Fly fishing float tubes, also called belly boats or float tubes, are specialized inflatable devices that anglers use for fly fishing in still waters such as lakes, ponds, and rivers.
These devices allow fishermen to access areas that might be difficult to reach from the shore and provide a unique and often more immersive fishing experience.
Key features and aspects of fly fishing float fishing tubes include:
Design and Construction:
- Inflatable Tube: Float tubes are typically doughnut-shaped inflatable tubes with a seating area in the middle. The angler sits in the seat, partially submerged in the water, while their legs dangle over the sides.
- Material: Float tubes are made from durable, puncture-resistant materials to ensure they can withstand rough conditions in the water.
- Cover: Some float fishing tubes come with a cover or bladder that helps to keep the angler dry and insulated from the cold water.
- Mobility: Float tubes provide excellent mobility and maneuverability, allowing anglers to reach fishing spots inaccessible from the shore or a boat.
- Stealth and Presentation: Float fishing tubes allow for a stealthy approach to fish, leading to better presentations and increased chances of catching wary fish, especially in calm waters.
- Cost-Efficiency: Float tubes are generally more affordable than other fishing boats or watercraft, making them a budget-friendly option for anglers.
- Simplicity: Float tubes are relatively simple, requiring minimal setup and maintenance. They are popular for beginners and anglers who want a straightforward fishing experience.
- Safety: While float fishing tubes are relatively safe, anglers should still prioritize safety by wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) and being aware of weather conditions and potential hazards in the water.
- Mobility Limitations: Float tubes may not be suitable for larger bodies of water or areas with strong currents. They are best suited for still or slow-moving waters.
Casting: Casting from a float tube can require practice, as the angler is partially submerged in the water. Casting techniques may need to be adjusted to accommodate the seated position.
Accessories: Float tubes are often customized with accessories such as rod holders, fish finders, and storage compartments in order to enhance the fishing experience.
Flying float fishing tubes offer a unique and enjoyable way to engage with nature while pursuing fish in calm waters.
They provide anglers access to new fishing spots and opportunities, making them a popular choice for fly fishermen seeking a different angling experience.
Best fly fishing float tubes
Float tube fishing allows anglers to use inflatable devices known as float tubes or belly boats to navigate and fish in still waters such as lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers.
Float tubes for fishing are doughnut-shaped inflatable tubes with a seating area in the middle.
Anglers sit in the seat with their legs dangling over the sides, using fins or flippers to propel themselves through the water. Here are a few of best fishing float tubes that were considered among the best:
1. Outcast Fish Cat 4 Deluxe-LCS Float Tube
The Outcast Sporting Gear Fish Cat 4 Deluxe LCS float tube offers an innovative above-the-water seating design, resembling a U-boat, which provides multiple benefits for fishing in lakes and ponds.
This design helps you maintain a warmer and more comfortable experience and enables faster movement across the water, allowing you to cover larger areas during your fishing expeditions efficiently.
Features of the Outcast Fish Cat 4 Deluxe LCS Float Tube
- Dimensions: Length: 54″, Width: 44″
- Weight: 15 lbs.
- Tube Diameter: 12″
- Valve Type: Boston
- Base Fabric Denier: 420 PC / 1000 PVC
- Material Weight, Oz. Per sq. yard: 20 Oz.
- AIRECELL Material: Vinyl
- Number of Chambers: 2
- Load Capacity: 250 lbs.
The Fish Cat 4 Deluxe LCS is expertly designed to cater to the needs of the average angler. With a substantial 250 lbs. load capacity, this float tube is well-suited for up to 25 fishing days per year.
The Fish Cat 4 Deluxe outer shell combines durable pack cloth and PVC materials, protecting the sturdy vinyl AIREcells within, shielding them from potential punctures and abrasions.
An upgrade from the Fish Cat 4 – LCS model, the Fish Cat 4 Deluxe — LCS boasts an inflatable seat, allowing for more efficient packing and storage.
The distinct U-boat shape of this float tube ensures that you remain elevated above the water’s surface, granting you the advantage of making additional casts while pursuing elusive catches, commonly referred to as “The Big One.”
This unique design enhances your fishing experience by keeping you dry and comfortable, enabling you to focus on your angling pursuits easily.
This float tube is known for its durability, comfort, and stability. It features a foam seat and backrest, multiple storage pockets, and a durable construction that can handle rough conditions.
2. Classic Accessories Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
The Togiak float tube offers a high seating position for better visibility and casting distance.
It has a backpack for easy transportation, plenty of storage pockets, and an adjustable stripping apron.
