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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2013, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

"what happens if you have a big sudden 'leak' and go flat..........just swim for it ? Seems risky."

I've been tubing since I was 15 (57 now) and have always used circular tubes with rubber inner tubes. Many times we had leaks where after a few hours it might be a bit softer but never a single complete failure. However I've always done it when the water was warmer so we could just swim.

These newer ones with plastic bladders conceivably could have a complete failure but the bladders are pretty tough. Almost all have multiple bladders so you'd always have some flotation. I have a friend who puts carefully cut pieces of pieces of the foam "water noodles" which are like foam pipe insulation. This can give a bit of a "lumpy" shape but will give floatation in an emergency. We also put about 10-12 inside our kayaks for same reason.

A PFD (personnal flatation device) is of course wise.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

I've had one leak as well... A old style with a tire tube
I should have realized that there was a reason why I was slowly settling further into the water.... but that was it. It happened very slowly.
It wasn't until I "beached" and tried to pick the thing up that I realized it had gained about 40 pounds of water weight
It wasn't a big deal, in fact I was far more concerned about the huge snapping turtle that was following me around
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

This kind of puts the worry of a leaking bladder into perspective.

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I've fished from a longboard and several pontoons off of the pacific coast and never gave it much thought. As much as I enjoy our float tubes and have no fear of using them in large inland bodies of water, this maneuver ( a surf launch and recovery ) surpasses my limits.

TT
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

Float tubes have several compartments, so even if one has a leak...... you will never sink!

In PA you have to have a PFD on at all times while float tubing.

My first cheapo had a slow leak. No prob, you can blow it up while in the water and it will last several hours. Now I have a top shelf Scadden pontoon tube ..... and it doesn't leak at all (three months and not a drop of air leaked from any compartment). But it's a little more bucks than the starter tubes.

Super comfy, and super fun with a fly rod. I think it's the ultimate! I will never go back to a canoe or yak again!

Float Tubes rule! The "Inflatable Navy"
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

I've used floatubes for along time. I had a cheapie that was a good intro and I used a lot til...I don't know... it shrank...or something and it just wasn't floating me as high as it used to. I was shipping water in the back of my waders.
I up graded to a U tube that was rated for 300+ pounds. I haven't had the shrinkage problem with this one. It is a bit more "Deluxe" than the old one- it has three inflatable back support pillows. I figured out right away that the main effect of the top back support is to continually knock your hat off, so that one went away. The second or third time I used it was below the bridge at Silver Creek. I had a good time- watching hundreds of huge feeding trout as far as the eye could see- stop feeding as soon as I raised my rod tip. After that bit of fun, a HUGE and constant wind came directly downstream and I discovered the function of the other two back support pillows: They create a "sail" to help the wind send you where it will. I barely made it back to the bridge take out.
I knew a guy who took a tube in trade for some computer work. Nobody told him that he was supposed to have fins...He tried it out on a large Idaho lake and earned a 5 mile walk home in his waders when the wind came up.
My own secret tubing horror isn't inimical creatures or weather phenomena. Have you ever noticed how the low buck spin rods in the box stores are always loaded with 15 and 20 pound test? 'Course, with line that heavy, Joe Learner Wormer has to load about a half pound of lead on the line to cast waaaayyy out there. And of course, that much weight gets irretreivably hung on the bottom waaayyy out there leaving Joe no choice but to cut it off leaving 50 yards of mooring cable drifting. I've always dreaded the idea of getting tagled in some of that stuff in a tube. Maybe hooked. Too deep/too far out/too cold to drop out the bottom of the tube and unable to reach to cut myself loose. Or going over trying to reach to cut.
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Old 03-27-2013, 06:50 AM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

I dont see why you wouldnt be able to reach the line to cut it. Tubes arent very big and you could always dip in while holding the tube for flotation.

But its an irrational tube fear, I have many myself. Like getting my leg chomped on by a 100lb snapping turtle of having the one landlocked shark in all of MA finally show himself to the public as he devours me.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

Nick- The difficulty for me reaching to cut a line from my food is somewhat related to that tube shrinkage/flotation problem I had with my old round tube. Got it?
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

I have been going back and forth between getting a tube and getting one of the small personal pontoons. Any reason to go one way over the other? Anybody?
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

Here's what I think this all comes down to.

1. The type of water you are fishing in
2. Transportation
3. Ease of maneuverability

If you are fishing large bodies of water, or water with decent current, pontoon may be the better choice. Paddles will let you move around more quickly and kick paddling inst very effective in a strong current.

Float tubes can break down into very small spaces, like the trunk of a car or even a backpack in some cases. Most also inflate fast and can get on the water in just a few minutes. Pontoons take longer to assemble, and many are best transported car top or on a trailer. If access to the water isnt very close to where you can park your car, lugging a pontoon to the water can be a real hassle.

Float tubes are much easier to maneuver, especially when you are actually fishing. For most of a pontoons maneuverability, you will have to put down your rod and use the paddles. You can also cross water much faster with the pontoon though.

And there is also your place in the water. Many pontoons will allow you to keep your whole body above the water, float tubes will require at least some portion of you to be submerged.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Float tubers....ASSEMBLEEEEEE!

I have been fishing in tubes since I was 15 which was over 30 years. Started with a very ealry model from bass pro, upgraded to a cam Browning, both truck tube styles. Switched to a pontoon and now use a scadden outlaw. Most expensivce of the buch but by far the best. I use it mainly for trout fishing small kettle ponds. It is quiet, easy to maneuver while you can keep casting, not as affected by the wind. I can't imagine fly fishing for trout in a pond without it.
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