January 29, 2012
Keeping it simple—a unique way to fish shallow waters.
March 2011 WebXtra Coverage
Florida Sportsman staffers Jeff Weakley and Sam Hudson met with Magda Cooper, co- owner of BOTE Boards, to test out BOTE's paddleboards made specifically for anglers. Paddleboards are new to the angling scene, and we jumped at the opportunity to test them.
Unique from others, BOTE's PaddleBoard is a standup paddleboard (SUP) built for fishing. The 12-foot-long, 30-inch-wide, 5-inch-thick board is constructed from high-quality EPS foam core, skinned with fiberglass, and then covered with epoxy resin and paint shell. A 10-inch carbon-fiber fin keeps the board tracking straight when paddling with BOTE's carbon-fiber paddle.
Different styles of aluminum backrests insert into the deckpad. One backrest features a foam pad to lean against, two rod holders, and a paddle clip to grasp your paddle while fishing. We expect this category of watercraft will primarily appeal to young, fit anglers looking to combine a workout with their fishing, or cross deep water on the way to wading flats. Watertight gear bag and reels are recommended, as are a PFD and signaling whistle, in case you're separated from your SUP.
265 Azalea Drive, Unit A
Destin, FL 32541
Length: 12 feet
Width: 30 inches
Thickness: 5 ½ inches (at thickest section)
Weight: 29 pounds
Material: EPS foam core
Skin options: fiberglass HQ, Innegra and carbon fiber
Base price: $999.99
The 12-foot BOTE paddleboard comes in an array of configurations. Shown above are different color schemes, Sea Dek patterns and leaning post designs.
Magda Cooper demonstrates how the backrest fits into the two inserts. Two straps tighten the backrest to the board.
An available package includes a Yeti cooler. The cooler fastens into place, and allows you to keep your catch cold on the water. The SeaDek on top of the cooler and throughout the board is customizable.
Rigged and ready for the water. The board's dimensions measure 12 feet in length, 31-inches wide, 29 pounds and 5-inch thickness. Included are the custom carbon-fiber paddle, and upfront, a cargo-net bungee to strap down gear.
Magda Cooper displays how to mount the paddleboard. First, make sure the board is floating in shallow water—a 10-inch fin on the underside keeps the board tracking straight. Grab the backrest and use the paddle if needed to hop on the board.
Instead of standing, one option is to use the cooler as a seat and paddle from a sitting position.
The most popular option is to stand and paddle.
Jeff Weakley gets comfortable with his paddleboard. In this scenario, he uses the backrest as a stabilizer while paddling. Most of the backrests available feature two rod holders to carry fishing poles. Leaning posts can be custom-made for the backrest to sit directly against the arch of your back, depending on your height.
Feet, cooler and leaning post sit above the waterline. Still, it can be a wet ride, so it's best to bring along a dry bag that can hang from the leaning post.
Up close look at a leaning post base. Rod holders and straps come standard. The leaning post is made from marine-grade aluminum and weighs about 4 pounds.
Magda Cooper readies a cast along a mangrove shoreline.
Jeff Weakley heads for deeper water. Paddleboard range is not as far as a kayak, but it's a lighter rig.
Grabbing a fishing rod from behind the leaning post is simple.
While fishing, use the paddle to hold your position.
Two different styles of propulsion, each has an advantage.
At the end of the day, pull out the leaning post from the paddleboard. Board and paddle each have cases for storage. In this photo, notice the cases beneath the board.