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How to Find the Perfect Fishing Chair for Shore and Ice fishing

Updated on January 20, 2011

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!

tripod stool
tripod stool
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Thermarest chairGCI Outdoor SitBacker Chair
Thermarest chair
Thermarest chair
GCI Outdoor SitBacker Chair
GCI Outdoor SitBacker Chair

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!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pro Logic Fishing ChairTF Gear Bank Boss ChairPicnic Time Sports ChairColeman Quad ChairSit n Fish Cooler Chairfishing chair with rod holder and cup holder
Pro Logic Fishing Chair
Pro Logic Fishing Chair
TF Gear Bank Boss Chair
TF Gear Bank Boss Chair
Picnic Time Sports Chair
Picnic Time Sports Chair
Coleman Quad Chair
Coleman Quad Chair
Sit n Fish Cooler Chair
Sit n Fish Cooler Chair
fishing chair with rod holder and cup holder
fishing chair with rod holder and cup holder

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

an ice fishing chair from Cabela's
an ice fishing chair from Cabela's
Ice Fishing - the clam chair
Ice Fishing - the clam chair

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!


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      these folding pro logic chairs do not cost 20, but 120 dollars

    • Stoneriver profile image


      9 years ago

      I love my Pro Logic Fishing Chair I would urge anyone to try one out you will fall in love with it.

    • hardinflash profile image


      9 years ago from Montana

      Looks like a future investment for myself. I need something light because I'm always hiking back into the good spots.

    • rb11 profile image


      10 years ago from Las Vegas

      I didn't realize how efficient these chairs have become and how affordable they are. Thanks for sharing this information.



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