Cheap insurance to go with Joni's recommendation.
Not long ago I was searching for something on the web and came across this.
I told guys at our club. They said yes you bet you could tip the round tubes by leaning over the edge too far, but unlikely in a U shape. I came home and looked again-it was a U tube. I think that I'll spend the extra bucks soon.
Granted it happened in 2007, and he was strapped-in:
Angler dies in Clark Fork River
Sunday, Jul 08, 2007
CLARK FORK -- A Canadian fly-fisherman died in the Clark Fork River Friday morning after his float tube overturned west of Cabinet Gorge, Bonner County Sheriff's officials say.The man was identified as Edward Stover, a 35-year-old from the province of Alberta. Stover apparently drowned and an autopsy is pending, Undersheriff Charlie Dennis said on Friday afternoon.
The incident happened at about 11 a.m. east of Clark Fork.Stover was pulled from the river at about 11:14 a.m. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated immediately and he was taken to Bonner General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, sheriff's officials say.
Dennis said Stover was fishing from a u-shaped float tube, commonly known as U-tubes or U-boats. Stover, who was safety belted into the float tube, tipped over and was unable to right himself.What caused Stover to tip over is still being investigated, Dennis said. Stover was not fishing by himself.
"Someone else in the party said they heard a splash and he was turned over upside down," said Dennis.Dennis said Stover had family on shore and there might have been another angler in the water when the tube capsized."I think the majority of them were on shore, but possibly there was one more in the water, but whether he was in the water when the guy turned over, we're not sure," he said.'
I guess I don't understand why he was "belted in" (whatever that means)?
I guess I don't understand why he was "belted in" (whatever that means)?
Same here. I don't understand why they would say he was "safety belted into". My tube has a bar across the front with a strap from the bar to the front of the seat. It runs between your legs. I wonder if that's what they meant. Anyway, tough one.
To further muddle the choices, what about the Watermaster?
I have been considering one from time to time; their video on the website is very impressive - at least to me. The stability, open bottom, no frame design, built in oarlocks and ease of setup (just inflate) would seem to be a good mix of features. Also, the price is not bad - when compared to similar items.
I have a float tube that I have used on a gentle tailwater (Chattahoochee river near Atlanta) and a kayak for lakes and saltwater near home (Savannah).
Directly from the Creek Company (U-Boat) website - For still water use only - teh guy that drowned was using one on a river - it is not designed for this, and he had belted himself in with a strap from what I remebmer reading.
If you are going to fish rivers, then I would not recommend a float tube. Go with Joni and Mojo's choice or a pontoon or something designed for rivers.
For lakes, I own and use a U-boat it is nice, but, your butt is in the water, and in a wind they are hard to get back to shore in a hurry - on an average day, they are more than adequate - you can get one for around $100 - I used mine a ton last year.
My buddy has a fish cat (v-shaped) that sits him mostly out of the water and he has much less difficulty fishing and maneuvering in a wind. though he and I both hate the table design for the measuring net/work space.
I am purchasing a cumberland float tube from Cabelas (at least that is on my list). sits high out of the water, comes highly recommended by a lot of guys I have talked to on the water, and it is v-shaped (like my buddies) it goes for around $200.
I had a toon, it was cool, but I drive a jeep so it was not easy to haul around without fully dissassembling - if you have a truck or van or something where you don't ahve to dissassemble, they are kewl. Note - it took two folks to get it to the water if you had to go more than 20 yards or so.
The Scadden boats are frameless so probably do not have these issues, joni and mojo seem to be the experts on these, and have already provided tons of info - if dollars were no object (or i was patient enough to save my pennies), and I wanted to fish rivers in a boat/tube/toon (I usually just wade) I would probably buy one based on thier recommendation.
I love tube fishing, never had a concern about tipping my u-boat on the lake, never came close even in chop and wind and boat wakes.
I also always take a PFD, mostly in case there is a catastrophic failure of the tube, mine has 2 seperate chambers and either one is supposed to be "adequate" to get me back to shore. Not trying to scare anyone, like i said, i have never felt like I was gonna flip in my tube, but, I think better safe than sorry and I know the PFD will keep me and my waders afloat long enough for help to arrive or for me to make my way to shore. I may have to abandon my gear and tube if the main chamber did burst, but, I will live, I can buy more gear, and the second chamber will most likely keep the tube afloat even if I ditch it to get into shore.
I would recommend, if you have never tubed or tooned, to get with one of your buddies that has and borrow one if you can, see which you like.
If you get up to the Reno area (I see your in Salinas), I fish davis Lake in Beckwourth from ice out to ice in and you could try mine. I intend to have a cumberland before ice out, so will have the u-boat availble for friends and family, just bring waders and flippers.
estrother, another great choice. Price is pretty much the same ball park as NFO. Just something to think about. You have to climb in and out. And with no rocker design, I would think allot of splashing, but I have never tried one so, not experience there.
On the other issue of the poor gentleman that drowned, on another forum, a gentleman reported he almost drowned. I don't recall what make of tube, but the V shape one.
Seems, he was a big fellow and leaned forward. Well it continued to roll so he was indeed upside down. He could not right himself nor unhook "THE APRON". He finally managed to wiggle out. It can happen.
If you take hiking in out of the equation, pontoons get my vote. Its more comfortable sitting up out of the water, you can row circles around the poor guy depending on fins, and they dont wear you out. And speaking of the fly shows--buy one there! You might find a great show deal.
I'm glad to see the Watermaster was mentioned. I bought one last summer after quite a bit of consideration, including taking a hard look at the NFO products.
I decided it was the best all around for what I was looking for. It handles great in a variety of conditions, and will hold everything you need...and then some. Customer service was excellent. When I called to ask a few questions before placing my order, I realized I was speaking directly with the owner of the company.
As far as getting in and out, there is plenty of room to step in and out of it, or just walk it up the bank while you're wearing it. You just stand up while grabbing the two side handles and walk up the shore.
I like the fact that it is made entirely in the USA, and has a company that stands behind it. The whole thing fits in a dry bag that can be checked as standard luggage at the airport. I took mine to Oregon with me, and it went both ways without any damage and no oversize charges. It is absolutely bomb proof!