Gear Float tube setup help

Questions about flyfishing gear, camping gear, whatever.

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
My doughnut float tube died last spring. I just got a Fish Cat 4 and took it for a quick test run. It's a lot different and been a while since I've done much of it so I have a few questions.
1) I used my canoe PFD, a foam 3 strap type. It has no material low for a seat back but is really not ideal for bulk and mobility. I use a waistbelt in the big boat but that won't work well I don't think. So, I've seen an inflatable one from outcast (MTI?) that looks like it has straps that go between the legs? And one like an onyx that goes around the waist. I'm probably missing like the mustangs. What would be good in the tube? I think I can wear an additional little chest pack under it?
2) I used my little d cell pump to blow up my old one but that doesn't work well. Since I'll be packing in some times I think the K Pump mini looks good. Is that the way to go?
3) I never used and anchor but I'll want one. Does the little 2lb outcast anchor cut it for eastern wasington? Is there a better choice?
4) The end few feet of my old rocket taper does not float well. Makes it tough to set the hook with an indicator when the lines underwater. Most of my rods are medium or MF, not fast. Is the SA Anandro a good choice, maybe cortland FO, I like cortland. Recomendations? I got sink tips and full sinks.
5) My old outcast/caddis flat fins aren't great but worked OK for now. But that will be a later upgrade.
What I'm I missing? Checklist?
 
Last edited:

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
1) I like Stohlquist or NRS fisherman's vests; Stohlquist is my favorite.
2) K Pump, hands-down winner.
3) I have never used an anchor, but I don't know if a 2# anchor would hold a SFC in a breeze; they are great tubes, but catch a lot of wind.
4) Can't help; not an indicator guy.
5) I have used Turtle Fins for years . . . heavy to carry but long-lasting & great propulsion.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
1) I like Stohlquist or NRS fisherman's vests; Stohlquist is my favorite.
Thanks for reminding me of those. I looked but went more general purpose when I got new ones for the canoe. Easy to overlook something when looking at so much. Having scared myself, and read the fall overboard story I want to be prepared.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
How far do you plan to carry your float tube? A two pound anchor and a mile hike - no thank you. Get a mesh bag and fill it with rock/gravel if you decide you need an anchor. Personally, I have never found it necessary to anchor in my float tube. With time you can get pretty good at being "static" enough to fish a full sink vertically.

Is there a floating fly line that the tip doesn't start to sink after a couple hours? If so, I've never found it other than my old intermediate line that won't sink. JK. Carry some Mucilin - it works (yes Mucilin collects dirt but it also provides floatation to tired lines).

NRS Chinook - float tube, pram and Hewes. It can get pretty warm but I don't have to rely on pulling a tab if I were to find myself in the drink.

I use an Outcast pump to inflate my float tube (Fat Cat), takes three minutes TOPS and since the float tube doesn't leak I've never carried a smaller K-pump with me on a hike in. I inflate the boat just before hefting it up and hiking. Works for me.

My float tube seat is rigid foam - I like it and it's plenty comfortable (for me). The downside is my butt and the top of the seat are about water level - I do wish I sat about two inches higher.

I started float tube fishing in 1980, give or take. I used my old Caddis tube dozens of times a year. Once I got a pontoon, I sort of neglected float tube fishing. The Fat Cat and rediscovering the joy of getting into a lake remote enough to get away from crowds is a lot of fun. Good exercise, sight seeing, solitude or company with a good friend and not the Macy's crowd at (no offense guys) Lenice like lakes.

Enjoy
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
I have the FishCat 4 (thanks again @Jake!) On good advice from folks here, I upgraded my PFD to a NRS Cinook OS, it is a great vest and fits into the seatback well:

I bought a K-pump mini and it works great and inflates fast, plus it fits into the right-hand pocket/sidebag on the FischCat.

I also bought these backpack straps so I could pack the tube in from my car:
If your new tube doesn't come with straps, these ones are working well for me.
 

Dustin Bise

reformed hot-spotter
1. Astral Ronnie Fisher (whitewater kayak style fishing PFD)

3. Install an "anchor line that attaches to a D ring on both side of your tube. It should be 6-8 ft long, clip a carabiner to that, then use the carabiner for your anchor line. this will allow you to hold perfectly with your back to the wind. I personally use a stuff sack filled with rocks, so that I can cut the anchor if needed or just dump out the rocks when not using an anchor to reduce carrying around the extra weight. its also adjustable weight to match wind condtions.

4. for bobber fishing you can usually fish very close to the tube (i rarely am more then 30 feet out) so I dont find line choice to be to important.

5.force fins are spendy but the best.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
A 6’ cam strap can be a handy item to have if you are hiking into lakes.
On my old SFC, I run it through the two straps on the back of the seat and the loop on the bow.
I can then use it to strap my fins, net, soft cooler bag or whatever else I want to use on the tube that day.

I agree with Pat on not carrying a pump in.
A cigarette lighter air pump and a foot pump to top it off are all I’ve used in the past 30 years.
Only takes a few minutes and you are ready.

Two to three pounds should hold you unless it is really windy.
I used a carabiner on the end of a short piece of anchor rope that has a float on it to connect to the bow loop.
This gives me a centered anchor position plus easy anchor retrieval and anchor rope length adjustment.
SF


9F13E4C7-C44A-493E-BDC3-95AD808A2F90.jpeg
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Supporter
Looks like you're pretty well covered for everything, but just throwing this out regarding fins. I have a pair of Bucks Bags fins ($40) that are light years better than the stiff Caddis style fins. I also have Force Fins and find myself using the BB ones more (in my Commander, they're easier to get up on the foot pegs), and I'm not losing a ton of performance compared to the FF.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
Thanks for the help folks. I'm not going to score it 'cause your all winners.
Ordered the straps, already figured that out, and did the mini because I have others for other situations.
Got enough stuff to work up a good anchor using a mesh ditty bag, cool idea. Like the two point attachment idea. I'll need it for the local impoundment.
Gonna wait till I can suit up and try on vests with waders. Still may go co2 but only with auto-inflate. I did read the threads from last spring so I will look at those again.
 
Last edited:

EmergingFisher

Active Member
I haven’t tried it but I wonder about using a drift sock/sea anchor (small size like for a kayak) as an anchor. No weight added for packing in. That being said, just filling a bag with some rocks sounds pretty easy.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
I haven’t tried it but I wonder about using a drift sock/sea anchor (small size like for a kayak) as an anchor. No weight added for packing in. That being said, just filling a bag with some rocks sounds pretty easy.
I had one for the canoe, but it was a hassle. Gave it away, and I believe it changed hands again.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top