What is the Best Paddle Board for Fishing 2018?
Imagine Surf V2 Wizard Angler
If one can be honest, Imagine Surf’s Wizard Angler is more like a small boat than a paddle board. This is due to the fact that it is actually a hybrid. Part paddle board, part kayak, the Wizard Angler can seamlessly transition from one to the other with a few minor adjustments to unlock the well-integrated (and engineered) seat. This paddle board is made of a single piece of blown ethylene and can be used with or without the fin. This means that it is both highly durable (no worries when it comes to rocks, logs, or thick aquatic vegetation) and very stable. The rod holders and storage hatches show that it was built for fishing. Foot wells make it more comfortable for the rider when in kayak mode.
If there is one knock on the Wizard Angler, it would be its weight at a smidgen under 100lbs. Sure, when on the water the weight is almost negligible, but that weight will be all too real for whoever has to carry the board from the car or rack and onto the water.
Aqua Marina Drift Fishing Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board with Fish Cooler & Fishing Rod Holders
Aqua Marina’s Drift Fishing paddle board is no ordinary inflatable. It is more a fishing vessel than anything. Aqua Marina spared no expense with regards to design and obviously had the anglers’ convenience in mind throughout the entire process. The nearly 11-foot board’s stability is maximized by the integration of a double-sided rail. The angler could practically dance upon the thing without too much worry. The makers of the board also built-in two rod holders which means that the rider can not only cast from the board but trawl from it as well.
Finally, the board also comes with a removable cooler, which can be attached to the middle of the board. This cooler, in which the paddler can store drinks, snacks and, of course, their catch, also doubles as seating. The lid is even fitted with a high back support for comfort.
As an inflatable paddle board, the Drift Fishing paddle board comes with everything a paddler needs to transport and inflate the board, everything that is except the one thing they need to actually move on the water, a paddle! This is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things but it would be nice not to have to make a separate purchase for a paddle. Upon closer inspection the “magic backpack” that holds the paddle board seems to be of a generic build and can benefit from sturdier construction.
Ocean Kayak Nalu Hybrid
Ocean Kayak’s Nalu is considered a SUSTOP (Stand Up Sit-On-Top Paddle board). Or simply put - a hybrid. The rider can either stand up and use it like a traditional paddle board, or sit down and use it like a quasi-kayak. Riders looking for a more complete kayak feel may want to purchase the Comfort Tech seat for added support.
The Nalu is stable for both activities and this makes it a stable platform to fish from both positions, standing and seated.
The Nalu is great for newcomers to paddle board fishing as it represents a good compromise between the two activities. However, there is a distinct lack of fishing related properties like rod holders, coolers or storage holds. Furthermore, while the Nalu can act as both paddle board and kayak it does not excel at being either.
AIRHEAD AHSUP-3, SS Stand Up Paddleboard, Camo
While some paddle boards display their flamboyant colors for all to see, Airhead’s AHSUP-3 takes pride in its ability not to be seen at all. A camouflage pattern has been printed on the board throughout all of its 10ft, 8in body. This makes it difficult for fish to recognize what it is from the bottom or from the surface. Airhead claims that this board is “Super Stable” due its tapered rails. Its extra drop stitch construction makes it a rugged inflatable that can handle the rigors of white water as well as the potential rough waters-edge terrain. Airheads has fitted the AHSUP-3 with three removable fins which means that it is a breeze to pack away and carry.
However, for a paddle board with the fisherman in mind, it does fall short in terms of providing rod holders, a cooler or hold, and more webbing. On top of that, the rider must purchase a paddle separately. It is not as convenient as some other boards, but the AHSUP-3 nicely combines some needs of an angler with a high-performance SUP. Its aggressive nose means that it can punch through small waves and its durable design ensures that it can handle rough water and terrain.
