packing a float tube

#16
Yeah, the raised, pointed V-bow on the ODC 420, Outcast float tubes and most newer float tubes have a couple of advantages. One is being able to carry on your back without having it push into your neck and upper back. You'll also find the V-bow tubes easier to row into the wind/waves than the U-shaped boats. Makes a big difference going home at the end of the day.

I bought an older (1970s-80s) aluminum framed backpack with waist strap, etc. with the idea of hiking further with the float tube deflated but my 61 year old back has been resisting the idea! My fishing buddy blew out his knee last year which further reduces the chance of hiking float tubes any distance. I now use a pontoon (Fish Cat Scout) for the majority of my lake fishing and launch close to parking areas!

If you do decide to go with the ODC 420, Creek Company's Lightweight Fins (#355) are decent as well. That's all I used for the first couple of years.
Backpack for Float Tube - Small.jpg
 
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Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#18
Tim, you are as hard headed as a musk ox! Those of us that know and love you would certainly like to see you in a safer and more modern boat. I assume you scorn seat belts in your Xterra also......
He could easily accomplish his same miraculous focus and skill set in a more modern and safe set up. He wouldn't even need to sacrifice his thighs of steel exercise routine.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#19
To the original question. I used a pack frame for a few years to haul my u-boat around. The frame was bare except straps. I roped on the tube, waders and fins. I would carry my rod unless I biked in, and then the rod also found itself roped in. It worked great for years and I only stopped using it when I found the power of the pram! My small bladder, coffee addiction and beer consumption self thank the revolution.
 
#20
To the original question. I used a pack frame for a few years to haul my u-boat around. The frame was bare except straps. I roped on the tube, waders and fins. I would carry my rod unless I biked in, and then the rod also found itself roped in. It worked great for years and I only stopped using it when I found the power of the pram! My small bladder, coffee addiction and beer consumption self thank the revolution.
wait, you dont keep a breadbag and a nalgene in your waders?
 

Sir Homey

Active Member
#22
Sounds like you're interested in going beyond a 1/2 mile. If so, consider inflating your rig at the lake. You'll need a backpack large enough to hold everything of course. Plastic hand or foot pumps aren't heavy. Take the time to deflate your tube well and it'll roll into a small package. Waders roll up nicely. Fins slide in the pack or clip on the outside. Grab a piece of Tyvek or similar plastic sheeting to lay on the ground when you want to put waders on/off and deflate your tube. It sounds like a lot, but really isn't. It beats having that fully inflated tube humping you all the way up the trail and snagging every tree in the forest.
 
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#23
Sounds like your interested in going beyond a 1/2 mile. If so, consider inflating your rig at the lake. You'll need a backpack large enough to hold everything of course. Plastic hand or foot pumps aren't heavy. Take the time to deflate your tube well and it'll roll into a small package. Waders roll up nicely. Fins slide in the pack or clip on the outside. Grab a piece of Tyvek or similar plastic sheeting to lay on the ground when you want to put waders on/off and deflate your tube. It sounds like a lot, but really isn't. It beats having that fully inflated tube humping you all the way up the trail and snagging every tree in the forest.
Yet another vote for ditching my current rig, which uses a tire, so the high-volume pump isn't an option. And good tip on the Tyvek. Thanks for the feedback.
 

Richard E

Active Member
#24
Super Fat Cat for me with padded shoulder straps. Here's a tip that will really help-get a waist strap also. Just like a backpack the waist strap will secure the boat to your body while you walk. Without it the boat has a tendency to swing side to side on every step. You have to fight this pendulum effect either consciously or unconsciously but either way it tires you out.
Good tip! To what part of the Super Fat Cat do you attach the waist strap, and how?
 

Richard E

Active Member
#26
just took my tube for a short hike a couple weeks ago. fishcat 4 i strapped it to my favorite snowboarding backpack. keep the tube light and put heavy stuff in your bag. use as many straps and carabiners as needed to secure it to the bag in a fashion that keeps its center of gavity close to your back, and so it doesnt flop around. it might be WAY easier to deflate it, strap it on, and carry a small handpump.

leave the fishfind, you dont need it.
fins get strapped onto my pack before the tubes.
So you just leave your snowboarding backpack on the shore? I can see you getting to shore and wondering where the heck your backpack might be, while it's somewhere settling in to a new home...
 
#27
So you just leave your snowboarding backpack on the shore? I can see you getting to shore and wondering where the heck your backpack might be, while it's somewhere settling in to a new home...
depends. i can easily store it in the back area of the tube if im not gonna end where i started, or just stash it on shore if if im just gonna be fishing in a bay or something.

but i like to go overkill, if its cold and im gonna be more then 10 minutes from the truck (i often float tube solo) i like to take a small dry bag packed with dry clothing, a small first aid kit, my PFD, a little extra food and water, sometimes even my camp stove and some hot drinks. This plus the fishing gear can add up to a load pretty quick, and i HATE carrying loads without a good weight supporting waist belt. my snowboard pack is perfect, i can access it via the back instead of the top (get at everything easy), it designed for carrying an awkward load (the hip belt rotates and flexes with your body), its water resistant, and fits everything i need.

this is the pack i use. its been used hard since 2013 and still going strong. i use it for summer day hiking and fishing as well.
 

Peyton00

Active Member
#28
I have never had an issue leaving gear next to shore,or my vehicle at trailheads. The farther the hike the better the people has been my experience for 30 yrs of traveling into remote places and fishing.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
#29
I have a Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro. It weighs about 3.5 lbs. The pump is the type used for exercise balls. Total weight for my complete kit with rod, reel, flies, etc, tube, pump, NOS Red Ball Waders (paid $15 at a FFF silent auction), neoprene socks, Sockwa beach volleyball shoes, fins, PFD is 10.2 lbs. It takes up about 15 liters of my 25 liter Fishpond fishing pack leaving plenty of room for clothing, food, and essentials on day trips. I've taken it into Seven Lakes Basin and Foss Lakes on 4-day trips. It's biggest drawbacks are the small valve that makes it somewhat difficult to deflate quickly, and no D-rings for pack straps (which I could easily add).. I could lash it to my pack while inflated but the combination of these two "issues" made me decide not to carry it on a 4-day circuit of the southern Indian Heaven Wilderness where we fished multiple lakes every day.

I also have an ODC 420 UL that I picked up on sale for a ridiculously low price with free shipping that I will use for lakes I can drive to. At 11 lbs+ without a pump I won't carry it into high lakes.
 
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#30
I have a Wilderness Lite Backpacker Pro.

I also have an ODC 420 UL that I picked up on sale for a ridiculously low price with free shipping that I will use for lakes I can drive to. At 11 lbs+ without a pump I won't carry it into high lakes.
Thank you for the info, Brian. I don't plan on doing a lot of high-elevation (i.e., hiking up a lot of gradient) with a tube. If I did, that WLBP sure looks nice. If I do do any higher lakes, they'll be day-trips, and I'll probably just suffer the weight of whatever I have. But nice to know that product is out there.
 

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