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How To Fly Fish From a Paddle Board

How to Fly Fish from a Paddle Board

Whether you’re an avid fly fisherman venturing into the world of stand up paddle fishing or a SUP enthusiast who wants to try his hand at fly fishing from a paddle board, you’ve come to the right place. One of the most daunting things about fishing or fly fishing from a paddle board for the first time is the idea that a paddle board isn’t stable enough. What makes our products unique is that every single board offers maximum stability for its size, weight, construction, and shape, thanks to our industry changing Gatorshell Technology and AeroBOTE Technology.

When shopping our solid paddle board fleet, you can rest assured that our smooth (fast), solid (stable), and tough (durable) Gatorshell paddle boards are unparalleled in the SUP fishing space. If you prefer SUPs that are easy to transport and store but also rock solid and stable, you’re going to want to roll with one of our AeroBOTE inflatable paddle boards or kayaks.

Setting yourself up for your newest hobby―fly fishing from a SUP―starts with the right board. Once you have the best board for your build and lifestyle the hardest part is behind you. Next, layer in a handful of compatible accessories that work best for your gear, then load up and cast a line. You’ll be hooked in no time.

“Before I go to bed, I’m sitting there thinking about fish, when I wake up, I’m thinking about fish. That’s the reality of it. It’s a passion that really just consumes me.” - Landon Mace, BOTE Ambassador, BOTE Presents // Emerge

“Before I go to bed, I’m sitting there thinking about fish, when I wake up, I’m thinking about fish. That’s the reality of it. It’s a passion that really just consumes me.”Landon Mace, BOTE Ambassador

First: Choose the Best SUP for Fly Fishing

Our fleet of paddle boards, kayaks, and micro skiffs were developed with ample fishing compatibility options in mind. You don’t have to think twice about whether or not there will be a place to store your rods, paddle, and all your other fishing gear while out on the water. And while you can technically fish from any board in our fleet--hell, you can even fly fish from an inflatable dock--there are a handful of SUPs, kayaks, and micro skiffs that work particularly will for your new fly fishing endeavor.

You don’t have to think twice about whether or not there will be a place to store your rods, paddle, and all your other fishing gear while out on the water.

The HD is our do-it-all lifestyle board that’s lightweight yet durable, and offers just the right amount of deck space to bring along your fly fishing gear without overcrowding. The Rackham kicks things up a notch; it’s bigger, more stable, and built for greater capacity. Then there’s the LONO Aero, technically an inflatable kayak that moonlights as a paddle board--the LONO does it all. Oh, and let’s not forget the Rover―fly at top speed with your motor to your honey hole then trim it up and paddle stealthily into the shallows.

When choosing a SUP for fly fishing, you’ll want to consider: capacity, portability, compatibility, and preferred sight lines. And while you may have your heart set on a SUP, we’ve included a couple other options that act as great, multi-purpose alternatives to a traditional paddle board. Which one is right for you?

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Compare

HD Paddle Board

LONO Aero Inflatable Kayak

Rackham Paddle Board

Rover Micro Skiff

CAPACITY
Up to 315 lbs Up to 400 lbs Up to 400 lbs Up to 500 lbs
CONSTRUCTION
Gatorhsell and Aero Aero Only Gatorhsell and Aero Gatorhsell and Aero
PORTABILITY
HD Aero Packs Into AeroBag (included) Packs Into AeroBag (included) Rackham Aero Packs Into AeroBag (included) Rover Aero Packs Into AeroBag and accessories into Remora Bag (included)
COMPATABILITY OPTIONS
Rac Systems
Sandspear*
Power-Pole Micro™
*Bug Slinger Style Only
Rac Systems
Sandspear
Power-Pole Micro™
Rac Systems
Sandspear
Power-Pole Micro™
Rac Systems
Sandspear
Power-Pole Micro™
MotoRac
6HP-9.9HP
Outboard Motor
SIGHT LINES
Stand
Stand or Sit On Cooler
Stand or Sit On Elevated Seat (included) Recessed Deck:
Stand or Sit on Cooler
Sunken Cockpit for Standing
Sit or Stand on Cooler

When in doubt, opt for Bug Slinger™ styles which often include additional fishing compatibility options (like the Sandspear and Power-Pole MicroTM) and unique, fly fishing-inspired designs.

Next: Choose SUP Attachments

Before you load up your SUP, kayak, or micro skiff with attachments, first consider what gear you plan to bring with you most days. How many rods are you working with? How big is your tackle box? Do you need a place to store drinks and food or are your fly fishing excursions going to be short and sweet?

The most essential attachment for your SUP fishing excursion is a Rac. The classic Tackle Rac stores two rods and a Tackle Web, plus you can hang your personal items to keep ‘em high and dry. A great alternative is the Bucket Rac, which integrates seamlessly with our KULA 5 and includes four rod holders. If you’re fishing on a LONO, don’t forget the Rocket Rac.

The most essential attachment for your SUP fishing excursion is a Rac.

Next, you need somewhere to sit (if you want to have that option on a paddle board or micro skiff). The KULA 5 works perfectly as a comfortable seat and a cooler, but can also be used to store bait or your catch.

Other options you may want to consider include the Sandpear, great for shallow water activities; the Power Pole Micro™ Anchor System for a silent and secure hold when you find the perfect spot; and highwater packs, otherwise known as peace of mind when you need to bring your phone, keys, and a change of clothes 100% dry no matter the conditions.

Finally, how are you going to get there? If you’re dropping your board in the lake behind your house you’re ready to roll. However, if you’re traveling down the road with a solid paddle board you’re going to want a few accessories to secure your board. Fishing from an Aero? Toss it in the trunk or truck bed and off you go.

Once you have your board and accessories figured out, visit your local fly fishing store to make sure you have an adequate weight rod for the type of fishing you’re after. They can also advise you on the best reel, line, leader, and tippet for the type of flies you will be throwing and fish you will be targeting. Your local fly store can also give you some casting tips which is highly recommended if you’re brand new to fly fishing.

Finally: Time for SUP Fly Fishing

As you load up your board, prioritize your mobility and make sure you have enough space to cast efficiently. You need to be able to easily change your footing to maintain stability when you pull in a catch, but also cast back and forth to unroll your line. If you’re carrying unnecessary items that might get in the way, leave them at home--you’ll end up throwing them in the trash when you get back anyway if they get in the way of your next great catch.

If you’re a novice fly fisherman, cut yourself some slack. Half the fun in fly fishing from a paddle board is building up muscle memory and enjoying the great outdoors.

If you’re a novice fly fisherman, cut yourself some slack. Half the fun in fly fishing from a paddle board is building up muscle memory and enjoying the great outdoors.

“It was on the last day and a mere 100 yards or so off the dock of our bay side condo, but we couldn’t care less. For me it was the first saltwater fish I’d ever landed, a modest little speckled trout that somehow managed not to bite my leader off - a consolation prize, but a prize nonetheless. For Hunter, my fearless, hood-rat, funhogging-compadre, it was a ladyfish that squirmed away before we could get it on camera. You’ll just have to take my word that it actually happened.” Andrew Miller, BOTE Presents // Laguna Madre