Float Tube Recommendations

jwg

Active Member
#16
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
I also recommend the Super Fat Cat as the basic float tube, which can be carried on you back, and I do so for walks ca. 1 mile in to a lake.

The other lighter choices are certainly interesting, so consider the Super Fat Cat as your baseline choice and then see if others better meet your needs and priorities.

I do wish I had a device with oars for getting around a lake, however, I also chose not to get a pontoon because of the space issues when family camping. I have periodically looked at inflatable, frameless, watercraft that have oars, and there are a number to consider. Others would need to chime in on those as I have no experience. Thinking of Scadden(beware) Predator or WaterMaster type products.

jay
 

bxboy

New Member
#17
Just to echo previous comments - I don't think you can go wrong with any Outcast/Fishcat product. I have had several over the years, and the quality, durability and design has been first rate. To save space and weight go with a model with inflatable seat and backrest. Although I had a previous Fat Cat with the foam seat and it only added a bit more bulk and weight at a much lower cost. If you're going to pack it in any where get the Outcast straps; very comfortable.

Another way to go if you aren't going to backpack very much - consider a frameless pontoon. Two years ago I got a Fishnet Scout and now use it a majority of the time. It flattens down to just larger than a Fat Cat, weighs just a bit more, and has the advantage of oars to fight distance and wind. I find that it is about as easy to paddle with fins as my Fat Cat and is easier to use with an anchor setup.
 
#18
Thanks to everyone who chimed in with float tube ideas. I just got back from a Father's Day camping trip near Mt. Adams and hopefully played SUV packing Tetris with the pontoon for the last time. My 10 year old was able to fish in his old hand-me-down float tube and I took out the pontoon with my 6 year old riding on my lap. We didn't fish too long mostly because my feet went numb with a 65 lb kid in my lap but we all got to catch a few nice rainbows. The best part actually happened once we got off the water. After watching me wrestling around trying to fit the pontoon and all the camping gear back into the car my wife said "you should just buy a smaller boat." It was a great Father's Day, now time to do some float tube shopping!
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IveofIone

Active Member
#19
SFC with the inflatable seat, don't even screw with the foam seat-it is hard and bulky. A month away from my 80th birthday I am still packing an SFC on a half mile hike into a local lake. With fins, lunch and water on the boat it still only weighs around 25#, I carry 2 fly rods in a case and collect some rocks in a mesh bag for an anchor when I get there.
The boat is well into it's 2nd decade and is still in very good condition, it has worn well. Padded straps that attach to D-rings make the carry easy but for real comfort add a waist strap as well to prevent the boat swinging from side to side as you walk. If you amortize the cost of the boat out 15 years the cost is just mouse nuts per year. Treat yourself well, buy the best.
 

almostacatch

Let it Angle on the Dangle
#20
Have you thought about an Outcast Stealth or Scout? It’s a outstanding platform to do what you want. I collapse mine into a large rubbermade and my fins and all necessary accoutrements fit nicely. The ability to use the Scotty mounts is really handy and makes it super adaptable to the way you like to fish as stow gear. Some one had one for sale on here a couple of days ago I don’t know if it sold but it was a steal at the price. JMHO
 

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