what equipment do i need for sup fishing
what equipment do i need for sup fishing

Are you ready to take your fishing game to the next level? If you’re looking for a thrilling and unique fishing experience, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) fishing might be just what you need.

But before you jump on a board and head out to the water, you must know what equipment you’ll need to ensure a successful and enjoyable fishing adventure. From the right paddleboard to the essential fishing gear, we have got you covered.

So, let’s dive in and discover what equipment you need to embark on the thrilling journey of SUP fishing.


Choosing the Right SUP

When it comes to paddleboard fishing, choosing a suitable SUP is crucial. There are a few factors to consider when making this decision. First, you’ll want to think about the size of the board. A wider board will provide more stability, which can be particularly important when you’re reeling in a big catch. Additionally, consider the weight capacity of the board. Make sure it can handle not only your weight but also the weight of your fishing gear. Finally, think about the design and shape of the board. Some paddleboards are specifically designed with fishing in mind, with features like built-in coolers or rod holders.

SUP Features for Fishing

When it comes to fishing on a paddleboard, having the right features can make all the difference. Look for a board that has multiple tie-down points, so you can secure your gear and prevent it from sliding around while you paddle. Additionally, built-in rod holders can be a real game-changer. These holders allow you to keep your fishing rod secure and within reach, making reacting quickly when you get a bite easier. Some paddleboards even have specialized attachment points for accessories like fish finders or camera mounts.

SUP Size and Weight Capacity

When it comes to paddleboard fishing, size matters. The size of your SUP will determine how stable and maneuverable it is on the water. Generally, a more comprehensive and longer board will provide more stability, making casting your line and reel in your catch easier. However, transporting and storing a giant board may be more challenging. Additionally, consider the weight capacity of the board. Make sure it can support your weight, as well as the weight of your gear and any fish you may catch. It’s always better to choose a board with a higher weight capacity to ensure you have plenty of room for everything.


Types of Paddles

Choosing the right paddle for your paddleboard fishing adventures is essential for a comfortable and efficient experience. There are two main types of paddles to consider: adjustable and fixed-length paddles. Adjustable paddles allow you to customize the length to suit your height and preference. This is particularly useful if you plan on sharing your paddleboard with friends or family members who may have different height requirements. On the other hand, fixed-length paddles are typically more lightweight and offer a more rigid feel. They are a great option if you know your preferred paddle length and don’t need to adjust it frequently.

Paddle Length

The length of your paddle is another critical consideration. A paddle that is too short can cause you to strain your back and shoulders, while a paddle that is too long can make it challenging to maneuver the board effectively. Generally, the paddle length should be 6-8 inches taller than your height. However, this can vary depending on your preference and paddling style. If you are primarily using your paddleboard for fishing, you may want to opt for a slightly longer paddle to provide more power during your paddle strokes.

Materials and Features to Consider

When choosing a paddle for paddleboard fishing, it’s essential to consider the materials and features that will best suit your needs. Paddles are commonly made from materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, or aluminum. Fiberglass and carbon fiber paddles are generally lighter and more durable, making them popular among experienced paddleboarders. Aluminum paddles, on the other hand, are more affordable and suitable for beginners or occasional users. Additionally, look for features like a comfortable grip and a drip guard, which can help prevent water from dripping down the paddle shaft and onto your hands.

Fishing Accessories

Fishing Rod Holder

A fishing rod holder is an essential accessory for any paddleboard fisherman. This handy device allows you to securely store your fishing rod while you navigate the water. Whether you need to take a break, reel in a catch, or just enjoy the scenery, a fishing rod holder will keep your rod safe and easily accessible.

Various types of rod holders are available, ranging from flush mount rod holders installed directly into the board to adjustable clamp-on holders attached to different areas of the board. Consider your preferred fishing style and choose a rod holder that suits your needs.

Fish Finder

A fish finder is a game-changing gadget for paddleboard fishing enthusiasts. This electronic device uses sonar technology to detect fish and display their location on a screen. With a fish finder, you can quickly identify the best spots to cast your line and increase your chances of catching a fish.

