I am looking to buy some new fins for kicking around on lakes mainly. The fins I currently have are the cheap step in kind that came with my old float tube. Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has input on some more efficient fins.
I like Force Fins because you can walk in them (relatively speaking), and they're designed such that they generate force along the kicking axis used while in a pontoon boat. Whereas I picture scuba fins (and I know Force Fins are used snorkeling/diving as well) as working along the axis you'd be kicking in while swimming, and not so much kicking in a float tube or pontoon boat. Does that make sense? I'm sure guys use scuba fins though.
I've used scuba fins for propelling my pontoon boat in lakes or the sound for years. They are powerful (and I had them already because I also dive). You should be able to pick up a used pair pretty cheaply (ask at the local dive shop or check their bulletin board). Regardless, make sure that you carry an extra fin strap. The rubber eventually rots. Last year, I had a strap break just as I was beginning a three day trip onto Leech Lake. I macgyvered as solution, but I now carry spare straps with my other backup gear on the pontoon boat.
The major downside of most scuba fins (Paul's being the exception) is that the opening is too small for boots. On lakes that is not a problem as I can wear just my waders or booties on my feet. For places like the Yakima where I want to wade and drift, I ended up buying a pair of step-in fins so that I can wear my boots and then take off the fins when I want to do more wading.
Force Fins are way over priced. You can get the same performance for around $25-30 with used scuba fins on craigslist. Stay away from the $30 outcast single strap fins. I recently bought a pair and spent most of the day having to re-tighten the straps that would come lose as I kicked around the lake. In fact, if it weren't for the safety strap that attaches above the ankle, my outcast fins would be at the bottom of the lake instead of in the bargain cave at Cabelas...
my friend uses these really expensive scuba fins, i have the $40 creek company fins. Basically, mine take about 5 times the energy to get the same speed. Ic an actually go faster than him, but when were going across the lake, my legs are dead tired and im struggling to keep up while he is barely moving his legs
The hard plastic "backpacker" fins, which Outcast also sells, actually perform better than their rubber ones. I own both. I wonder if fins that have a longer profile work better than ones that are wider. Perhaps that's why scuba and force fins seem to work so well.
BTW, good thrust from your fins can translate into more trout. I've noticed that, when the fishing is slow, you can often coax a strike if you kick like it's going out of style while constantly stripping and releasing a streamer fly. This is strictly a float tube thing. You need both hands free to pull this off.