Hola! Welcome to our review of the top 9 best fishing SUPs (stand-up paddleboards).
Being on the open water with your boat, yourself and your fishing gear is every angler’s dream. But what if I told you, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a motorboat or expensive kayak anymore? Instead, it’s time to start considering a stand-up paddleboard. Today, SUP fishing is becoming more and more popular among anglers due to the improved designs of SUPs. Whereas in the past, they were overlooked due to design flaws, those issues are no more.
Over the course of 3 days, the Fishing Sensei team and I have water tested these fishing paddle boards for portability, weight, size, and, most crucial of all, stability. On our list, we have boards that are categorized as paddle boards, but may as well be a boat or dinghy. On the other hand, we also have some products with the original foam paddle board design that’s been improved just for anglers. We paddled over sticks, rocks, rapids, and even pushed each board past its carrying capacity. If there was going to be an issue, we were going to find it out for you.
Our best overall pick was the BOTE Rackham Aero SUP. While I was testing it out, I was left in awe by how much thought was put into building this fishing SUP. Although categorized as a paddle board, the BOTE Rackham Aero can transform into a pedal drive kayak or even a motorized kayak. With a mountable rack that can fit a cooler, bucket, or gear, plus a removable chair, this fishing SUP is ready to take you onto any body of water for extended periods of time.
If the incredible Rackham Aero doesn’t float your boat, don’t worry. We’ve got eight other fishing paddle boards on our list that are all unique in their own rights. Enjoy the conveniently placed specifications for each product and make your final choice based on what your gut tells you. Start pumping up your paddle board, because here we go into the top 9 best fishing stand-up paddle boards.
Our Top 9 Picks
- BOTE Rackham Aero (Best Overall)
- BOTE Rover Aero (Best Splurge)
- Sea Eagle FishSUP 126 (Best Durability)
- BOTE HD Aero (Best Portability)
- CBC 10′ Marlin Foam Fishing SUP (Best Budget)
- NRS Heron Fishing SUP (Best Unsinkable)
- Fish Stalker Fishing SUP (Best Stability)
- Aqua Marina Drift (Best For Beginners)
- Bluefin Voyage SUP (Best Bundle)
What To Look For To Choose The Best Fishing SUP (Stand-Up Paddle Board)
Choosing a SUP can be challenging, especially if you don’t have prior experience. For your convenience, we’ve created this buying guide to give you a better idea of what to look for.
In my opinion, this is the most critical feature of any paddle board. Since no guard rails or walls are holding you or your gear on the board, it’s imperative to have stability across the entire unit. You should be able to stand on the nose or the tail and still feel stable and secure.
Remember, as you fish off your SUP, you’ll be more focused on landing fish than where you’ll be stepping. It’s important to ensure that the SUP fishing board you purchase provides stability appropriate for your height and weight, so make sure to keep that in mind while referring to this buyer’s guide.
If you’re over 6 feet tall, I wouldn’t buy anything less than 11 feet, with a weight capacity of at least 300 pounds.
The higher the maximum weight capacity, the more stability and room for play you’re going to have on the fishing board. However, if the weight capacity is 300 pounds and the fishing board itself is 50 pounds, you only have 250 pounds left to play with. That includes your gear, yourself, and whatever else you want to bring.
Attachment Points/Gear Compatibility
One of the biggest concerns with paddle boards is how your equipment stays secured. Without raised edges, the risk of your gear falling off the sides is high.
To prevent this, nowadays, most fishing paddle boards come with D-ring attachments or high-weight cloth hook points. Just note that if there are mounting brackets, you’ll likely have to purchase compatible equipment manufactured by the same company as the paddle board itself.
There’s nothing worse than losing gear overboard, so always double-check your equipment is set and locked before paddling off for your SUP fishing adventure!
The deck pad doesn’t sound like the most essential feature, but for comfort and traction, it ranks up there with stability. While shopping for a stand-up paddle board, you’ll come across cork, EVA, diamond, and crocodile skin pads, each having its own pros and cons.
With each made for traction, they’re pretty synonymous. But crocodile skin pads are the most sought-after for all-around performance. In comparison, cork pads are the most eco-friendly.
