Stand up paddle boards also known as SUPs are normally associated with exercising. But more anglers are discovering that they’re very good for fishing. Not only can you get a good workout, but you can access spots that boats can’t get to.
Transporting a SUP is also much easier. Inflatable boards will easily fit in your trunk.
There is a wide selection out there. This guide will help you find the best stand up paddle boards for fishing.
The Best Stand Up Paddle Boards For Fishing
Sea Eagle FishSUP 12’6 Inflatable FishSUP
The Sea Eagle Fish SUP is specifically made for fishing. It’s not just a cruising board with a few add ons designed to make it marketable to anglers.
This dedication to purpose makes a difference. The FishSUP is know for being stable and giving anglers plenty of space for all of your tackle. It even comes with a swiveling chair. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but when you’re out on a long trip, the ability to sit down is huge.
- Manual pump
- Storage box
- Repair kit
- Length: 12′ 6″
- Width: 40″
- Thickness: 6″
Elkton Outdoors 12’ IBIS Pro Stand Up Fishing Paddleboard, Hybrid Angler SUP Kayak Package, Ultra Durable Rotomolded Construction
The IBIS standup paddle board is made of High Density Rotomolded Polyethylene. This is the same material and manufacturing method used for most kayaks.
This is a great alternative if you don’t want to use an inflatable paddle board.
What’s great about this board is that it comes with many fishing specific features.
- 2 Swivel mounted rod holders.
- 5 Aluminum Gear Tracks.
- 2 Bungee Paddle Parks.
- It does not come with a seat, but it is an option that you can buy.
- Length: 12’
- Width: 33”
- Weight – 72 lbs.
At 72 pounds, it’s not lightweight, but many will still be able to lift it onto the roof of their vehicle.
The Elkton Outdoors Aluminum seat can be attached to D-Ring points at various spots on the board.
Attaching this seat will let you turn the board into a sit-on-top kayak.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a seat. Many anglers use coolers as a seat. We see some examples of boards with integrated cooler seats coming up in later review. So, if a cooler seat is a must have, you’ll want to check out those.
More features include EVA foam traction pads that help you keep a good foot grip when stand-up fishing. There are also front and rear bungee storage.
Overall, this is a great Fishing SUP for those that want the built-in fishing features as well as the option to mount a seat.
STAR Challenger Sit-On-Top Inflatable Kayak
Yes, this vessel is billed as an inflatable kayak, but I definitely think it fits better into the paddle board class.
There really are no sidewalls or gunnels that rise up from the side. It does have rounded air chambers on both sides. These chambers are common in stand up paddle board designs. They’re meant to add additional stability. This makes the craft wider and easier to stand on.
They also add security with 3 air chambers. If one side chamber were to be accidentally punctured, you’re still going to be able to float.
Another feature that makes the Challenger more of a hybrid is that it comes with a chair as standard equipment. The aluminum framed chair folds down for easy transport. You attach it to the deck with 4 attachment points.
The chair gives you the option of sitting down and paddling like a conventional canoe or kayak. Of course you can also stand up on the Challenger. With a width of 38 inches, you should have good stability.
Having this flexibility is a real bonus.
As for fishing options, the Challenger comes with some standard features that most paddle boards don’t.
You’ll find five Scotty mount bases included. These bases let you attach various Scotty accessories. You can mount rod holders or even a side transducer arm for a fish finder.
There are also daisy chained nylon rigging straps all along the back half of the Challenger. This lets you attach even more gear by running bungee or cord through the nylon loops.
The front end has 5 D-Rings with a bungee and a carrying handle too.
- 3 Chambers
- Chair Included
- Length: 10 ft. 8 in.
- Width: 38 inches
- Weight: 27lbs.
The challenger inflates with a provided hand pump and comes with a bag and a repair kit.
California Board Company CBC 10′ Marlin Foam Fishing SUP with Rod & Gear Rack
The Marlin Fishing SUP is a rigid Stand Up Paddleboard made from wood and EPS foam.
This will give you a rigid platform to fish from. There’s no need to inflate it or worry about punctures. This can bring peace of mind if you’re planning on fishing places with many underwater obstacles.
Rivers with branches that can be hidden just under the water’s surface can be a hazard.
This board should be able to handle those situations.
The board also has many fishing features.
For example there is a traction pad near the center of the board that will help prevent slipping when you’re standing.
One of the more interesting features of the Marlin is it’s gear rack. The gear rack is a metal rod that includes 2 rod holders and makes a great stability bar.
You can put a cooler in front of the bar and then use it as an improvised backrest.
- Solid Wood and EPS Foam Construction.
- Metal rod and gear rack with cooler mount
- Adjustable aluminum paddle included
- Leash and single paddleboard fin included:
- Length: 10′
- Width: 33″
- Weight: 28 lbs.
