TOP 9 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) for Fishing in 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


When you think of fishing, you’ll probably conjure images of folks leisurely casting a rod in by the shoreline, river, or lake bank.

Perhaps you’ll imagine them in a boat or even in a kayak.

But have you ever considered fishing from a stand up paddle board (SUP)?

It’s become a fun, successful, and popular pastime in recent years, and offers an accessible way for people to enjoy fishing while keeping fit at the same time.

So, read on to discover the best fishing paddle boards in 2021, with a full buyer’s guide to help you make a decision.

Isn’t it time you got on board?

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TOP 9 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards for Fishing in 2021

Sea Eagle Inflatable 126 FishSUP

When it comes to inflatable watercraft, Sea Eagle takes some beating. Known for their highly durable inflatable kayaks and boats, here they’ve turned their experienced hands to SUPs, with this dedicated fishing board that’s packed with features.

Able to carry two people with a load weight of 500 lbs, there’s plenty of scope for loading all your gear, and even a furry companion if you choose.

The super-stable deck is spacious and grippy, and a swivel seat fishing rig is included so you have somewhere to kick back and relax, as well as a place to store rods when not in use.

Pros

  • Name to trust.
  • Durable build quality.
  • Super sturdy on the water.
  • Lightweight.
  • Attractive green design.

Cons

  • On the expensive side of SUPs.

Takeaway

When you see the name Sea Eagle, you know you’re getting a quality inflatable, and this board is no exception. Easily one of the best inflatable SUPs for fishing on the market.

Atoll Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Here we have a versatile stand up paddle board that comes in at a perfect 11 feet in length – just right for SUP fishing.

It weighs just 21 lbs, ensuring that it’s highly portable, with the tough and durable travel bag making things even easier.

A carbon fiberglass paddle is included, so you have a super-lightweight blade, and the length and width make this option a perfect all-rounder, suitable for just about any style of paddle boarding there is.

15 D-rings on the deck help you tie down all your fishing gear, and are very useful if you want to add any extra seating or other fishing-friendly accessories.

Pros

  • Highly rated.
  • Very sturdy.
  • Removable fins.
  • Choice of colors.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • The light blue option is considerably more expensive.

Takeaway

Offering a great balance of size and weight, this SUP is highly portable, and is an ideal option for anyone just starting out in the sport and wanting to get a feel for it. Plus, it has hardware for anglers to customize until their heart’s content.

Zray Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Next up is another dedicated fishing SUP with aluminum paddle and high-pressure pump included.

Able to support up to 330 lbs in weight, the extra-wide design offers plenty of deck space for you and all your gear, and features an eyelet fishing skirt to which you can lash equipment to keep it in position.

Six inches thick, the board is super stable and feels very similar to a hardshell, with two fixed and one removable skeg fins, and the ability to add as many extra accessories as you like – including a removable fishing seat.

Pros

  • Lightweight design.
  • Attractive color scheme.
  • Floating paddle.
  • Waterproof phone case included.

Cons

  • Not good for beginners.

Takeaway

A great fishing SUP for more experienced users, this is a well-thought-out design that offers plenty of features that will keep anglers happy. And the color scheme is particularly smart, too.

Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler SUP Board

Here we have a hardshell fishing SUP that has all the hallmarks of a classic fishing kayak but in SUP form.

It includes four fishing mounts so you can add fish finders, GPS, and other accessories, as well as featuring two rod holders and paddle clip to keep things tidy and out of the way when required.

An ingenious flip-up seat can be stowed away when not in use, and there’s plenty of storage options with bow and stern hatches, as well as bungee-cord webbing with a well tank storage to the rear.

Blow molded polyethylene ensures the board is super strong and stable, and four carrying handles make it easy to get the craft to and from the water. And the addition of sweet-spot markers is a great way to show you where you need to stand for optimum balance when casting.

Pros

  • Strong and durable construction.
  • Foot grips for seated paddling.
  • Tool-free snap-in fins.
  • Brushed EVA deck pad for grip.