Dimensions and Capacity:
- Assembled Size: 55.25″L x 47″W x 19″H
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Load Capacity: 300 pounds
- Hydrodynamic Hull Shape: The shape enhances stability, buoyancy, and tracking, ensuring a smooth and controlled experience on the water.
- Comfortable Stadium Seat: Equipped with a high back stadium seat, complete with an adjustable backrest, providing additional support and comfort, making it an ideal perch for fishing.
- Ample Storage Options: The armrests feature ample storage for reels, gear, small mesh pockets, and flat zip pockets. Keep all your essential equipment within easy reach.
- Fish Ruler Included: The float tube has a mesh stripping apron and a fish ruler.
- Optimized Stability and Tracking: The Classic Touch Hydrodynamic hull shape delivers maximum stability, buoyancy, and exceptional tracking ability, ensuring a balanced and controlled fishing experience.
The Classic Accessories Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube is meticulously crafted to provide both comfort and functionality for anglers.
Its innovative design, adjustable seat, and versatile storage options offer a comprehensive solution for an enjoyable and successful fishing excursion.
Including a fish ruler adds a practical dimension to your fishing adventures, allowing you to gauge the size of your catch easily.
Overall, this float tube combines thoughtful features and engineering to create an ideal platform for your fishing pursuits.
3. Caddis Sports Nevada Float Tube
This float tube is praised for its sturdy build, comfortable seating, and convenient features. It includes multiple storage pockets, a mesh stripping apron, and a heavy-duty ripstop material.
- DURABLE AND VERSATILE: Featuring a timeless U-shaped design and a versatile size, the Caddis Sports Nevada Float Tube provides anglers with heightened stability and maneuverability while out on the water.
- EXTRA REINFORCEMENT: Crafted from heavy-duty rip-stop material with double-stitched critical seams, this Float Tube is perfectly fortified. It’s an excellent alternative to kayaks or boats, making it the ideal choice for your upcoming fishing expedition.
- ENHANCED COMFORT: Equipped with a comfortable backrest bladder and an oversized seat, you can enjoy support and comfort as you navigate the waters with your angling gear.
- ADDITIONAL AMENITIES: Tailored with the angler in mind, this float tube boasts two main equipment pockets, a padded stabilizer bar complemented by an attached stripping apron, a convenient front rod holder, multiple D-rings, and a handy dry-fly patch.
- VISIBILITY AND PORTABILITY: Fluorescent safety accents are integrated for improved visibility, ensuring you’re always easily spotted. Meanwhile, built-in carry handles guarantee effortless transportation whenever you move.
4. Bighorn Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
Bighorn float tubes are known for their durability and value for money. They typically feature comfortable seating, storage pockets, and a stable design for fishing in still waters. Bighorn presents with the following specifications:
Dimensions and Weight Capacity:
- Assembled Dimensions: 54″L x 50″W x 27″H
- Weight: 11 lbs
- Load Capacity: 300 pounds
- Enhanced Tracking and Steering: Designed with a hydrodynamic hull shape that optimizes tracking and steering, providing improved control and direction on the water.
- Spacious and Supportive Backrest: Enjoy the luxury of an extra-large and supremely comfortable backrest, ensuring ample support as you navigate the waters.
- Convenient Storage Options: Ample room for storage is available in the armrests, accompanied by additional compartments for your reels, gear, small mesh items, and items secured in flat zip pockets.
The Bighorn float tube showcases these impressive features, delivering a well-rounded and versatile platform for your fishing ventures.
Its carefully engineered design and thoughtful enhancements ensure a fulfilling and practical experience on the water.
5. Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube by Classic Accessories
This float tube offers comfort and functionality. It features a high backrest, adjustable seating, and plenty of storage space. The following specifications characterize Cumberland:
Dimensions and Weight:
- Assembled Size: 56″L x 44″W x 19″H
- Weight: 14 lbs
- Enhanced Tracking and Comfort: Equipped with a hydrodynamic hull shape that optimizes tracking and steering, bolstered by a rugged PVC bottom for added durability.
- Elevated Seating Experience: Immerse yourself in a dry fishing venture with the extra high seat, enhancing visibility while offering a comfortable, generously padded seat.
- Dependable Storage Solutions: Streamlined storage is guaranteed, including a mesh pocket with a draw cord closure, two interior zip pockets, and dual cargo pockets featuring user-friendly double zippers. Classic materials ensure durability.
- Revel in the Luxury of an Extra-High Seat: A supremely comfortable, thickly padded seat partnered with a tall, adjustable backrest bestows unparalleled comfort, accommodating long hours spent on the water.
