People swear by them. I was excited to try them out. Then I used a friend's a couple times and they didn't seem all that much better to me. But I was in his float tube, not mine. But again, it wasn't like I was pulling a water skier across the pond either, as some may have you believe you can do with those things.
Only you can define "worth it" in terms that will make sense to you. I have a pair of the adjustable force fins that I bought from a member here and a pair of Omega Navigator "flip up" fins that I bought for much less than retail from a shop in Florida. These two perform just about dead even for me. I believe the Navigators to be a bit more powerful, and as such more resistance workout for my legs while using them. I've never had an issue with that. The force fins are quieter, meaning they are shorter overall in length and when kicking the force fins don't come to or as near the surface on powerful kick strokes and therby not roughing up or splashing the water as I kick. Both are a comfortable fit over my boots. The Navigators don't fit over my bulkier simms boots but fit over my korkers great. I do like them both, but must say that I'm more often packing the navigators for an outing so for some reasons that might not yet be known I prefer them slightly over my force fins. (Most who have compared the two are the opposite of me though, search for other threads and find many discussions about the force fins). Both are a HUGE improvement over the Caddis and Creek Company fins I had before. Both are $pendy! Best of luck in your search.
I have a pair and believe they take less effort to use than a set of standard style fins. How much effort compared to how much you want to spend is where things come into question. For over 5 years I used my flat, stiff (cheap) Caddis fins. They work just fine. I only have the force fins because they came with a used pontoon boat I purchased. I would not have gone out and bought them because of the cost. But I'm a cheap old fart and don't mind kicking my butt around the lake. My advice would be to try a pair first if you can. Then you can make the decision if they are worth the extra money for the effort they save.
Once I got a pair, I wondered why I didn't get them earlier. Yep, they're pricey. But, you'll own them longer than your current pair of waders and wading boots, and probably longer than your current rod and reel and even your current flotation device.
It's an investment well worth making, no differently than your other gear.
Absolutely yes. Especially in a tube...it's your only form of thrust. I've used both and hands down force fins are worth the hefty price tag. Of all the gear I fish with these are at the top of the priority list - before rod, reel, waders, tube, etc. And they do have a direct effect on how many fish I take in a day, more than all my other stuff combined.
Yes. If one guy in FF is fishing next to a guy in regular no-name fins you will absolutely see a difference immediately. Otherwise you might not notice it until the end of the day when are aren't nearly as tired as you were with the old style fins. You move with much more ease and with less effort. At the end of the day your legs will thank you!
I just got some this year. I had old Contacts that worked great for me until I was at Lenice with a group of gents who out kicked me in my pontoon and I ended up using oars to row back in to shore. Now they were sitting lower in the water in their vboats, but as soon as I got back home, I seriously checkout the force fins.
Be sure to take the boots you intend to wear to a shop to fit the fins. I called the force website and was told to purchase a size that he thought I should get and they would have been 2 sizes to small for my size 9 Simms boots. I have not had a chance to go back to Lenice and fight the wind, but I have noticed that I can fish all day and the legs would not be as tired nor would I get cramps.
FrankenFins!! About 4 years ago I was looking for new fins and was just aghast at the price of Force Fins. They are a wonderful product but in light of the fact that they have been around forever, their tooling is completely amortized and they are doing no R&D to improve the product or reduce cost, they are simply price gouging because they can. They are riding a gravy train fueled by fly fishermen and our desire to have a decent product. Notice I didn't say a decent product at a fair price. There is far less rubber and technology in a force fin than there is in a radial tire for my truck yet the cost is about the same. Just to be contrary I decided I wouldn't help fuel their gravy train.
Enter FrankenFins. I bought a pair of Montana fins for under 40 bucks(the same fin is sold under several other names I believe) because the had excellent 1-strap attachment and were easier than most to get in and out of. I also bought a pair of those cheapo plastic backpacking fins which are only adequate for about a 5 acre lake with no wind. As you can see I cut the cheap fins down and attached them to the Montana fins with pop rivets. The result was a fin that is powerful but relatively soft to kick, attaches easily and is pretty lightweight. The wear represents about 4 seasons of hard use and not even a loose rivet to this point. And they have never loosened once while in the water. Total cost was probably around $60 for what has proven to be a very nice fin. Best of all I probably have the only pair of FrankenFins in existence!
The name is courtesy of Roper. He took one look at them and said:"You have FrankenFins!" And so I do.
I prefer a fin with more "force"....... I can over power forcefins when I'm in a traveling mode...................Longer scuba style are my preference.....I do not wear a boot, only a lite neoprene sock to protect my waders
Force fins are the best fins I've used. I been fishing with mine for at least 15 years, I had several others but force fins work the best for me. I can creep foward in my pontoon boat with my fins. The only bad thing about mine is they don't float, the adjustable velcro stlye floats. Make sure to protect your investment with fin tethers! :beer2: