Portable air pumps, fins, waders, and tackle at the ready, it’s time for another float tube session. Lakes, rivers, and harbors make prime locations for anglers. Take your game off the shore by picking up one of the best float tubes for fishing. Safety, storage, and an inherent ability to put you into fish define the characteristics of float tubes. When it comes to the best float tubes for fishing, all elements deserve consideration. Find out all about float fishing tubes in this complete examination, perfect for knowledge before purchase.
Guide To Singling Out The Best Float Tubes For Fishing
Float Fishing Tubes & Their Different Designs
Packing up and carrying around a float tube takes much less effort than a kayak. They also keep the fuel charge to zero while still offering moderate access to open water fishing. Getting off the shore and into a float tube can increase your amount of hook ups drastically. When your mind is set on acquiring one of the best float tubes for fishing, the best place to begin is with design. Float tubes come in the different styles you see below:
- Round Float Tubes – Round float tubes resemble large tires and are the least comfortable on the water. They’re also more difficult to maneuver and are less popular among anglers.
- U or V Shape Float Tubes – Float tubes that take the shape of a U are the most common. V shaped float tubes for fishing can offer a small bow for cutting through waves or swell. U and V style float tubes keep fishermen just above or sitting slightly in the water. Angler’s wear waders to stay dry and warm while kicking with fins for propulsion. Yep, you’ll be moving backwards.
- Pontoon Float Tubes – Two enclosed tubes that attach to either end of a seated platform describe the pontoon float tube design. These typically lift an angler higher up off the water. Some of the more expensive designs keep an angler completely out of the water and use a trolling motor for propulsion instead of fins.
Additional Requirements To Use The Best Float Tubes For Fishing
If your choice is a pontoon style float tube, you may be all set with just your fishing gear. It uses a motor or an oar and you won’t need the add on accessories. Choose a V or U shape float tube and you will most likely need some other products for best operation. These include a pair of stocking foot waders to keep you dry and warm, a pair of swim fins, and perhaps some booties.
Putting A Light On Float Fishing Tube Specifications
After inspecting the different types of float tubes for fishing, turn your focus to the specifications. When you select the design that appeals most, the specifications become important for performance and safety even more so. Specs will tell you the obvious facts about float tubes like dimensions, weight, and material. Pontoon style floats may use hard material or have inflatable tubes.
U and V shape float tubes use inflatable inner tubes. The quality of fabric, tube strength, and amount of tubes become safety considerations. Imagine piercing the material and rubber on a single tube float. Unless you’re real close to shore, you have problems. For this same reason, hard pontoon style float tubes are safer than the inflatable ones. Check out the list below that shows common float tube specifications:
- Overall Dimensions In Length, Width, & Height – Tells the size of the entire float tube unit.
- Diameter Of The Tube – A measurement of each individual tube size.
- Weight Of The Float Tube – From U shape to hard tube pontoon there can be a big weight difference.
- Weight Capacity – Again a safety feature that is there for the protection of the angler.
- Number Of Tubes Or Air Chambers – More tubes means you won’t join Davey’s Locker if you happen to puncture one.
- Fabric Material – Tough denier fabric wards off punctures from hooks or rips and tears from rocks.
- Valve Stem Type – Cheap inner tube valves is an area of obvious safety concern. Anglers can not have their tubes leaking air while out on the water.
- Seam Construction – Stitched or welded seams are the common techniques for connecting float tube fabric. Making use of both creates even more durability in your tube.
What Qualities Create Value And Make The Best Float Tubes For Fishing?
Of course quality and durability have to be high on the list. These lead to good performance that continues to serve your fishing needs time after time. But what makes those characteristics in a float tube? Besides what you find for material and craftsmanship in the specs, design can make a big difference.
Consider the weight of a hard pontoon float tube. They’re much heavier and harder to transport than inflatable models. Pontoon style float tubes travel faster though, and are more stable in rocky conditions. In contrast, pick one of the best float tubes for fishing in the V or U shape inflatable style and transport it easily in your vehicle or backpack.
No matter what style of float tube speaks most to you, seating comfort may be a consideration. Pontoon float tubes offer an advantage in comfort because they already have you above the water. U and V shape float tubes can get cold putting you right in the water, but better products do address seating comfort. Finally, the small things like water proof storage pockets, fish tray with measuring marks, and a padded backrest can enhance the time spent fishing.
Accessorizing The Best Float Tubes For Fishing – Gear Priorities
Just like boats and kayaks, the best float tubes for fishing become even more effective with the right accessories. Models that offer mounting options for rod holders and fish finders give you that future ability. The larger pontoon float tubes may have space for live bait wells, ice chests, or camping gear. Space becomes much more of an issue on U and V shape float tubes. Pick the right model and you’ll have room for rod holders and a fish finder at least.
Most fishing tackle is of a sort that wants to stay dry. Freshwater isn’t good for it and saltwater can mean complete destruction. Waterproof storage is a big must on float tubes. All fishing float tubes offer storage but it’s not necessarily water proof. You may have to invest in a separate sleeve and zip lock bags work well as a last resort.
Some additional products that make life with a float tube better may be an electric pump. Some models include them while others offer a standard hand pump. Rod straps are always a good idea in case you somehow flip or drop your setup. Anchors can attach to most models if there’s enough room and you can personalize your chair for maximum comfort.
