Ed, I tried the Klymit pack raft this week. With it slightly under inflated I was able to hand my legs over the sides and kick. I didn't have fins so I don't know if it will work but I'll try fins when I get home. I think I'll only need knee high neo socks but sil nylon wader pants would be better. It also made me wonder if one could just sit sideways and dangle their legs over the side. The shape of the Klymit boat wouldn't allow that but possibly the Flytepacker would.
I picked up a used Klymit raft that I'm going to slowly chop up - first just a small piece of floor, enlarging the hole as needed. Then I'm thinking of wacking the whole front of of it and making it into a float tube.
As for commercial float tubes, the Wilderness Lite one posted earlier is the lightest I know about.
As for paddles, I just made some ping pong style, but out of short-handled junior size badminton rackets. The handle is longer than the ping pong ones, long enough to maybe zip tie a branch or hiking pole to at a lake to make a double bladed paddle. I stitched a piece of flexible cutting board over the strings so overall, they are still pretty light. I have a very light 4pc Carbon Werner paddle if/when I need a real paddle but these badminton ones could be ok in small ponds, we'll see.
For fins, I want to try some flat Lexan travel snorkeling fins I picked up 10ish years ago. They are meant to be worn with Tevas and with sil pants, I think it could be lighter than my boots and flat Caddis fins.
Jeff, I didn't but I will next time. The raft was used and had a few leaks that needed to be patched so my test drive was short and near-shore. The price was right though so I'll patch it and then play with it more and maybe start chopping...
The best fishing backpacks are often geared toward fly fishing, but they have features that all sorts of fishers can appreciate. These fishing backpacks are non-waterproof and excel in gear organization. They have lots of pockets and lots of fishing accessory attachment points.
An antique Wright kayak is still in service. I have a couple of paddles made of Kevlar waffle material that are connected by a length of rope. I pack a meshbackpackwith a long length of string to aid with the wind. I use the sack as an anchor by filling it with rocks from the beach. In the boat, I sit on my sleeping mat to keep warm from the chilly lake. I don't have any form of waders with me. I simply wear shorts and wade out to shin deep (or pull my trouser legs up) before slipping into the boat. Once in the boat, I put on a pair of wool socks if it's cold.