Float Tube Recommendations

#1
I'm in the market for a float tube and was hoping to get some input from the group on products I might want to consider. I currently fish stillwaters from 10 year old 9' Outcast pontoon boat. I love the pontoon as I tend to fish a couple of rods and like all the space it affords for stashing gear, lunch and a couple of beers for a long day on the water. My only issues with the pontoon are storage size and total weight. For most of my fishing adventures the storage size isn't an issue. I've got a full size SUV and can store the pontoon in a couple large Rubbermaid totes going to and from the water and still have space for camping gear and a fishing buddy or two. This doesn't work quite so well on family camping trips that involve a ton more food and equipment to keep my kids entertained and my wife comfortable. I'd really love to be able to cut down on the space the pontoon takes up in the car. The weight issue come into play when fishing waters away from the road. I built a nice wheel attachment for the pontoon which lets me roll it into Lenice and other short walk-ins but I would really like something light enough to be able to carry to hike-in lakes. I've got some back issues so the lighter the load the better. So these are the two factors which are pushing me towards a float tube of some sort. I don't think it would be my primary fishing platform but it would be nice to have a light weight option available. Any suggestions on float tube styles or manufactures that I should be looking at? Thanks!

-Socus
 
#2
I've got some back issues so the lighter the load the better. So these are the two factors which are pushing me towards a float tube of some sort. I don't think it would be my primary fishing platform but it would be nice to have a light weight option available. Any suggestions on float tube styles or manufactures that I should be looking at? Thanks! -Socus
Not to disuade you, but by the time you add all your stuff into a tube, fins, water, etc.--it won't exactly be "light" on the back. That said, you definitely want one of the newer u-shaped (almost v-shaped) boats. They have d-rings on the bottom so you can add packing straps. As far as brands, buy an Outcast IMO. Wait and save if you have too. Skip the creek company. (Price is right, tube leaked, replacement tube leaked. WTF...?)
 
#3
I'd also recommend Outcast, either Fish Cat Deluxe or Super Fat Cat, not cheap but well worth it if you use it a lot. Both have inflatable seats and back rests which cuts down on weight and they're incredibly comfortable. I own both and I think they're around 15lbs and can be used with back pack straps.
 

Mike22

Active Member
#4
If it's only going to be used a few times a year, I've had no problems with my cheapo Classic Accessories Teton (leak-free after a couple dozen trips). However, if it's gonna be used often you will definitely want an Outcast or something similar that seats you up on top of the water.
 

bakerite

Active Member
#9
If you want light weight, the Wilderness lite at 3.4 pounds is way ahead of any other tubes. I have a fat cat too, but when you are packing up to a lake for overnight, or are just going on a day hike with lots of elevation gain or distance pounds matter! It's also the only tube manufactured here in the USA.
 
#11
Third or Fourth vote for Fat Cat as well - good tube and I will take over my Pontoon Boat at times due to convenience. It is good for drive up lakes or very short hikes - but it is heavy for when you do have to do a full hike into a lake. I am considering buying another Tube just for the hike in lakes - I may look into the one that bakerite mentioned. But the garage is getting full with one Pontoon Boat, One Fat Cat, another tube for hiking and the space I would like to reserve for a nice 12 foot Aluminum boat. Plus the wife is starting to ask a lot of questions on why I need so many floating devices to go catch stupid fish :).

Peach
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#12
Third or Fourth vote for Fat Cat as well - good tube and I will take over my Pontoon Boat at times due to convenience. It is good for drive up lakes or very short hikes - but it is heavy for when you do have to do a full hike into a lake. I am considering buying another Tube just for the hike in lakes - I may look into the one that bakerite mentioned. But the garage is getting full with one Pontoon Boat, One Fat Cat, another tube for hiking and the space I would like to reserve for a nice 12 foot Aluminum boat. Plus the wife is starting to ask a lot of questions on why I need so many floating devices to go catch stupid fish :).

Peach
That's not nearly too many floating craft. I don't see a canoe or kayak or power boat in your list. Ask your wife why she needs so many pairs of shoes when she only has two feet.

Sg
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#13
Super Cat 60 sit a little higher in the water plus there is a rowing frame attachment if you desire
The SuperCat isn't a float tube but a small pontoon boat that was ingenuously designed for backpacking. The straps that hold the seat upright while floating un clip and become padded backpacking straps. The webbed back of the seat folds up and becomes the back pack brace. I'm not a really tall guy so I use the smaller of the two models. And as Lue mentioned, if you're not backpacking you can use the optional rowing frame.
 

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