Best Float Tubes For Fishing In 2017 – Angler’s Top Picks
#1 Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube – Highest Performing Portable Tube
The most basic model float tubes offer only a net or fabric style seat. The backrest is typically the same and not adjustable. Classic Accessories puts comfort into their Cumberland float tube with a padded seat and backrest. Adjustments come from moving the backrest, giving the perfect sit for each body type. 350 pounds of capacity goes 50 – 100 pounds more than standard float tubes.
Two large cargo pockets line each side of this V shaped float tube. It’s V tip raises up as a bow, offering protection against small waves. Backpack the Cumberland float tube into backwoods using adjustable shoulder straps. Put your soda or beer in cup holders on top of each cargo pocket while you pick up your rod resting in one of two rod holders.
Measure your fish with the ruler embedded onto the screen that sits above your lap and remove hooks easily while you’re at it. Dimensions of the premium Classic Accessories Cumberland float tube are 56L X 44W X 19H. It’s a good size unit that sits high off the water and provides years of fishing adventures.
#2 Caddis Sports Premier Plus Float Tube – Best Value V Shaped Float Tube
This heavy duty yellow float tube resembles a banana but brings nothing but good luck on the water. Its high visibility also keeps you safe from high speed boaters. Caddis bulks up on the material, giving the Premier Plus heavy duty rip stop fabric up top. The trend of toughness continues with tarpaulin bottom and front end.
Bulky cargo pockets sit atop each 11 inch pontoon style tube and the V shaped front end stops small breakers that roll your way. Seat and backrest are foam, which is one of the limitations of the tube. Better padding material exists for sure. The backrest does have adjustable straps to lean it in the best position.
Caddis Sports Premier Plus float tubes hold good weight, with a capacity of 325 pounds. They include the standard fish tray with ruler, but you’ll have to add rod holders to the straps it provides. Little extras on the Premier Plus float tube go a long way. Extra cargo space behind the seat is a prime example as are the D rings to add shoulder straps. Stay safe, bring extra gear, and hook fish a plenty with one of the best float tubes for fishing.
#3 Caddis Sports Pro 2000 Float Tube – Highest Value For The Lowest Price
Coming in with the lowest price is the low riding Caddis Sports Pro 2000 float tube. Similar to the Premier Plus, the Pro 2000 rides a bit lower and more stable on the water. It also puts you in the water a bit more which calls for a double check on your waders.
Being the budget model of the two teardrop Caddis float tubes, the Pro 2000 sacrifices a few features. It does keep the D rings if you decide to use shoulder straps but loses the rod holder straps. You can invest in ones that strap around the pontoon inflates.
Luckily, the extra cargo space behind the seat stays though the Pro 2000 does drop down in weight capacity. Say goodbye to a hundred pounds more you can bring on the Premier Plus. The question is spend a bit more for bells and whistles of the Premier Plus or save with the Pro 2000. They both are in the business of catching fish.
#4 Outcast Fishcat 4 Float Tube – Top Value For Still Water Fly Fishing
Making high claims that the Fishcat 4 is the top selling float tube on the market, Outcast brings their pride to fishing. True or not, the Fishcat 4 is one of the best float tubes for fishing when it comes to value. This is a budget model for Outcast who also offers a deluxe version, but the savings bring the value.
A pronounced V rises up higher than most models providing a very effective swell cutting bow. Fishcat 4 float tubes have 12 inch pontoon style inflatable chambers and are a durable yet simple model. Still water fly anglers that cast weighted line and lake bass fishermen hone in on the Fishcat 4.
A raised fish tray keeps scales off your waders. Pack the Fishcat in and out by adding shoulder straps to the D rings. Large cargo pockets and storage space behind the seat offer room for tackle and small ice chest. A max cap of 250 pounds means you can’t add too much, unless you opt to move up to the deluxe version.
#5 Outcast Fat Cat Float Tube – Top Quality Fishing Float Tube
Float tube fishermen who aren’t messing around and plan to spend tons of hours on the water should check out the Outcast Fat Cat. Yep, they call it fat for a reason. It sits 13 inches high but 45 inches wide and 64 long. Easy to carry in and out of tough to get to places, Outcast Fat Cat float tubes weigh a mere 18 pounds and have several D rings.
In the category of top quality float tubes, Outcast makes some of the very best. In fact, the Fat Cat is the base model. Even more bells and whistles come with the Super Fat Cat float tube, like high comfort in seat and backrest. Instead of foam, it uses inflatable padding. Safety improves ten fold with the Super Fat Cat’s 3 air chambers vs only 1 on the base model.
Above Outcast base and Super Fat Cat models is the Prowler, one of the best float tubes for fishing money can buy. This is the one the lifetime float tube angler saves for, along with a fish finder and other accessories. For the hardcore back country backpacker, the ultra light bladder-less Trinity is another option in float tubes by Outcast.
Last Thoughts For Buyers On The Best Float Tubes For Fishing
Float tubes provide an incredible experience for fishing areas you might otherwise not get to. A kayak is able, but transportation is so much simpler with a float tube. There’s an initial investment in fins and waders besides the tube itself. Once these items are secure, it takes little more than time and motivation to fish. Perhaps time isn’t so small, but willingness won’t be an issue once you get into the best float tubes for fishing.