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Thread: Good float tube?

  1. #1
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    Default Good float tube?

    What float tube do you guys use for lakes? Been working on getting set up for fly fishing and a tube is one piece of equipment I do not have yet.

    Was wondering what you guys would suggest for a good tube that does not cost a bunch of money.

    Thanks
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  2. #2
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    Default Caddis

    Ive had the same caddis tube since 88'. I have a drink holder and kreel bag that stay attached even when deflated and in its bag. It's camo and has a rod/gun holder that has put me right where birds want to land.

  3. #3

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    I have had most every type and brand of tube you can think of, but my all time favorite is the V-Tube by Wood River. Cut's through the water like butter and is big enough for my fat butt (260+). I have tried the pontoons as well but always, always go back to my Wood river V-Tube. Wound up buying several while I was guiding in the lakes around South-Central and always got great KUDO's from my clients that had used other brands.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I'm getting a watermaster, aka float tube on roids...

    I've used a little round caddis for like 10 years and am quite happy with it except its a pita to deflate because it uses a tube from an old car tire with the scheder valve. I a round boat from sportsmans this year that inflates/deflates much faster for backpacking/travel
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  5. #5
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default watermaster

    Isn't the watermaster a little overkill for the local lakes? Aren't they over a grand? I think I will stick with my 200 dollar fishcat tube.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  6. #6
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    Float tubes work, but in the wind you have to kick a lot. To get anywhere you have to kick a lot. There's not much storage for gear and getting into anything is a real pain IMO. I have one and never really liked it other than fishing real small places. They work, I've used them on bigger lakes, but when I'm fishing I'd rather be fishing than kicking and doing work.

    I have a watermaster, but primarily use that for running rivers. Works great in lakes too, and can buy the motor mount, but they are pricey for sure.

    If you are going to stick to lakes, and like you said don't want to spend a lot of cash, then the best option would be a pontoon if you can swing it. You can mount a motor, fish finder, whatever you want. You are sitting out of the water, have or can make room for storage, plus wear a backpack and easily access it all.

  7. #7
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default pontoon boat

    I have used my pontoon boat in a lake, and found it to be kind of a pain. In my tube I can fish while I kick around, sort of trolling my fly if I am fishing deep. With the pontoon, I have to put the rod in the rod holder, grab the oars and row to where I want to fish, them move the oars out of the way so I don't get my line wrapped around them, especially when fighting a bigger fish, then repeat the whole process when I want to move, and I move pretty much the whole time I am fishing. The pontoon wins hands down if you are fishing a really, really big lake and have to cover a lot of water, but if you have a lot of time to fish, I prefer to kick around slowly in my tube. Another place the tube is much better is if you want to fish any lakes that require any hiking to get to. My pontoon boat is 9ft long, and I don't even like to carry it from the garage to the truck. My float tube on the other hand, I could and have carried that thing a long ways. If it is less than a mile, I carry it inflated, but any more than a mile, I carry in deflated in a bag and inflate it once I get to the lake.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  8. #8
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    How about this one?

    http://www.cabelas.com/link-12/produ...2315391a.shtml

    Looks like that if I bid smart, I can get one delivered for under $100 on Ebay.
    Just a bitter Alaskan clinging to his guns and religion.....

  9. #9
    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default tube

    Looks like a decent set up. I think the U-shaped boats are the way to go. My first tube was one of the round boats, and it was a pain to get in and out of, especially with fins on. I think the one you posted will work out just fine.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  10. #10

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    Just to put in my 2 cents. I got a V-boat from outcast. Cost me about $170. Like it a lot. Model is called fishcat-4. I highly recommend it. Good float tube at a good price.

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    Default fishcat 4 by outcast

    This is fairly afordable (think I got mine for $149), and is definitely a step up from the round tubes. You won't be able to go anywhere fast, but this design is faster than the round tubes for sure, and you sit higher. Higher means you don't get as cold, you can cast farther, easier, and you can see into the water just a little better.

    The standard model has foam seats which of course provide an emergency means of floatation. The two sides have independent bladders too, so there's an additional source of flotation just in case.

    You can buy backpack straps for it that make it a cinch to haul it into more remote places.

