Fishing from a stand up paddle board is a new trend in the fly fishing world, and it’s catching on! There are lots of advantages of fishing from a stand up paddle board (SUP). You can get almost anywhere on the water, you avoid spooking the fish with the noiseless motion, and you can cast in any direction you like.
If you want to have a go at fishing from a stand up paddle board, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover why stand up paddle boards are so awesome, plus what to look for when buying an SUP. You’ll also find our reviews of the top stand up paddle boards for fishing to help you narrow down your search!
Why You Should Try Out a Fishing Stand Up Paddle Board
Fishing from a stand up paddle board is both effective and a really fun experience. It’s not hard to see why it’s rapidly becoming more and more popular among anglers.
When you fish from a standing position, you get an improved view out over the water. This makes it easier to spot exactly where the fish are, so you can get your fly precisely to where they are (and catch more fish!) An SUP is virtually silent as it moves through the water, so you’re less likely to spook the fish, either.
With a thickness of around 6 inches, you can get to almost anywhere on the water – even the shallowest areas. You’re able to get right to where the fish are and catch more fish! It’s a winning combination for productive fly fishing!
Fishing SUP Vs. Fishing Kayak
Although kayaks are more commonly used, fishing stand up paddle boards are quickly catching up in popularity. Compared to a kayak, they are lightweight and easier to transport and launch onto the water.
You also have the advantage of that aerial view. In a kayak, if you want to cast in a different direction you have to swing the whole thing around. Not true for an SUP – you can simply face in any direction you like!
While fishing kayaks have a fairly quick learning curve, you do need a certain amount of fitness and balance to stay upright on a paddle board. That said, it’s also a great full-body workout! After a few trips out on the SUP, you’ll improve your balance and firm up your core as a bonus side effect.
However, you are more likely to end up in the water from a paddle board if you overbalance, and your feet can get wet if the waves are choppy.
Both fishing SUPs and kayaks offer excellent ways to get around on the water. If you’re looking for a more stable solution, go for a fishing kayak. But if you want to have a better viewpoint and be able to get up close to the fish and catch more, a fishing SUP is the right option for you!
How to Choose a Great Fishing Paddle Board
You’ll find a wide range of SUPs on the market right now, from specialized boards designed just for fishing, to regular paddle boards that can be used for a range of activities. This choice can be overwhelming, so we’ve created this easy guide to buying your first fishing paddle board!
With budget options right up to more expensive boards to sift through, here are the most important factors to keep in mind when choosing a great paddle board. Make sure you double check these features before you splash your cash!
Fishing Paddle Board Vs. Regular Paddle board?
There are several differences between regular paddle boards and those specially designed for anglers. Firstly, a fishing paddle board should have storage for all your gear and equipment, whether that’s just D-rings and bungee cords, or even a fully enclosed cargo bay.
Secondly, a fishing SUP will normally have at least one, or even several, rod holders to keep your rods safe and secure while paddling or fishing. Some fishing SUPs even have additional features such as a cooler, a rack to grip onto, or a back rest/seat for added comfort on long days out on the water.
Fishing paddle boards have enough buoyancy and space for you and all your gear. Features like rod holders and extra storage are also essential for a great day out on the river! That’s why we recommend buying a specialized fishing SUP rather than a standard paddle board.
Inflatable Paddle Board Vs. Solid Board?
The two main options when it comes to paddle boards are solid, rigid boards or inflatable boards. You’ll need to consider where you fish, how you get from place to place, and how much storage space you have before you choose which type suits you best.
Solid paddle boards are normally made of foam core, with an epoxy layer of resin coating the board. They have the benefit of being sturdier, with no risk of popping or tearing like an inflatable one may do.
However, they’re much heavier and harder to transport. You’ll need a trailer, roof rack, or truck to get your solid board to each fishing location, and you’ll need somewhere to store it between trips. If you’re short on space or prefer to travel light, a rigid board isn’t the best option for you!
On the other hand, inflatable boards are lightweight, pack up very small, and you can take them anywhere. You won’t need to worry about finding space to store it, either. These days, most inflatable paddle boards are constructed from heavy-duty, military-grade PVC. While this reduces the risk of a puncture or tear, it doesn’t remove the possibility entirely, so the durability is something to keep in mind.
When it comes to paddle boards, the general rule is that the longer and wider, the better. This is especially true for beginners or if you want extra stability. Look for a board that measures a minimum of 30 inches in width and 10 feet in length.
Double check the weight capacity of the board you want to buy. You need to be realistic about how much you and your fishing gear will weigh when combined. The last thing you want is to be struggling to stay afloat on the water – have you ever tried casting when you’re ankle deep in water and slowly sinking?!
Most SUPs are designed for one person. But if you prefer to head out on the water with a fishing buddy, look for a larger SUP that can support two people paddle boarding together.
The two key things to think about when it comes to the deck pad is grip and comfort. To stay upright, you’ll need a traction pad that provides plenty of friction, so you can grip onto the board even in choppy water.
But your comfort is also important, especially when you’ll be out on your board for long stretches of time. If you will be kneeling on your board, make sure that the traction pad is comfortable and provides you with some soft cushioning.
You’ll be kitted out with your rods, reel, line, tools, fly box, possibly even a cooler and some snacks and drinks for a longer day out. It goes without saying that you’ll need somewhere to store all your equipment, even if you pack light.
Check out the storage options as a priority. These can range from stainless steel D Rings to attach items securely, to bungee cords at the back and front of the board. If you need lots of storage, look for a model that has an enclosed cargo bay – it can also double up a cooler for your bait and fish, too.
You can sometimes find a fishing paddle board package which includes other accessories for the ultimate fishing trip. Look out for accessories like rod holders, paddle holders, a cooler, or even a grip rail that you can lean on.
