Belly Boats, Fishing Float Tubes, and Kick Boats
Choosing The Right Float Tube
The type, make and model of the craft you choose will be a personal thing. Before making any final decision you should get as much input as possible from knowledgeable tubers and tooners. Advice from others can be valuable but the ultimate choice needs to be based upon YOUR own wants, needs and abilities. And, a good policy is to always try before you buy…when you can. This chapter highlights the most important considerations to review during your evaluation process. Some are obvious. Others less so. For many newbies the budget thing is the single biggest hurdle to becoming properly outfitted. Belly boats and pontoons are less costly than boats but can still take a big chunk out of a tight budget.
Other factors in the review process are mostly related to your personal angling preferences along with your physical abilities. Equipment and design options might also influence your final decision. Then there are the potential limitations you might have for storing or transporting whatever craft you choose.
In the “olden days” we didn’t have many choices. We could choose either a round tube…or
a round tube. The early models were simply fabric covers sewn together in a “donut” shape that
held a 20” truck tire tube. These would float up to about two hundred and fifty pounds depending
on the manufacturer and the cut of the cover. Later options included covers to fit the larger 22”
truck tubes and would float anglers up to 300 pounds.
During the last 20 years of the 20th century great strides were made in the floatation fishing
world. Manufacturers responded to the growing awareness and more knowledgeable demands of
tubers and tooners and came up with a bajillion new designs.
It is increasingly rare to see a round tube on the waters anymore. Today’s floatation anglers
tend to prefer open kick boats, pontubes or pontoons with oars and/or electric motors. But, when
shopping for a new craft fancy design alone should not be the only basis upon which you make your