Your paddle is your form of propulsion. While looking for a SUP, be sure the paddle is height-adjustable. And if you’re looking to get fancy, be sure it includes two paddles for kayak purposes.
The biggest problem with your paddle is where to put it while you’re fishing. For that reason, most SUPs have a paddle sheath or oar mounts.
As with any significant purchase, it’s important to know what kind of protection you have. All the paddle boards on this list are inflatable paddle boards except the CBC Marlin. And the biggest concern with inflatable fishing paddle boards is puncture wounds.
If you were to have a situation where the SUP was completely ruined due to the manufacturers fault, it’s important to be reimbursed via a refund or a new paddle board.
The 9 Best Fishing SUPs
Now, let’s jump into the 9 best paddle boards for fishing on the market today!
- Length: 12.4 ft
- Max Load: 400 pounds
- Beam: 3.2 ft
- Height: 7 inches
- Weight: 45 pounds
Starting our list, the BOTE Rackham Aero is our best overall fishing SUP and excels in all areas. The Rackham Aero is more than just a stand-up paddle board. Instead, it comes ready to be transformed into a paddled or even a pedal-driven kayak. BOTE thought about the customer ahead of time and expanded its product to accommodate fishermen better than any paddle board out there.
This fishing SUP excels for many reasons, such as its rudder attachment system, optional pedal drive, raised lip, paddle sheath, and size. With this SUP, you’re basically buying three separate vessels built into one paddle board.
The size alone means you have plenty of space to organize your gear, yourself, and whatever fish you bring aboard. Plus, the never-ending optional accessories allow you to customize this fishing SUP precisely the way you want. For example, there are two built-in mounting systems that allow for a 5-gallon bucket, chair, and even a kayak paddle mount to store oars if you convert this fishing SUP board into a kayak.
A great design concept built into this product is the raised lip in the center of the SUP, which offers plenty of benefits. First, storing your gear just became more secure. You won’t have to worry about anything sliding into the water since the raised lip prevents objects from moving. This lip also adds stability, bringing you closer to the water and the sides of the kayak higher. So jump around, land a fish, or pick up your paddle, try as you might, you will not tip the BOTE Rackham Aero.
However, the Rackham isn’t the lightest on our list, so if you’re worried about weight, keep moving down our list and find what’s right for you.
As a bonus, BOTE also took into account portability and included an easy-to-use backpack system that all of your pieces compact into. If you’re an angler looking for more than a stand-up paddle board, with outstanding durability, stability, and portability, then search no more, the Rackham Aero is the best fishing paddle board for you.
- Length: 12.6 ft
- Max Load: 330 pounds
- Beam: 3.5 ft
- Height: 11 inches
- Weight: 63 pounds
Up next, the BOTE Rover Aero is hands down the absolute best on our list. The Rackham Aero has everything you need, but this has everything you want. This inflatable paddle board has it all – catamaran stabilizing stern tubes, accessories out the wahoo, a center deep well, and length.
What really sets this fishing paddle board apart from the rest is its rear catamaran stabilizers and, well, honestly, every other feature.
Whether you want a motorized boat, a stand-up paddle board, or a kayak, the BOTE Rover Aero can do it all. The extra stability enables you to bring extra weight and stand anywhere on this vessel without worrying about tipping. With similar features to the Rackham Aero, the Rover Aero is like its upgraded big brother. The center deep well is 4 inches deeper than the Rackham, which further helps secure you and your gear. Then, the stabilizing tubes give you extra stability, allowing for a trolling motor or even a small gas-powered engine. And lastly, the built-in D-rings lock your bags down, securing them directly to the SUP. So even if you flip (which you won’t), your gear will still be attached.
If you’re looking for the ultimate fishing paddle board, this is your best bet. The stabilizing catamaran tubes I keep mentioning help this paddle board glide through the water, steer, stabilize, and disperse weight.
Another huge plus point is the Power Rac which electrifies this fishing SUP, making it compatible with all of your fishing accessories (fish finder, depth finder, trolling motor). This is the closest you can come to buying a boat without having to register it or worry about a trailer.
That being said, since this is essentially a boat, the weight is higher than average. And of course, as our best splurge, this isn’t the cheapest, though with quality comes a few extra dollars.