Look for a fish finder that is compact and portable so it can be easily mounted onto your paddleboard. Some fish finders even come with GPS capabilities, allowing you to mark waypoints and navigate back to your favorite fishing spots.

Cooler or Livewell

To keep your catch fresh and your beverages cold, a cooler or livewell is a must-have accessory for paddleboard fishing. A cooler can store your drinks, snacks, and any fish you catch, ensuring they stay fresh throughout your fishing trip.

Consider a cooler designed explicitly for paddleboard fishing, with features like attachment points to secure it to your board. If you plan on fishing catch-and-release, a live is an excellent option. Livewells provide a comfortable environment for fish to stay alive while you continue your fishing adventure.

Tackle Storage

When it comes to paddleboard fishing, having organized and easily accessible tackle storage is essential. Look for storage options that are waterproof and can be securely attached to your board.

Tackle bags or boxes with multiple compartments are ideal for organizing your hooks, lures, and other fishing accessories. Some paddleboards even have integrated storage systems, such as bungee cords or cargo nets, which can be used to secure your tackle box or bag.

Safety Gear

Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

A personal flotation device (PFD) is one of the most essential safety gear for paddleboard fishing. A PFD is designed to keep you afloat in case of an accident or if you fall off your paddleboard. It’s essential to choose a PFD that is comfortable and provides a secure fit. There are different types of PFDs available, including inflatable and foam-filled options. Inflatable PFDs are famous for paddleboard fishing since they can be compact when deflated and won’t restrict your movement while you’re on the water. Additionally, make sure the PFD you choose meets the safety standards mandated by your local laws.


A leash is an essential safety accessory for paddleboard fishing, as it ensures that you stay connected to your board at all times. This prevents your board from drifting away if you fall off or lose your balance. Leashes are typically attached to your ankle or calf and have a spiral design to minimize drag in the water.

Look for a leash that is long enough to allow you to move comfortably on your board, but not too long that it becomes a safety hazard. Choosing a suitable leash for the specific water conditions you will be paddling in is also essential.

Whistle or Horn

A whistle or horn is a simple but effective tool to have on your paddleboard for safety purposes. It can be used to signal for help or to alert other boaters of your presence, especially in situations where visibility may be limited.

Choose a whistle or horn that is compact and waterproof, so it can be easily carried with you on your paddleboard without the risk of damage. Ensure you familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding using an audible signaling device.

Sun Protection

When spending long hours on the water, it’s essential to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are all essential items to have on your paddleboard fishing adventures.

Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and apply it liberally before heading out. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day, especially if you’re sweating or coming into contact with water. A hat with a wide brim will provide additional protection for your face and neck, while polarized sunglasses will help reduce glare and improve visibility on the water.

Anchoring System

Anchor Types

An anchoring system is a valuable accessory for paddleboard fishing, as it allows you to stay in one spot while you cast your line or wait for a bite. There are different types of anchors to choose from, depending on your needs and the conditions of the water you’ll be fishing in.

A grapnel anchor is a popular choice for paddleboard fishing, as it has multiple prongs that can grip different types of terrain. If you’ll be fishing in rocky areas, a claw anchor may be more suitable, as it is specifically designed to hold in rough conditions. It’s essential to choose an anchor that is appropriate for the size and weight of your paddleboard.

Anchor Rope

The anchor rope is essential to your anchoring system, as it connects the anchor to your paddle board. Look for a solid and durable rope with a length suitable for the depths you’ll be fishing in. Consider the material of the rope as well. Nylon or polypropylene ropes are common choices for paddleboard fishing, as they offer good strength and resistance to wear and tear. It’s also worth investing in a rope with a buoy or marker to quickly locate and retrieve your anchor when it’s time to move on.

