Float tube help please - Fly Fishing Forum
Gear Talk - Fly Stuff Spoken Here Sage advice & fresh perspectives

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-01-2004, 03:26 PM
Kiteguy66 Kiteguy66 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 6
Float tube help please

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.

Last edited by Kiteguy66; 08-01-2004 at 03:31 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 08-02-2004, 10:11 PM
Kiteguy66 Kiteguy66 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 6
Why no help?

Ok, maybe it's cuz I'm not a fly fisherman that I've had no help? I did say please, didn't I.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-03-2004, 03:07 AM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563

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
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2004, 03:40 PM
Kiteguy66 Kiteguy66 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: California
Posts: 6
Thank you! Anyone else have any help for me?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2004, 06:47 PM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
I use a pontoon craft for river rafting, but not a float tube.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2004, 09:51 PM
NrthFrk16's Avatar
NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NF Stilliguamish
Posts: 1,687
Send a message via AIM to NrthFrk16
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!

Ryan S. Petzold
aka Sparkey and/or Special
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-16-2004, 12:10 PM
JDJones's Avatar
JDJones JDJones is offline
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Rogue River So. Oregon
Posts: 641
Float Tubes

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.
I fish because the voices in my head tell me to

Last edited by JDJones; 08-16-2004 at 12:31 PM. Reason: addional info
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-22-2004, 08:36 PM
t_richerzhagen t_richerzhagen is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Deschutes, Ronde, Snake, Walla Walla
Posts: 720

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.
Speyclave Contributor

Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes. Joann C. Gutin
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-23-2004, 04:59 PM
Havok's Avatar
Havok Havok is offline
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Puget Sound/cascade rivers./Mazama
Posts: 27
Send a message via MSN to Havok
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Home Waters
Your home waters
Current Favorite Fly
If you only had one... (change anytime)


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New float tube outings flyjkol Warmwater flyfishing 10 06-21-2006 07:00 PM
make your own float tube! T.J. Worldwide Flyfishing Discussion 1 12-14-2005 09:16 PM
Which float tube? Stefan S Inflatable Watercraft 0 03-19-2005 08:01 AM
float tube fins teflon_jones Inflatable Watercraft 0 03-02-2005 11:44 AM
Float Tube ? John Desjardins Gear Talk - Fly Stuff Spoken Here 3 04-25-2001 03:33 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:08 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)