There’s a good chance you’re here because you’re looking for a way to fish from a boat without fishing from a boat. Boats can be an expensive, complex solution to a relatively simple problem of gaining access to coves or waterways that are otherwise accessible.
For this reason, you can avoid purchasing a full-size boat and, instead, go for the float tube option. Float tubes are affordable, convenient, and perfect for fishing in calm waters.
A fishing float tube is an inflatable, individual tube that is propelled by your feet and legs that are submerged in the water. The seat of the fishing float tube will remain just above the surface of the water so that you can easily maneuver the float tube through the water while wearing waders. This will keep your bottom half dry even though the legs will be underwater.
An inflatable fishing float tube will have storage, a fish ruler, and other accessories for your fishing trip. The float tubes we have listed below are considered the best fishing float tubes on the market today.
The Classic Accessories Togiak fishing tube float is made of waterproof material and holds a maximum capacity of 300lbs. It is designed with an adjustable high-back stadium seat to provide maximum comfort and stability. There are storage pockets in each armrest that can hold a variety of tackle, tools, and supplies, along with additional smaller pockets located throughout the float.
There is a large storage platform with a built-in ruler and horizontal fishing rod holders. The horizontal rod holders make it easy to carry multiple rods on your trip. As a fisherman, you know that different bait works best with different reels.
A spinnerbait works best with a baitcaster, while a live worm works great on a spincast reel. With built-in rod holders, you don’t have to worry about limiting yourself to just one rod-and-reel; you can pack more than one on your Classic Accessories Togiak fishing tube float for different types of fishing.
There is a built-in ruler on the front of the tube float to measure fish immediately when they are landed. This makes it easy to record your catch before quickly releasing and going it all over again, expediting the process.
There are built-in backpack straps for you to easily carry your fishing tube boat to any pond, lake, or calm water. There are two separate air bladders that you will individually fill with air to inflate the boat.
Last, there are lash tabs and D-rings built into the tube boat, giving you the ability to attach various equipment or gear.
Lots of storage
Many rod holders and mechanisms for attaching additional equipment
Does not include a pump
The high seat can reduce the effectiveness of paddling in the water
Users give the Classic Accessories Togiak fishing tube float 4.1 out of 5 stars.
The LAZZO fishing float tube has a maximum weight capacity of 286 pounds with a hydrodynamic hull shape. This creates a balanced buoyancy while floating in the water, which is imperative when choosing a float tube.
There are many storage pockets and sections throughout the float tube. There are two large side storage bags on each side of the float tube. You can store gear, equipment, or personal belongings in either of the bags. Beside each storage bag are Velcro straps to store multiple fishing rods.
The fishing float tube is made of water-resistant material, which includes the backrest and the seat. There is also a mesh net behind the seat for you to quickly and easily store your fish as you land them. Before you store them, make sure you measure your fish with the ruler that is printed directly onto the flat surface in front of you.
LAZZO has designed this fishing float tube with backpack shoulder straps for easy transportation. They have also included a convenient hand pump for you to quickly and easily inflate or deflate the air bladders and seat of the float tube.
Includes fabric repair kit
Includes hand pump with 4 different nozzle sizes
EVA foam board for storing hooks
Backpack straps for easy transportation
Lower weight limit of 286 pounds
Users give the LAZZO fishing float tube 4.8 out of 5 stars.
The GoPlus fishing float tube has a high load-bearing weight limit of 350 pounds, making it one of the sturdiest fishing float tubes available today. With a weight capacity of 350 pounds, the float tube has excellent buoyancy and balance.
The float tube is made of waterproof polyester, and the frame is PVC. This makes the GoPlus fishing float tube lightweight and durable.
There are many storage pockets included on the fishing float tube. There are two large storage pockets on each arm of the float tube. There are also many additional smaller pockets throughout the float tube, as well as multiple Velcro straps for you to store additional rods.
Included with this fishing float tube is a hand pump for easy inflating and deflating. There are backpack shoulder straps sewn directly onto the fishing float tube for easy transportation. These conveniences make it easy to strap on the fishing float tube and hit the water.
The seat and backrest have two convenient features built into the fishing float tube: a ruler in front for you to measure your big fish and a mesh net behind the seat to quickly and easily store your fish when you’re done.
Large weight capacity of 350 pounds
Hand pump included
Waterproof polyester material throughout
Multiple storage bags and Velcro straps for you to store various equipment
Users give the GoPlus fishing float tube 4.3 out of 5 stars.
