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Hatchet Jack

Any float-tubers out there?

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Thinking of retiring my old, old Caddis round float tube.

Tough thing about buying a new tube is that you generally cannot

try before you buy. One concern I have is a tube that turns out

to have poor elbow room - where one has to constantly raise their

elbows to get them out of the way of the tube's sides.

 

What might you folks recommend out there?

TIA !

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Supercat: http://www.supercat.us/ A bit pricey but faster than a conventional tube especially with the rowing frame, not that much heavier, safe (two bladders) and durable, and you sit higher than in a tube (recommend using a throwable seat-style PFD for the seat cushion) so elbow room is not an issue. There are a lot of good alternatives to the old tubes around these days worth considering, so you might want to look at the one of the new frameless pontoons as well (Scadden & Outcast).

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Hatchet Jack,

 

Years ago I fished a lot out of tubes but only with UL spinning tackle.

 

I tried fly rodding but found that the lack of firm attachment to the ground and closeness to the water gave me the horrors in terms of line control and distance casting. The very thought of a sink tip and big-gapped hook barreling back at me and the tube still gives me the flimsies.

 

Guess I am a exclusively wader.

 

Rocco

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I've had a round tube for 30 years. I won an outcast fishcat a few years ago. It was a really nice tube, where you can sit up high and move along pretty fast. I don't remember having any elbow movement issues with it, and thought it was a pretty nice tube. In the end I sold it, though, since I already had a pontoon as well as my old round tube. The toon does pretty much what the fishcat did and a lot more, while the round tube is better if you like to fish dries because you can easily spin around and cover rises behind you which is more difficult in a V or U shaped tube. The fishcat was great if you like to kick along and troll, though, and it's way easier to get in and out of.

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I used to fish out of a belly boat a lot years ago...but then my belly got too big for the boat. :-(

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I float some kettle ponds (not big water). I had the round belly boat with the truck tire tube years ago, then I had a horseshoe shaped caddis tube for a number of years and last year I got a Cumberland Tube (think I got it from Amazon). I keep the tubes 90% inflated and pump them to 100% and throw them in the SUV right before fishing. The Cumberland has a real slow leak in one bladder and finding the leak is a PIA. Need to pull one bladder again and inflate it in the kiddy pool. The Boston valves on the Cumberland make is easy to inflate and deflate and the big foam seat sits you higher and provides a degree of safety. I like to wade and I like to catch fish so having the ability to fish where the fish are makes a big difference. I fish either a floater or a slime line (slow intermediate) and have no casting issues. I also picked up a used pair of Force Fins from EBay. Not sure they make the float tube model any more but they do help these old legs. I'm a big fan.

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I used to fish out of a belly boat a lot years ago...but then my belly got too big for the boat. :-(

LOL I feel your pain!!!

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I have had a Caddis U tube for several years. I like it as it is easy to get into and out of, plus has a comfortable back rest and lots of pockets. I added a rod holder so that I can troll with it. I really enjoy how quiet tube fishing is.

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I had a Caddis U-shaped tube myself, and got years and years of use and enjoyment out of it. Finally sold it, along with my pontoon, to help finance the purchase of my kayak.

 

Now I'm looking to get a tube again, because there are some places I want to fish where hauling the kayak in just isn't feasible. I've been leaning toward the Classic Accessories "Togiak" https://classicaccessories.com/fish/inflatable-float-tubes/togiak-float-tube/ I like the higher weight capacity and it looks like it sits you up higher than the older-style tubes like my old Caddis. And it has backpack straps built in; I like that. User reviews on it are consistently good.

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Years ago, like almos 50, St. Paul MN experienced a huge influx of Hmong refugees. There were several nice little lakes around us and most had a full walking path around them. I used to take my belly boat (round tube kind) out on Phalen Lake, one of the local lake that got a huge amount of Hmong families walking feeding the geese so they s**t all over the walks. One day they must have been having an inlaw/outlaw gathering cause they were everywhere in the park. As I backed out of the water with the float tube dragging a stringer with some bass and walleye on it it must have been something they'd never seen since they gathered around and laughed and pointed and kids ran back and forth past getting closer like they were daring the first one to touch me. I turned around and from about a foot above the water with the tube I splashed backwards, sending a huge geyser of water shooting up. This really cracked them up then but also sent a big gush of water down the top of my waders. Might as well have been without the waders, like I did on a lot of the ponds and small lakes.

 

Thing about Mnpls/St.Paul, even though it was a major metropolitan center in the northern Midwest it was blessed with a huge number of lakes both large and small. The small were great for the tube and the large for the bassboat. Had to be one of the better major city complexes for fishing in the country if warmwater fish were fine with you. St. Croix River, Mississippi, Rush River, these all had great fishing in current so you weren't restricted to lakes and though I've caught bigger bass since moving south the quantity of 2-4# fish in many of the lakes in MN cannot be topped by many lakes in the country.

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I've float tubed in Florida and Texas, off and on, for about 20 years. I've only had a round tube style, and it's suited me for all the places I've been with it.

I've had a lot of people tell me I was crazy, since the 'gators would eventually get me. But I've tubed and waded Florida since '92. Been approached by big 'gators following a top water lure, to within about 8 feet of me. Never had one stick around, once they actually saw me there.

I used to think of "upgrading" ... but I just don't use it much, anymore ... just not as enjoyable as my boat, nor can I cover as much water. I keep it in case I want to fish the small ponds.

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Mike,

 

You remind me of the shocks I got in a tube when big alligator snappers stuck their snouts out of the water at my elbow and hissed at me and then bumped the tube to nudge me out of their territory. At least I ever saw one in mating season!

 

Rocco

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V shaped float tubes are a huge improvement over round tubes in both safety and fishability. Outcast makes great tubes and I've never noticed an elbow room issue.

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I'd recommend you move up to a pontoon. North Fork's frameless pontoons work great, and take up little storage space (a bit pricy, though.) On a pontoon, you sit up off the water, and there's no problem casting, unless you keep dropping your backcast.... Another advantage of a pontoon is that you have oars, and can row through flat water, but you can still use fins to control the craft while you are fishing. The best of both worlds.

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