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Thread: Personal 1 man float tubes

  1. #1
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Personal 1 man float tubes

    Just curious what you guys think of them. I've been looking at the small, 1 man float systems to knock around on. Costco seems to have a nice setup for a good price. Any feedback?

    Just an example...http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...010&hasJS=true

    Also any of you that do solo floats downt he Kenai....how you get back to point A? Does anyone offer a taxi service . I'd like to float the lake down a few miles
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

  2. #2

    Default Float Tubes

    I use float tubes quite a bit and really enjoy that kind of fishing. Float Tubes are NOT for flowing water however. First, your legs are in the water and could get entangled in rocks, logs or other debris which could be life threatening! Next, you don't have the maneuverability to avoid hazards like rocks, logs, etc.

    For flowing water you will want a pontoon boat (also one man models). These are a bit more expensive but will give you a rowing frame and a platform/frame to keep body parts out of the water. I have not used a pontoon, but have seen them used on the Kenai.

    As for logistics, that is the problem for drift boats and pontoons alike. You will need to shuttle a vehicle at your expected take out, call a cab or hitchhike/ride a bike or whatever. I don't know of a shuttle service on the Kenai (lower or middle that is) yet. There is a service available on the Kasilof however.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    I had one and didn't use it as much as I thought I would. When launching on remote lakes the boggy tundra stuff (that may or may not be floating on the water) kind of gave me the willies when I walked on it so I didn't use it for pike like I planned. I buzzed around Skilak a bit and for that it was great, I never did get it into the river though. Advice given to me before I bought mine was to get one with good back support. I sold mine a few years ago at a yard sale as a package with the flippers and everything fairly cheaply, you might look for one on craig's list or at yard sales.
    Last edited by moose-head; 03-30-2008 at 13:53. Reason: spelling error

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I had a tube at one time but sold it and bought a pontoon. The tubes will not work in flowing water but the pontoon will work in both still and flowing water. Also on most pontoons you have the ability to use an electric motor which is a big bonus in lake fishing.

    If you're fishing the Upper Kenai Wlidmans in Cooper Landing offers Taxi services. But what I do is leave my pontoon at the put in usually Sportsmans and drive to Jims Landing then hitch hike back to sportsmans.
    It has never taken me longer than 5 minutes to get a ride. Commuters see you standing at the landing turnoff in your waders know what the deal is and you usually end up answering questions about how the fishings been etc.

  5. #5
    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Sorry, meant pontoon. They have one setup at costco in anchorage for 300$, nothin name brand but looks quality. probly 5ft tubes, nice frame, oars and a motor mount. Anyone see it? Also been eyes the Sportsmans brand ones as well. I'd love to do some little day floats this year.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Have a great 10" creek company boat that I bought used in great shape... Spend the extra money on a boat that has the more durable pontoons and the extra size and drift boat style oars a huge benifit.

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I thought about those boats, but am going to buy an Alpacka pack raft instead. It's just more useful for me, as I can carry it anywhere and easily use it for hike-in hunting and fishing.

  8. #8

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    I've spent countless hours in belly boats growing up. Used to fish walleyes out of them and then trout up here when I arrived. Mine has since been stored away for a lot of years now.

    Really only should be used for lakes, would be a good remote lake boat is the main reason I've kept mine. say hike into a lake on the Nancy lake canoe trails and fish out of it.

    That said I would also opt for a small cat, or quite possibly a lil larger 2 person cat so you have room for gear or for a few nites if you decide to go solo, or take out a fish bum like myself when you're doing day trips just for no other reason then you like to row and watch fish bums like myself catch fish . They're not as light, still easily portable and easily used by one.

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    Member monello's Avatar
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    I have a belly boat that I use to fish freshwater lakes. A few times I've gotten calf cramps while 'motoring' around the lake. I don't know if anyone else has had that happen. They are fun and open up a lot more water that you'd cover if you just fished from the shore.

    Make sure you cinch up the flippers as tight as possible for maximum propulsion.

  10. #10
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monello View Post
    I have a belly boat that I use to fish freshwater lakes. A few times I've gotten calf cramps while 'motoring' around the lake. I don't know if anyone else has had that happen. They are fun and open up a lot more water that you'd cover if you just fished from the shore.

    Make sure you cinch up the flippers as tight as possible for maximum propulsion.

    Yep, and sore knees too.

  11. #11

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    I use regular dive flippers (being a certified diver though we havent dove in a very long time now). Cynch them to tight and you're likely to get cramps in your feet too. You talk about suck badly shew lol. Never have used the float tube flippers....was to cheap to buy them.

    Definatly tie them off though, dummy cord them to your calves incase a strap breaks.

    Oh and yes I've had those calf cramps....no fun either. Try eating a banana or anything else potassium to help with it.