Finally, to seal the deal, this fishing SUP collapses into a convenient carrying bag that gets thrown right onto your back like a backpack for easy transport. So throw it on your back, and start your adventure. This is without a doubt the best fishing paddle board on the market. If shelling out roughly a hundred extra dollars isn’t an issue for you, then this is the paddle board we recommend.
- Length: 12.6 ft
- Max Load: 500 pounds
- Beam: 3.4 ft
- Height: 6 inches
- Weight: 68 pounds
At number 3, we’ve got the Sea Eagle Fish SUP 126. This SUP is strictly designed for fishing enthusiasts with the intention of landing slobs on even the roughest water bodies. Unlike the Rover or Rockham, this SUP comes with a detachable, comfortable seat already in the package, so when those legs of yours get tired, not to worry, just take a seat.
Let’s start by talking about the stand-out features of the Sea Eagle – its extreme maximum weight and very durable material (1000 denier reinforced drop stitching). This rugged material means you can run over rocks, sticks, and submerged objects with no fear. What’s more, the double-stitched design gives you ample material to use and abuse.
Moving forward, if you’re an angler who likes to fish with their significant other or even your child, this is the best fishing padddle board you can get. Sea Eagle advertises this as a two-person SUP, and with the 500-pound max weight, you’ll have plenty of room left over. Now with that said, two 300-pound grown men will not be able to use this SUP correctly, so be sure to size correctly for your planned adventures.
On top of the large carrying capacity, the Sea Eagle also comes with some of the best D-rings on our list. They’re double-stitched into the material, making sure none of your equipment comes loose. Also, the built-in fishing rod holders give you more room for things on the deck and better access to your equipment, not to mention prevent punctures from your rod due to accidental slips.
The Sea Eagle is the toughest paddle board in the world. However, if you’re looking for a pedal drive attachment, this SUP doesn’t come with that feature. Instead, there’s a removable trolling motor mount that gives you electronic propulsion.
If your goal is fishing, and you put a beating on your equipment, this could just be the SUP for you, for Sea Eagle has constructed the most hardy SUP out there.
- Length: 11.6 ft
- Max Load: 315 pounds
- Beam: 2.1 ft
- Height: 6 inches
- Weight: 30 pounds
Landing at number 4, we’ve got another BOTE product, the HD Aero. Unlike the Rover and Rackham, this is simply a high-quality stand-up inflatable paddle board. Forget about all the fancy kayak and skiff accessories, If you’re looking for the most easily transportable SUP there is, you’re in the right place.
BOTE is known for its accessories, so rest assured most features made by BOTE will be compatible with the HD Aero (5-gallon bucket, paddle sheath, fishing rod mount/rack). Another add-on that is unique to the HD Aero is the detachable carrying strap that drapes over your shoulder for easy portability. Unlike the average SUP, BOTE thought about the consumer’s needs for transporting this paddle board to the water. Weighing only 30 pounds, you can inflate this SUP and carry it directly from your car, with extreme ease.
Once on the water, it’s worth noting that there’s a 3 fin system on the underside which improves your stability, steering, and speed. Compared to a paddle board with only one center fin, this one is much better at keeping you on track. Although there isn’t a raised lip like the BOTE cousins, the rack mounting system and bungee straps will do more than enough to secure you and your equipment directly to the paddle board.
If you’re on the hunt for a basic inflatable fishing SUP that’s very customizable and can be hauled anywhere, look no further.
- Length: 10 ft
- Max Load: 275 pounds
- Beam: 3.2 ft
- Height: 8 inches
- Weight: 26 pounds
Next, the CBC 10’ Marlin Foam Fishing SUP is your standard classic paddle board. Made out of stiff, durable foam, this SUP is similar to a surfboard. Included in this package are a gear rack, cooler mount, and adjustable paddle.
Don’t expect a high-tech, beefy, transformable kayak; this SUP is all about the basics. This SUP is our best budget, or cheapest option on our list. But don’t let the price fool you, the accessories included still give you the bare minimum required for paddle board fishing on any body of water you wish to venture on.
I particularly like that the rigid foam design allows you to abuse this paddle board with little to no consequences. So if you’re a beginner, this is a great starting point.
However, since this is a foam board, it doesn’t break down for easy storage. This could pose an issue if you don’t have much room in the garage. That small drawback aside, you’ll have a traction pad and dual bungee system that keep your feet glued to the board and your equipment secured.
