A fishing paddle board or fishing SUP can get you places you wouldn’t reach otherwise.
We tell you what to look for and give you an overview of the best fishing paddle boards out there.
Paddle boards – often also called SUPs (Stand up paddle board) have become hugely popular in recent years. People use them for all kinds of purposes now – one of them is fishing. They are a great way to comfortably get to places you otherwise wouldn’t reach. This makes them similar to so-called fishing float tubes or belly boats. However, fishing paddle boards have the advantage that you can use them without fins to paddle and they are also great to just cruise around and explore new waters when you are not fishing.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes which makes choosing the right model for you not an easy task. Inflatable SUPs have become the gold standard. They offer more flexibility than hard shell SUPS and you can bring them along on any trip. In this guide we want to to show you what to pay attention to before purchasing a fishing paddle board. We’ll also give you an overview of some of the best products out there. We’ve been using fishing SUPs for years now and have become great fans of the freedom they provide.
Fishing SUPs are a little different than your average paddle board. The most important features of a fishing SUP are a large and wide built to provide you with enough stability to cast. You also shouldn’t underestimate the place you need to store your gear. Hence your fishing SUP needs to be able to sustain some weight. Fishing paddle boards can be a great way to start fishing from a “boat” and significantly cheaper. We made sure to include products for all budgets in this review so you can make a solid choice. Let’s jump right in!
Best Fishing Paddle Boards on the Market
No that you know what to look for in a fishing SUP it’s time to give you an overview of what’s out there. We’ll take a look at paddle boards specifically made for fishing, ones that you can also use to just cruise around on the water and inflatable ones for the utmost in versatility.
The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable is every fisherman’s dream. From first glance you can tell that this SUP was designed and built specifically for (fly) fishing. Its wide shaped back end enables you to use it with a SUP motor which can be attached and detached easily.
The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable comes with a lot of nice little features. This includes an integrated ruler that can measure fish up to 36″. On the front of the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable you’ll find an area where you can safely store a dry bag with your essentials. Four rod holders (two in the front and two in the back) make sure you can bring multiple rods.
With its dimensions of 12’6″ in length, a width of 44″ and a thickness of 6″ the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable is straight in the water even if the water gets a little wavy. The Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable weighs in at around 45lbs and can carry two people or up to 500lbs. Out of the box this SUP comes with everything you need including the swivel chair, two paddles (a single blade for SUP style paddling and a double blade for paddling when sitting). A 3-year warranty makes sure you’re covered in case something doesn’t work as expected.
The only downside we found is that it takes a little time to inflate the Sea Eagle. The company claims it’s done within around 7 minutes, in reality however it took us about 15 minutes to fully inflate it. However, if you are using a more powerful electric pump, you can speed up that process significantly.
The South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP is another great choice if you are looking for a fishing paddle board. This one is our favorite when it comes to versatility and packability. At 11’6 long × 32” wide × 6” thick, the South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP is not quite as wide as the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable but still provides great stability and can carry up to 450 lbs.
The South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP features a kayak and SUP paddle and a detachable kayak seat. It also comes with a cooler that can be attached to the front with securing clips. This makes sure your drinks stay cool or can also be used to store your catch on a hot day. Built in fishing-rod holders securely store your rods when you are paddling.
Deflated, the South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP can be stored in the carrying backpack that even features wheels for easier transport – a feature we love! A waterproof fanny pack rounds off the long list of awesome features of the South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP. Since this SUP is a little smaller than the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable it is a great choice if you want to use it beyond fishing as well.
The BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board is for the ones who are looking for the utmost in stability for their fishing adventure. This fishing paddle board is a crossover of a kayak and a SUP, giving you the best of both worlds.
The BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board features a removable seat that gives you the ultimate freedom of movement if you purely want to use it as an SUP. With the seat attached the BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board turns into a great day cruiser and provides an excellent level of comfort. The cockpit is self-draining should some water get inside. The BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board also features a removable foot bar that makes paddling for long periods more comfortable.
This SUP provides ample storage opportunities in the front and the back. With its dimensions of 11′ length, 33″ width and 10.5″ depth it can hold up to 300lbs. If you are going for the BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board be aware that you have to get some gear separately, such as a paddle or rod holders (which you can here). The BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board is fully deflatable and great for travelling when stored into the travel bag.
