Float tube help please [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Float tube help please

08-01-2004, 03:26 PM
I just joined this forum (very cool by the way) and need some help. I have been river and lake trout fishing for years, but want to float tube. So, a simple question: What is a good one? Price isn't THAT important to me, QUALITY IS! I've seen the Fish Cat's, Trout Unlimited's, and a couple others. What do you suggest? Mainly to be used in California Lakes, maybe a river or two, but doubtful. Not a fly fisherman, mainly lures, spinners, splitting Crawlers, etc. Thank you.

08-02-2004, 10:11 PM
Ok, maybe it's cuz I'm not a fly fisherman that I've had no help? :confused: I did say please, didn't I.

08-03-2004, 03:07 AM
Hi Dave--welcome!

I've had a Bagmaker float tube since the early 90's, same one, works great, no problems ever with it. You can see them at bagmaker.com/outdoors/fishing.htm

08-14-2004, 03:40 PM
Thank you! Anyone else have any help for me?

08-14-2004, 06:47 PM
I use a pontoon craft for river rafting, but not a float tube.

08-14-2004, 09:51 PM
The float tube you can purcahse is the Outcast Super Fat Cat or Standard Fat Cat. Do however stay away from the Fish Cat boats within the Outcast line up. They are of poor quality and the bladders are unreliable.

Keep in mind...flowing water + float tubes = very bad idea!


08-16-2004, 12:10 PM
I have Fished float tubes for years. Long before they evovled into what is available today. There are many options, and opinions pro & con as to the attributes of various designs. Everything is a compromise so try and keep in mind exactly what you want/ need to do.

1. Pontoon boats with oars can cover a lot of water,,,much more effeciently than anything relying on fins. You sit up high,,,out of the water. Much better casting position,,,,but not being a fly fisher, this may not be such a big deal for you. You really only need hip boots to fish a pontoon boat. The down side...Being up high and out of the water has it's trade offs. While you are high and dry, you are much more suseptable to being blown around by the wind. And those oars and foot rests can get in the way,,,at least for fly fishers,,,,maybe not as bad for conventional guys.

2. Hybred Tubes. Fat Cats and other pontoon type float tubes. These boats sit you up higher than a conventional float tube. Your butt is up out of the water so you stay a little warmer, you are in a better casting position, again maybe not such a big deal for you, and you are not as much of a displacement vehicle. You do need chest high waders and fins. And you will be more suseptable to being blown around by the wind than a conventional tube,,,but not as much as in a pontoon boat.

3. Conventional float tubes. These consist of two basic types.
Do-nut tubes, forget it,,,they are a pain to get in and out of,,,nuff said.
U-tubes, with or without a bar across the front, take your pick, personal choice here. These tubes will have your butt down in the water unless you modify them a bit. That may not be as bad as it sounds though. With proper clothing, cold water is not a problem. And although your butt being down in the water means you are definately a dispacement boat now and not a very efficient paddler, you present a much lower profile to the wind. And your lower body, being in the water, acts like a sea anchor. So the wind does not blow you around near as bad. With the simple addition of a two inch thick piece of closed cell foam, cut to fit so that it stretches the seat tight and keeps it from sagging, you accomplish several things. You have transformed that U-tube with it's sagging, butt in the water, seat into a plaining hull. you are now sitting up higher, on a two inch thick piece of insulating, floatation material that also serves as a hard bottom, allowing you to skim across the surface. Well,,,,almost.

One more thing. Hate to mention it but,,,,how big are you? If you are a big man, you may not fit in a U-boat with a cross bar and the two inch thick piece of foam added.

I tend to keep my float tube(s) a long time. So reliability and warranty mean a lot to me. I am, therefore, a little leary of tubes/boats that are not made by someone who has been in the business, and will continue to be in the business a long time.

Additional info:
You mentioned rivers.
Float tubes are designed for paddleing backwards with fins. Not a good idea to be propelled down river by the current and not be able to see, much less control where you are going. For moving water, you need a pontoon boat, with oars. And not just any pontoon boat. But one that is designed for moving water. Remember, water does not compress,,,air does. Whole new ball game here. A river can kill you. Learn to respect it, and to deal with it.

08-22-2004, 08:36 PM
I like a fat cat or a Wood River v-boat. If you have long distances to cover on a lake, or floating rivers, the pontoon boats are the way to go.

I know moving water and float tubes are not supposed to mix, but they have been used for years to fish parts of the Deschutes. You do have to be careful to pick your spots to avoid trouble. They have also been used by many to cross the Deschutes to fish spots on the other side. Paddles, not fins are used with wading boots to stop and fish where desired. One geltleman even runs Moody in his float tube. I would not recommend that nor try it myself.

08-23-2004, 04:59 PM
Welcome Dave.

All I have experienced is a Caddis Tube that was horse-shoe shaped, easy entry, and I enjoyed it. From my understanding they are cheap but good quality. good luck.