a 70 lb loaded board. This is a highly comprehensive kit for a great price, so it is a great value.
The BOTE Rackham Aero is an excellent choice if you want a fishing-focused SUP with a wide range of included accessories, making it the perfect choice.
bote rover aero
The iSUP/Micro-Skiff hybrid gives you the convenience of a motorized boat with the fun of SUP fishing. In terms of size, this is/skiff measures 12'6" long and 40.5" wide. BOTE combined recessed deck pads with dual chamber construction for extra stability and rigidity. This SUP weighs 63 pounds, and the whole kit weighs 85 pounds, but it remains remarkably lightweight compared to traditional micro skiffs. Furthermore, you should have no problem loading on gear or two adults with the ROVER, as the vehicle can carry 500 pounds.
There is no doubt that BOTE did not cut corners when it came to adding features to this fishing SUP/micro-skiff. Rover Aero features 16 action mounts, 4 Scotty mounts, 12 d-rings, paddle holders, Moto-RAC receivers, and magnetic cup holders. As you can see, the Rover Aero is equipped with many features, and I can't think of anything you wouldn't be able to accomplish with this vehicle.
There is plenty of room on the boat for gear storage, phone and camera mounts, paddle sheaths, grab rails, and fishing rod holders, and a paddle sheath. Also, I love that a recessed deck pad is cozy and deeply grooved to keep your feet drier and more comfortable throughout a long day on the water.
The other great thing about this SUP/skiff is that BOTE has included many accessories that will get you paddling straight out of the box. The BOTE Rover Aero comes with a 3-piece adjustable fiberglass paddle, a paddle sheath, a sand spear sheath, a Motorac, motorac receivers, a grab strap, a slide-lock center fin, a single chamber dual action hand pump, a repair kit, and large Aero Bag are included with the BOTE Rover Aero. Motors, Motors receivers, grab strap, lockable center fin, one chamber dual action hand pump, repair kit, and large Aerobag are included with the BOTE Rover Aero.
To take full advantage of Aero's micro-skiff capabilities, you will need to purchase an outboard motor separately from BOTE's website, which is also available on their website. Even though it would be convenient to include an engine with the board for a high overall kit price, I appreciate the flexibility of shopping around for a motor or using one you already have. One thing BOTE would have done in this kit opts for a carbon fiber paddle, as it is a heavy SUP to pull through the water. However, by adding a motor, the fiberglass paddle can paddle short distances, which is more realistic.
It is a micro-skiff transported in your car's trunk or backseat. Whether you want the convenience of a boat, in that you don't have to paddle for hours in search of your fishing hole, or if you wish to the advantage of a SUP, in that you can get into tight, shallow areas, then this board is an excellent option for you. Also, it is affordable for a phone with tons of customization abilities in terms of features and accessories.
Sea Eagle FishSUP 12'6
With a 500lb capacity, the Sea Eagle can haul all your gear or two adults comfortably while weighing only 45 pounds (48 pounds with the motor mount). Additionally, this board is equipped with an outboard trolling motor, making it a powerful hybrid microskiff.
Sea Eagle FishSUP
There are a lot of features that make the Sea Eagle 12'6 an excellent choice for a SUP fisherman. To make keeping fish easier, this SUP has a 36" fish ruler, at least 14 D-rings, a paddle pocket, a removable rear motor mount, 360-degree swivel seat compatibility, a front cargo area, and three carry handles for easy transportation between the water and the shore. Sea Eagle should incorporate Scotty mounts for rod holders, although they include a multi-purpose storage box with already built-in two-rod holders.
Despite the multiple D-ring attachments that provide many options for attaching gear, there are only a few options right out of the box for storing/securing a selection of rods. Even if you want to bring along only one or two rods to have a successful day, you will still be able to do so on the Sea Eagle since there is plenty of space.
Sea Eagle offers a variety of kit options that increase in price as you add more accessories, but each package is still a great value no matter how much you add. With the start-up package and all the package upgrades, you will be able to get a 12'6 FishSUP, and a large backpack gets a 12'6 FishSUP, a large bag, a 3-piece SUP paddle, a multi-purpose storage box, a dual action pump, and a repair kit as part of the package.
You will receive a kayak paddle and an inflatable seat by upgrading to the following package upgrade. You may upgrade to a swivel seat by upgrading to the subsequent package upgrade. As part of the pro-motor fishing package, you will receive a trolling motor power center, and as part of the following package, you will obtain a wheel rac so that you can pull your board and accessories comfortably.
