What’s SUP? No, I’m not trying to be hip and cool by using slang, but rather asking you if know what SUP is? Well if you don’t, let me explain.
SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle boarding and it is quickly becoming the hottest thing to fish from.
SUPs, similar to a large surfboard are being manufactured specifically for the fishing industry. The ability to stand and fish from a kayak is seen by many as an advantage, so it makes sense that SUP fishing would be considered an advantage, I mean it has stand up in the title! But like everything else out there, there are things to consider before jumping feet first onto your next SUP. Consider things like the material it’s made from, storage capabilities, weight of the SUP, and how far you need to paddle to reach your fishing destination. Start your research here and you’ll be well on your way to making an informed decision about your next ride.
In my opinion, material is the most important aspect to consider in regards to a fishing SUP. The material it is made from will dictate a variety of things, like: weight, durability and ease of use. Fiberglass is probably the most popular material among SUP manufacturers which keeps the weight very light and easy to handle when out on the water. You’ll find that a fiberglass SUP will provide more glide and be very responsive in the water. Also keep this in consideration when determining the distance you’re planning on paddling. You’ll be able to paddle a fiberglass SUP further and easier than you would say a plastic model. The biggest disadvantage with a fiberglass SUP is durability and as fisherman, you know how rough we are on gear. Rocks, oyster bars, pavement and even rough sand can lead to deep scratching and cracking of your fiberglass SUP, which isn’t easy or cheap to have repaired.
As I mentioned before, kayak fishing manufacturers have begun to get in the SUP fishing game. Like most fishing kayaks, these SUPs are being made with high density roto-molded plastic. How does that stack up to their fiberglass counterparts? Well, they’re heavier, but much more durable. A typical roto-molded plastic style kayak is running about 70lbs. whereas the fiberglass SUPs are roughly in the 20lb. range. That’s a big difference when loading, unloading and transporting to and from the water. You will also feel that weight difference when out on the water. The good news is that they’ll take a beating! Drop it, drag it up the beach, or even drag it over oyster bars and it’ll come away only with a few minor scratches. Obviously over time all that abuse will take its toll, so it’s comforting to know that these plastic SUPs are easy and inexpensive to fix. Even large cracks and holes are fixable in the hands of an experienced plastic welder.
So you’ve found your boat and know you are ready to start rigging it for fishing. The first thing you notice is the lack of storage and like most fishermen, not only are we rough on gear, but we tend to carry a lot of it. Well, this may be where you begin to thin out your gear. But if you’re not quite ready to do that, there are options. Many fishing SUPs will have a small 6 inch hatch, some bungees at bow and maybe stern and multiple pad eyes for anchoring different things down: use them! Personally, I would start with your favorite cooler. Attach it just behind where you would normally stand for ease of access. Use it for its intended purpose: a cooler, as dry storage, or even as a seat! That’s right, a seat. It’s nice having a place to sit down and rest if you’ve been standing all day while keeping your balance! Also consider the ol trusty milk crate for storage behind the cooler. Small dry boxes and bags can also be used to keep essentials protected from the water, just be sure to attach them to the SUP. Of course you can get crafty with all the mounts and track systems out there for rod holders, cameras, fish finders and more!
Well there’s a quick start guide in making a wise decision when contemplating a fishing SUP. Take material, weight, storage options and distance of paddling into consideration to ensure you have an enjoyable and successful day out on the water! Happy SUPing!