Re: Float tube thoughts
Get a tube with inflatable seat/back rest. Most of these will keep you mostly out of the water. Some, like the Super FatCat, will keep you completely out of the water. This is good when the water temps are lower than 70 degrees, trust me.
Waders (under most circumstances hip waders will do), decent fins (I've had both Force Fins, and Omega Fins, both are over $150), you will appreciate good fins when it gets windy. If you don't get either of those fins, you may want to invest in some kind of retaining device for your fins. These can be pretty cheap, or you can do-it-yourself with a couple lengths of paracord. Also, be very wary of windspeeds over 20 MPH if you go cheap. Tubes can behave like beach balls on the water.
You can get a Coleman rechargeable air pump for around $25, which comes with adapters which will fit your tube. Mine last about three seasons.
That's pretty much it on the "Needs" side of things. Here's a few options.
Some people use rod holders, I just got a few large Gear Ties and created my own.
I have a Fish Cat Deluxe which comes with four air bladders, so I don't bother with a PFD (plus I usually have a Sea to Summit HD dry sack for things like lunch, wading jacket, fleece, etc. thrown behind the seat. Thing floats like a champ). I have tested the floatability of my tube by only inflating one of the seat cushions and laying on top of it in a pool. I remained afloat for thirty minutes before I got bored. However, if your tube only has a couple air bladders I would consider a PFD, or if it just makes you feel better.
"Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn." ~Chuck Clark