Aqua Marina Drift Fishing and Stand up Paddle Board Full Package
This is another inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard(iSUP) that’s made from heavy duty drop stitch PVC.
The Drift is a package that comes with it’s own cooler that doubles as a seat. This feature alone can save you a significant amount of money.
The Drift also has the 3-chambered design for added safety. The fishing specific features of the drift make it stand out. The cooler that’s included with the package makes a great seat as it comes with a small cushion and a folding back rest. You can attach the cooler to the board by tying it down with cord or bungees to the included D-Rings. I would definitely recommend this as it will help reduce the chance of tipping the cooler over.
With a 38 inch width this board is wider than most. This is a great feature as it definitely helps with stability. Standing up on this board should be no problem for most anglers.
- Deck traction pad
- Two fishing rod holders,
- Cooler box with high back support.
- Paddle holder,
- Stainless steel D-ring
- Elastic bungee cords for cargo
- Length: 10’10”
- Width: 38″
- Weight: 27.1lbs.
BOTE RACKHAM AERO INFLATABLE PADDLE BOARD
Bote makes some of the highest quality paddleboards and skiffs out there. The Rackham Aero is a prime example.
It’s an inflatable board that packs in features. At 38 inches wide, stability is built in. If you’re going to be standing while casting and landing fish, you need a board this wide.
The board features 2 chambers. It’s really one of the only drawback you can find with this board as some other boards come with 3 chambers.
Most inflatable SUPs are 6 inches thick but BOTE boards are 7 inches thick.
What makes BOTE boards great isn’t just their build, it’s the accessories. One of the most visible is the RAC System. BOTE’s RAC systems let you pick from a Bucket Rac to a Tall Rac you can lean against. Of course they come with rod holders. The Rac that you can lean against is really the one to get. This really helps with relaxing and helping you feel stable on the board. Of course it’s not a guarantee that you won’t fall off or flip, but it helps.
The Rackham weighs 45 lbs. which is a bit more that your average iSUP. But remember that it’s a thicker board.
Another cool feature on BOTE boards is the sandspear sheath. This is a receptacle that lets you drive a sand spear through the sheath and use it a an anchor. This is basically like a manual power pole or other manual shallow water anchors.
- Three Piece Adjustable Paddle
- Aero Bag
- Paddle Sheath
- Sandspear Sheath
- Inflatable Center Fin
- Hand Pump
- Rac Receivers
- Length: 12’4″
- Width: 38″
- Weight: 45lbs.
ISLE 11’6″ Sportsman
Carrying your deflated board around is one of the advantages of an iSUP. It’s much easier to carry a bag or backpack with a deflated board in it than it is to carry a hard board. Also, when it’s time to go home, the iSUP easily fits in the trunk of your car.
This is where the Sportsman stands out. Made from a material up to 30% lighter Airtech Fusion Lite, the Sportsman comes in at just 27 lbs.
So, if weight is an issue, this definitely is a board to consider.
You may be wondering, can such a light board handle all your fishing adventures?
With a 36 inch width, this board is right up there with some of the widest. And a wider iSUP is going to give you added stability for stand up fishing. It can handle a load of up to 320 lbs.
On the deck there are D-Rings with bungees on the front and aft of the deck.
There are also 3 Scotty mounts. These mounts can receive accessory mounts for rod holders, fish finders, camera mounts and more.
One mount is located forward and on the centerline of the deck. This location would be ideal for a Go Pro. As you can see the Sportsman comes with features that differentiate it from standard cruising boards.
- Front and rear bungee systems for storage of cargo
- Large EVA traction pad covers the deck for comfort
- 3 Carrying Handles
- 3 Scotty Mounts
- Package Includes: paddle, bag, pump, fin and repair kit
- Length: 11’6
- Width: 36”
- Thickness: 6”
- Weight: 27 lbs
The NRS Heron is another drop stitch PVC inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP).
It has many fishing specific features and is made by NRS. This is a key factor when considering this board.
NRS is a well known and reputable company. You can expect them to stand behind their products. Unfortunately, you may have to pay a premium for that.
The board comes with 3 chambers. The 3 chamber design is a common pattern. It helps add stability and safety.
At 39 inches wide the Heron is one of the widest iSUPs on this list. This extra width will create additional stability. If standing up while you fish is a key requirement for you, then the Heron has you covered.
The Heron also comes with 3 Scotty accessory mounts. These are popular additions to iSUPs. They allow you to mount Scotty brand accessories. You can pick from rod holders, camera mounts, cup holders, and depth finder mounts. Of course the Heron comes with all the necessary equipment to get on the water. It comes with a pump, carrying bag and stabilizer fins.