Cons

  • Much heavier than an inflatable.

Takeaway

One of the best hardshell fishing paddle boards available, if I didn’t already have a fishing kayak I’d be super keen on this. Don’t forget to pick up a good pair of fishing shoes for extra grip and comfort on the deck.

NRS Osprey Fishing Inflatable SUP Board

The NRS Osprey is a popular fishing paddle board and for good reason. With a heavy-duty drop-stitch construction and double-side walls, it’s one of the most durable SUPs on the market, and has a whole host of features that will aid the avid angler.

With six D-rings to attach gear, bungee cord rigging bow and stern, four daisy chains, and three sturdy handles, you have plenty of practical additions to an already fish-friendly board.

Try it with one of these excellent saltwater fishing rods if you’re out in the surf.

Pros

  • Highly portable.
  • Pressure release.
  • Super-sturdy in the water.
  • Premium-quality valves.
  • Attractive fishing aesthetic.

Cons

  • Not cheap for beginners.

Takeaway

Designed with paddle board anglers in mind, this is a great option for more experienced users, a durable, sturdy fishing SUP that will look great fully kitted out.

ISLE Sportsman Inflatable Fishing SUP Board

Just over 11 feet long, the Isle Sportsman inflatable fishing SUP is a nice, manageable length for paddle board users. Durable and lightweight, it’s six inches thick with a very generous 36 inch width, which means it’s one of the most stable craft in this class.

Capable of carrying up to 320 lbs, not only do you have plenty of space for your gear, you can also load up on plenty of weight.

Best of all, it comes with pre-installed Scotty mounts, so you can add a multitude of fishing accessories – including rod holders and fish finders – to suit your personal angling style.

Pros

  • Military-grade PVC.
  • Super sturdy.
  • Eight-inch coil leash included.
  • Premium quality construction.
  • Bungee cords bow and stern.
  • Sticker pack included.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Takeaway

Beautifully designed and built for fishing, this is a top-quality SUP that just might be one of the best inflatable fishing paddle boards out there. It’s so sturdy, you could probably bowfish on the deck with one of these quality bowfishing bows. Give it a try and let me know how you get on.

CBC Marlin Foam Fishing SUP

The California Board Company offers this entry now, a 10 foot fishing SUP with a custom-molded shape designed for versatile use and performance on the water.

A fully adjustable aluminum paddle is included, but attention should be drawn to the excellent metal rod and gear rack that’s built in – which even has a cooler mount so you can bring along a crate of cold ones or store your catch on ice.

Solid and sturdy, the deck has a traction pad that’s super grippy, and bungee cord storage options in the front and rear. Finally, the built-in central carrying handle makes transporting this SUP a breeze, so you can be on the water in no time.

Pros

  • Ready-to-go fishing accessories.
  • Leash included.
  • Removable fin.
  • EPS foam core.
  • Super lightweight design.
  • Attractive camo pattern.

Cons

  • Lower weight capacity than other boards.
  • Nose tips up a little too high and might be noisy on the waves.

Takeaway

A fishing paddle board that is ready for your gear right out of the box, there’s no need to construct your own mounting system with this baby. The dedicated space for a cooler is enough for me to know these guys are singing my tune.

Airhead SUP SS Bonefish 1138

Here we have a funky-looking fishing SUP with a more sporty look and feel for the adventurous anglers out there.

Which is a good thing, consider this craft has two inflatable sponsons for extra stability – so you can fish in rougher waters.

And it’s packed with great features, too, including four integrated mounting pads that will accept fishing rod racks to keep your poles close at hand.

Solid and sturdy in the water, the EVA traction pad helps you keep a good grip when standing, and no less than 12 D-rings and two tie-downs help keep your cooler, tackle boxes, or any other gear in place.

Pros

  • Striking, sporty design.
  • Reinforced drop-stitch construction.
  • Very sturdy platform.
  • Stainless tow rings.
  • Removable fins.

Cons

  • Might be a little on the loud side for some.

