Friday, February 27, 2015

FTFF Magazine is now up for reading

Here you go guys our first issue for 2015, take a look and let us know what you think.  In this issue and quite possible the next 3 issue we have a give away contest.  This one is for a small hand made tackle products called CoolBaits.  Check it out page 18 of the magazine this is open to all that read this magazine.
Please know that right now the magazine can only be viewed on a computer as our upgrade in over. I will be working on trying to get this fixed in the next few months.  So you cannot see this on a tablet or a smartphone for now.  But in time this will be fixed for now take a look and enjoy and please take a look at the Coolbaits contest as well as our sponsors ads. salute

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tube or Toon? Which one is for you

Float Tubes and Fishing Pontoons are extremely popular today as a unique and effective fishing platform. Self propelled, stealthy, and with a close proximity to your environment that is unmatched, make Float Fishing so very rewarding and fun. I don’t believe there is a more basic and enjoyable way to pursue fishing. Over the years, the Float Tube has evolved, improving and adding features of safety, comfort, and fishability. As a result of Float Fisherman’s interest in an ever more effective platform, a smaller version of the whitewater cataraft, or the Fishing Pontoon Boat became the
logical progression. These two now, are the most popular of the inflatable Float Fishing

NOTE: The newest and VERY popular frameless permutation of the Pontoon, is a special addition to the Float Fisherman’s options and may be the perfect hybrid. An article for another edition perhaps?…
As a member of the FTFF I have read and discussed (argued?) the attributes of both,
(Toobs and Toons) particularly in regards to discussions advising those in the market to purchase an inflatable, and trying to decide between the two. I have over the years, owned and fished, a variety of both.

     When I decided to offer Jeff my thoughts on a comparison of Toobs and Toons, I went hard at researching and developing a fair comparison of the two, and after three or four frustrating drafts, (this being #5)
 I suddenly realized that comparing the two is almost impossible ( and definitely an exhausting volume of reading! ), because they are inherently different watercraft. So instead, here is my simplest description of
my likes and dislikes of both…. Now, before we get to the meat of this article, let me state that my perspective on Toobing
and Tooning, is primarily, and most importantly, about the FISHING.  Although the overall experience of Float Fishing goes well beyond simply the fishing, I tend to focus closely on the fishing.

That being said,…..

The Float Tube:
     The Float Tube is the simplest bridge between the shore and offshore. The most basic of watercraft. So basic in fact, the United States Coast Guard and most state motor/aquatic vehicle agencies still do not know how to designate it. But, in its simplicity, lies its charm, and ever growing popularity.

1)Toobs are cheap. Even the most sophisticated, feature laden toobs, are well   within the financial reach of most of the fishing populous.

2) Toobs are easy to assemble and operate. Blow it up, throw it in the water, climb in, kick and go fish! Justlike that!

3) Toobs are easy to transport and store. Most Float Tubes, even fully inflated, can be transported in the typical passenger car, carried easily by hand, and (when deflated) take up no more room than a large suitcase in a closet.

4) Toobs are built tough and last a long time. Barring a catastrophic failure or dumb abuse, and with very little maintenance, a good quality Toob can last you a lifetime.

5) Toobs are a great and satisfying fishing platform. Toobs put you closer than almost any other platform, to your quarry. They enable you to fish in tight spaces, but still have the ability to fish almost anywhere else a normal boat can go, (weather and water conditions permitting).

1)Toobs are sloooooow…… nuff said.

2)Toobs can be a bit uncomfortable in less than ideal conditions. For myself comfort equates to quality fishing time on the water. Toobs, because of their simple design and construction can be a bit of an effort to maintain a comfort level that allows you the maximum amount of stress free time on the water. Hypothermia, cramps, limited movement, and sitting down in a soft inadequately supported seat with chest waders on, Toobs are a wet ride in bad conditions,… Well,…. you get the picture.

3)Toobs are not particularly seaworthy. Susceptible to wind, wave, and current, and having only your best physical effort to supply locomotion, they are at best a fair weather, short range, platform.

4) Toobs are small. Fisherman are notorious for needing to carry lots and lots of stuff. Toons are inherently poor regarding cargo, and/or accessories carry.

The Pontoon:
     The Pontoon is the natural progression in the Float Fishing realm, from the Float Tube
to a more conventional watercraft. It is a boat. A small, very special kind of boat.

     Simple, self propelled, and with the same close proximity to the environment we all enjoy in the Toob, BUT,…. with the improvements in performance, comfort and fishability that make it my choice in Float Fishing. (REMINDER: I am about the fishing!)