The Bluefin Cruise SUP Package is our favorite when it comes to the best inflatable fishing paddle board. This SUP can be pumped up to 28 psi which makes it incredibly rigid and stable. Without knowing it’s an inflatable paddle board, we bet you wouldn’t be able to tell.
At 10’8 in length, 33″ width and 6″ depth, the Bluefin Cruise SUP is more compact than the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable and feels a bit more like the South Bay Board Co. – 11’6″ Inflatable SUP when out on the water. It’s made for a maximum capacity of 265lbs. Using the padded seat that comes with it, you can quickly turn the Bluefin Cruise SUP Package into a fishing kayak.
The Bluefin Cruise SUP Package comes with a 2 piece paddle that is particularly lightweight due to its fibreglass shaft. Another neat feature is the double-action pump that inflates the Bluefin Cruise SUP Package on both the up & down portion of the pump making sure you’re ready to go in minutes. The Bluefin Cruise SUP Package doesn’t feature any rod holders.
The Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board does not only bring a little bit of color into your fishing life but is also our first choice when it comes to the best lightweight SUP for fishing. At 34″ it is wider than most paddle boards giving you an extra bit of stability when casting.
At only 20lbs the Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board is the right choice if you want to bring along your fishing SUP on every trip. Despite this low weight, the Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board can still hold a maximum of 330 lbs. The paddle that comes with it, is adjustable in length but cannot be turned into a kayak paddle. The Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board also does not feature any kind of seat.
The Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board comes with a 5L pack to store your essentials, a waterproof phone case and a detachable safety leash.
There aren’t many hard shell SUPs left on the market since inflatable ones have become so popular and improved dramatically in terms of stability in recent years. If however, you know what you won’t need to pack your fishing paddle board into the trunk of the car a hard shell SUP like the ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board is a great choice.
As the name suggests, the ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board is made for cruising. With a thickness of only 4.5″ it’s significantly slimmer than most inflatable fishing paddle boards making it glide through the water more easily. The ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board can hold a maximum capacity of 235lbs which means it’s not the right choice if you want to ride it with another person.
The ISLE Cruiser Stand Up Paddle Board comes with carbon hybrid SUP paddle that is adjustable. You can test it for 60 days and send it back if you don’t like it.
Taking Care of your Fishing Stand Up Paddle Board
As you can see from our review, most fishing paddle boards come with a certain price tag. You should take good care of them if you want to enjoy them for a while. The most important thing, especially when using an inflatable fishing SUP, is to dry it properly after using it. Make sure it’s fully dry before storing it for longer periods of time.
If you don’t have the time to let it dry on location, pack it up but make sure to let it dry properly once you arrive at home. You can leave it inflated for the entire summer since the best inflatable SUPs will hold the air over months. When fall comes, you should deflate it and store it in a dry place. Also when using it on hot summer days, don’t let your SUP lie around in bright sunshine when there is a shady place around. The same holds true for storing it in the car when the temperatures rise.
If you are using your fishing SUP in saltwater, make sure to rinse it with freshwater after using it. This will increase the lifespan of your product.
Additional Gear to Consider when Getting a Fishing SUP
As you can see from our guide, many of the products we reviewed come with multiple items that make your day on the water more enjoyable. Here are a few more items you should consider getting when you’re going for a fishing paddle board: a life vest, an electric pump, a paddle board dolly, a roof carrier and a SUP rack.
Conclusion on Fishing Paddle Boards
We hope we could show you that not all fishing paddle boards are created equal. Which one is for you depends on a number of factors: do you have some experience riding an SUP already? Then you can go for a slimmer board that offers better riding capabilities but maybe a little less stability.
Do you only want to use your SUP for fishing? Then you should go for a dedicated fishing SUP such as the Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 Inflatable since these models ensure you have everything you need for a great day on the water. If you want the best of both worlds from a kayak and an SUP, the BOTE Deus Aero Inflatable Kayak & Stand Up Paddle Board is a fantastic choice. If your focus is on low weight, go for the Mousa Inflatable Paddle Board. Inflatable paddle boards have become state of the art since they offer a high degree of versatility.
No matter which model you go for in the end, make sure you get acquainted with your SUP and take some time to feel comfortable riding it before starting to fly fish from it. You will realise that it takes some time to get accustomed to riding an SUP. Once you’ve mastered the art, we’re sure you’ll have a great time and come to realise that fishing from an SUP adds another level to your game.
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