How to Use a Float Tube

Fishing from a float tube is fun and gives the advantage of going to where the fish are in lake type environment. I do not ever recommend using a float tube on a river, just too risky.
 

Things You Will Need
  • Float tube (Belly boat)
  • Fins (I also like to tether my fins from my ankle with "kicker keepers" from Outcast)
  • Waders (for cold water) and boots
  • Air pump
  • Life jacket or suspenders (I recommend it for safety considerations and in some states it is required, check your state regulation book)
  • Repair kit

Care of Float Tube

Float tubes should be stored partially inflated. The day before your outing, it is a good idea to pump up your tube until the outer covering is tight. Let it sit for a few hours so you can make sure it holds air. If it does not you will need to pull the bladder and check for leaks and fix with a patch.

Step 1
  • Make sure you have your air pump and a patch kit on board while you are in the water.
  • Check to make sure that you have all of your fishing items organized in your tube pouches.

Step 2

When you are at the destination, carry all your gear that you plan to take with you to the waters' edge and lay it all out on the ground and check to make sure you have not forgotten anything. If the water is cold, I use neoprene waders for float tubing, as they are comfortable for sitting in or just above the water for extended periods.

Though I always use waders you may opt not to if the water is warm but in either case, you will need fins. You can put the fins on right before you enter the water. I look for a shallow area with an easy access and then place the tube in the water, load my fishing rod and push it out into deeper water before seating myself in the float tube.

Step 3

When you get away from the bank, make a note of landmarks around your entry area so you can locate it later

  • Keep your eyes open for signs of fish.
  • Check for currents, I do this by sitting still in the water and see if I am moving in relation to a bush or tree on the bank. Many lakes have currents in them that are barely detectable and these currents can be the reason you find yourself away from your entry area in a relative short time. You may want to stay close to your entry point until you are comfortable, it does take adjusting to wind conditions. It is also nice to wait to make sure your tube is holding air, before you start venturing forward to fish.

Step 4

When you see rising fish or fish working in the water, you can get close and cast to those areas. This is the real beauty of using a float tube. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to your entry area before it gets dark. Enjoy the experience, sometimes I just lay back, close my eyes and relax. I find that float tubing is a relaxing and peaceful way to catch fish! I have been known to troll as I am making my way back to entry and have often been rewarded with a fish on line in this way.

 

How not to Use a Float Tube

For a small video of how NOT to get into your float tube click here.