If you’re on a budget but want to get out on the water, the CBC Marlin is as affordable as it gets and is durable enough for all of your needs. You won’t find all these in any other SUP at this price. Its stiff rigid foam will withstand the abuse of an angler, the top-of-the-line bungee system holds your gear down, and the sticky deck pad will keep you stable.
- Length: 11 ft
- Max Load: 300 pounds
- Beam: 3.1 ft
- Height: 7 inches
- Weight: 45 pounds
Number 6, the NRS Heron Fishing SUP is designed to take on the most arduous waters and still keep you afloat. This SUP is top-of-the-line with its three-chamber inflatable system design. With three inflatable tubes, you’re getting increased stability, comfort, and, most importantly, safety. Even if one tube does get punctured, you and your gear will be fine. In a nutshell, if one air space is compromised, the three-chamber system still keeps you floating.
Although this SUP doesn’t have fins, it does have a raised guide acting as a stabilizer, so the paddle board doesn’t walk (slide side to side) as you paddle. For the straps, this board features 6 steel D-rings fastened to the SUP with PVC material. All you’ll need are a few bungee cords and slap to ensure it’s tight, and away you go, secure as ever.
It’s also nice that NRS went ahead and installed 3 mounting brackets to give the consumer the option for compatible accessories. Some of these options are rod holders, camera mounts, and even fish finder attachments.
The NRS is a beast. Its outer tubes keep you anchored and balanced on the paddle board. We jumped on it, ran on it, and over weighted it; during all this, the tubes never showed any signs of trouble. If you’re going paddling with a dog or child and you’re concerned with safety or need that extra buffer, the NRS Heron is the best fishing paddle board for you. It may not transform into a kayak like the Rackham Aero, but the price reflects that, and you can’t go wrong with the NRS Heron.
- Length: 12 ft
- Max Load: 500 pounds
- Beam: 2.1 ft
- Height: 8 inches
- Weight: 55 pounds
Coming in at number 7, the Fish Stalker Fishing SUP is similar in design to the NRS Heron with its triple air chambers. But Fish Stalker took it one step further, incorporating a catamaran design. This unit is hands down the most stable on the market. It’s constructed out of military-grade PVC material that is nearly impenetrable.
With this fishing SUP being so stable, you’re provided a trolling motor mount that clips right into the stern of the board. You’ll be slicing through small waves and waves from other boats like butter. With the catamaran design, the SUP cuts through the water just like a sailboat, optimizing every one of your paddle strokes.
Other features to note on this fishing paddle board are the threaded RAM inserts that make this vessel compatible with all RAM accessories (fish finders, depth finders, rod holders, and camera mounts). This translates to a highly customizable SUP.
To clarify, the Fish Stalker has very little turbulence due to the catamaran design, making it very stable. Both the NRS Heron and this SUP are hard to sink, but if you’re looking for a smoother and more stable ride, this is the SUP you’ll want. For those looking to do fly fishing, this is a great fishing SUP for the job, as fly fishing calls for more stability.
Best For Beginners
- Length: 10.1 ft
- Max Load: 286 pounds
- Beam: 3.2 ft
- Height: 6.5 inches
- Weight: 28 pounds
Our next fishing paddle board is quite similar to the NRS Heron, except with more accessories. This SUP comes ready to go with a tri-chamber design that increases stability and durability. The Drift is one of the lighter fishing paddle boards around, but don’t let the product’s weight deter you from quality. With its simple setup and easy-to-use accessories, this is the best for you beginners trying to get your feet wet.
Aqua Marina wanted to move beyond just being a paddle board and incorporate some other boating features as well. This includes a fish cooler that doubles as a chair, fastened right down to the board with ease. Then on the underside, unlike the NRS Heron, there’s a full fin to stabilize your board from walking (the board sliding side to side as you paddle) and optimise aerodynamics. Furthermore, they have incorporated mounts for every accessory a fisherman could need.
There are three carrying handles attached, 2 fishing rod holders, and bungee cords with D-rings to strap all your fishing equipment down. In addition, to store all of your electronics, you have a dry container on the top surface of the cooler. I was also impressed by the diamond deck pad which makes the board non-slip and more secure, enabling you to focus on the game.