- Dual side chambers for stability and safety.
- 3 Scotty mounts
- Daisy chained webbing for strapping down gear
- Forward and rear D-Rings with bungee cord
- 1 Touring fin
- 1 Grass fin
- Length: 11′
- Width: 39″
- Weight: 30 lbs.
Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler SUP Stand Up Fishing Paddle Board
The Wizard Angler is a rigid board made with blow molded polyethylene. It’s pretty unique in the stand up paddle board category. It has features that you won’t find in an inflatable stand up paddle board.
There are two storage hatches. One up front is similar to those found on kayaks. There is also a smaller hatch right in front of the sweet spot markers.
The sweet spot markers are two markers for the ideal foot position. They’re placed on the traction mat that comes on the board.
Standing on these markers will give you the ideal position for balance.
This board also features a flip-up backrest. This lets you sit if you choose and is a nice addition.
A small tank well in the rear of the board is a good spot for putting your smaller pieces of gear.
The well has a scupper hole so that any water that gets in will drain out.
The Wizard is available in 3 colors: green, yellow and orange.
- 4 fishing mounts
- 2 rod holders.
- Folding backrest.
- 2 storage hatches
- Rear tank well
- EVA foam deck pad.
- Bungee cords fore and aft for storage.
- Length: 11′
- Width: 35″
- Weight: 68 lbs
What To Look For In A Fishing Paddle Board
When you’re looking for a stand up paddle board for fishing there are some particular features to look for.
You’re not going to just be cruising around. You need to be able to haul gear, catch fish and be comfortable doing it.
Portability might also be a concern.
This is one of the most important aspects of a stand up paddle board. And there are 2 specs the have the most effect on it. The main contributor to a paddle board’s stability is it’s width. Width will directly impact how likely a board is to tip over. This starts off with how much the board rolls. The narrower the board is, the more likely it is to roll and perhaps flip or throw you off.
So, what’s the ideal width for a stand up paddle board?
I’d say that if you’re of average size and agility, then anything over 35 inches should be good to go.
You can definitely get narrower boards and do just fine if you’re very experienced or have excellent balance.
But once you get into the 36 inches and up range, you get more of a margin for error.
If you’re specifically looking for an inflatable board, then look for extra chambers. Boards with side chambers are usually on the wider side and are more stable than single chambered boards.
If you’re looking for a rigid board made from plastic, foam, or wood, then the weight of the board will play a factor. Heavier boards will actually be more stable in the water.
Inflatables are usually much lighter and will not sink into the water unless you load them up with gear.
Is a Longer Stand Up Paddle Board More Stable?
Of course, width is not the only factor to board stability. The length of the board also plays a big role.
The shorter a board is the more likely it is to be easily turned by the wind. Longer boards will retain a straight line path more easily and are generally harder to turn. This is especially true if you have good fins under the board.
So, yes a longer board will be slightly more stable than a shorter board. However, the difference will only be noticeable in wind or with very different lengths.
Standing and fishing on a stand up paddle board may not be for everyone. Even with wider boards it still requires some agility. The best way to find out if it’s right for you, is to get out and try one.
Do Fins Help Make A Stand Up Paddle Board More Stable?
In short, definitely. I once went out on my inflatable without the fin. I thought it would be no big deal. After all, the fin is just a small piece of plastic that extends about 10 inches into the water.
I was very wrong. Without the fin, the slightest breeze coming from the side will turn your board. This is especially true if it’s lightly loaded.
So, make sure you attach the fins. Also, if your board comes with multiple fins, use them all. The more the better. The water resistance against the surface area of the fins really helps keep the board on a straight path.
Where To Stand On A Stand Up Paddle Board?
If it’s a standard paddle board for one person, the best spot is going to be right around the middle. Some boards come with foot outlines to help you know exactly where to step.
Most have an EVA foam traction pad. Staying on the middle of the traction pad is generally a good idea.
Yes, you can walk towards the back and the front of the board. Just keep in mind that the further out you go the more unstable the board will become.
Moving heavy loads to one end of the board can have the same effect. So, try to keep your loads as close to the center as possible.
Today, it’s fairly easy to find a paddle board that is meant for fishing. But this raises some questions.
What makes a good fishing paddle board?
You can fish from just about any paddle board. It can be an inflatable or a rigid model. What makes a paddle board specialized for fishing, is the accessories.
Fishing accessories can really be what sets paddle boards apart. Having rod holders for example can make the difference between a great catch and a rod with a broken tip.
So, don’t think that many of these are just “nice to haves.”
Inflatable boards are also able to have rod mounts placed on them. Special PVC glue is used to stick accessory mounting patches on the boards.
If you already have an inflatable board that’s not meant for fishing, you can actually buy these mounting patches.