Takeaway

A fun fishing SUP that is packed with features and will easily handle all your gear – and some choppier water to boot. Although you’re not short on space, why not take a look at some of these travel fishing rods to really keep things compact and portable?

BOTE Rackham Aero SUP Board for Fishing

Widely regarded as the manufacturer of some of the best paddle boards in the world, it wouldn’t be an SUP review without at least one BOTE offering.

This is their Rackham Aero board, designed specially for fishing, and compatible with a silly amount of accessories so you can customize it right down to the finest detail.

The build-quality is second to none, with innovative features everywhere you look, and has been built to sneak up on your prey – whatever you happen to be hunting.

The BVA foam textured deck pad prevents slips, and dual bungee sections and multiple D-rings will keep your gear and equipment where you need them.

Pros

  • World-class design and construction.
  • Side bite fins.
  • Trolling motor compatible.
  • Velcro gear straps.
  • Grab handles.
  • Premium stealth performance.

Cons

  • Very expensive.

Takeaway

If you’re looking for the best SUP for fishing and hunting, then there’s a good chance you’ve found it. This is a top-quality board that ticks all the boxes – and then some.

How to Choose the Best Paddle Board For Fishing

If you’ve never experienced SUP fishing before, it can be a little daunting when it comes to all the information and specs you might need to consider before purchasing.

We break it down into a handy bite-sized guide below.

Alternatively, you can try one of these float tubes instead – for a more affordable fishing craft option.

man fishing from stand up paddle board in ocean

SUPs for Fishing – What’s it all About?

You might have seen people enjoying stand up paddle boards on calm seaside waters, in lakes, or on quiet rivers.

But they’re not just for having some lazy fun on the water on a hot day – they make excellent fishing vessels, too.

SUPs are much cheaper and more accessible than boats – and they’re lighter than most fishing kayaks.

A paddle board’s size can give you an advantage too, as they’re able to access waterways boats often can’t go. And they’ll be all but silent while doing so, ensuring you won’t scare away all the fish as you would with a noisy, smelly motor.

We could all do with getting a bit more exercise – especially as we’re not getting any younger. SUPs are ideal for getting the blood pumping – and you can be as leisurely or as energetic as you like, to suit your own pace.

Storing and transporting an SUP is super easy – especially compared to a boat. And if you choose an inflatable model, then you have even less of a headache when it comes to getting to and from the water, and you can keep it in the back of your closet or under your bed if you so choose.

Basically, there’s really no excuse not to try one of the best stand up paddle boards for fishing. Give it a go – it just might be a game-changer for you.

man paddle boarding in lake

Inflatable versus Hard Shell

A debate that rages as much among SUP users as it does with kayakers, the ever polarizing inflatable versus hard shell battle rumbles on.

The main advantage of inflatables is transport and storage options. In this arena, it wins hands down. However, depending on your pump, the valves, and the overall quality of the inflatable, its greatest advantage can also be its greatest downfall.

Especially as it can be very time consuming to inflate/deflate the craft.

And something that’s often overlooked, is how dirty the inflatable might get after use, which can be a nightmare when you’re trying to pack it down for transport in your trunk or on the back seat of your vehicle.

It can be every bit as manky as a wet dog.

Hard shells SUPs, like their kayak counterparts, perform much better on the water. However, there are inflatables that can offer comparable stats – or can at least come close.

Still, this is where hard shells excel, and generally speaking, when it comes to speed, maneuverability, and distance, they will outperform inflatables on the water every time.

For overall durability – and how long each type will last – they pretty much cancel each other out.

Hard shells are tough and durable, but they can be easily dented, scratched, and dinged if care isn’t taken. Hit rocks in a hard shell and it might well take damage, hit rocks in an inflatable and it’ll likely bounce right off.

That said, the risk of puncture is still there with an inflatable – no matter how good the craft is. And over time, its ability to retain air will diminish. Inflatables will inevitably need repair and/or replacement eventually.

Too long, didn’t read – for the most part, paddle board anglers tend to prefer inflatable options for their unbeatable portability, which is why you’ll find that this type of board is more readily available.

