Float tube fishing is very enjoyable and unusual hobby that anglers aren’t aware of. Don’t let your modest budget glue you to the shore and buy an expensive boat. A float tube takes you out to all depths of water, where the real “lurkers” swim far beneath the surface.
Land base fishing is fun and relaxing, but experienced anglers know that to make the most of your time, you need to get out on the water. Unfortunately, boats are prohibitively expensive for many fishing enthusiasts also very large. If you want to fish on the water but have a small budget and the stretch of water is littered with structure that impossible to angle from and boat, then consider float tube fishing instead.
Stability and protection
Float tubes are the best type of inflatable fishing vessel because they do not capsize, even in the wake of a speeding power boat or Jet Ski. The tubes have convenient storage for your flies, spare reels, snacks and other items you require on the water. Do not risk losing your expensive fishing and camera gear, stow your equipment in the compartments on each side of the tube. There is ampoule room behind the seat to, a wet weather bag for your clothing or sleeping gear can stay dry.
The tubes are small, light and easy to man-oeuvre on all water may it be a tight water way to large lake. These floating devices will position the angler to the perfect cast where you can’t achieve from the bank or the vessel. There are no oars or paddles, but I do have one on me from time to time as this ables me to rest my legs from kicking. With that it all so easy to keep one hand on your fishing rod.
The location and structure of your float tube’s seat has a major impact on your fishing experience. Riding high and dry makes for pleasurable fishing especially during the cold winter months. Seasoned anglers prefer high seats because they make it easy to cast over long distances if needed. Seat height correlates with your own height and the length of your torso. Short anglers prefer very high seats, while extremely tall people enjoy great casting distance in most seats.
Rod control gives you line control
Not many anglers know the real meaning behind (High Sticking) what you may read about this isn’t usually good! Busted rods dropped fish incorrect length of leaders the list goes on. High sticking in any situation the right way is going to assist you all 100%. The leader length is short for a few reasons, it assists you to roll over large wet flies and keep it tight and accurate to the structure. The short leader, a length to 3ft to 4ft to a maximum. This helps with fly placement but as you high stick the rod the leader knot or knots won’t go through the guide eyes and foul up on a hooked fish. Then this prevents the fly rod to be snapped when high sticking the fish to your net. While casting seated on your float tube low to the water, high sticking I believe is the most lesson to learn. As you have positioned yourself in to heavy structure, why it is necessary to high stick on the back cast is to guide the fly line over what obstacles behind you. You may have any sort of obstructions to overcome high banks, cliff faces, trees of any kind and all sorts of shrubs and bushes. High sticking by halting the rod at 1o’clock and pointing the rod tip towards the sky, this action guides the fly line, leader and most important the fly above the obstacles behind you. Power though from that point to release the fly line from your finger tips and guide the fly to the tight timber you’re aiming at!
Confused on rod length? I’ve taken the difficult decision and made it easy for your next purchase! As there are endless amount of manufactures the choice of brand I’ll leave to you. The length and weight for my advice is a well design rod with a medium-fast action taper length between 7ft 9inches to 8ft 6inches. These lengths might seem odd but there are many custom rod builders that could produce these measurements. Weight of the rod I prefer #8 – #9 and # 10 weights, it will depend on the water you fish. The length of rod to the weights I have suggested match up ideally as this is what I use and for many years. A perfect combination for effortlessly casting big flies into tight places, the fly rod would be powerful enough smooth casting that look as good as they perform!
Being in the right state of mind for casting – You need to relax not rush the cast, which sounds ridiculous I know, so you really need to calm yourself down and breath! A little more concentration is required while cast from a float tube. Cast accurately at structure and bully these fish from their haunts. If you don’t; you’ll land lesser fish if any; be prepared at all times. It maybe needs to strip strike and if so, do it as hard as you possibly can and set the hooks. Takes from a large cod are easily missed due to a sudden strike; instead fill the weight then strike. Once you’re in to the feisty fight, start to kick your fins vigorously. This assists the angler to guide any size fish from the depths of their holiday home. Combined with high sticking the rod keeping connected tightly to the fish it could avoid a lost fish. Tackle selection can be trial and error, rods break; fly lines get raped and knots will fail and rise anglers frustrations to the max! A selected range of fly rods 8# – 9# and 10# weights load with the correct fly line may it be; floating, intermediate or fast sinking. A shooting weight forward head will assist you to haul out those huge flies. Hook setting is manifested by hand with little control strip striking. This may not permanently set the hooks, but pulling the rod butt towards the body and lift the rod tip high to ensure the best hook up.
