Use a surfboard for fishing? Sure, why not! But of course, an inflatable stand-up paddleboard isn’t really a surfboard. And an inflatable fishing paddleboard (known as an inflatable fishing SUP) is far from a surfboard.
After all, you can’t mount a motor to a surfboard. Or easily stand while casting. Or sit in a nice, comfy swivel seat. Or easily paddle around a lake or pond into shallow water.
In short, while an inflatable fishing SUP might look like a surfboard, that’s where similarities end.
Before diving into the world of these unique boats, readers who aren’t sure what an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is might want to read the Inflatable SUP | Intro Guide article on this site.
And if you’ve already read that article, then you know I’m far from an expert on inflatable SUP’s. For this reason, this page isn’t a detailed “review” of inflatable fishing SUP’s.
Instead, this page is meant to be an “introductory article,” to introduce anglers to this new and very unique fishing platform. And should this “boat” strike a chord with you, you’ll then want to head over to Sea Eagle to do further research on them and to read the reviews.
So Is an Inflatable Fishing SUP for You?
That’s a question I’ve asked myself often. And sadly the answer is, for me, always no. No matter how hard I try I just can’t find a use for an inflatable fishing SUP. I primarily fish in rivers and take long float trips. My primary fishing boat is an expedition level inflatable kayak (the Sea Eagle 380x).
This kayak always gets me everywhere I want to go—shallow water, lakes and rivers.
So naturally I compare the capabilities of my kayak to this inflatable fishing SUP to see if the SUP can meet my needs. And it doesn’t.
Inflatable fishing SUP’s simply aren’t designed for fishing in rivers—at least rivers with strong currents. Yes, you can take them down rivers with currents—even whitewater—but fishing from a SUP in whitewater or strong current is rather difficult.
And while these SUP’s work great for shallow water and hard to reach spots with conventional fishing boats, my inflatable kayak only draws a few inches of water—which is about the same these SUP’s draw. As such, I’ve never once been locked out of a piece of water due to my kayak’s inability to reach it.
Yet, these inflatable fishing SUP’s are becoming increasingly popular. There’s several reasons why:
Stable –Of all the inflatable SUP’s on the market today, this one from Sea Eagle is probably the most stable of them all due to how the bottom is designed and it’s rugged drop-stitch construction that makes the board very firm. Additionally, the SUP is wider than other recreational SUP’s. As such, the Sea Eagle Fishing SUP provides a very stable fishing platform.
Motor Friendly – The SUP is able to use an electric trolling motor. And due to it’s light weight, even a wimpy trolling motor can propel this SUP along at a decent clip. This is important for anglers, since it saves them time from having to paddle everywhere they want to go.
Lightweight – Weighing just 48 lbs with the motor mount attached, the fishing SUP is easily carried by one person.
Portable – When not in use, the SUP folds down into a reasonably sized backpack that also carries the pump. And it inflates in just 10-15 minutes, depending on whether you use the manual pump or an optional air pump.
Take a Seat – An optional swivel seat is also available for the SUP, which is unique among all other inflatable SUP’s that I’ve seen.
Take a Stand – The fishing SUP is wider than recreational inflatable SUP’s. This extra width makes the SUP very stable. This stability allows anglers to stand in the boat for casting without fear of capsizing the SUP or falling off it. The ability to stand in the boat makes casting much simpler, especially for fly fishing.
Easy and Straight to Paddle – Due to their design all Sea Eagle SUP’s cut easily through the water—much in the same way a canoe does. As such, very little effort is needed to move the SUP and keep it moving at a decent clip on flat water. It’s actually easier to “paddle” on flat water than my inflatable kayak is.
Other Fishing Friendly Features – These include rod and lure holders, a fish ruler, and numerous attachment points for other gear.
So let’s back to the original question. Is this Sea Eagle Fishing SUP right for you?
I think anglers who will find an inflatable fishing SUP useful fall into several categories:
Anglers who want an inflatable SUP for recreation and also use it for fishing
This Sea Eagle fishing SUP can easily pull double duty as a normal recreational inflatable SUP, with the bonus of being more stable than other SUP’s due to it’s increased width. Most of the “fishing features” are easily removed, turning the board into a normal—albeit oddly colored—inflatable SUP that’s often seen at the local beach.
Anglers who fish in ocean bays
The ability of an inflatable fishing SUP to reach the most shallow of water allows anglers to reach many saltwater fishing areas that, in the past, anglers would be forced to walk to. With the detachable skegs removed, the fishing SUP draws hardly any water at all.
Other Shallow Water Fishing
Anglers who spend lots of time fishing in the shallows of lakes, sedate rivers or even marshlands will also likely find this fishing SUP useful.
Anglers Who Need to Stand to Cast
Many anglers, especially those who fly fish, prefer to stand when casting. While other inflatable fishing boats allow anglers to stand, particularly inflatable fishing rafts, these rafts are heavier and not as portable. As such, anglers who seek a very portable fishing platform that allows them to cast while standing will find this boat useful.