Anchor Trolley

An anchor trolley is a valuable accessory that allows you to adjust the position of your anchor along the side of your paddleboard. This can be particularly helpful when you need to change your fishing spot or adjust your position in response to changing water conditions. An anchor trolley consists of a pulley system and a rope that runs along the side of your board, allowing you to shift the anchor’s position from bow to stern quickly. Look for an anchor trolley that is easy to install and operates smoothly, ensuring that you can make quick and precise adjustments while you’re out on the water.

Fishing Gear

Fishing Rod and Reel

The fishing rod and reel are the core components of your fishing setup and can significantly impact your success on the water. When choosing a fishing rod and reel for paddleboard fishing, consider the type of fish you’ll be targeting and the fishing techniques you plan to use. Light to medium-action rods are generally a good choice for paddleboard fishing, as they provide enough sensitivity to feel the fish’s bites while offering enough power to reel them in. Spinning reels are versatile and easy to use, making them popular for beginners and experienced paddleboard fishermen alike.

Fishing Line and Tackle

Selecting the right fishing line and tackle is essential for successful paddleboard fishing. Monofilament or braided fishing lines are popular choices, offering advantages. Monofilament lines generally have good strength and are more forgiving, making them an excellent option for beginners. Braided lines, on the other hand, have high strength and low stretch, providing better sensitivity and improved hook sets. When tackling, consider the fishing techniques you’ll be employing. Carry a variety of hooks, sinkers, and lures to cover different fishing conditions and target species. It’s also essential to have tools like pliers and cutters for easy hook removal and line cutting.

Bait or Lures

The choice between bait and lures mainly depends on personal preference and the type of fish you’re targeting. Live bait, such as worms or minnows, can attract many fish species. Keep in mind that live bait requires proper care and storage to ensure it stays alive and fresh. On the other hand, lures come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, making them versatile options for paddleboard fishing. From soft plastic worms to shiny spoons and colorful crankbaits, lures offer endless possibilities for enticing fish to strike. Experimenting with different baits and lures is part of the fun, so don’t be afraid to try new things and see what works best for you.

Storage Solutions

Dry Bags

A dry bag is a must-have accessory for paddleboard fishing, as it keeps your belongings safe and dry while you’re out on the water. Dry bags are typically made from waterproof materials and have a roll-top closure to prevent any water from getting inside. They come in various sizes, so you can choose one that suits your storage needs. Pack your phone, wallet, keys, and any other valuables in a dry bag to ensure they stay protected from splashes or potential accidents.

Storage Containers

In addition to a dry bag, storage containers can help keep your gear organized and easily accessible. Waterproof storage containers with multiple compartments are ideal for storing smaller items like fishing tackle, extra line, or hooks. Look for containers that are durable and resistant to water, as they may be exposed to the elements while you’re out on the water. Some containers are specifically designed to fit on your paddleboard, making it even more convenient to have everything you need within arm’s reach.

Fishing Crate or Cooler

A fishing crate or cooler is a practical storage solution for paddleboard fishing. It provides a secure place to store your fishing tackle, extra gear, and any catch you want to keep. Look for a lightweight, durable fishing crate or cooler with attachment points that allow you to secure it to your paddle board. Some crates even come with rod holders, freeing your hands for paddling while keeping your fishing rod secure and easily accessible.

Clothing and Footwear

Appropriate Clothing

Proper clothing is essential for a comfortable and safe paddleboard fishing experience. Opt for lightweight and breathable materials that wick away moisture, especially if you’ll be paddling in hot and sunny conditions. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers can provide protection from the sun and potential hazards like fishing hooks. Additionally, consider wearing a hat or cap to shield your face and neck from the sun’s rays. Dressing in layers is also a good idea, as weather conditions can change quickly on the water.

Water Shoes

Investing in a pair of water shoes is highly recommended for paddleboard fishing. They provide protection for your feet from rocks, shells, and other potential hazards that may be lurking beneath the water’s surface. Water shoes are typically made from quick-drying and breathable materials, which prevent discomfort and allow your feet to breathe. Look for shoes with a non-slip sole to ensure good traction on your paddleboard, especially when conditions are wet or slippery.