This is the most expensive model on our list. If you are looking for the best high-end fishing float tube, the Outcast Super Fat Cat fishing float tube is what you’re looking for.
The stability, size of the float tube, and weight capacity make this float tube one of the best. It has three separate air chambers that will need to be inflated. This also helps with the stability and buoyancy of the float tube.
The float tube is 64” long, 45” wide, and weighs 13 pounds. There is a durable tray with a ruler printed onto the surface for you to easily measure your catch as soon as you land them. This tray has a large surface area with lips on every side so that your catch doesn’t slip off as you measure it.
Behind the seat is a durable area made of vinyl that can be used for storage for equipment or a live well for fish. If storing equipment, make sure the equipment is connected to the float tube so that it doesn’t float away, as there is an area in the vinyl that is open to the water below. This can cause unsecured items to fall through the vinyl.
Durable surface tray with a ruler
Caps and valves for air bladders ensure air will not leak from the 3 air chambers
Lots of storage
Hand pump not included
No fabric repair kit
Users give the Outcast Super Fat Cat fishing float tube 5 out of 5 stars.
The Wistar fishing float tube is another fishing float tube that has a high-load bearing weight of 350 pounds. The seat is inflatable and can be inflated to your desired comfort. Two large air chambers create buoyancy and balance when inflated, and there are two large armrests on top of both air chambers. These armrests each have a large storage compartment for storing tackle, gear, or personal belongings.
Instead of a hand pump, Wistar has included a foot pump to conveniently inflate the float tube. This reduces fatigue that can come from inflating the float tube with your hand or mouth.
There are horizontal straps on the floating tube for you to attach multiple fishing rods to take with you. The backpack straps located on the back of the float tube allow you to easily carry the quality float tube down to the water’s edge. As you sit, there is a large mesh surface area with a ruler so that you can measure your fish when you bring them in.
Large weight capacity of 350 pounds
Buoyant and stable
Lots of storage
Food pump included
Boston valve may leak if inflated incorrectly. Make sure the Boston valve seals completely before entering the water
No fabric repair kit
Users give the Wistar fishing float tube 3.5 out of 5 stars.
At this point in our list, none of the float tubes we have listed have built-in cupholders.
The Classic Accessories Cumberland model fishing float tube is made of water-resistant material and rugged PVC material that will protect the bottom of the float tube while it is in the water. There are backpack straps built onto the bottom of the float tube for easy transportation. The float tube is 56 inches long, 44 inches wide, 19 inches tall, and has a weight capacity of 350 pounds.
The seat and backrest of this Cumberland float tube are padded with thick material that will keep you comfortable for longer periods of time. In front of the padded seat is a mesh apron for measuring fish. To keep the fish, you can place the fish in the area behind the seat.
The armrests are located atop each inflated air chamber of the float tube. There is a cupholder located at the back of each armrest, and each armrest has a large storage area that can be used for storing various equipment, gear, and belongings.
The Classic Accessories Cumberland fishing float tube is equipped with a one-year warranty.
Water-resistant and durable PVC construction
Large storage compartments
350-pound weight capacity
No pump included
No fabric repair kit
Users give the Classic Accessories Cumberland fishing float tube 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Why You Need a Fishing Float Tube
As we mentioned at the start of this article, a fishing float tube gives you the ability to access coves, waterways, or channels that you may otherwise be unable to access from a bank or dock.
What makes a fishing float tube so effective is its lightweight, versatile, and portable design. Fishing float tubes typically weigh 15 pounds or less and are equipped with backpack straps for the float tube to be easily carried to any destination.
Fishing float tubes are designed for calm water. Lakes, ponds, calm waterways, and canals are the best option for float tubes because of their lack of current. Because your legs propel float tubes, they should not be used in water with strong currents. This includes rivers, creeks, bays, and oceans. Using a fishing float tube in water with moderate or strong currents can be dangerous and should be avoided.
In addition to portability, a fishing float tube is also convenient and versatile. You can store all of your fishing equipment and gear on a fishing float tube. Essentially, everything you need for fishing can be attached directly to the fishing float tube, making it an extremely versatile piece of equipment to have for any fishing trip.
Fishing Float Tubes: Affordable and Accessible
Fishing boats can be an expensive investment, especially when the goal is to gain access to small coves and waterways for fishing. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars for a fishing boat, you can buy a fishing float tube to achieve the same result.
