I do not want to compare the attributes of float tubes and pontoons
in this article I feel it is only fair to give some guide line comparisons.
Pontoon boats cost a lot more than float tubes. Float tubes are
smaller and easier to transport or carry. Pontoons are faster in
the water since they slide over it rather than plowing through it.
When fishing from the pontoon craft the angler sits higher has a
better view and perhaps a better casting advantage. While in a float
tube the fisher is seated half under water, pontooners have only
their legs below the knees in the water. In very weedy waters the
tuber must push through and sometimes become entangled in the vegetation,
the angler in a pontoon skims over the weeds. In windy situation
float tubes ride low and are not blown around as much as the higher
pontoon boat. Finally pontoon craft is adaptable for move waters
whereas the float tube is b suited for still waters. If that does
not help I'm not surprised. I hope it didn't make things worse for
you. I think that I would begin with a float tube for most warmer
fly fishing situations.
I were going to buy a new float I would probably spend my money
a U shaped tube, for easy entry. It aid have a high backrest (inflatable),
several pockets, "quick release" seat and D rings for
people wonder about the safety of this laid-back style of angling.
I stopped worrying about this after Ipurposely
tried to tip my tube over while sitting in it. I couldn't. The fisher's
body makes the center of gravity low and this restricts any tipping
motion. Most tube coverings are constructed of tough nylon with
double stitching. The best tubes ye material treated to resist the
effects ultra violet rays which break down the nylon over time.
Some fly fishers fear sagging their tube with a wayward cast a bass
bug. The chance of a hook or branch penetrating and letting out
the air is remote. Even if it does happen don't too excited. Pin
hole leaks release air at such a slow rate that the tuber has plenty
of time to head for shore. The higher priced models offer several
air bladders that provide a certain safety factor. In my home state
of Nebraska, a personal flotation device is required equipment for
float tubes. I prefer a Sterns flotation/fishing vest. It doesn't
restrict cast- form and even has a couple of pockets for extra fly
boxes. I have become accustomed to wearing it even when I cross
border to other states.
when tubing a small lake in Iowa my inner tube burst. Now I don't
want to frighten off would he float tubers, and I must say that
this is the only time this has happened tome or anyone I know. I
was fishing for bluegills along the dam when a sound like a slap
occurred behind me. Instantly the air was released from my tube
from a six inch gash. I sank, but my vest and back rest kept my
head and shoulders above water. I kicked and paddled with my arms
to the shore, looking much like the proverbial "drowned rat."
I was wet and a little chilly but not turned off. I don't know what
caused the rupture but a new inner tube put me hack in business.
are usually necessary while belly boating, except in the warmest
set tings. Stocking foot breathables are certainly the best choice.
Get a pair that covers your torso up to the armpits to avoid ice
water down the back. Remember you'll be sitting down. A hint about
what to wear under your waders: blue jeans tend to chafe the legs
and may cause blisters behind the knees after several hours of kicking
around in a tube. In cooler waters I prefer sweat pants and as the
sea son progresses and the water warms, shorts work well under breathables
. If you don't mind getting wet and there aren't too many leaches,
swimming trunks will suffice on a hot day. Be careful as the evening
temperatures drop not to become too cool. Water can absorb your
body heat rapidly and leave you with hypothermia.
propel the belly boat I prefer swim fins. These cause the tube to
travel back ward and take some getting used to but are most efficient.
Before I put them on I strip a neoprene bootie on over my stocking
foot waders. These shoes have a rubber sole that protects the wader
feet from the parking area to the pond. For those that prefer a
boot foot wader, Force Fins and Caddis both manufacture fins that
fit over the larger boot. I know of several flyfishers with physical
handicaps that find the float tube is a way to fish that they didn't
expect to be so easy. Because of the buoyancy of the water, tubing
be comes more like aquatic aerobics that they might do in physical
therapy. When they get tired the tube provides safe sup port while
they test. Naturally people with such problems should choose calm,
small waters to try out the tube. That's probably good advice for
about it for fancy equipment. Around $200.00 entry level price will
get the fly fisher into float tubing. Fly fishing for all species
is seeing a revitalization. Warm water species are presenting a
"down home" challenge and it makes sense to fish for them
when one considers the typical pond.
ponds are generally shallow or have a great deal of shallow water.
Bass, sunfish, bluegills, pickerel and crappies frequent these shoals
daily in warmer months. That's when the fly rod really comes into
its own. Fly fishing is extremely efficient and exciting when used
in three feet of water or less. Farm ponds are easy to find if one
wanders back roads during off season. Finding the owner sometimes
presents a problem, as more farm land is being sold to nonresident
corporations. Usually, however, someone in the area will know who
you should con tact for permission. Explain to the owner or manager
that you are a flyfisher (usually good for some recognition of an
ethical sports person) and that you practice catch and release.
Talk about the weather, crops, cattle prices or anything else that
come up, as well as fishing. Tell the farmer you will close gates
and pick up litter, and you may have a terrific "private pond"
to call your own. Basically, if you want to maximize your fishing
time close to home and catch lots of fish, then use a fly rod from
a float tube in a farm pond. Take advantage of the latest technology
in tubes, waders, fins and rods...and have yourself a ball!