Does anyone own a float tube? Do you like it? How much of your body is in the water? Would you rather use that than a canoe? I have a canoe and I was thinking about getting a float tube. I am wanting your thoughts on this.
I am wanting the pros and cons of the float tube from you guys!
I have a Outcast Deluxe Fat Cat float tube, two canoes, an Outcast pontoon boat, and a 15' Lund outboard. I personally resort to the canoes last, just not as comfy for fishing (still great for trekking though)... and the other three get the call depending and size and accessibility of the water. In the Fat Cat I sit fairly high, water is up to the top of my calf, and it's incredibly stable. There is ample storage and room in the bow for a small cooler and an old down rigger ball and some rope make a great anchor system. I vote you GO FOR IT
I have had a Caddis Donut, then a SFC (Super Fat Cat) followed by the BUCKS Alpine (a 6' pontoon) and now own a Venture Outdoors ECHO (a 4' X 12" diameter permabladder metal frame plastic seat pontoon) which they have a less expensive version at Sam's Club, a NFO H3 (6' "V" Tube) a NFO Navigator II (a 9' "V" tube with oars and motor mount) and a Cardiac Canyon (11 1/2' X 12" diameter) Pontoon.
I too have had an 18 1/2' Rinker, a 14' Alumicraft and a 16' Monarch. We just chose Pontoons cause they were easier to travel with when pulling a camping trailer.
There is a section here telling the differences and advantages/disadvantages to TUBES (donut) - U TUBES - V Tubes and Toons.
The problem I see with Canoe or Kayak is the hands free, move with flippers thing, plus ridged so transportation.
With Donuts, you will be sitting waist high in water, U-Tube hip high, V-Tube your bum might be in the water (In my H3 I am 4" from bottom of seat out of water), with a Pontoon below the knee in water.
You will need waders for tubes and either fishing boots, or those flats booties and flippers. In a Pontoon you can get away with out flippers, but then you are in same situation as a Canoe or a Kayak. HIP Waders at most with a pontoon in fact warmer days, shorts, just watch the sun. The same in boots and flippers. Even if you put a motor on a pontoon, you can use the motor totally or put it on the back, pick a speed, keep it straight and use flippers to turn. TOTAL hands on fishing.
I have tubes, a pontoon, a punt boat, a canoe, and my 14 and 19 ft aluminums, so I'm covered. What I use is determined by where I'm going. On stream my pontoon usually gets the nod, unless we have a long float with long distances between fishing spots, then it's the canoe. On ponds and lakes the decision falls to how far I have to carry my chosen craft...I will also use my tube in small lakes on extremely hot days and just wear shorts, boots and fins...Fortunately I live in a Moccasin free zone...Michigan
I had a float tube once,years ago. I only fished out of it a few times,and it was OK. However,if I had it to do over again, (and just might one of these days!) I would definitely spend a few dollars more (actually maybe more than "a few") and get a one-man pontoon boat.
Hmmmm.....I guess a donut would be easy to transport, but slow as a turtle.
Battling winds is a problem I suppose. I'm a real canoe lover at heart, so my
advice would be a 12' Old Town Pack canoe. I know there are other 12'
canoes, but the Pack seems to be pretty popular. The Dork Factor doesn't come into play with a canoe, but a donut puts you at the head of
the line .
A donut on my local lakes would mean standing in 2 foot water half the time, and fighting winds in 25 foot deep water. That's the shallow and less windy
lake. The other lake is just plain deep, and windy most of the time. I can't
even imagine it......
Yo Frank, I live in northern maine, big water..windy all the time. It goes without saying that nobody would use a tube under such conditions. Yes a canoe is pretty much superior in most cases to the tubes and pontoons. But they, the inflatables, rule when it comes to Ponds/deadwaters and slow rivers. In fact most of my fishing holes here are impossible to get a canoe into. No matter how much you wanna play at being a Lewis & Clark. But throw the inflatable on your back and hike in trough the swamps and around the bogs. You will find prestine trout water the likes of which you will probably never know. I live in the last bastion of the Eatern Wild Brook trout. My vote goes to the pontoon over the "donut". Far more stable on the bigger rivers and yet still can carry to the less remote deadwaters and beaver ponds I prefer to fish. Prefer the "caddis" design in a standard tube.