This is the second to last upgrade, including a second swivel seat, a 7" pedestal, and a second swivel seat. As a last resort, consider upgrading to something like the green machine package, which comes with a solar panel that you can connect to your marine battery. Each box has a price increase, but compared to a traditional micro boat, you would see that they all offer excellent value.
Undoubtedly, the Sea Eagle 12' 6 FishSUP is an excellent option for the less gear-heavy SUP fishermen/women who desire added customization to their SUP and skiff kit without the added weight and price tag.
BOTE HD Aero (See Full Review)
BOTE HD Aero
In the same way as all other BOTE boards, and indeed all the models featured in this article, the HD Aero is packed with impressive features. There are 16 D-rings on this board to accommodate both front and rear cargo, kayak seat attachment points, and more great tie-down points. Moreover, it has two Scotty mounts that allow the user a lot of flexibility in attaching fishing gear and storing it.
Furthermore, the HD Aero is also compatible with a sand spear that can be used as an anchor or as a push-pole in shallow water, as well as a fishing rack that You can use to store rods, coolers, buckets, etc. Besides being equipped with BOTE's Magnepod cup holder, this SUP also features three carry handles and BOTE's Magnepod cup holder.
Earlier, it was mentioned that the BOTE HD Aero is designed to bridge the gap between an all-around SUP and a fishing boat.
BOTE Rackham (Hard SUP)
As with the Rackham Aero, the Rackham is loaded with features and accessory compatibility, making it one of the most versatile kayaks available.
Both the 12' and 14' options are designed with a front and rear cargo area, eight action mounts, an integrated paddle sheath, and several rack receivers so that you have plenty of customization options regarding rod holders, grab racks, or bucket holders. As much as I would like to see Scotty mounts on this board, BOTE allows you to customize it how you prefer. Based on the water conditions, the kit also includes a 10' removable center fin, so the board can also be used with a 2+1 or 4+1 fin.
Even though this is a hard SUP, it comes with different accessories than the inflatable SUPs on this list. However, the Rackham includes a two-piece adjustable paddle and an adjustable 10-foot center fin that you can remove for easy storage This board would have been great if it had come with BOTE's travel link strap, as the 12' option weighs 48 lbs, while the 14' option weighs 52 lbs, making it difficult to carry long distances with just the center handle.
Additionally, I would have liked to see at least two side fins included with the Rackham since they are compatible with the Rackham. In the end, I am satisfied with this kit since it is typical for hard SUPs not to come with a wide range of accessories, but given the price of either option, I would have loved to see some included.
For those who value the performance of their boards and the ability to customize them, this is a great choice, especially if you have a place to store or transport a 12' or 14' rugged SUP.
iSTALKER by FishStalker
The board measures 12' long and 34' wide. It comes with a three-chamber catamaran-inspired hull intended to increase stability while decreasing the water's surface area, making it a fast but solid board, even at 40 pounds. You can also load up the iSTALKER and bring along a partner, as it has a 500 lb weight capacity, allowing you to take a lot more equipment.
As well as this, you can use a trolling motor with the iSTALKER, so you won't have to worry about paddling to the fishing hole or trolling upstream, as you can use a trolling engine. As with the BOTE Rover Aero and the Sea Eagle 12'6, the iSTALKER is an iSUP that combines all the benefits and comforts of a traditional skiff with the engine capabilities of a conventional boat.
STALKER by FishStalker
FishStalker's iSTALKER FishSUP has various features to meet your fishing needs and style. In addition to its catamaran design, the yacht has four 'truck' 6" running fins at the front and rear to improve tracking and glide, as well as a 10" inbox for use with a center-fin or electric fin. Regarding the deck, the iSTALKER has four carry handles, 12 D-rings, 8 RAM rigid ball inserts for attaching gear and battery boxes, and two more excellent mounts on the front and back of the pack.
Since this SUP is equipped with RAM tough ball mounts rather than universal action mounts, you can only use RAM racks and rod holders. However, RAM offers a wide range of sturdy, affordable accessories if you decide to go this route. Additionally, the iSTALKER comes with a non-slip deck pad nearly the entire board length, giving you plenty of space to stand and a good grip when moving around the board.
stalker by fish stalker
There are fewer accessories included in the iSTALKER than on the other board, but it still consists of a few necessities to get you started. The iSTALKER FishSUP includes impact-resistant fins, a double chamber hand pump, and a travel bag. There is no paddle included with this board, but it is more affordable than others on this list. At an additional cost, you can add a carbon paddle. I want a roller bag to make transporting this SUP easier.
