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Fishing Float Tube Boat Tips?

Blog by: Lloyd Tackitt 10/24/2017
Next spring I think I'm going to buy a fishing float tube for fly fishing in the Brazos.

Mostly because I get tired and want a place to sit after a few hours of standing in the river.  I'm thinking with one of these I can pull it along with me until I get tired, then sit on/in it and keep fishing until I'm ready to stand up again.

I have a kayak, but it's a bit much to pull around for the occasional sit down.  And I don't like fishing from it because it is always turning the wrong way and I have to use a paddle to correct and that means putting my rod down and that means I'm not fishing.  With the sit down tube, and flippers I assume, I should be able to stay pointed.

So...who knows about these things?  What do I need to know before I buy one?


Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Blog Comments
snydley whiplash, CO   10/24/2017 7:43:29 PM
I sold my float tube 5+ years ago and miss it. I found it to be so relaxing. Be certain to get Floatable flippers. You really have a feeling of being one with the fish. Biggest problem is having to take a piss when you are a long way from shore. Been a lot of improvements since when I got my first one. I find myself with a 16ft fishing boat and longing for the days I had my float tube. Fun to be able to go with others. Go for it....
D-Zilla, CO   10/24/2017 10:56:51 PM
Talk to AnglerWannabe. He is an expert, but I will echo his recommendation of the fish cat series of float tubes. Rugged, good materials, plenty of storage and great customer service. They're pricey, but I LOVE mine.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   10/25/2017 8:57:43 AM
Floatable fins! That solves one problem I thought of! I'll check out fish cat too.
panfishin, CO   10/25/2017 3:46:06 PM
I would recommend one of the pontoon style of tubes as opposed to the U-boat style ones. I have one of the U-boat styles, while they are a great starter tube, they have more resistance when kicking from one place to another. A good set of fins is also a must for kicking on longer days.
ColoradoDad, CO   10/25/2017 11:37:29 PM
I'll second the outcast/fish cat tubes. They are very comfy and cut through the water very easily. The fish cact 4 is a very nice tube to and is very portable. The fish cat scout is kinda like a hybrid pontoon/float tube that would work great on the rivers
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   10/26/2017 6:18:23 AM
I should say that typically I'll have to carry the tube about quarter of a mile to get to the water with it. I'll wear a fly vest and fly rod - I'll need to take my inflatable PFD as well as the tube and fins. I don't plan to use it with waders, I'll be in shorts, and probably tennis shoes. So the whole rig (tube, fins, PFD) will need to be something I can hand carry without much strain. Does that sound do-able? Do they come with shoulder straps for carrying? I'll probably use the tube about 15% to 20% of the time I'm in the river, the rest of the time will be wading.
D-Zilla, CO   10/26/2017 7:12:27 AM
Mine has attachment points for shoulder straps, it did not come with them though. Typically I carry mine on my back by the handle. (it has a carry handle) and my rods/fins in the other hand. If you have an old backpack with removable straps or a source for said straps. The attachment points are there.
anglerwannabe, CO   10/26/2017 10:02:58 AM
PART 1: For the type of fishing you'll be doing the U-Shape tube will likely be best and will be easiest to manage. The Fish Cat series of tubes come with D-rings specifically for shoulder straps. They sell some straps that are very nice and make it very easy to carry the tube. When I pack the tube I stuff my fins in the back of the tube and that frees my hands to carry my rods. For your fins you don't have to get the floatable ones, you can make or buy straps that attach to the fins and to your ankle. That has saved me more than once. These fins here are great and won't break the bank. You can slip into them with your tennis shoe or even a good wader sock.
anglerwannabe, CO   10/26/2017 10:09:30 AM
PART 2: I highly recommend the Fish Cat Fat Cat. I'm entirely too much overweight and it carries me beautifully. The seat and back are inflatable and you can inflate them to where it's comfortable for you. This is NOT a cheap tube but worth every dime. Has nice large pockets for your tackle. Aside from your PFD I recommend using attaching a carbiner or something similar to a bungee and attaching the bungee from the tube to you. Especially on the river. If you take a leak or stand up and forget the tube, you're gonna find it down river. lol I have 2 tube and 2 pontoons from Fish Cat.. my first tube has been thru hell, split seem from me overinflating, two ballasts that have leaked and Fish Cat took great care of me. Now after almost 5 years my first toon has a very slight leak in one ballast and Fish Cat immediately replaced it. Please feel free to reach out to me if you want more info
anglerwannabe, CO   10/26/2017 10:11:35 AM
P.S. If you've never done this.. you're gonna wet your pants a little the fist time you get into a really nice fish and it drags you around.
nparker, CO   10/26/2017 2:55:00 PM
Fish Cat is great! I would rather fish from a float tube than a boat except for scouting a large lake.
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   10/28/2017 12:45:47 PM
Loss of leverage is a concern I have, not a great concern but a concern. I often hook into fish that are quite large, carp and drum and buffalo and often enough into very large bass. Turning those fish away from underwater brush is important, and difficult when standing on the river bottom - I'd imagine it is more difficult when floating in a tube. I'm hoping that I can counter by pushing backwards with the fins...
Steelhead, CO   10/28/2017 3:49:30 PM
Hobie Float Cat 75 Expedition 4 Sale. Very Good Condition hard shell kick boat Include 2-sets of Force Fins (1 set adjustable & 1 set fitted) 2 rod holders, cargo rack, fishing buddy mount. This Hobie is river worthy. Have floated the Bighorn and the North Platte. **(minus the oars kit) desinged to add a motor mount for a minn kota motor, battery holder and leg rests $600. CASH & CARRY ONLY. Must sell asap. Manual specs- Parts Guide -
anglerwannabe, CO   10/28/2017 4:26:47 PM
LLoyd, I can see where that is a concern and you will certainly not have quite the leverage as standing on solid ground. However I've yet to lose a fish because of it, although I'm not usually fishing timber. However, you're going to be able to fish places you've never been able to fish before. Cast at angles you've not been able to before, offer presentations that are not possible any other way. In Idaho I was casting under overhanging trees that boats simply couldn't do and killing the LMB and SMB. When you get the tube, have your wife drive another vehicle to a drop off point, then you drive back up river with her.. and then float back down to your car. As added bonus, fish don't seem to be spooked by the tube. So be prepared for last second bites at the tube itself.
malty falcon, CO   10/28/2017 6:12:04 PM
Make certain your butt is out of the water, whichever model you get. You will have much better maneuverability, and less drag in the water, so your fins are more efficient. Also, switch to whiskey or tequila, as beer requires more pit stops! )
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX   10/28/2017 6:21:12 PM
I switched to whisky and tequila years and years ago even in bars for that reason! Many good points by all or you, much food for thought. I went wade fishing today, and that water was big time cold. Not a single bite. I have the winter to consider floating boat/tubes and will hit the water with one come spring. My main concern is that I can carry it to and from the river (quarter mile walk each way or so) without too much difficulty/awkwardness. Well that and being able to play the larger fish on those occasions where I'm lucky enough to get one one the hook. I use 17 pound leader, and still get it broken off at times.
nparker, CO   10/28/2017 6:33:59 PM
No problem landing big fish from a tube unless you hook one in the bushes.
D-Zilla, CO   10/29/2017 9:55:31 AM
With a tube, you can always go to the fish as well. You're not stuck IN the brush, you're over it. I've caught more than a few large carp from mine and it's a blast when you have room to let them wear themselves out, and you can stop them with the fins most times if you don't. I've yet to have an AWB fish right at the tube, but within a few feet is still pretty exciting.