And for fishing, you don’t really need cutting-edge performance to get to the action, anyway.

Size and Hull Shape

SUPs are available with two distinct hull types – displacement and planing.

Displacement hulls resemble a V-shape, and they’re usually on the longer side. As the name suggests, they’re designed for displacing water, so you can move through the waves at speed.

But what they offer in pace, they lack in stability, and as such they don’t make the best SUP choice for fishing.

You’ll probably not be required to make razor-sharp turns, or you won’t be racing, and/or pulling tricks, a planing hull is more suitable for anglers.

Wider, flatter, and more stable, they provide a rock-solid platform from which to cast rods and reel in your catch.

As for the paddle board size, you want something that’s going to accommodate you and all your gear.

Depending on your own circumstances, you should look for boards with a longer, wider deck, with plenty of space for all your stuff – and if you want to take a four-legged-friend out for a cruise, too.

Seating

Although the name SUP – stand up paddle board – suggests you’re standing up all the time, it is possible to kit your craft out with seating.

In fact, many anglers prefer to do this, so they have somewhere to rest and take the weight off when they’re not casting or reeling in.

You can either look out for fishing paddle boards that have a seat section already built in, or you can install one yourself at a later date.

Fixed and inflatable seating is available, or you could simply sit on a storage crate or cooler.

Fishing Mounts and Accessories

Like fishing kayaks, some paddle boards come with dedicated fishing-friendly features that are designed to help the angler in any way possible.

This might include fishing rod holders, line stripping mats or boxes, mounting poles for fish finders and/or GPS, and other useful features.

However, just because a paddle board doesn’t come with these extras, doesn’t mean you can’t customize them to suit your specific needs. There are plenty of paddle board fishing accessories available.

Look for SUPs that can accommodate a fishing set up. There’s a lot of fun to be hand pimping out your craft with your own personal load out.

And you can even choose a cheaper paddle board and kit it out yourself – but it will take you more time and effort.

fishing equipment on wooden background

Storage Options

The same can be said with the storage options on a paddle board. Many potential SUP anglers are often curious about where to keep tackle and any potential catch.

Some boards come with storage options as standard, such as bungee webbing or hatches similar to fishing kayaks.

However, you can always add your own, such as using one of these excellent fishing coolers to house your lunch, a few cold ones, or keep your catch fresh.

Paddles

SUP paddles are different from kayak versions, given the fact that you need to be standing to use them. As such, they’re long enough to reach the water, and usually only feature one paddle blade.

But if you’re going to add seating to your SUP and turn it into a kayak hybrid, you can easily get away with using traditional kayak paddles.

Various materials are used in the construction of paddles, including PVC (plastic), aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.

For lighter options, look for paddle boards that come with fiberglass or carbon paddles. Remember, you can always upgrade this with experience in the future.

And don’t forget you’ll need a paddle park to keep your paddle secure when not in use while fishing. The last thing you want is to see that go floating off.

Top tip – it’s a good idea to have an emergency paddle stowed on board as a backup – because such accidents can and do happen to the best of us.

The Leash

For people who enjoy surfing or coastal paddle boarding, the leash is one of the most important features on the SUP. Without one, you can easily lose your board, and – in the worst case scenario – you can lose your life.

If you’re fishing on calmer waters, such as inland lakes and rivers, a leash isn’t so necessary, and many SUP fisher people don’t bother with using one.

However, it’s still something to consider, especially as it will help you get back to your board if you do happen to fall off – which happens to even the most experienced SUP and kayak anglers.

I would highly recommend it, as nobody wants to see their expensive board float away down the river in the event of a slip up.

Safety and Fitness

That brings us nicely on to a bit about safety in general. Whenever using any watercraft – especially kayaks and SUPs, you should be wearing a personal flotation device (PFD).

You can pick up some ingenious fishing life jackets that will do the job with aplomb, and give you some additional storage space as if you have an extra pair of hands.

It’s important that you don’t mistake them for fishing vests. While they are excellent for storing tackle for shore or bank fishing, they’re not to be used as life preservers.

