Sunday, April 6, 2014

Float Tube or Fishing Boat in a Sack

usbackroads product--Float Tube or Fishing Boat in a Sack

Most people think there are two types of fisherman.  Those that catch fish and those that do not.  Actually, the two types of fisherman are those that fish from shore and those that fish from a floating device.  And those that fish from a boat or floating device catch more fish.

For travelers and apartment dwellers that made owning a boat tough since there are few places to store a boat in an RV or small apartment.  Float tubes store in a sack and will definitely make you a much better fisherman.

I purchased my first float tube when I was single, with money and no one to answer too!!  There it was in the catalog a round tube with a couple of pockets.  At that time I owned a canoe so my purchase was an impulse buy for no particularly good reason.

A canoe is a poor fishing platform.  It is great for traveling and floating fairly flat water rivers, but as a fishing platform the wind blows it around and your forced to either paddle or hold the fishing rod.  When you should be holding the rod, you will almost always be holding the paddle instead and vice versa.

The perfect fishing craft is one that leaves both hands free for fishing while allowing you to steer with your feet.  Enter the float tube.  Invented by bass fisherman in Arkansas in the 1950's it never became a big hit until the 1980's.  And then it was out west in Idaho and eastern Washington by fly fisherman fishing the lakes of those states.

A float tube give you both hands free for fishing.  You steer by finning your way around the lake.  I suppose to a fish you look just like a huge duck floating overhead.  The platform is stable in waves, but difficult to move in the wind.  You will notice that most ducks in high wind will just jump up and fly.  Unfortunately, you cannot do that in a float tube.

Because of the wind issue the best float tubes are V-shaped instead of round or U-shaped.  Having owned all three shapes over the years, buy the v-shape.  My recommendation is the basic Fish Cat with foam seat or Fat Cat with an inflatable seat.  The Fat Cat is much smaller to pack and store.

A duck has great insulation.  You will need to provide your own insulation for your legs by buying Neoprene waders.  For safety sakes, buy the Neoprene waders as they are warm and more importantly will help float you in an emergency.  I lost a duck hunting friend who drowned wearing non-neoprene waders.  On our last hunt I told him I was switching to Neoprene waders for everything just for safety.  Unfortunately, he never did switch.

Jump into a swimming pool so you will understand how your Neoprene waders will work in water.  Always pack a life vest even with the Neoprene waders.  The Neoprene will help float you, but you still need a life jacket.

A pair of warm, neoprene booties to protect your waders from thorns and rips.  These will greatly extend the life of your waders.

Then the fins.  Ducks come with fins already on their feet.  Having forgotten my fins once I can tell you that it is impossible to move a float tube without fins.  There are special float tube fins that are expensive, but I just use large size diving fins.  They work fine and you can find them fairly cheaply and always get replacement straps at dive shops.

I bought my float tube on a lark thinking that the canoe would still be my primary fishing boat.  I NEVER fished out of a canoe again.   Float tubes are comfortable for fishing.  The best description is that it is like fishing out of a recliner.  Your legs float up and your totally relaxed while fishing.  To cast you straighten your legs so it feels like your standing up in the water.  That gives you enough "backbone" to cast efficiently. There is nothing more comfortable than fishing out of a float tube.

Fly fisherman are particularly partial to float tube since both hands are free.  But I have seen spin fisherman using float tubes to great advantage.  Give it a try.  You might just leave the canoe at home.

1 comment:

John Wallace said...

Refreshing to read of someone who agrees with me that canoes are probably the worst fly fishing craft for most situations. "Mine is very stable." No, it isn't. I know because it's a canoe.

My wife bought me a beautiful canoe with a proper curved stern and cane seats but short and wide for fishing for my 40th birthday. I used it once. It's still in the side yard covered. Maybe I'll try it again--it's been a little over 20 years now.