Fishing boats also require a boat ramp for accessing the water. You will need a boat trailer and a vehicle that can tow it to where you are going. Fishing float tubes need none of that. Fishing float tubes can be inflated when you get to your location, and you can cast off virtually from any bank or shore.
With a fishing float tube, you can pack it in any vehicle and inflate it on any shore before entering the water.
Grab Some Fins or Waders
A fishing float tube will be easier to use if wearing waders or fins. Waders will keep your legs dry and warm as you sit on the fishing float tube. Fins will help propel you through the water quickly and easily.
Fins are not required to be worn when using a fishing float tube, but they will help tremendously. Without wearing fins, you will propel yourself through the water by your feet only, which can be somewhat difficult when wearing waterproof boots and waders. Wearing fins on your feet will help you navigate through the water from your fishing tube float.
How to Choose the Best Fishing Float Tube
When choosing a fishing float tube, you will need to look at the different features that the float tube has to offer. Some of these features might be required criteria, while others may simply be personal preferences.
To help you with this process, we will break down the different features that a fishing float tube can have to offer so that you make the best decision for your fishing experience.
The hull should have a hydrodynamic dull. A hydrodynamic dull will typically be V-shaped in most fishing float tubes. The V-shaped hull will create stability, balance, and buoyancy in the float tube. If the hull is not V-shaped, make sure the hull design is classified as hydrodynamic so that it creates stability and balance. Stability, balance, and buoyancy will keep you safe while on the water.
The fabric of the fishing float tube will contribute to the longevity of the tube. Look for a fishing float tube that is made of durable, waterproof material with reinforced stitching, as this will be the best design for a durable float tube.
Fabric that has double stitching will be more durable than fabric with single stitching. Double stitching means that the fabric will be more reinforced than if it were just single-stitched, resulting in a product with overall better durability.
The fabric of the float tube should be water-resistant or waterproof. Some water-resistant materials are thinner than others, making it easy to pierce holes in the fabric of the float tube. The best material will be a heavy, thick fabric that can’t be easily pierced. This will keep the float tube from unraveling or deteriorating prematurely.
If the fabric is not thick, try to find a fishing float tube that comes with a fabric repair kit. A fabric repair kit will seal any tears, rips, or snags that are found on the fabric, preventing unraveling and rapid deterioration.
Because you will be carrying the fishing float tube on your back to your destination, it is important to know how much the tube weighs. Fishing float tubes are typically 15 pounds or less, but they can weigh more than this, especially if the float tube has a higher capacity weight limit.
The average weight limit of a fishing float tube is around 300 pounds, but as you can see on our list, some have a lesser or greater capacity. This will likely affect the weight of the tube, making it lighter or heavier than average.
If you plan to do a lot of walking to your fishing destination, you may want to choose a fishing float tube with the lightest weight.
One of the most influential features of a fishing float tube is the storage. Insufficient storage can make your fishing trip difficult and unenjoyable. You should have enough storage to conveniently store equipment, gear, and personal belongings. The storage should remain dry so that important items aren’t ruined, like cell phones and fishing licenses.
There should be Velcro straps included on the float tube for you to store your rods. This allows you to take more than one fishing rod on your fishing trip. There may also be mesh gear pockets, cupholders, or other additional storage compartments to help keep all of your belongings safe.
Pump or No Pump
Purchasing a fishing float tube that comes with a pump is always a convenience. This keeps you from having to make an additional purchase and keeps you from having to blow the float tube up with your mouth.
Some fishing float tubes come with a hand pump while others come with a foot pump. Both styles of pumps are effective in inflating and deflating the float tube, making it quick and easy to do so directly on the bank.
If possible, try to find a fishing float tube that comes with a pump so that you can save both time and energy for what is most important: catching fish.
A fishing float tube is an affordable way to gain access to those coves and honey holes that you aren’t able to reach from the bank. A fishing float tube does not require any engine, making it perfect for lakes and small ponds that prohibit boats with gas motors. You will use your legs and feet to propel the float tube.
For this reason, you will need to wear waders so that your bottom half stays dry. It is also recommended to wear fins while using a fishing float tube, as the fins will help you navigate through the water more easily.
The most important feature of the fishing float tube should be the hull design. You will need a hydrodynamic hull that will support your weight limit without sacrificing balance, stability, or buoyancy. Once you find a fishing float tube that will support you and the weight of your extra gear, you can narrow your results down by personal preferences, such as material, storage compartments, and attachment accessories. This will be your recipe for finding the best fishing float tube.