The last few years I have seen the popularity of the Stand up paddle board(SUP) grow drastically. Most were buying them for exercise and some fisherman started to modify them to fish from.
They figure by adding coolers, seats, leaning post and rod holders they can get to the fish quietly and in the up right position. Versus a kayak, this allows for better sight fishing and of course there’s the “coolness” factor as well.
With every gadgets of this sort there are always people willing to pushing the envelope. Soon what was once just a big surf board gets bigger and bigger. People beyond just the rod holders and added trolling motors, seats etc.
This brings me to the X-Fish SUF fishing board my friend told me about it when they attended a boat show recently. After reading about my interest on Facebook, Frank Wade one of the guys that own one, called me up and ask if I wanted to demo the unit. One fine morning, I was glad to meet him down at EG Simmons park to check it out.
Being on a SUP only once in life I’m by not means an expert one but I sure as heck fish a bunch and know what I like.
I would call this a micro skiff, stand up paddle board hybrid. Not quite as light as a SUP but not a real boat either.
The SUF looks great and well thought out. Handles to carry it easier, wells for fly lines in the front, rod holders and such.
The model Frank had rigged up was the motorized version. The rig was cleverly done. The controls for the trolling motor is tethered to the chair. When you pivot left it turns left, when you pivot right it turns right. The control of speed, forward and reversed next to your thigh.
The sitting position is super comfortable. I say more comfortable that any kayak seat I have been in. Stability while sitting is also excellent. I stood up and did not have any issues with balance. If you like standing up and fish you will like how the X-fish fish.
There is a cooler holder in front of your seat which fits perfectly a Coleman cooler. Not only does this allows you to travel with food and drinks it also doubles as a casting deck. The casting deck gives the angler better view and vantage point when looking for those sneaky fish on the flats.
In front of the cooler is recessed area. This space is great for holding fly line from blowing into the water.
Once in the water the boat moves around very nibble. The draft is minimal but you will need about 12 inches if you are using the trolling motor.
I ran the boat with the motor as well has turning it off, paddling it standing up. Even with the excess weight of the battery and motor I though it was paddled well and was very stable.
If you’re looking for cross over from Kayak, SUP + micros skiff this might be the unit for you.
It will not be for you if you are looking to throw it over a fence or put it on top off a SUV. It has more weight than your regular kayak and a bit cumbersome to launch but once on the water it is a very good fishing platform.