Fishing & Hunting Tips

Fishing float tube (Complete Guideline 2019)

In early 2000, I was just casting my lures near the shoreline of Falcon Lake. At that time, I was familiar with the fishing float tube but never seen one upfront. I just immediately fell in love with how easily, a few people were floating around and fishing to their preferred spot. I was mesmerized about how they personalized their own space and had an absolute free will to float away anywhere they chose to.

I said to myself, “ gotta get me one of those “, which I did, in 2009, and it was awesome. But today, that personalized space had become harder to find, because, oh my, so many folks are hovering around nearly all the known lakes and rivers, sometimes, it seems like dozens of soldiers are on a drill.

what is fishing float tube
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Using a fishing float tube will save you a lot than buying a boat. Even if you have a boat, the joy and the sensation of solo adventure with a floating tube is too appealing. Most of us drive around in our cars, yet we can not get the same experience as we do on a motorbike.

The tube is an inexpensive investment for anglers who want to explore more of the lake or flat river. It might not be easier to switch between fishing spots, but the tube poses an effective arsenal, “stealth”. With a tube, you won’t have to scare off fish which might result in a bountiful trip.

Like every fishing vessel, the floating fish tube has its ups and downs. That’s why I’m here to signify the advantages of a float tube so you can manage to catch a fish more easily.


How to use Fishing float tube?

It’s all fun and game unless you know the actual style of operation and preparation before your floating adventure. Let’s narrate the process step by step so we don’t have to miss any important details.

Required items

  • Float tube (Belly boat)
  • Fins ( Fasten your fins from your ankle with kickers )
  • Waders and boots
  • Air pumps
  • Life jacket or suspenders ( PFD )
  • Emergency repair and communication kit

Step 1

  • Keep your air pump and the patch kit on board before you hit the water
  • Be sure that you have all the necessary things for fishing in the tube pouches

Step 2

  • Before you start to float, do one last inspection in case you have misplaced any items.
  • For cold weather tubing, use neoprene waders, and in warm weather, it’s better to pick a breathable wader.
  • I wouldn’t suggest you ditch your breathable waders in the warm weather. But even if you choose to do that, don’t forget your fins. Put the fins on right before you hit the water.
  • Prepare your fishing reel when you are near the shoreline before you hit the deeper side of the water.

Step 3

  • Take notes of landmarks around your entry area, better yet, turn on your phones GPS and pin your start point. Even better, keep a portable GPS to stay worried free.
  • Keep your eyes open for any indications of fish.
  • Wait for a few moments before you start, to check if your floating tube isn’t leaked.
  • Check for any currents in the water. To do this, sit still on your tube and see if you’re automatically steering away from the shoreline.

Step 4

  • When you will see at a few places, fishes are making streams in the water with movements or jumping out, quietly float towards your suitable casting range. This is the real charm of using a floating tube.
  • Don’t lose your mind over-excitement while in pursuit of fish. Keep track of your time and slowly steer close to the shoreline before dark.
  • Upon your return, you can troll if you want, who knows, you might end up with a fish on the line.


Tube types

There are mainly 4 types of floating tubes. Each has its advantages and appeal.

  1. Round type: It is the most conventional types of float tubes. But now with this style, there are lots of new tubes with the maneuverable design. Apart from designed like an inner tube, it has some additional features like armrests and a backrest. However, due to the introduction of modern tubes, round type has lost its popularity.
    how does a fishing float tube work
  2. Teardrop type: This type of float tubes are latest in design, and has the combined advantages of both the U-shaped tube and the pontoon. Teardrop type is consists of two tubes at either side and the seat is in between. There is an inflated teardrop component behind the seat, attached to each tube.
    how to use fishing float tube
  3. U/V-shaped: The U or V-shaped tube is nearly like the round one. It has an open area where you can keep your legs. This allows the tube really easy to maneuver compared to the round type. Aside from that, this type of tube has identical features like armrests, backrest exactly as the round one.
    how do fishing float tubes work
  4. Pontoon type: This floating tube looks more like a boat with two tubes at both sides and a seat in between them. You will experience better visibility while floating in this vessel, thanks to it’s elevated seating position compared to other tubes. This tube has a raft like an appearance with less of a round shape and mostly made from durable
    where to buy fishing float tubes

Let’s get closer

When fishing with a floating tube, you have one of the greatest advantage, “stealth”. Now to remain in stealth mode, you need to follow some simple step.

Step 1

Use the power of the wind to your advantage, influence your pace with the wind to reach your preferred spot. Let it push you along as you continue to fish.

Step 2

Keep your senses and your eyes sharp, try to detect where fish jumps, wakes or making rings in the water.

Step 3

When you have finally located your fishing spot, cast your fly, not directly on to the spot, but in the middle of their movement pattern.

Step 4

When you see rings on the water, that indicates that the fishes are eating bugs off the water surface. So, you have to plan your way. Wakes mean bait fish chases. Spot weed lines, areas with swamped structure, shallow flats, and foam lines that indicate stream interruption. These are the common hiding spots for fish hiding.

