Thursday, September 20, 2007

Float Tube Efficiency

A very efficient way to fish with a fly rod is from a float tube. The primary advantage, besides being able to get out on the water away from fly eating trees and bushes, is hands free fishing. Since your feet do all the moving and steering via the fins used to propel the craft, you can dedicate every arm motion to fishing. Casting is a breeze once you adjust to your lower height above the water. Tubes do fairly well in a mild breeze as well. Many inflatable float fishermen prefer pontoon boats because they move much faster. However, get a fair breeze in a toon and you'll either have to anchor, be constantly on the oars (which precludes fishing), or spin around helplessly. You can kick in the wind (again we're speaking mild wind) and continue right on fishing in a float tube. Yes, it moves fairly slowly but I have found that this causes me to fish the water much more effectively than when I'm off rowing to the other side of the lake in a toon. Here's my Super Fat Cat rigged for a recent bass fishing trip. With lunch in the back compartment I was able to stay out all day. I returned just before dark. That's a net sticking up from a pocket behind the seat. The blue on the seat is an inflatable life preserver. If you look closely you can see an anchor bag hanging from the right side. The fish finder is laying across the back, just behind the seat. Once under way this is dropped into the sleeve on the left (barely visible.)

Here's the same tube rigged for trout fishing. Note the two fly rods in holders on the right, the fish finder (sonar) on the left. All gear fits into the two pockets on the sides. The net and additional items go behind the seat. In this model you sit high and dry with your wadered legs wet only below the knees.

Here my grandson in his tube. He has an ODC 420, another pointed nose model which is very similar to the SFC, only about half the price. Note the fish finder on the right of the picture, the sleeve that it fits in, and the rod holder on the left. He wears a blue inflatable PFD.

Here is his tube in action. In this photo he's landing a trout that he hooked while executing the deadly tubers troll with a fly.

Here's a side view of the SFC. Perfect line position for casting or trolling.

Here's a shot with the diver's fins I use. These are Mars Plana Avanti 3's (they're blue in the picture.)

Fish finders mount on tubes very easily, helping you keep track of structure, depth, and temperature. Here's a shot of one I use. It's mounted on a plastic pipe cap which fits into the cup holder on the tube. A PVC pipe with the transducer mounted on it is bungied to the side of the tube for easy raising and lowering.

The only drawback I have found with float tubes is that carp are quite spooky of them. Though you can work stealthily up on most freshwater gamefish, carp seem to be put down by the leg motion. A fly fisherman is also too low to the water to spot carp when sight fishing.
z~

10 comments:

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Nicholas said...
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Grand Weepers said...

Oh, I used to live in my Float Tube. Until the day its started to leak 75 yards from shore! Ha!

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