I've always found fishing to be one of my favorite pastimes. Sitting out on a lake, rod in hand, contemplating life in blissful solitude. Nothing beats the feeling.
Now, for someone like me, finding the right fishing float tube is important. I'm sure I speak for a lot of other fishermen as well. Why? Well, let's consider some facts for starters.
Some of us have to hike to our favorite fishing spots. In other situations, using a typical boat isn't permitted. And in most cases where it can, we just can't afford it.
Fishing float tubes save me from all these troubles. They're easy to carry and quite affordable. Plus, they're super comfy to sit on as your angle. But before you get one, you should understand what fishing float tubes are all about. That way, you can have an upper hand when purchasing. Good thing, the Kayak Fisherly team have done their homework to bring to you the best fishing float tubes of the market.
So, buckle up and let's get started.
Why Follow Our Lead
The Kayak Fisherly team consists of a group of professional fishing gear innovators and experts who've been experimenting with the trendiest fishing gear and contributing to their upgrade for over a decade now. We founded the website aiming to share our diverse knowledge that we picked along the way with the rest of the world.
We are motivated by the sheer act of fishing that allows us to get close to nature and spend quality time with it. Our group members are from different professional backgrounds with different sets of skills, together we make a good team who can look and analyze the market from different perspectives. That's one of the reasons our reviews and how-to blogs are packed with useful information.
We don't promote any particular model, brand, or whatsoever, instead, we stick to the facts that we derive from our extensive market research and rigorous field-test. We're accountable to our readers' judgment and it's them that we care about and our whole enterprise evolves around. Our mission is to provide the maximum number of useful information regarding our reviewing units so that you can make a better buying choice.
Our Testing & Selection Process
We had gone through a series of market research, feature analysis, comparison, durability tests, field-tests, and re-evaluation process before we finally got the ultimate 10 models at hand.
Initially, we spent more than 30 hours doing online market research in order to track down the world's most popular fishing float tubes with the highest number of positive user feedback. That way, we were able to sort 25 top-rated models that we managed for the next round of the selection process.
Once we'd managed the initially listed models, we conducted a series of tests on them to make sure we knew everything they were about. A group of community-based volunteers helped us carry out our tests and we want to take this opportunity to thank them. When testing we closely monitored the overall build quality, floating capacity, building material, maneuverability, weight, ergonomics, design, stacking facility, and durability. Based on these criteria, we were able to narrow down our list by championing 10 from the rest.
Next, we reached out to other industry experts and floating boat designers and engineers for having their insights into our final models. They helped us learn more about these models and we used that information in the reviews that we proceeded to write later.
We know how important fishing is to you, we feel the same way. This is why we took every measure to make sure we chose the ultimate models. Of course, no float tube review is 100% flawless but we are certain that these products offered to stand out among the rest in the market.
Our Top 10 Product List
As you know, there are so many brands of fishing float tubes out there. This can make picking the right one difficult for you. So, we came up with a list of our top-rated float tubes on the market. This is, of course after categorizing them into the various types and analyzing their basic factors.
Other Notable Brands & Models
We came across scores of other good brands and their popular models at the time of our research. However, not all of them made it to our list as we had scope for only 10. If you are up to further market research, here are the names that you should look up as well:
Browning, White River Fly Shop® (known for Lost Lake), Trout Traps, Stearns, Outfitters Expedition, Prowler, Stillwater, Seven Bass Design (known for One), River Guide (known for Water Skeeter), Keystone Light, QualyQualy, Bucks Bags, Creek Company, HawkEye, Black Sheep, ICE SEA, Sea Eagle, Goplus, Shaddock Fishing, Lazzo, Brocraft, Wistar, TOPIND, joyliveCY, Intex, VGEBY, and Hawken Fishing.
