Float tubes vs. Pontoon boats

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Matt Hutch, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Matt Hutch

    Matt Hutch Member

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    Hey, I just moved to Spokane for college and I would really like to do some fishing around here but from what I have been told there is a lot of lake fishing and most of it requires a boat of some sort. I have never fished from a boat so I don't know much about them but I would like to get one so that it would open up some more options for me as far as places I can fish. I am a college student so I don't have a house or a lot of room to keep anything. I would imagine that a pontoon boat is easier to cast from and less work to move but I'm not sure if I have the room to store a pontoon boat or the money to buy one. Can anyone give me some advice?

    Thanks,
    Matt
     
  2. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

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    you might start with a float tube, waders, fins and life jacket. you'll need all that anyway when you eventually move up to a pontoon. you'll fall back to that float tube when you want to fish lakes that are hike in. A tube is much easier to break down and set up and stores easily. the cheapest way to go too.
     
  3. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Tony's right - get a float tube first and it will open up a lot of options for you in terms of being able to fish stillwaters effectively. While the price of pontoons has dropped dramatically lately, they have several pros and cons compared with float tubes.

    On the con side: pontoons are still more expensive (usually); they sit up higher out of the water, so less resistence under the waterline turns your body into a sail in windy conditions, making it more difficult to maintain position; and, they're bulkier and heavier, thus more difficult to transport and store.

    On the pro side: a pontoon sits higher out of the water, making for less resistance and easier distance casting; they (usually) offer the option of using both fins and oars, which can make covering distances easier than in a float tube; and, they usually have a higher weight capacity so you can carry more gear, or carry the same amount of gear more safely.

    K
     
  4. Matt Hutch

    Matt Hutch Member

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    Well its really sounding like a float tube would be the better option for me. If I decide to go that route, are there any float tubes in particular that you guys would recommend? And any accessories in particular that you would recommend?
     
  5. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

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    do you have waders already? How much is your budget? For fins you can go with Force Fins which you will have trouble finding for less than $100, or you can go with $20-30 caddis fins or something similar that will be perfectly functional. The only accessory I use is a piece of the mesh you put under rugs to keep them from sliding on hardwood floors. It keeps my butt from sliding around on the float tube seat.
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Tony+Kent=Gospel Truth!
    On my request for similar advice I got a float tube then toon and another toon. Nothing is easier than the float tube for convenient access, storage and maneuverability (minus the speed of rowing).

    I have a fishcat 4 and love it.

    Best of luck.
     
  7. Luke Davis

    Luke Davis Member

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    I agree. Floats tubes are great, easy storage, and pretty easy to move around in.

    Im sure Ill get a toon sometime, but right now the tube is doing just fine haha
     
  8. Stewart

    Stewart Skunk Happens

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    While I agree with the float tube as being the sensible best option, the devil's advocate in me says Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbb! That is, if moving water is what floats your boat, a float tube is not the best option. To complicate the choices a bit, look into what your school has for rental gear. You can rent a sit-on-top kayak at EWU for $15 for a weekend. Which of course supports your NEED to take a kayak class. :ray1: Then you could forget the pontoon til later.
     
  9. LD

    LD Active Member

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    If you buy a float tube, DO NOT USE IN MOVING WATER!!! There is atleast one person every year that dies in a float tube in moving water.
     
  10. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

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    he said he was lake fishing
     
  11. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I'd still go with an inexpensive pontoon boat. People make them sound as if you are trying to kick around a sail boat but I've found they are quite easy to handle.

    If you get blown down the lake and need to get back to the ramp which would you rather be in? Float tube or pontoon? I'd rather have the option of rowing upwind as opposed to legging it out.


    .02

    I kick a 10' Osprey around the lakes that I fish, with my lab on the back.....:thumb:
     
  12. Stewart

    Stewart Skunk Happens

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  13. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    That is one hell of a deal on that toon. But,,,sitting up that high, you will definitely get blown around by the wind. And fins will be useless from that high seat position. I hate having to deal with all the things on a toon that can tangle a fly line.

    Personally, I prefer a float tube for lake fishing. Easier setup, better manueverability, & less wind resistance. Long distance casting is usually not a requirement on small lakes. Nor is traversing great distances. I prefer scuba fins, or better yet snorkel fins. Much more effecient than Force Fins. Look around at Goodwill stores for used "swim fins" :D
     
  14. Trout Master

    Trout Master Active Member

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    Heck of a deal for a early series southfork
     
  15. Robert Engleheart

    Robert Engleheart Robert

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    The best part of a pontoon is they'll carry a lot more beer and if you get a standing platform, it's really easy to get rid of that beer.