In terms of paddling ease and speed, this is an excellent option for fishermen or women that prefer more stability without sacrificing the comfort or speed of paddling. It is also ideal for anglers who need trolling capabilities but also wish to access tighter or shallower spaces than they would be able to with a traditional boat due to its small size.
NRS Heron 11'x39"
The NRS Heron offers a smaller, more minimalistic option for fishermen who want to fish with a couple of rods but don't want a cluttered accessory deck pad. It is a stable 3-chamber single-fin board that measures 11' long by 39" wide and weighs just 30 lbs, which is pretty lightweight for a panel of this nature.
Due to its 300-pound weight capacity, you'll also have little to no problem bringing a little gear.
It's been said that the Heron is a minimalist boat regarding features, but it still has a few necessities you need to make your time on the water as enjoyable as possible.
NRS Heron 1139
This board features 4-point bungee cargo areas, center, nose, tail carry handles, and three Scotty mounts for various rod holders. In addition, it offers a full-length deck pad with a diamond pattern at the tail to provide better traction when turning backward.
NRS has done an excellent job of ensuring everything you need is included immediately, as you can see. An NRS Heron 11'x39" package consists of a dual chamber hand pump, a repair kit, a touring fin, and a grass fin. Despite this kit's lack of a paddle, I would have preferred to see a paddle incorporated into the iSTALKER equipment. However, this allows you to shop for a paddle specific to you and your abilities/preferences.
It is an excellent board for paddlers who want a board that can handle a light fishing day but isn't overly large, heavy, or cluttered with accessories.
Fishing SUPs: Why You Should Use Them
As you have read through our list and are still considering whether a fishing SUP is a good option, we will review a few advantages below to help you decide if it's the right choice.
A downside to traditional open-water fishing is that the cost of boats can make it largely unaffordable for many people who wish to participate. You can usually buy a good fishing SUP for around $1,500, which is still an investment, but it's a fraction of what a boat would cost. The majority of companies offer 12-month financing options as well, in case the purchase price is too high upfront.
SUPs have the advantage of being able to go into tighter, shallower spots than boats. As a result, you will likely be able to access less-fished areas and have a greater chance of success.
There is no doubt that inflatable SUPs are exponentially more accessible and convenient than any boat could ever be when storing and transporting them. It is possible to roll up your iSUP and store it in its bag so that it can be kept in the trunk of your car or a closet. In contrast, boats require trailers and storage when not in use, which adds to the cost of fishing when it is not in use, making it more expensive overall.
Paddleboards allow you to quietly ease into your fishing spot without disturbing the fish that have already been there for quite some time.
Taking up paddling is an excellent, low-impact, full-body exercise that will gradually increase your core strength and joint stability without thinking much about it.
Accessories to Consider When Fishing on a SUP
Although each of the boards on this list comes with various accessories to help you get started on the water, here are a few we recommend to help you get the most out of your fishing SUP.
It can take time to determine how to make the best use of and be efficient in a smaller space when it comes to SUP fishing when compared to fishing on a boat. The number of rods you own can add up quickly, but by adding a rod holder and some rod mounts to your SUP, you can free up some valuable standing space to enjoy your day to the fullest.
When you reach your fishing spot, it's nice to stow your paddle within reach but out of the way. If you have a paddle sheath or holder, you'll be able to store your paddle in a place that will not trip you up and free up your hands for casting or reeling.
In most cases, this is especially applicable to fly fishing on a SUP, as you will eliminate the risk of getting your line tangled and wrapped up while you're preparing to shoot while you're on the water.
Conversion kit for kayaks
Throughout this post, we've mentioned that SUP fishing can sometimes involve a decent amount of standing, so that's something to keep in mind. Despite this, you have the option of sitting back and relaxing with the purchase of a kayak conversion seat. Additionally, this is great if you are fishing in choppier or bumpier water, which may make it harder for you to balance while feeling.
SUPs can easily get pushed around if you aren't constantly paddling them, especially in a windy lake, river, or tidal water. Adding a Sand Spear or anchor to your SUP kit can make it easier for you to stay glued to your spot and prevent you from making any effort to move around.