Other noteworthy models we tested:
Why Use Float Tubes for Fishing
A float tube (also called a kick boat, inner tube, or belly boat) is a small fishing craft, usually lightweight and inflatable. Originally, they came doughnut-shaped with a hole in between for sitting. Currently, most models come V-shaped, usually with a seat in between two pontoons. Float tubes are useful in many fishing activities and this is quite understandable. Why? Because a good float tube offers you some kinks that make them quite appealing. Observe some of the advantages below;
Fishing float tubes are good for shallow waters. They're also ideal for maneuvering narrow water bodies and ponds. Reaching a desired spot on the lake no longer becomes an issue once you attempt with a float tube. You have more access to the water bodies as they're so easy to move around with.
Operating a float tube is not complicated at all. No need for oars or motors to move the craft. Instead, you can paddle with your feet. This allows room for relaxation as you'll focus more on the fishing than the moving. Some do come with oars though but the float tube is so light, you won't need to exert as much effort to move as you will on a boat.
They're also surprisingly compact and lightweight, making them easy to transport. No need for a trailer or extra gear to move them around. You'll be grateful for this if you need to walk a distance to the water. The compactness also allows you to launch your float boat from any part of the water.
Fishing on a float tube is also much quieter than on a typical boat or kayak. As they're lightweight, they make less noise when moving on the surface. Paddling with your feet is not as loud as using an oar, so you tend to scare off fishless. Besides, these tubes are compatible for both freshwater and seawater.
And, unlike most boats, fishing float tubes are affordable. No need to break the bank to fuel a hobby you would only indulge in a few times yearly. At a reasonable price, you can purchase a good quality float tube that would last you for years. You'll even get basically the same benefits you expect from a boat!
We all have different reasons to go fishing and this determines how we go about the activity. With the right guide, however, you can learn to choose the right float tube suited for your fishing needs.
So, read on to get more ideas on how to pick the ideal fishing float boat.
Fishing Float Tube - Buying Guide
Fishing float tubes aren't designed the same but come in different variations. And each variation suits a particular type of need. If you want to make the most out of your flat tube purchase, you need to understand how to look for fishing float tubes reviews.
To do that, you must understand the following factors:
1. Design & Shape
The final outcome of what a float tube looks like having depended on the type. So, if the form and design is an important factor you would like to consider, then it's ideal you learn the types of float tubes available on the market. A lot depends on the design and shape. They should be easy to set up as much as they should be easy to fold up.
A good float tube must be able to keep the air in at all times. This factor heavily depends on the type of material from which it is built. Durable float tubes are usually made with fabric materials that are resistant to abrasion and tear. So far, ripstop fabrics have proven to be great for making fishing float tubes.
3. Weight Capacity
You must also ask yourself how much your preferred fishing float tube can carry at a go. This includes gear, accessories and of course, catch in addition to your own body weight. It is expected that an ideal fishing float tube should be able to handle a big guy easilty while housing tons of othere things.
Float tubes are of four types; U or V-shaped, pontoon, teardrop, and round. U or V types are shaped as the name implies, giving you legroom. Pontoon types look more like boats and feature higher seats and durability. Teardrop types combine features of U/V and pontoon to create a newer model with an inflated teardrop behind the seat. Round fishing float tubes are the earliest and cheapest models.
5. Ride Depth/Storage
You must consider how high the seat is set on the float tube. Higher seats allow easier maneuverability whereas lower seats do not. Also, consider how much space for storage the float tube has for your gear. It should also be easy to store away without getting damaged easily.
It is important to check how easy it is to carry the float tube around. In this situation, weight and bulkiness come into play. Look out for float tubes that are lightweight, as this comes in handy when you pack extra gear for the trip. The motorized models would be heavier than the regular ones. However, portability is one reason people prefer tubing.
Fishing can take long hours, depending on how keen you are about it. For this reason, you really need to go for a float tube with comfortable seats. Check the height, the seat material, and adjustability. Also, make sure the seat has provisions for back resting. Believe it or not, these things can determine whether your fishing expedition is relaxing or frustrating.
8. Hike-in Friendly
If the fishing spot requires you to walk some distance to reach, this must be greatly considered. There are models that come with backpack straps to ease carriage. Others offer rings to attach backpack straps. Also, compartments make it easier to carry your gear along with a float tube if you need to hike-in.