1) Toons are a real boat. Toons sit on the water. You sit on the Toon. As much as this is a difference of just a few inches ( the proximity of your butt, to the water surface), It is the world of difference. Toons are fast, very maneuverable, a dry ride (comfort), warm (comfort again), can be propelled by an assortment of means, have great range and seaworthiness, are inherently safe, can carry a BOATLOAD (pun) of stuff, and are an extremely worthy fishing platform.

1) Toons are a real boat. With the decision to own a Toon, comes the commitment to own a boat. Toons are expensive. Toons are bigger, heavier, need more room to store, are less easy to transport, (especially, from your vehicle to the water), are more complicated with more parts, require more assembly time, and maintenance, can carry a BOATLOAD (pun) of stuff, AND!…. if you decide to put a motor on it, has to be registered with the local Department Of Motor Vehicles!!!

    As I have mentioned before Toobs and Toons are completely different, and yet similar items. One is about simplicity and economy. The other, about commitment, and performance. The common element between the two is the ability to enter the environment on a close and personal level and enjoy Fishing at it’s simplest and most rewarding.

     My next article regarding the Toob and Toon will be a more technical and comprehensive comparison that will help support my aforementioned contentions regarding both.

By; FTFF Contributor

Article from the Float Tube Fishing Quarterly Magazine:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Float Tube Safety First and Always

We have all been there at least once: “what did I get myself into.”  Just like our member Yellowrock got himself into a bad spot, we have or will at some point do the same thing.   All we can hope is the outcome, is a good one like PVR for Yellowrock was.  But of course, there is something to be said for being prepared.  If things are going to go bad they are just going to go bad.  But if we are prepared for these unexpected events they will almost always be stories we can share later with others.   Safety should be on all of our minds every time we head out.  And I am sure most of us think the same. But do we do what we think?  I know I am not alone in this. I have cut corners to get out on the water sooner I am also tempted to be more comfortable to stay out on the water longer.  Unfortunately we all know that it only takes once for the worst to happen.

Let’s just list some of the safety items you should have or consider to have a safe and fun day on the water.
     1. PFD (Coast Guard Approved)
     2. Whistle or air horn
     3. Wader belt if wearing waders
     4. Proper launching spot, and exit spot as well
     5. Knowledge of the water you are on
     6. Current weather reports for your area
     7. Having a partner if new to tubing

     This is a basic list that we should all use to stay safe on the water.  So, here is my question to you: how many of you think of all of these things each time out?  I will say with honesty that I don’t abide by all these rules, all the time.  The PFD is better behind me because it is just too bulky for me to sit in my seat on my ODC 420.  Whistle, what whistle? I don’t think I have ever had a whistle with me on my tube.  I just now started wearing my wader belt and even at that, I seem to forget when I first get on the water.  For me, launch sites are my strong point, I have always felt safe to launch because I think that part of the process through very well.  I have a pretty good knowledge of the waters I fish but I am sure I could know more.  I try to stay up on the weather but in So/Cal, it is not a real big deal as I'm sure it is in other parts of the country.  Finally I will say my first time out tubing was solo and it was a very nerve racking trip, but I guess I liked it enough to continue for the last 20 years.

     So, how can we make this easier for us to be better about safety while float tubing?  First of,f as for the PFD, having an inflatable vest would make it more appealing to wear my PFD.  The inflatable vests are not bulky, so I can sit in my tube without feeling like I have no room.  Whistles? ok, so I just need to go and get a whistle. That was easy.   For launching and exit sites, do your homework use Google maps, or ask around and always use flat ground with a firm surface to launch out from.  Smart phones have made it easier to be aware of current weather in your area and for the saltwater guys there are apps on tide, which is a great resource to have, as well.  Read reports of others trip to waters you are planning to try out.  Our members are good at giving information of what to expect when you get out there.  Finally, join the FTFF if you have not already done so, you will find plenty of people that will help you get ready for your first outing and you might even find a fishing partner for your first trip out.                  

More articles like this at:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Store your tube with confidence

 It is that time, well for most it is that time, and storage of your float tube is the question? So how should you store your float tube or pontoon for the winter months to keep it safe and ready for the warmer months?  I feel the best idea when it comes to storing your float tube is to leave it partially inflated.    By keeping it inflated you don’t have to worry about it ending up with any damaging creases in the bladders.  Those creases that come from folding and storing your tubes and pontoons can over time leave creases in the bladders that can become structural weaknesses.  This can become a weak spot in the bladder ending your first outings of the next season early once you pull your float tube out of storage.