The electric pump is, without a doubt, one of the best investments you can make when building out your SUP kit, and we have said it so many times on this site. It is even more essential to take note of this point when it comes to a larger fishing SUP because it can be pretty challenging to inflate using a hand pump, especially if they have a lot of volumes.
With an electric pump, you will no longer need to worry about growing your SUP and be able to concentrate on preparing the rest of your gear while the pump does the work
Fishing SUP Tips for Making the Most of It
When you have your fishing SUP, it is easy to get on the water and settle into your rhythm once you get out. In the following paragraphs, we will list some tips to make your fishing SUP more enjoyable.
Practicing and honing your balance on the water before fishing is the best approach if you have never used a SUP.
Keeping your head and shoulders aligned with your body makes you less likely to swim by accident. Avoid going for a swim by keeping your head and shoulders upright. You will likely lose when you look down at the board or the water and push your center of gravity forward. It would help to keep your knees loose to absorb any wake or water movement. To conclude, use your paddle as a third leg and keep it submerged.
To find fish, you must ensure you are not actively scaring them away. Even though SUPs are significantly less disruptive than boat motors when it comes to splashing, it's still a good idea to minimize splashing and sudden movements on the board, even though SUPs are less disruptive than boat motors.
When fishing in a river or tidal water, anchors are helpful if you feel in a nook or a hole in the stream. An anchor is greatly helpful if you wish to fish from a hole or cavity in a river or tidal water stream. If you intend to feel a large area, trolling can be a great way to simulate bait behavior more naturally.
As SUPs are so light, they can easily be explored with the current because they are so easy to carry. All you need to do is float in the direction of the water. In addition, depending on the bait you are using, you can also jig or bounce your line to catch the fish's attention.
Imitate bait fish with trolling methods
As we have mentioned previously, one of the challenges with SUP fishing is figuring out how to make the most of a smaller space. There are several ways to do this, but one of them is to minimize the gear you need to have a successful day of fishing. Consequently, you will be able to move around your board more freely and fish in different directions as you will have the space to move around. In addition, it is a great way to improve your board's stability since adding weight can degrade its performance.
Once you've narrowed down your gear to give yourself the most space possible, securing it reduces the chances of it falling off, rolling into your feet, or otherwise tripping you up. This is where rod holders and mounts can come in handy.
You will need a fishing license to fish in most bodies of water, especially if you wish to keep the fish you catch. Be sure to obtain and carry a permit before SUP fishing, and be familiar with any local or federal laws that may apply to you. In most cases, these laws are put in place to help protect the wildlife and waterways that we love and to keep them healthy, so we all must play our part in preserving these places.
Fishing with a SUP is more accessible and less disruptive than fishing with a boat. This allows you to get into those difficult-to-reach, tight, shallow spots without getting stuck or grounded while maintaining the environment's peace.
Hopefully, our list of the Best Stand Up paddle board for fishing of 2024 has been helpful to you in your search for the perfect board, and we hope that you will make the most of your experience by following the above tips as you use the board.
Always wear a life jacket, stay safe, and have fun paddling!
The ideal paddle board for fishing would be a comprehensive, all-around board that is stable and has a decent weight capacity so that you can load it up with gear quickly. You will be able to attach fishing rod holders as well as a cup holder to it through the action mounts. There are multiple D-rings to provide bungee attachment points for storage space, anchor attachments, and even a possible seat attachment, with more D-rings offering even more potential gear attachment points. The GILI Meno 11'6 inflatable paddle board is our top pick for the best fishing SUP on the market. Inflatable paddle boards like the Meno can be deflated to the size of a sleeping bag for hiking to some of the most remote fishing spots in the world. Meno has three Scotty mounts and 18 D-rings with large bungee cargo areas at the front and rear. Attach your rod holder and cup holder to your board, bungee your tackle box and anchor, and fish on the large soft EVA deck pad all day. It's even better than the GILI Meno being an excellent fishing setup as it's a fantastic all-around recreational vehicle.
All paddle boards work well in lakes, which may come as a surprise to you. It is important to note that paddle boards of any shape or construction are most suitable for often calm waters. Despite that, inflatable paddle boards would be our first choice for lake SUPs.
Using recreational beach gear, you must stay within three hundred meters of the shore. A small sea vessel, however, can travel up to two nautical miles from a sheltered area.