Finally, the Aqua Marina Drift is easy to set up and has all the accessories you would need (rod holders, paddle, fin, bungee cord, pump, cooler straps, and puncture repair kit) to get yourself started. The cooler is well-built with plenty of storage compartments and also serves as a nice seat with a backrest. And all the accessories included are perfect to get you catching fish.
This isn’t the SUP with the most high-tech gadgets, but if you’re looking for a fishing paddle board that’s safe, stable, and ideal for beginners, all for under $800, you could do a lot worse than the Aqua Marina Drift.
- Length: 10.1 ft
- Max Load: 397 pounds
- Beam: 3.1 ft
- Height: 8 inches
- Weight: 37.5 pounds
Finishing things off, we’ve got the fishing SUP with the best bundle. The Bluefin Voyage SUP is the perfect SUP bundle for all levels of anglers. Included is everything to get you going, hand pump, fins (and extra fins), kooler, carrying bag, rod holders, and an ankle leash.
The Bluefin Voyage is best used in a calmer setting (pond, lake) to help get your feet wet and get your balance down. The wide beam and large under fin with stabilize you and help your board stay tracked in the water. In addition, the built-in rod holders and bungee chord system strap your gear down for any bumps along the way. Having said that, it’s still not as stable as the Rackham Aero, and is best used in calmer waters.
As an angler, it’s pertinent to understand your SUP, and Bluefin created this set-up to make paddle boarding simple. They’ve added an extra 20% to the width (compared to other fishing paddle boards) and a “sticky” deck pad to keep you locked on when paddling. For propulsion, the Voyage opted for lightweight fiberglass paddles to guarantee strength while also keeping the package light.
The biggest problem with the Bluefin is that it’s not compatible with every angler. Since this is only 10.1 feet long, a stockier, taller angler may have some balancing issues. But not to worry, if you’re of larger stature, just get the BOTE Rover or BOTE Rackham.
Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned angler, don’t pass up this package deal, you won’t regret it.
Why Use A Fishing SUP
What makes a fishing SUP better than a motorboat or a kayak? This is quite a common question so we’ll be addressing it in this section.
For most anglers, price is a huge factor. Some of us don’t have Grand Canyon-sized pockets, and saving a buck where we can is important.
Fishing paddle boards on average range from $300-$2,000. The pricier it is, the more gadgets and accessories you’ll be getting. Compared to boats of all shapes and sizes, a stand-up paddle board can bring you almost anywhere a boat can and still cost a fraction of the price.
One of the best features of a SUP is the compact, portable design. With inflatable paddle boards, it’s as straightforward as throwing the inflatable paddleboard into its carrying bag and trekking into your desired location. This is something you can’t do with kayaks and boats, so you can reach locations that kayak and boat anglers can’t.
Compared to a kayak, it’s no competition. You won’t need a roof rack or trailer. Plus, once you’re ready to hit the water, you won’t need a boat dolly to help you get to your fishing spot.
When fishing, being quiet is essential to not scaring fish away, as well as for peace and relaxation. While gliding across the top of the lake, you won’t make a peep. This entails not letting the fish know your whereabouts, increasing your chances of landing the slob!
Ease of storage and transport
One of the worst parts of boating is packing the boat onto the trailer, draining the water, pulling plugs, and cleaning the bottom, all to store it properly. When it comes to SUPs, it’s as simple as wiping the underside down, deflating the air, and rolling the SUP up into its easy-transport bag.
Has your doctor said you should get a few more steps in during the day? Well, you’re in luck; when purchasing a SUP, you’re killing two birds with one stone. Everywhere you paddle, you’ll be burning some calories and getting an excellent workout included for free!
Just don’t forget to hydrate as you paddle around the lake all day!
Additional Fishing SUP Gear To Consider
One of the biggest perks of stand-up fishing paddle boards is compatibility with other gear. Whether attached directly to you or your SUP, we wanted to cover any additional gear you might need.
Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
Safety should always be your number one concern, even when relaxing and enjoying some fishing. Whether you wear it or store it, it’s imperative to have a PFD on board. Nowadays, we have water-activated PFDs that are slim and sleek while wearing them. This prevents that bulky, uncomfortable feeling like the old orange ones.