But in this category, we should also mention fitness – as you should be aware that stand up paddle boarding is one of the more physically demanding water-related activities.

SUP users need to have a good overall level of fitness initially, as it’s most certainly going to give you a workout – even if you’re experienced in paddle sports.

Remember, wherever you paddle, you’ll still have to paddle back – so don’t go beyond the limits of your own capabilities.

Cost

The best paddle boards for fishing, while much cheaper than a boat, can still be on the expensive side.

For a good one, expect to pay anywhere from $400 to over $1000.

Budget-friendly options are available, and as mentioned, you can save money by choosing a cheap version and kitting it out yourself.

FAQs

Can you fish from a paddle board?

Yes! Paddle board fishing is an excellent way to combine two fun sports and enjoy the great outdoors at the same time.

Providing you’re using one of the best fishing SUP options, there’s no reason you can’t get out on a paddle board and catch a ton of fish.

What is the most stable paddle board?

You need to look for paddle boards that have a planing hull – that is a wider, flatter base than a V-shape or displacement hull.

Outside of that, it would be really hard to find the most stable paddle board unless someone were to personally test them all.

Worry not though, providing you have the right shaped hull, the paddle board should be perfectly suitable for fishing.

What is the best paddle board for fishing?

That’s a tough one, as it will come down to personal preference. The best board for me might be different for you.

Look for boards that offer the most fishing-friendly features, or that can at least accommodate upgrades from the base model.

If you want me to pick one though, I’d go for the Sea Eagle. It might be a bit more expensive, but those things are built to last.

Which is better: a kayak or a paddle board?

It really depends on what you’re wanting to achieve. Both have their clear advantages and disadvantages, and again, it will likely just come down to personal preference.

You have a lot more on-deck space with a paddle board, but taking on water and getting wet is the trade-off. Paddle boards are also much slower.

Still, for the extra room alone you’ll find that a lot of anglers who have been fishing from kayaks for years are starting to make the switch.

And here’s another thought – you can turn a paddle board into a kayak, but you can’t turn a kayak into a paddle board…

Where will I store my fish?

If you want to bring home your quarry for a fabulous dinner, then you need somewhere to store the fish on your SUP.

You can opt to simply use a bucket of water on the back of the board, but I would highly recommend a fishing cooler instead.

And they make a great place to stash your lunch and some suds if you’re practicing catch and release.

How do you fish from a paddle board?

Great question, and there are all kinds of tips and techniques you can use to maximize your paddle board fishing success.

Take a look at the informative video below for some detailed advice on SUP angling.

Is paddle boarding easy?

It’s not a total walk in the park – it has to be said. Paddle boarding does take a modicum of fitness, and is an excellent way of keeping fit.

While it is very easy to learn, you do need the stamina to be able to enjoy it safely and effectively, and it does take effort to get around – particularly on still waters.

It will give you a full body workout, that’s for sure. Here’s another great video on how to paddle board if you’re a beginner.

What size paddle board should I get for fishing?

Somewhere between 30-35 inches wide is recommended. As for the length, around 11-12 feet is usually the best option for fishing.

Remember that shorter, wider boards are preferable for stability, and longer, thinner SUPs are more commonly used for touring and traveling distances. Just like their kayak counterparts.

Are fishing paddle boards different from surfing paddle boards?

While you can use a surfing paddle board for fishing, it’s not really recommended.

The rounded end doesn’t cut through the water very well, and as they’re usually raised, they can be extremely noisy when slapping on the waves if you’re fishing in the surf.

Surfing paddle boards are not as wide either, which means you might struggle to get all your gear on, and they won’t be nearly as stable as dedicated fishing SUPs.

Summary

The best fishing paddle boards in 2021 offer the chance to get away from it all and explore the great outdoors in a way you might not have considered before.

And help you catch dinner at the same time.

Do let me know in the comments which board you’ve gone for and why, and feel free to leave tales of your own SUP angling experiences.

Tight lines, and happy fishing y’all!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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