     The other benefit of leaving the tube partially   inflated, the shell (outer canvas) is protected from folding as well as over inflation which will damage the seams.  I myself like to hang my tube in my garage partially inflated.  Some may say that you should lay the tube flat
and I don’t disagree.  The reason for this is to not put pressure on the handles and seams which will put unneeded pressure as you boat
hangs over time.  I can see this being a good point but I don’t have the floor space so I hang mine.  The other point that makes a lot of scenes when it is hanging the bladder is slipping inside the shell.  If it hangs for a long period of time the bladder will move down, this will cause the valves to move out of line causing you to need to reposition the bladder each time you set up you tube..    

     Of course to keep it inflated to store it you do need the room for this and I am sure that this is not possible for some of us.  So what are the alternatives?  The only other option is to deflate it and pack it away, but is this being done right.  First off if you live where there are definite off season meaning you might get iced out or snowed in and getting your legs in the water would mean a trip to the hospital do to front bite or hypothermia, then you do need to store your tube.

 To put your gear away you must always first clean it up, your float tube or pontoon are no different you spent some good money on that so you should take good care of it.  Make sure that you clean out all pockets and even inside the sell around the bladders.
Dirt and sand can get into places you cannot see and if left there when folding your bladders up could cause some unseen damage.  This might lead to break down of and the need to replace your bladders.  The other important thing to do is to make sure all parts are completely dry after washing done and before storing.  Mildew is one of the worst things you can get on your float tubes and pontoons; it will eat away at your tubes and decrease the life of your boat.

     So from what I have read and looked into and had experienced the best idea and what most fisherman believe is leave you boats partially deflated for best storage.   Of course if

you don’t have the space to do this you can safely store your float tube, and not have to worry about too much.  Just make sure whatever you clean and dry your boats completely.  Weather it is hanging or lying flat and partially deflated or completely deflated and stored away, keeping it clean and dry is the best way to help your float tube last as long as possible.

Articles from: Float Tube Fishing Forum Quarterly Magazine: link below

Monday, December 22, 2014

Classic Accessroies Colorado Pontoon Boat


      I had the pleasure of give one of these boats away on our Float Tube Fishing Forum just recently. We have a annual toy drive for the spark of love, and Classic Accessories has for the last 4 year donated to the cause.  I thought I would take a quick moment to give a small review about the Colorado Pontoon Boat.   To start after receiving the pontoon boat at home I decided to build it so that I could take proper pictures for our members to know what they were competing for.  

      It is a fairly easy boat to build as I was able to have it together in the my living room with in an hour.  Being the first Pontoon boat I had built I figure that is not to bad.  you start with the pontoons and inflate to almost full capacity.  The combination quick inflation/ deflation valves made inflation quick and simple these are a great improvement on the basic valves you still find on float tubes.  After the pontoons are inflated you then are able to add the mounting assembly to the pontoons  which is used to attach the seat to as well as to have have the pivot spot for the oars.  

      Next you add the seat assembly which is simple attached with pin system assembly which make it easy to assemble and disassemble.  Then you attach the back basket and anchor arm.  This piece has both a anchor pulley and a plate to mount a trolling motor to.  Finally you need to attach the foot resets and add the oars and you are ready to go.  Overall I believe this Pontoon boat is a great product from Classic Accessories.  If you are in the market for a 9' pontoon boat this is one you might want to look at.  Below is a list of spec's that  you might find helpful in making your discussions.    

Special Features 
  • High storage capacity; includes 10 mesh pockets, 12 zippered pockets and two insulated drink holders
  • Wire rear storage and battery platform
  • Rod holder can be mounted in three different positions on each oar stand
  • Anchor system with fillable mesh bag; cleat and pulley controls can fit on right or left side of boat
  • Sturdy two position motor mount for trolling
  • Detachable foam fly patch
Boat Specifications
  • 9' pontoons
  • 400 lb capacity
  • River rating—Class 1
  • Assembled size: 108"L 56"W 26"H
  • Weight: 71.5 lbs
Comfort Features
  • Three oar-lock positions
  • Seat and footrests adjust to a wide range of leg lengths
  • Padded fold-down plastic seat
Safety Features
  • Safety labeling as per ABYC standards
  • Rides high for improved visibility
  • Unique dual-side stripping apron with fish ruler allows entry and exit without unclipping
  • Non-slip footrests
Construction Features
  • Heavy-duty pontoons with abrasion-resistant PVC bottoms and tough nylon tops
  • Bronze oar-locks
  • Powder-coated steel tube frame
  • Rugged 7' two-piece aluminum oars
  • Cold and heat-resistant bladders
  • Combination quick inflation/ deflation valves