Float tubes are wonderfully portable. If you plan to camp with your tube, pick a model with backpack straps and a Boston inflation valve. The best float tubes for group camping excursions have adjustable back rests and lap webbing panels. Quick, easy adjustments make it easy for the whole family to comfortably take their turn in the tube.
I’ve had the good fortune to use the Outcast Super Fat Cat-LCS first and it set the bar for the rest of my research. Most float tubes on the market are akin to inflatable rafts shaped like a horseshoe with a seat. Some tubes feature puncture resistant inflatable tubes that can be patched if torn. Some had high quality valves and some cheap. Most tubes featured some storage and only a handful had adjustable seats. In the end the Outcast Super Fat Cat-LCS was second to none the best tube I could find! In fairness some of the tubes I looked at had high quality components and some had great design, but only the Super Fat Cat-LCS had both. Here is what I like about it:
I fish for Murray cod and other native fish and that means fishing tight to sunken trees and a variety of partially submerged structure. Among the top features I look for in a float tube are durability and resistance to puncture. The Super Fat Cat float tube consists of two parts. The outer shell that is made from 420 PC/500 PVC, which is pretty darn tough for its weight and a second part which is a replaceable air cell that zips into the protective liner. You would really need to go out of your way to puncture the outer shell and the air cell. If it does happen the Super Fat Cat comes with a patch kit and if the puncture is bad enough then you can simply replace the air cell.
The second thing I like about the Fat Cat is the valve system. The valve has a spring-loaded release that makes inflating and deflating simple and quick. The valve also allows you to adjust the pressure of the tube while on the water. The main valve features a white-water rated protective cover that prevents accidental deflation. Should the valve get damaged it can be easily replaced.
The Super Fat Cat-LCS differs from the standard Fat Cat-LCS in that it features a two-part inflatable seat. The advantages of an inflatable seat are two-fold. First, you can adjust the seat to ensure a comfortable fit and second should the inner-tube be compromised while on the water the seat contains enough air to keep you afloat (Note: this does not mean you should forgo a PFD). The seat sections are fully adjustable and are extremely comfortable.
Another feature that sold me on the Super Fat Cat-LCS is the amount of storage. On either side of the tube there are two large billows pockets that zip open, which can hold lunch, tackle, extra clothing, camera and just about anything else you might need for a day trip. The section between the back of the seat and the front of the tube is also a great place to pack a cooler when it’s time for a celebratory beer or water after a long day of fishing. Additionally, the float tube features a series of eight mesh pockets for holding tippet, tools, keys, etc.
A float tube also has a removable stripping apron that sits across your lap and does wonders for managing line. The apron also features a measuring tape, which makes sizing up your catch a breeze.
If you have spent much time in a float tube, then you know how much small design elements make huge differences. For the speed and move-ability the bow of the Fat Cat is lifted thus making it faster and easier to move about. There is also a good amount of extra storage between the bow and the back of the seat (perfect for a cooler).
Float tubes price range varies a considerable amount so when you buy one you want to be sure it is constructed well. Out of all the float tubes I looked at the Outcast Super Fat Cat was far and away the best. It has all the right features and with the replaceable air cell will last a lifetime. The Super Fat Cat floats high in the water so you sit mostly above the waterline, which means you can move around easier and the float tube is very fast when paired with a good set of fins. Additionally, the amount of storage on the Super Fat Cat is unmatched! You have two large zippered side compartments that each feature numerous pockets and clips for setting up your tube just the way you want it. The Super Fat Cat also features plenty of room behind the seat back where you can put a cooler or a waterproof bag with a change of clothes. All in all I just can’t think of a way I would improve this float tube. If you are in the market for a float tube, then without hesitation I recommend the Outcast Super Fat Cat!
When fly fishing from either a Float Tube or an inflatable Pontoon boat, Navigator fishing fins are the most important and indispensable accessory. These ultra-lightweight and neutrally buoyant float tube fins will provide the maximum distance with minimum effort and best maneuverability. It does look quite technical fly casting; I believe it’s far from it. Huge long cast and stalking the fish being super quite isn’t what you need to achieve. Short accurate casting to a point; read the structure, standing or submerged and constantly practice and fine tuning that cast. Books, magazines, dvds and a lesson or two could be the turning point you just might need to nail a Murray cod fly fishing.