- Plentiful Storage Options: Stay organized and have your equipment at your fingertips with two cargo pockets, two drink holders, two-rod holders, a mesh storage platform, and an additional mesh pocket.
- Fish Ruler Inclusion: This float tube comes complete with a stripping apron, which boasts a convenient fish ruler.
Remember that the “best” float tube depends on your preferences, fishing style, and the specific waters you plan to fish in.
Fly fishing float setup
A fly fishing float setup refers to the equipment and gear anglers use while fishing from a float tube or other watercraft in still waters. Here’s a basic overview of a fly fishing float setup:
Float Tube or Watercraft: Choose a suitable float tube or other watercraft designed for fly fishing.
Make sure it’s stable, comfortable, and appropriate for the water conditions you’ll be fishing in.
Fishing Rod and Reel: If you’re targeting a specific fish and fishing in a large body of water, choose a fly rod and reel combo appropriate for those conditions. Still water fly fishing rods typically range from 4 to 7 weights, depending on the species.
Fly Line: Choose an appropriate fly line for the fishing conditions. A floating line is commonly used in still waters.
Some anglers also use sinking lines to target fish at different depths.
Leader and Tippet: Attach a tapered leader to the end of the fly line.
The leader should be around 7 to 9 feet long and taper down to a tippet of appropriate size (usually 3X to 6X). The tippet connects to the fly.
Floatation Device Accessories: Customize your float tube with accessories such as rod holders, cup holders, and storage compartments for your fly boxes, tools, and other essentials.
Fins or Flippers: Use fins or flippers to propel yourself through the water.
They help you move and position yourself while casting and retrieving.
Polarized sunglasses help reduce glare on the water’s surface, allowing you to see fish and underwater structures more clearly.
Extras and Tools: Carry essentials like nippers, forceps, a fly box, and a landing net. These tools will help you handle and release fish safely.
Clothing and Gear: Wear appropriate clothing for the weather, including breathable waders if needed.
Remember that your specific setup may vary based on factors such as the type of fish you’re targeting, the fishing location, and your preferences. Be sure to research and adapt your setup accordingly.
Additionally, check local fishing regulations and guidelines to ensure you comply with fishing rules in your fishing area.
How to use a float tube for fly fishing
Using a float tube for fly fishing can provide a unique and rewarding experience on still waters. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a float tube effectively for fly fishing:
1. Choose the Right Location: Select a suitable still water location, such as a lake, pond, or slow-moving river.
Make sure it’s legal to fish in the area and that you have any necessary permits.
2. Gear Up: Put on appropriate fishing clothing, including breathable waders if needed, and assemble your fly fishing equipment: rod, reel, fly line, leader, tippet, flies, tools, and any accessories you plan to use.
3. Inflate and Launch the Float Tube: Inflate your float tube according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Launch the float tube into the water, ensuring it’s stable and properly balanced.
4. Get Seated: Sit in the float tube’s seat with your legs dangling over the sides. Make sure you’re comfortable and balanced. Adjust your seating position as needed.
5. Put on Fins or Flippers: Attach your fins or flippers to your feet. These will help you move through the water and position yourself for casting and retrieving.
6. Cast and Fish: Strip out the desired length of the fly line and hold it in your non-dominant hand. Make your backcast and forward cast, delivering the fly to your desired target area.
Use your fins or flippers to maneuver your float tube to position yourself for the best casting angles and presentation.
7. Retrieve and Repeat: Retrieve your fly using various techniques (stripping, slow retrieve, etc.).
Pay attention to any strikes or subtle movements on the line. If you don’t get a bite, cast again to different water areas.
8. Be Stealthy: Move quietly and avoid splashing or making sudden movements. The stealthy approach of a float tube can increase your chances of getting closer to fish without spooking them.
9. Maintain Safety: Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) for safety. Be aware of weather conditions, water depth, and potential hazards.
10. Practice Catch-and-Release: If you catch a fish, handle it gently and use a landing net to bring it into the float tube.
Practice catch-and-release to ensure the fish’s survival.
11. Stay Hydrated and Comfortable: Bring water, sunscreen, and other essentials during your fishing session.
12. Pack Up and Leave No Trace: When you’re done fishing, carefully pack up your gear, deflate the float tube, and leave the area as you found it, following the principles of Leave No Trace.
Remember that using a float tube for fly fishing may require practice to become proficient. Be patient and enjoy the experience of being close to the water and nature while pursuing your favorite fish species.
Fly fishing float tubes offer anglers a unique and immersive way to engage with still waters, such as lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers.
These innovative inflatable devices provide several advantages that can enhance your fishing experience.
Check out the Nightcrawlers for Fishing available on our website.