How to Find the Perfect Fishing Chair for Shore and Ice fishing
Finding the Perfect Fishing Chair
Whether you are deep-sea fishing for marlin off of a boat or high altitude fishing for golden trout, having a comfortable place to rest and fish from is important. This of course, means having the right chair. Depending on what features are most important to you (comfort, sun protection, storage, portability) there are a whole host of options to choose from. Price is another important factor to consider - the more features your chair has, the more it costs. You can buy most chairs that suit your fishing needs online. In fact, most of the types of chairs that I discuss in this hub can be purchased online. Of course, your local sporting goods store, Walmart or fishing shop probably offer a good selection of chairs too!
Portable Fishing Chairs - Lightweight
If your fishing destination requires a longer hike, or perhaps you are in the backcountry and want to travel light, there are a variety of options for fishing chairs that will suit your needs. One option is the 'tripod style' fishing chair which is essentially a lightweight stool made up of folding supports and a triangular nylon 'seat.' These are good if it is important for you to stay elevated at a somewhat normal sitting height.
If you are ok with getting closer to the ground, there are a wide variety of options. The Crazy Creek or Thermarest chairs are great for backpacking as they are light and you probably already have most of the chair in the form of your sleeping pad. Just slip the pad into the chair support et voila! Or, if you can manage carrying a little more weight, you can get a portable chair that contains metal (usually aluminum) struts that are a little bit more sturdy and rigid - but these tend to be clumsy and harder to carry. :) I do not recommend the ones that come in many pieces where you have to snap the frame together as losing or breaking a piece of the frame will leave you without a working chair!
Folding Fishing Chairs
Best Pier & Lake Fishing Chairs - If you are fishing from a pier or a spot on a lake and you don't have to worry about traveling light, the best basic fishing chair is the folding "quad chairs." They are inexpensive (under $20), very comfortable, fold up to a size that is easy to put in your trunk or back seat and have cup holders! They are also very easy to carry out to a pier or a lake spot and aren't clumsy to hike with over a short distance when you have a rod and a tackle box to bring too. If you are bringing a cooler of tasty beverages fishing, you definitely must bring the quad chair! Also, the quad chairs are 'normal' chair heights so they are good for circulation when you are sitting for hours on end, and you can even cast from them.
Another good option for pier and lake fishing is to use a sporting event or picnic-style chair as they tend to be comfortable and have all the amenities you need. The chair should fold up to a convenient weight and shape so that it is easy to carry to and from the car. Other Important features for this type of chair include:
- adjustable sun shade
- lightweight frame and adjustable straps for carrying
- bottle and cup holders
- pockets for books, sunglasses, phones, etc...
- attached insulated cooler sections
Chairs made specifically for fishing, will have similar features to picnic style chairs but also may have:
- adjustable height and reclining angle
- a table for rigging gear and organizing and cutting bait
- rod holders
Portable Ice Fishing Chairs
So when you are ice fishing why not use a regular camp chair or a plastic bucket? Because they are clunky, aren't comfortable and have poor storage options. A good ice fishing chair has sturdy handles (nylon webbing typically) and has a seat that is made of sub-zero rated padded foam covered in vinyl to deal with the moisture and cold of ice fishing. Any hinges on a good ice fishing chair should be sturdy and rust resistant.
Since the comfort of padded vinyl seats is pretty much the same on most chair designs, the most important feature of an ice fishing chair is storage. Storage should include several compartments to separate and organize your gear and tackle into easy-to-find areas...there should be a foam pad to store jigs, hooks and leaders. Good chairs will have a storage compartment that is 2-3 inches deep to let you store bait, lures and larger items and also have a bigger area to store ice rods and tip ups...some even have foam sections for securing them in place. And of course, there should be a separate compartment for storing your catch!
For Portability, some anglers prefer the soft, shoulder slung packable chairs that double as a gear bag/rod case such as the Clam Chair.
Fishing Chairs for Everyone
There are many fishing chair options out there - and likely some of you guys have your own favorite go-to options. But hopefully you will find the info in this hub useful. I didn't mention boating chairs as that is a whole other hub onto itself (coming soon!). Believe it or not there is even a fishing chair for the virtual world! The "Stranglethorn Vale fishing chair" is available in World of Warcraft!