  12. #12
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    I use regular dive flippers (being a certified diver though we havent dove in a very long time now). Cynch them to tight and you're likely to get cramps in your feet too. You talk about suck badly shew lol. Never have used the float tube flippers....was to cheap to buy them.

    Definatly tie them off though, dummy cord them to your calves incase a strap breaks.

    Oh and yes I've had those calf cramps....no fun either. Try eating a banana or anything else potassium to help with it.
    Or just buy a pontoon/oars
    I found that the may you kick with the fins in a float tube was hard on the knees. And yes make sure you have fin tethers, it would suck to have one sink in 50 feet of water.

    One advantage I forgot is in a pontoon you are sitting much higher and mostly out of the water so you don't get as cold especially in the early and late season.

  13. #13

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    Dave,

    Definatly agree after lots of hours in belly boats the cats are the better way to go...just stating my experience with belly boats.

    I spend most of my time in a 16' cat....wish I had a solo cat. But heck I have a 1 man inflatable kayak, 1 man cedar strip canoe, belly boat, 2 man canoe...what else do I really need other then a one man cat someday .

    As for getting cold...never had that problem either. Started out using our dive wetsuits till I could afford a pair of waders. Nothing fleece and wool couldnt fix. Never had problems with knee issues either though it's been quite a few years now since I've used mine, age might have caught me in that regards.

  14. #14
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    Dave,

    Never had problems with knee issues either though it's been quite a few years now since I've used mine, age might have caught me in that regards.
    That's what happened to me............ Gettin' old sucks!!!
    Although I think it mostly has to do with skiing and definately dirt bike riding.
    I got cross rutted at 60 MPH about 10 years ago and planted my right foot to straighten out the bike.
    I ended up kicking myself in the back of my head!!!
    For some reason my right knee has been having issues since.

  15. #15
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default LOL Guys and Info

    Yep sucks getting old!

    Just food for thought. Last time I checked Sportsmans was selling mostly Outcast pantoons with their Name on them.

    One of the issues is warranty verses purchasing a like item at lets say Alaska Raft and Kayak same boat but the repair facility is also the seller and sportsmans just does not offer that service for the most part.

    Yes normally your looking at a couple of bucks more, however piece of mind and having your boat back in a timely manner is some times worth the extra couple of dollars.

    Note on Costco type boats: Over the past several years I have seen many of them on the Gulkana and always someone trying to float the upper river and a large majority of the time I have helped them put their frames back together some how in the field. Mind you this is just opinion and I am not tyring to get you to run down to a Raft Store and spend more money!!!!!! I am just stating that I have seen many of those type of inflatables not hold up to Class II / III water which again IMO the models sold at stores like Walmart, Costco, Sams Club are not ment to be used.

    I am sure there are lots of folk's who have not had to troubles I have seen however I am sure there lots of similar folk's that have had issues.

    Yes $300.00 is a heck of alot cheaper than lets say $699.00 however if I am putting my old ars in the middle of a fast moving river and wish to have a secure and safe float I am looking towards Outcast, Scadden, or higheer end Creek Company pontoon boats.

    http://www.outcastboats.com/outcastboats/

    http://www.creekcompany.com/

    http://www.alaskaraftandkayak.com/


    Concerning your drop off and pick up WildMan in Cooper Landing offerse the service you seek for spotting your vehicle.

    http://www.wildmans.org/

    Best of luck in your choice. Sorry for rambling

    Richard Mousseau
    www.bluemooserafting.com

  16. #16
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Richard
    I have one of the Creek Companies ODC 816 rafts and it works pretty good. But the raft that is next on my list is a Fish Cat Cougar by Outcast.
    This raft is built to last forever!!!! While it is heavier than mine it drafts less water, has a higher payload and handles like a Porsch!!!! After using my buddies for a couple of days I'm sold on it, all I have to do is find some money to pay for it.

  17. #17
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I use my float tube all the time one of these days I'm gonna catch a silver from it, thats gonna be sweet. Wish I had the $$$ for an alpaca... great boats
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  18. #18

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    If you watch Creek Company's website, from time to time they'll put their boats on sale with free shipping.

    Last year I bought a Sport XL with some of the accessories for $239.00 with free shipping.

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    Default Fish Cat

    Drifter, I agree with you. The fish cat rules, bought one last year at the sportsmans show...I love this pontoon. I used it just after ice out on lakes and didn't freeze my butt off. Also later in the year floated Willow and had a blast.

    I would definatly recommend a pontoon bout over a belly boat if your wallet will allow it.

    Spring is finally here Tight Lines!
    FrozenMarc

  20. #20
    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I use my float tube all the time one of these days I'm gonna catch a silver from it, thats gonna be sweet. Wish I had the $$$ for an alpaca... great boats
    How would you land it? I've always kinda wanted to try mine in the salt chuck here, but never have. I guess I could tow a big net around, but that seems like it would be a pain.

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