Sun Protection Gear

Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is crucial during paddleboard fishing. In addition to sunscreen, you can also consider wearing specialized sun protection gear. UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing is designed to provide additional sun protection, blocking out harmful UV rays. Look for clothing items that have a high UPF rating for maximum protection. Don’t forget to also protect your eyes with polarized sunglasses that offer UV protection, as well as wearing a buff or neck gaiter to shield your neck and face from the sun.

Transportation Equipment

Roof Rack or Car Top Carrier

Transporting your paddleboard to and from your fishing spot requires the right equipment. A roof rack or car top carrier is often necessary to securely fasten your paddleboard to your vehicle. Roof racks are available in different designs, including crossbars and J-style racks, to accommodate various types of vehicles. Car top carriers provide additional protection for your paddleboard and can keep it securely in place during transportation. It’s important to properly secure your paddleboard to your chosen transportation equipment, following the manufacturer’s instructions and local regulations.

Straps and Tie-Downs

To ensure your paddleboard remains securely attached to your transportation equipment, it’s crucial to use high-quality straps and tie-downs. Look for straps designed explicitly for securing paddleboards, as they often have features like cam buckles or quick-release mechanisms for easy adjustment and secure fastening. Always double-check that your paddleboard is tightly secured before hitting the road, paying close attention to any potential movement or loosening of the straps during transit.

Maintenance Tools

Repair Kit

A repair kit is an essential tool for any paddleboard owner, especially if you’ll be engaging in activities like fishing, which can put additional stress on your board. A basic repair kit should include items like epoxy resin, fiberglass cloth, sandpaper, and adhesive patches. These tools can fix minor dings, scratches, or punctures that may occur while you’re out on the water. Familiarize yourself with the repair process and follow the instructions carefully to ensure a proper and long-lasting repair.

Paddleboard Cleaner

Taking care of your paddleboard ensures its longevity and optimal performance. A paddleboard cleaner is specifically formulated to remove dirt, grime, and other debris that may adhere to your board’s surface.

Look for a safe cleaner on your specific board material, whether it’s fiberglass, carbon fiber, or inflatable. Regularly cleaning your paddleboard can help prevent damage, maintain its appearance, and ensure smooth gliding through the water.

When it comes to paddleboard fishing, having the right equipment is vital to a successful and enjoyable experience. From choosing the right paddleboard and paddle, to selecting the necessary fishing gear and safety equipment, each component plays a crucial role.

Safety should always be a top priority, so equip yourself with personal flotation devices, leashes, and signaling devices. And don’t forget about proper storage solutions, sun protection, and clothing to keep you comfortable and protected while on the water. With the right equipment, you’ll be well-prepared for paddleboard fishing adventures, ready to cast your line and reel in the big catch!

Diana Hanson
Hi there! I'm Diana Hanson, a SUP enthusiast and paddler with over ten years of experience. I have a deep love for exploring new places and trying out new things on my SUP board. Whether it's gliding across a peaceful lake, navigating a fast-moving river, or riding the exhilarating waves of the ocean, I'm always up for an adventure. As the author of the website SupNoob.com, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others. My goal is to help beginners learn the skills needed to paddle safely and confidently. I understand the challenges that novices face when starting out, and I'm dedicated to providing them with valuable tips and advice. But my passion doesn't stop there. I also strive to assist experienced paddlers in taking their skills to the next level. Through SupNoob.com, I constantly update the site with the latest SUP gear reviews, insider tips, and expert advice. My aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their skill level, can get the most out of their paddling experience. I take great pride in my work, and I have been fortunate to receive recognition in the form of prizes and rewards for my contributions to the SUP community. It's an honor to be able to share my passion for this incredible sport with others, and I hope that through SupNoob.com, I can inspire and empower fellow SUP enthusiasts to embark on their own unforgettable journeys. Join me on SupNoob.com, and let's dive into the exciting world of SUP together!