Float tubes are a great inexpensive way to fish and they can be very effective! Popular with warmwater flyfishermen, yet easy enough for anyone to use, they give you the opportunity to propel and maneuver hands free. Easy to inflate and lightweight, float tubes are easy to carry to and from the water.
Float tubes consist of one, two, or three air cells, that that are held in by nylon covers. So when they are inflated, they give you the support to stay afloat comfortably. Air is pumped into the valve stems using an air pump. You move through the water by wearing fins, similar to the ones suba divers wear. By kicking your legs, they will move you in a backwards motion and you steer by the way you move either leg. They usually have storage compartments on the sides to pack whatever you might need on the water.The seats are made of nylon. Some are inflatable and some are foam, and some have only a nylon fabric.
There are some things to concider though, before making your final decision on which float tube is best for you. Things to consider such as weight capacity, ease of use, storage compartments, Set up, ect. will help us in the long run to make float tubing more enjoyable!
Bass Pro Shops has some great selections when to comes to purchacing a float tube. The White River Lost Lake float tube,http://www.basspro.com/White-River-Fly-Shop-Lost-Lake-Round-Float-Tube/product/29815/ is a great tube for anyone on a budget. Its weight Capacity is 325 pounds. However since it is totally enclosed, its a bit tricky to get in and out of. While some folks say they feel more secure with the air cell in front of them.
The White River Lost Lake Open Front float tube also has a weight capacity of 325 pounds It has a large back support so you can lean back and rest if you need to. This is one of the most comfortable float to use!
The Fish Cat by Outcast http://www.basspro.com/Outcast-Fish-Cat-4LCS-Float-Tube-Green/product/1303271132/ has two large air cells made from pvc which can support a weight of 250 pounds.The back is slightly raised like the bow of a boat to help propel you through the water. Outcast also offers a very lightweight tube (The Trinity) that is perfect for backpackers weighing in at only 7 pounds! And the Prowler which is a heavy duty version of the fishcat. It also has a hydration bladder!
Remember! Air cells can burst if inflated improperly. So inflate just enough to push in about 1 inch of give on the top of the tube. Try to keep them deflated inside your car or truck because higher temprature and higher elevation can effect the air inside the cells causing them to burst or rip at the seams. If they do burst , Its probably best to just replace the air cells. Order a couple of extra air cell just in case.
When it comes to fins, The bigger the better! Trust me! Longer means more propultion. Check out the Classic Accessories Turbo thrusters http://www.basspro.com/Classic-Accessories-Turbo-Thruster-Float-Tube-Fins/product/44943/ There nice and long and fit great around your heels! Omega Amphibian flip fins are great because they flip up so you can walk around with ease. When you get into twhe water you just flip them down, and off you go! However these can be pretty pricey but well worth it! Also get a pair of kicker keepers. Fins will sink if one happens to slip off your foot!
NOTE: Fins are NOT to be worn with wader boots! You will break the strap! Use neoprene socks or bootys anything that keep the straps from over stretching.
Wind can be an issue! and thers a couple of ways you can deal with it. You can use an anchor and attach it to one of the D rings that come attached to the float tube. Or you can use two vehicles.
Your time in a float tube will be enjoyable and relaxing. Although be careful, it can be addictive!