Be sure to get the proper weight and size when looking for one.
Fishing Rod Mount/Holders
Fishing is all about working smarter and not harder. If you have your poles on the deck, you increase the chances of puncturing the board and also breaking your fishing rods! Be sure to consider fishing rod mounts that are compatible with your SUP!
Just like your fishing poles, it’s important to keep the deck clear. Most paddle boards for fishing come with a paddle sheath or oar clip to keep the paddle in a safe spot. But if yours is lacking in this field, be sure to check out other compatible paddle holders or oar rests/sheaths for your leisure.
Considering you’ll be on the water all day and accidents do happen, it’s always better to do preventive maintenance. Whether you think you’re going to tip over or not, it’s important to store your valuables and electronics in a waterproof case or bag.
If not included in your SUP package, it’s a good idea to grab one before heading out onto the water.
Our goal here is to catch fish, and if you’re like me, you only fish for what you want to keep. Once you have fish onboard, it’s vital to keep the deck clear and fish appropriately stored.
Here are the best fishing coolers to keep your catch fresh.
Although the point of a SUP is to move around on the water, there are times when you’ll want to be stationary. That’s when an anchor or sand spear comes into play. While searching for one, be sure not to get one that’s overweighted for your paddle board cleats. I’ve seen cleats get damaged due to strong waves and the anchor’s hold keeping the cleats from moving with the waves.
An electric pump will save you time and energy. If you’re not a fan of hand pumps or foot pumps, I suggest getting an electric pump to cut your preparation time in half and save more energy for fishing.
Kayak Conversion Kit
A kayak conversion kit is a bundle of accessories that transform your SUP into a workable, comfortable kayak. Usually, this kit will include a detachable seat, a backrest, footrests, and sometimes a additional paddle that can be attached to your SUP paddle to create a kayaking paddle.
The benefits of a conversion kit are spectacular. If you’re tired of standing or balancing, you now have the option to take a seat, relax, and cast your line out.
This is definitely something to consider if you’re an angler who will be on the water for an extended amount of time. The thing is, each brand’s SUP is different, so you’ll have to get a kayak conversion kit from your SUP’s brand.
Tips To Make The Most of Your Fishing SUP
If you want to take your adventures to the next level, check out these tips we’ve listed below to help you get ahead.
While paddle boarding looks simple, it can take a little while to get you and your body acclimated to balancing on the SUP. Do yourself a favor; before committing to a full day of fishing on your board, take a day to familiarise yourself and practice balancing without gear on your board.
Just like learning to walk, we should always crawl before running.
Bring Only Essential Gear
SUPs all have a maximum weight that they’re rated for. The closer to that weight you get, the more problems you’ll start to notice. For example, if you overload your SUP, your waterline will lower, inevitably increasing the drag, slowing you down, and making it harder to steer/paddle.
Bring only your essential fishing gear, some snacks and water, plus your safety gear.
Secure Your Gear
Whatever you do, don’t get too comfortable and not secure your gear. The best climbers fall, the best fighters lose, and you too will drop gear if you don’t secure it. Whether you use the bungee system or D-ring and rope configuration, BE SURE to secure your load and give it a tug to ensure it’s not going anywhere.
There’s nothing worse than losing your fishing tackle to a snag, so secure your gear if you don’t want to lose all your tackle to a capsize.
Get A License And Adhere To Local and Federal Laws
We should all be following local and federal laws as fishermen. Be sure to be doing your part and make sure there are no licenses or registration rules you’ve skipped over.
The only thing worse than a fishing trip cut short is a cut-short fishing trip with a ticket.
As we come to an end, we’ve covered the 9 best fishing paddle boards with each being the best in its respective criteria. We’ve covered the best and most expensive down to the best budget all out on the market today.
After intensive trials and long hours testing each SUP, we’ve come to the conclusion that the BOTE Rackham is the best overall on the market. Its size, construction, and accessories included are all top-tier and perform better than most on the market. From the deck pad to the rack mounts, you’ll be set for a full day or overnight stay on your next camping adventure.
As you make your final purchase, be sure you get the correct size for your height and weight. There’s nothing worse than having to make a return on something you’re excited to use. Happy SUP fishing, and best of luck on the water!