Some paddle boards come with a warranty, which can come in handy if your board gets damaged. Just make sure you find out how long the warranty lasts – some only cover you for a year, while some are longer.
Fishing Paddle Board Reviews
Now, onto the reviews! Here are the top rated SUPs for an angler:
Roc Inflatable SUP Board
The Roc inflatable paddle board is a great choice for anglers! It has a very high weight capacity of 275 lbs, making it suitable for fishers of all shapes and sizes, or even for two people to head out together. You can carry all your gear easily and secure it with
This kit by Roc includes everything you need: a high-quality backpack to store and transport your board, foot leash, hand pump, waterproof bag for your phone and essentials, and a paddle. The alloy and foam paddle floats on the water, so you won’t have to worry about losing it. There’s plenty of space to attach all your gear with the secure bungee cords, although no enclosed cargo bay on this model.
The Roc paddleboard is perfectly suited to beginners. At 6 inches thick, 32 inches wide, and 10’5 feet long, it’s very stable even in choppy or fast-flowing water. The non-slip traction pad and grip handle provide extra security and stability.
South Bay Board Co. 11’6 Hippocamp Inflatable Paddle Board
The Hippocamp board by South Bay Board Co. is an excellent paddle board for fishing. You’ll feel confident and stable on this 11’6 board, measuring 6 inches thick and 32 inches across. It’s suitable for everyone from beginners to pros and can even handle two people at the same time with the generous weight capacity of 400 lbs.
The textured traction pad is superb, ensuring you can grip on no matter what the conditions are. You also get a lot of cool accessories with this board, and it’s constructed from very durable military grade PVC.
Atoll 11′ Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
Atoll are a well-known, respected paddleboard manufacturer, and they have expanded into making models suitable for fly fishing. You’ll have no problem storing all your gear, tools, snacks, and more on this Atoll board, with both bungee straps and 14 D-rings for you to use.
This is a large board measuring 11 foot by 33 inches, ensuring great stabililty. The foam EVA pad allows for improved grip and friction while standing up, but is also comfortable to sit or kneel on. Being inflatable, it’s so easy to transport, but feels like a foam board out on the water. You get the best of both worlds with this top board by Atoll.
Peak Expedition Inflatable Paddle Board
If you’re looking for a great mid-range paddle board, this model by Peak Expedition ticks all the boxes. It’s large, wide, and thick, making it ideal for paddle boarding and fishing , even for beginners. Constructed from military grade PVC, it should last a long time. You even get a 1-year warranty to put your mind at ease, and 30-day returns if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
You can head out alone or with a friend or pet on this stable board – the weight limit is 350 lbs. Don’t worry about where to put your gear, as you can keep everything safe and close at hand with the front and rear bungee cords.
iRocker All Around Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board
iRocker aim to improve your paddle boarding experience with their superior products. Their lightweight but sturdy boards are available in a range of exciting, fresh designs to choose from.
It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the backpack, with cool features like a stabilizing board strap and padded straps for extra comfort. You also get a newly improved hand pump which makes pumping up your board much quicker.
However, the iRocker SUPs do only have bungee cords at the front, meaning less storage for your tackle box and equipment. They also don’t have a paddle holder or rod holder. If this is a deal-breaker for you, look for an SUP designed specifically for fly fishing.
TOWER Inflatable 10’4 Stand Up Paddle Board
Although the Tower SUP doesn’t have as many accessories as some other paddle board kits, you can see how much careful attention to detail has gone into the construction of this board. Using military grade PVC and a sturdy drop stitch process, this board is one of the most durable models on the market today.
Not only should it last you a long time, but it’s lightweight, packs up into a compact size, and is very reliable on the water. The single fin construction allows you to travel more quickly on the water so you can get where you want to go and cast some flies! A great choice for any angler.
We love the Vilano Navigator SUP for many reasons: The hard-wearing drop stitch construction, the unique diamond grooved traction mat for a superb grip, the clever storage options, and the generous 2-year warranty. It goes without saying that this paddle board would be ideal for any angler, and all for an affordable price, too.
In our opinion, the Vilano Navigator is the best budget option that you can buy right now.
Fishing Paddle Board FAQ
What are the best paddle boards?
The best paddle boards are extra wide and stable so you can stay upright easily, with a sturdy paddle and soft but grippy foam pad. Check out our reviews above for the hottest paddle boards on the market right now!
Can you fish from a paddle board?
Yes, you can fish from a paddle board! They are ideal for fishing as you can a better viewpoint to spot the fish, plus they are easy to transport and can get you anywhere on the water.
Are Bote paddle boards good?
Bote paddle boards are great for beginner and pros, being very stable, beautifully designed, and sturdy. But as they are rigid fiberglass models, they are more expensive and harder to transport than inflatable models.
What is the best inflatable paddle board?
The best inflatable paddle board combines durability, stability, grip, and comfort. Some of the top brands to look at include Atoll, iRocker, Tower, and NIXY. You also won’t go wrong with any of the models listed above!
The Wrap Up
Every angler should have a go at paddle boarding to take their fishing to the next level. Not only is it an amazing and fun experience, but you can access shallow areas on the water and catch even more fish.
There’s a wide range of SUPs on the market, from inflatables to rigid boards at every price point. If you’re new to the idea of fishing from a paddle board, our guide should help you decide which is the right paddle board for you! We rounded up the best boards that are stable, durable, easy to use, and come with all the accessories an angler will need! So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a paddle board, your rod, and some flies, and get out on the water. You’ll have an incredible experience!
If you loved this article, check out some of other other gear reviews, destination guides, and more on the blog. We’d appreciate it if you could share this article on social media so even more anglers can benefit from our helpful tips and guides! Happy fishing!