Step 5

Determine the wind direction. You just need to kick into place upwind from your marked area, just don’t kick into casting spots, you should patiently steer forward and break your momentum slowly using your feet, that should set you up for an accurate cast as you drift along.

Step 6

The angle of the sun is crucial when you plan to approach towards your fish. Some surface eaters, tend to point and eat straight into the brightness unless the heavy stream is flowing from that direction. So, don’t upset the flat water, and use your shadow wisely.

Step 6

You need to keep your bait still and hope to lead your catch towards it in flat water. If you hook one, slowly steer away from the feeding spot and wrap it up in open water.

Step 7

Recheck your gears, tubes and other equipment thoroughly. I know I’m being annoyingly over cautious. But then again, sometimes, a little mix-up can entirely ruin your session.

Pros and Cons

Like all daily commodities, even the best the floating tube also has some positives and negatives. When you are determined to grab a fishing float tube, a deeper knowledge will assist you to make a right decision.


Let’s point out some awesome advantages of a floating tube. When you are about to peddle around and be the motor of your own boat, it’s better to know the kind of benefit you are gaining.

  • Cheap: Yes, it is way cheaper than a boat. If you are new to the angling alley, don’t bother investing on a boat. You can look up online for loads of offers, promotions, and discounts. Read this article, watch a few videos, save up to 1700 dollars. Simple.
  • Portability: In general, we all already know that the floating tube is portable. Most people tend to use this fishing floating tube only for this feature. But wait a minute, some manufacturer has marketed a float tube that is foldable, and movable as a backpack. It’s called the backpackable float tubes.
  • Weight: Typically, a floating tube is roughly 10-20 pounds. Some are heavier than the usual. Still way lighter than a lightweight fishing boat.
  • Comfort: Now how can a small vessel grant you comfort? Let’s see, probably all the float tubes come with an adjustable backrest so you can lean back and share your weight with it. While you at it, just close your eyes, and feel the calm breeze and the sound of silence.
  • Lots of storage pocket: the Floating tube is equipped with a lot of storage pocket where you can keep your fishing tools and other important things. Even if you have a way sensitive electrical equipment, don’t worry, those storage chambers are waterproof. Although the total number and type of storage pocket may vary from product to product, so be very sure of what type that you want.
  • Sneak up on your prey: As I clarified earlier, it’s easier to get close to a perfect casting position when you are fishing with the floating tube. So, sneak up to the hot spots such as the edge of a weed bed. Tube fishing will also prevent accidental tangle of your line with shoreline obstacles, and help cast lure more accurately.

The tube has the ability to float and fish in the shallows and small streams. For this reason, many fly anglers use them to fish around fallen trees and hook big-game trout. You are highly unlikely to get stuck with your tube and even if you do, just use your feet to break free.


It’s like riding a bike, how? With your car, you just need to fasten your seatbelt, but with a bike, you need to be equipped with a lot of different yet essential gears. Similarly, before tube fishing, you need to gear up with a variety of stuff, otherwise, you are bound to fail. Let’s dig some dirt about our beloved fishing float tube, shall we?

  • Waders and flippers: And here we go, now we need waders and flippers. Well, some would argue that these aren’t necessarily mandatory to wear, but I would say no to them. Why? Because you just can’t put a few hundred dollars ahead of your safety. So, not only I would suggest you grab a wader and flipper, but also grab the best one possible. Because, most of the time, premium equipment tend to last much longer and making your money worth. Note that the U-shaped tube makes it easier to maneuver with the flippers.
  • Avoid tubing in the river: Only a handful of rivers are float tube friendly, so proceed cautiously if you’re planning to float in the river. Remember that the currents of the river is strong and sometimes, unpredictable. Note that you’re floating tube isn’t built to resist against the rough stream. Despite all these safety issues, if you still want to fish, then I would recommend you to stay close to the river bank, and forget steering into the deep water. Beware, if you somehow flip upside down wearing waders and flippers, it would be harder for you to flipping back into position.
  • Strong wind: Wind is one of the major arch enemies of a floating tube. Although many enthusiastic fishermen clash with strong winds while keeping fishing for trout in their float tubes. Ask them and they will give you an insight into how frustrating and sometimes terrifying it feels to be forced up steam by a powerful gust of wind.They will also suggest you use a donut-shaped floating tube. This tube is low profile and less influenced by the wind. U and V-shaped float tubes have far better control, and typically an ideal choice. But they have a wider surface area which can be easily pushed by a powerful wind. Donut style tubes are one the worst kind to operate due to their stiff maneuverability. But on windy days, a pontoon style tube will feel like a sailboat.
  • Longer fishing blank: You can easily drop the tip of the blank low and sling your bait. This will not be possible when you’re fishing from a float tube. In a tube, your sitting level is lower compared to a boat, hence, a longer blank becomes a necessity. Because with conventionally sized rod your lure might hit the top of the water when you draw back your rod to make a casting attempt.

The closure

A fishing float tube is unique, and most of the anglers, regardless of professional or usual, find them fun and a way to socialize with other anglers. In this article, I tried to inform you of every major information you need, before buying the best float tube.

My opinion? Well, even if you own a luxurious fishing boat, it won’t grant you the same sensation of fishing on a float tube.

Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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