Using these mounting patches will let you turn a cruising inflatable into a fishing inflatable. Of course it will take a bit of DIY elbow grease.
With rigid boards, you can also add your own accessories. The techniques will be a bit different though. Instead of sticking accessory pads to PVC fabric, you will be drilling into High Density Polyethylene.
The main things I’d recommend you look for are:
Stand Up Paddle Board Seat
Having a seat may seem like it goes against the whole idea of stand up paddle boarding. But if you plan on spending an entire day out on the water fishing, then it can definitely be a lifesaver.
A great idea for multi tasking is to have a cooler that acts as a seat too.
You can use the cooler to store cold drinks, but it can also come in handy for storing lures, bait or tackle.
Aluminum framed kayak seats are also a good lightweight option. You can strap them down to many paddle boards by using either side webbing or D-Rings.
Just make sure that if you’re going to get an aftermarket seat, that it fits well within the dimensions of your boards.
The Larry chair is an example of a popular aftermarket seat you can put on a paddle board.
Of course, many paddle boards for fishing come with a seat included.
This is definitely one of the most common fishing accessories that you’ll find on a paddle board. Keeping your rods upright and safe can bring peace of mind when you’re out paddling.
Having a rod laying flat on your board can be hazardous.
Stepping on a rod tip can easily break it. A rod falling off you board is another possibility you’ll want to avoid. So, make sure you have enough rod storage.
I recommend using a crate that you can lash down to the board. Strap it down using D-Rings or webbing attachment points that most boards come with.
Then make sure you get a crate that has built in rod holders.
You can make one of these from a milk crate combined with aftermarket plastic rod holders you can attach to the crate.
Portability is pretty much the main reason why inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards exist. If you can’t put your board on a roof rack, then an iSUP is definitely an option. An iSUP packed up in a storage bag can easily fit in the back seat or trunk of your vehicle.
Of course if you do have a roof rack you can use, then you can opt for a rigid Stand Up Paddle Board.
How Much Does A Stand Up Paddle Board Weigh?
Inflatable boards usually run anywhere from 25 to 50 pounds. They’re much easier to carry when deflated as you don’t have to deal with the weight being distributed over the length of the board.
A rigid board will usually run anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds. This is a pretty wide range, so if weight is an issue, you definitely want to know the weight of a board you plan on buying.
Keep in mind that once you load up your board with gear that the weight will go up. So, if you need to carry it a long distance, you may want to invest in a cart.
Fishability is a bit of an intangible quality in a stand up paddle board. Much of it depends heavily on where you will be fishing.
Here are some things to think about when considering a stand up paddle board for fishing.
Are Stand Up Paddle Boards Good For Fishing Rivers?
This is one area where I would think twice about opting for a paddle stand up.
A board moving with the river current is going to be much more challenging to stand on than a board on still water. Falling off your board in a river can also be more dangerous as underwater obstacles are common.
If you’re thinking about an inflatable, then rivers can be an even bigger issue. Those underwater obstacles can be a hazard. Underwater logs that are just under the surface might puncture your board if you hit them hard enough.
Even if they don’t, they can stretch the PVC material and significantly weaken it. This can lead to a leak soon after.
So, if rivers are your main fishing grounds, you may want to reconsider a stand up board.
Are Stand Up Paddle Boards Good For Fishing Shallows?
Yes! This is where stand up paddle boards shine. They don’t have much of a draft, and in a bind, you can even remove the fins.
On warm Summer days when the water is warm and you want to either dip your feet in the water or jump in, SUPs rule.
You can easily get on and off the water and have a grand ole time. In short, when the water is warm and falling in is not a danger, then Stand Up Paddle Boards shine.
Inflatable Vs. Rigid Stand Up Paddle Boards For Fishing.
The biggest difference between inflatable (iSUPs) vs. Rigid SUPs is going to be their portability.
If having a lighter weight craft is a requirement, then consider an iSUP. It’s also a big consideration if you’re averse to car-topping your watercraft.
Another consideration is underwater hazards. If you’re going to be fishing in waters that have logs sticking up just under the surface then consider a rigid board.
This can also apply for rocks that could be hiding just under the surface.
Additionally, inflatable boards are normally much lighter than their rigid counterparts. This makes them more susceptible to being affected by the wind.
Storage can also be a consideration. If you live in an apartment, and have nowhere to store a 12 foot long paddle board, then an inflatable is the way to go.
Stand Up Paddle Boards are a great way to get off the bank. If you have ponds and small lakes nearby, then a SUP is really an ideal way to fish.
But what may seem like a simple decision can have quite a few added questions. Make sure you consider your situation carefully. Picking the right watercraft can make a huge difference.