Pelican Sup Flow 106 Board, Fade Red/Yellow
A no muss, no fuss solid single piece paddle board, Pelican’s Sup Flow 106 is a great entry level board for anglers looking to take their sport to a new level. This board is as uncomplicated as it gets due to its hard plastic construction and single 5-inch fin. An angler simply needs to take it directly from their car to the water and off they go.
The hard plastic construction also makes the board highly resistant to damage. Anglers need not be afraid of taking this board into dense vegetation or even near rocks. The board is rounded off with a grippy, anti-slip foam deck pad and webbing at the front of the board is great for holding gear like a small cooler and tackle.
The Sup Flow 106, however, is short on other fishing comforts like rod holders. For a hollow hard plastic board it is surprisingly heavy at 46 pounds which may make it a bit unwieldy when out of the water.
Yes, paddle boarding can be a relaxing activity. Ramp up the excitement by taking it on white water, or even scratch that competitive itch by grabbing a touring board for a long distance race. There are numerous activities that can be had on a paddle board, from yoga to simply drifting on a small breeze on a placid lake. However, there is one activity that combines the solitude of being out on the water with a burst of excitement. What was initially seen as a novelty, fishing from a paddle board has gained traction over the last handful of years. These days it is seen as a legitimate, if not interesting, way to chase fish on rivers, lakes and even the ocean. Whether the angler is using a traditional rod and reel or they’re using fly tackle, both are now being used on top of a paddle board.
Fishing on a paddle board requires the angler to do a couple of things at once. They need to be balance themselves on a paddle board, propel themselves with the paddle, then when a fish is spotted they must switch from paddle to rod, and then sling a line out onto the water. Performing all these tasks requires a good deal of coordination from the paddler but a paddle board suitable for fishing needs to be as accommodating as it is functional.
A paddle board makes for a great fishing platform, because it not only makes it possible for the angler to get out on the water, but it gives a great vantage point to be able to look down on the water from above – thus avoiding reflections and physically being able to see the fish. The paddle board’s stability, its ability to keep the angler upright even when they are laden with fishing gear, is critical for a good fishing day out on the water. A fishing paddle board should not only be stable when moving but also when at a standstill. This is essential for not spooking the fish.
Fishing Specific Features
Rod holders, storage webbing, integrated coolers and camouflage may not be essential to or even wanted by the average rider, but they are godsends for anglers. Chasing fish out on the water for hours requires quite a bit of gear. There’s fishing tackle, something to sit on and storage for the catch. Finding a paddle board that can accommodate this activity makes things more convenient and provides a better experience. Even something as simple as having quick access to the rod can mean the difference between landing a lunker and having it escape.
As any seasoned angler knows, the fish are not always found in the middle of a body of water. Depending on the time of day and other conditions, they can be found by the banks, in and around vegetation, or in areas that would be difficult for predators to get into. Bringing a paddle board into these areas usually means dealing with vegetation and debris, of having to go over deadfall and bumping into reeds, weeds, mangroves and trees. Needless to say, the perfect paddle board to bring on a fishing trip would have to be one that is durable enough to withstand these obstacles.
There are many reasons why an angler should try their hand at fishing from a paddle board, but at the end of the day it is just down right fun to do so. It brings a new set of challenges and pushes an anglers mind and creativity a bit more than usual. Handling the rod and paddle takes a bit of getting used to but thanks to some innovations in paddle board design the transition can be made easier.
The best fishing paddle boards on the market really take the needs and requirements of the serious angler into consideration with their designs. These boards are stable enough for a paddler to get out on the water carrying gear. It will also be stable enough for the angler to swing a rod and get their line out onto the water. Finally the anglers paddle board must be durable enough to take on the nitty-gritty side of fishing, the subsurface logs, rocks, weeds, reeds and roots that every fisherman faces during their time out on the water.
The best part of all though, is that things are just getting started. Fishing specific paddle boards weren’t even in the conversation a decade ago, and designs are just getting better. The future is bright for anglers who want to try their hand at chasing fish atop a paddle board. Fish on!