What do I need to start SUP Fishing?

SUP fishing is rapidly gaining popularity as an exciting way to fish, offering anglers the chance to explore less accessible waters with ease. Whether you're a novice looking to try something new or an experienced fisherman in search of a fresh challenge, SUP fishing provides a unique blend of paddle boarding and fishing. This guide will cover the essentials to get you started, including equipment needs, fishing techniques, and safety measures.


Key Highlights:

  1. Choosing the Right SUP: Select between inflatable for portability or solid boards for stability based on your fishing location and transportation needs.
  2. Essential Gear: A height-appropriate paddle, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, and fishing gear like rods, reels, and tackle are must-haves.
  3. SUP Fishing Accessories: Equip your board with vertical rod holders, a paddle leash, and ample storage for tackle and catch to enhance your fishing experience.
  4. Casting and Retrieving Techniques: Focus on bait selection, bait presentation, and maintaining a slow, steady retrieve for effective fishing from your SUP.
  5. Positioning and Movement: Learn to balance and maneuver for optimal casting, using your paddle for gentle adjustments without startling fish.
  6. Safety Measures: Always wear a life jacket, monitor weather conditions, and understand local SUP fishing regulations to ensure a safe outing.
  7. Selecting a Fishing-Specific SUP: Look for durable, high-capacity boards with fishing-friendly features, like the Glide O2 Angler, designed for a superior fishing experience.

Essential Equipment for SUP Fishing

inflatable paddle board for fishing

Choosing the Right SUP

Your paddle board is your foundation for SUP fishing. Selecting the right one depends on your fishing environment:

  • Inflatable Paddle Boards: Ideal for anglers who prioritize portability and storage. They're perfect for river or lake fishing, providing a stable platform that's easy to transport.
  • Solid Fishing Paddle Boards: Best suited for those who don't need to transport their board far, such as fishing from a beach home or cabin.

In addition to the board, you'll need:

  • A suitable paddle that matches your height for efficient paddling.
  • A life jacket for safety, ensuring it's U.S. Coast Guard approved and fits you well.
  • Fishing gear tailored to the species you're targeting, including a rod, reel, tackle, bait, and lures.
fishing paddle board

SUP Fishing Accessories

Consider equipping your paddle board with:

  • Vertical rod holders for convenience.
  • A paddle leash to secure your paddle while fishing.
  • Adequate storage for your tackle box, bait, and catch.
fishing on a paddle board

SUP Fishing Techniques

Casting and Retrieving

SUP fishing largely involves casting from a stationary position on your board. Key techniques include:

  • Choosing the Right Bait: Live bait often yields the best results, but artificial baits like jigs and spinners can also be effective depending on the target species, water depth, and clarity.
  • Presentation: The goal is to keep your bait in the strike zone for as long as possible. A slow, steady retrieve is usually most effective.

Mastering the basic techniques will help you land more fish and increase your enjoyment of the sport. This article has more information and fishing tips to check out.

Positioning and Movement

Learn to position and balance yourself on the board for optimal casting and retrieving. Use your paddle to anchor or adjust your position gently, avoiding sudden movements that could spook fish.

life jackets and pfds

Safety First in SUP Fishing

Safety should always be your top priority:

  • Wear a Life Jacket: Always wear a properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Check the Weather: Avoid SUP fishing in strong winds or rough waters. Opt for calm days.
  • Know Local Regulations: Ensure you're aware of and comply with local SUP fishing laws and guidelines.

Selecting a Fishing-Specific SUP

When choosing a SUP specifically for fishing, look for features that enhance your fishing experience:

  • Durability: Opt for a board with military-grade PVC if choosing an inflatable, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of fishing.
  • Weight Capacity: Ensure the board can support you, your gear, and any catch, with a minimum capacity of 450 lbs recommended.
  • Fishing-Friendly Features: Look for boards with integrated rod holders suitable for various rod types, ample D-rings, and deck mounts for securing your gear.

The Glide O2 Angler is a prime example of a fishing-specific SUP, offering versatility for all rod types and additional features for a comprehensive fishing experience, even accommodating paddle boarding with dogs.


SUP fishing opens up a new realm of angling possibilities, allowing you to access remote spots and enjoy the tranquility of fishing from a stand-up paddle board. With the right gear, a bit of practice, and adherence to safety practices, you're set for an unforgettable fishing adventure. Embrace the journey, and here's to your next great catch on a SUP!

glide paddleboard logo