9. Attachments & Pockets
You must also check to see if the float tube makes it easier to store items. Models with raised pockets can help you keep materials above water. You can also go for those with fishing rod holders if you plan on doubling it as a backpack.
10. Value for Money
It really doesn't matter how much a fishing float tube costs, so long as it meets your specific needs. So, you must ensure that you're paying for a craft that crosses off all requirements on your checklist. Also, remember not to sleep on durability. If it's good, it should be able to last a long while.
Tips on Using & Blowing Up Float Tubes
Efficient use is as important as the need to buy a float tube. Mastering float tubes is an exciting possibility and when achieved, you might not need to use boats as often anymore. Plus, it helps you enjoy your fishing experience.
So, to help you reach perfection (or at least, something close to it) in float tube fishing, here are a few pointers. We're pretty sure this would be of great help.
- Check your float tube for leaks and patch them up immediately if identified. Inflate overnight if you have to. Otherwise, make sure your inflator is at hand and functioning.
- Gather the needed equipment; a life vest and at least two rods and two reels. Make sure the rod and reel are most appropriate for the type of fish you're hoping to catch. Also pick out the right tackles and lures and a spare line, just in case.
- Dress for warmth. Wear waders with appropriate layers underneath as they will get wet. Also, put on a good and comfortable hat.
- Fins are your friend. They make mobility much easier to wear them every time you go out in the float tube. But to cover all bases, pack up ping pong paddles, just in case.
- If you're a beginner, practice steering and maneuvering at the shallow end of the lake or pond first. Build confidence gradually from there.
- You can launch from a preferred dock or carry your float tube into the water before sitting.
- Do not steer too far offshore. Stay as close as possible in case of an emergency.
- Paddle slowly, keeping your feet further down when kicking so as not to make splashes. This will hi scare fish away.
- Use a longer rod when float tube fishing. This is because your craft is lower to the water than the standard boat.
- For the above reason also, keep the rod higher when casting.
- Cast backing the wind. Casting against it might send the line back at you.
- Sunscreen and insect repellents are your timely friends. Apply with gustó. You'll be thankful you did.
- Keep all valuables in waterproof cases, or just leave them behind.
- Be time-conscious. Float tube fishing can be distracting.
- If your float tube features safety flag holders, mount one for sake of emergency. If not, wear bright colors for easy spotting.
- Do not take the float tube into large water bodies without a backup plan. This can be noted nearest landmarks or boats you can quickly get to if need be.
- Do not take a float tube into rapids. Instills, check to know if there are flow and paddle in the opposite of it. Keep your eyes peeled for movement or rising fish as you’ll need to paddle closer to cast into the spot.
- After fishing, clean your float tube thoroughly before deflation and storage.
You can inflate your float tube in DIY style with a hand tube, a foot tube, or an electric tube. To inflate, you need to find the openings for each air chamber. Then, you inflate them one at a time. Finish with inflating one chamber before moving on to the next. In some cases, you may have to open the directional flow chamber yourself.
Always remember to deflate after use. A fully float tube will lose structural integrity if stored inflated for a long time. To deflate, simply open the valves to let the air out.
Wrapping It Up
Picking the most ideal float tube is the prime step to enjoying your boating experience. We have tried to help you in that aspect by providing you with this comprehensive guide. No need to go through tons of online reviews. With the details analyzed in this article, we are certain you will make an easy decision.
Of course, every product listed above displays amazing features. The Teton Inflatable float tube matches a reasonable size with great comfort. The heavy-duty build and design of the Caddis Sports Pro 2000 are completely by its dashing color. Our top float tube, Cumberland offer top quality in design, durability, and performance. And the Nevada Gold offers the stability of the highest level, as well as large storage provision.
But hey! This guide is made for you, not us. The analysis has already been compiled for your satisfaction. We're pretty sure your needs and preferences are noted here. So, feel free to use the information to pick out the best fishing float tube for yourself.