    The deluxe model has an air seat rather than a foam block. In my opionon, you sit a slightly higher yet, and the air seat seams more comfortable.

    It inflates very quickly and the valves are really easy to use. If used this one hard for two years.

    I also have 3 round tubes (two bucks bags and one caddis) but I almost never use them anymore. I like the fishcat a lot more.
    Last edited by Charholio; 04-27-2009 at 23:07. Reason: addition

  12. #12
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jakec5253 View Post
    Isn't the watermaster a little overkill for the local lakes? Aren't they over a grand? I think I will stick with my 200 dollar fishcat tube.


    Jake
    overkill for local lakes? yes overkill for some of the things I have planned? no
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  13. #13
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    bilder - I've got one that's brand new in the box that I've never used. If you'd like to take it out and see what you think, you're more than welcome to. If you like it, we can decide what is a fair price - but I'm certainly not looking for much. I've got my packraft now so I can't forsee myself ever using my float tube.

    I'll dig it out tomorrow and let you know what it is.

  14. #14
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    Default tube

    Never tried a store bought float tube. I had one custom made back in the 80's at a tent and awning company and it is gauranteed for life and still looks new today. Love it, if you get the right fins you dont need to do much kicking except to get to your spot but good exercise to boot. More fun in a tube than a boat anyday!!!
    One shot one kill

  15. #15

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    I would say make sure to check out craigslist. Last I looked there were about 5 of them on there for Alaska. I just picked up the better-model Buck's Bags tube with Force Fins off of craigs for $100. It might not be the most updated, but I pretty much don't have any extra money.

  16. #16
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I also had the Bucks Bag tube for about 5 years. I never could get used to floating around like that and sold it. I liked the idea of small pontoon boat better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    overkill for local lakes? yes overkill for some of the things I have planned? no
    I LOVE my watermaster! It's so much fun to run rivers in, I've hit up to class III rapids and never once thought the raft wouldn't handle it. Lots of fun in rapids like a kayak but you can fish easy out of them while floating calmer water. I've even had to play some fish while negotiating smaller rapids, it all adds to the fun and experience. IMO...I do not think there is a better single man option for river running and fishing both. I've been very impressed with mine. Just be sure to lash things! I lost a nice rubber net on a river last year. Almost thought about bringing it to AK with me, but figure given the time I have and stuff already planned, it just would not be worth it.

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    Default my modified fishcat4

    Complete with sonar and rod holders; photographed results are not guaranteed!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P5021690a.jpg   P5161737a.jpg  

  19. #19
    Member TruBluTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishnPhil View Post
    I LOVE my watermaster! It's so much fun to run rivers in, I've hit up to class III rapids and never once thought the raft wouldn't handle it. Lots of fun in rapids like a kayak but you can fish easy out of them while floating calmer water. I've even had to play some fish while negotiating smaller rapids, it all adds to the fun and experience. IMO...I do not think there is a better single man option for river running and fishing both. I've been very impressed with mine. Just be sure to lash things! I lost a nice rubber net on a river last year. Almost thought about bringing it to AK with me, but figure given the time I have and stuff already planned, it just would not be worth it.
    What model do you have? I have the Grizzly and love it despite it being red instead of olive drab! Hey, picked up brand new from a buddy for only $600 bucks. It's perfect for just about anywhere around here and ideal for lakes IMHO. I have yet to take the Grizzly on heavy rapids but imagine it would do pretty well in the Class II range.
    America...land of the free, home of the brave and infiltrated by the blind & naive.

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    TruBlu, I have the green colored Grizzly model, a friend of mine has the red. It sure makes it easy to spot him! I got a sweet deal also, 2 for 1 price so I couldn't pass it up. Those things handle great in small rapids, I had 0 river expirience and still can't get over how easy these things are to use in rivers, it doesn't take much rowing strength to get yourself around rocks and into position. I've had mine a couple years now and have tons of confidence in the rafts, they're solid and will handle class III no problem. Even when the fishing isn't all the great, if you're out there rafting, and having fun, that's all that matters sometimes.

    In some lakes, at least here in the crystal clear pike lakes, there's an added element of fun watching 20-30lb pike submarines swim under you hehehe. One day I'll have one drag me around for a bit

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