Friday, March 9, 2018

Float Tube Buyers Guide from my eyes

     I have been tubing now for the last 20 years.  I started off in a Browning u-boat which served me well over the years.  I fished it as much as I could and got some great use out of it.  Of course like most sports we are always looking for what is new and better.  I soon found the next best things started to move up in tubes.  Here is what I have floated in over that past 20 years.

  • Browning Uboat
  • Gallatin Pontoon boat
  • Kennebec Pontoon
  • Togiak Fishing Float Tube
  • U-Boat 2000
  • Big Horn Float Tube
  • Caddis Pro 2000
  • Stillwater Talon
  • ODC 420
  • Cumberland 
  • Seven Bass Flatform

     Over the years I have had lots of experience in different types of tubes as you can see.  I have been able to fish them in different situations and locations.  I have built rod racks and fish finder mounts for them and have generally learned a lot as far as what worked best at least for me.  So what should you look for when you are buying your first or next float tube.

     I believe after fishing in the float tubes with sling bottom seats that being high out of the water is a plus, and would be what most are looking for.  However I have noticed that the higher you are out of the water the more you are at the mercy of the wind that comes up when you are on the water.  It is simple the more body under the water the less you are moved by the wind.  Of course the flip side is the more body in the water the more you are subject to the currents of the water.  So be sure to look at the areas you intend to fish and choose what would work best for you.

     I think the next thing to look at is the tackle storage pockets, some boats have different designs but they are not all equal.    I like the pockets that open to one large pouch using 2 zippers on either end, like what is found on the Cumberland.  The pockets that have 2 pockets on each side that opens with one zipper for each side limit the ability to put in and take out your tackle with out any issues.  Plus the sides matters you need enough room to put in your small size tackle boxes.  A quick fix for these issue are smaller sized tackle boxes or zip lock bags to hold your tackle, this may not be an option for some.

     Next you should be thinking of weight of the overall tube.  This matters especially if you are like to hike to those back country fishing spots.  Some tubes are pretty heavy some are amazing light and still some are right in the middle.  I have used some very light weight tubes and they worked well but in most cases lacked the other things I liked in a float tube like small pockets or low seats.  I have used much heavier tubes as well which have the quality and float high ability, but the weight does limit the distance you can park away form the water.  In my opinion if you are like me, you don't hike but you do like to find new waters, weight can be and issue and you want to find the tube that fits your weight needs.

     Finally you should also be looking for overall quality, or could I say longevity.  It is nice to have a boat that you know will last you a few seasons of fishing, and one that can take the abuse we have can put or tubes through.  The old adage is you get what you pay for and in the world of float tube fishing that is so true.  You can spend as light as $80 and as much as $1500 what is your budget and what are you looking for.  If you are someone that maybe goes out 2 or 3 times a year and just for the heck of it, maybe the low cost options are a good deal for you.  Whoever if you are someone that heads out 2 to 3 time a month or more and fishing is a true passion and not just a fun occtional activtiy they you will be looking to spend some money to get a float tube that with with stand the infalte and deflate over and over again and the constent tossing in and out of your truck or car.  It is very true you get what you pay for.  But even if you buy on the lower end of the scale as long as you take care of your boat you can make it last. 

     I have tried many different tubes over that last 20 years some were great and some were not.  Some I miss and some I do not, if you are looking to get in to this sport I hope I gave you some insight and helped you naviagate the wide world of float tubes that are out there.  Shop around and ask around there is a lot of info out there you just need to search it out.   The sport of float tube fishing is a passion of mine and I know it might not be for everyone, but if you get the right tube you might have a better experiance then you thought.  Good luck and happy shopping.

Float Tube Fishing Forum Quarterly Magazine Vol: 5 Iss: 1

It is a pleasure to build and publish these magazines for the Float Tube Fishing Community.  I hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy building them.  It is tough sometimes but in the end, we are pretty happy with what we produce.  Remeber if you ever have suggestions, comments, or would like to submit an article please contact us at

No here is our most current issue Volume-5 Issue-1

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Float Tube Fishing Guiding in Southern California

I was in my 20's when I first started float tube fishing and it has now been more than 20 years for me.  I can say that is you love to fish like me you will love to float tube like me as well.  I have enjoyed this sport so much that I built the Float Tube Fishing Forum, and have even started Writing our own online Magazine "Float Tube Fishing Forum Quarterly Magazine".  There is something about it this that just makes it so exciting.  I think its that you are in the element with your catch which is so much fun and unique.  Also just being on the water can be so relaxing and I am sure that you will enjoy this sport Float Tube Fishing just as much as I have for the last 20 years. 

So I would like to offer once again my services if you would like to go on a trip to a local Southern California location and try for the first time float tube fishing I can do that for you.  We can fish one of the following locations.

  • Puddingstone
  • Santa Fe Dam
  • Newport Harbor 
  • Huntington Harbor
  • Los Alamitos Harbor

Cost would be as follows 

  • $100 per person for 4 hours on the water 
  • $125 per person for 6 hours on the water
  • $150 per person for 8 hours on the water

I can take 2 adults at a time and I will provide float tubes and PFD's (if needed).  You can also rent from me a rod and reel if needed for $10 per trip, and if needed I can provide tackle.  Fins and waders (if needed) can also be provided but if you have pair's that fit would be best for you (another $10 charge per person per trip). 

I cannot guaranty that we will catch fish but I can guaranty that you will have fun, be safe and learn all you need to know about float tube fishing and the ability to begin float tube fishing on your own.  You can contact me here or by e-mail

I can float tube most weekend Saturday - Sunday, please allow at least a minimum of 2 weeks to set up a trip and by the time summer starts, I will be available most often Monday through Sunday. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Float Tube Fishing Forum Tournaments

    So we at the Float Tube Fishing Forum have been running a Float Tube Tournament Series for the last 2 years now.  Things have gone very well and we will continue to work hard to improve and build this is to something big for the Float Tube Fishing World.  Do you think you have what it takes to battle Float Tubers from all over the US, in a Tournament Series style platform?  If you can do this come to the Float Tube Fishing Forum for more details and sign up for our June - September Tournament.  Tell your friends and spread the word, because you know, the more competitors the more fun we will have. 

Also be sure to check out our sponsors:
Slab Zone Lures

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Seven Bass USA Design Review

So I was lucky enough to receive 3 kick boats from Seven Bass USA Design.  They are currently selling 6 different tubes and the 3 I received represent the 3 different levels of tube they have available.  The 3 boats I received where the Element, the Explorer, and the Flatform.  I will in this thread review the EXplorer and the Flatform, as they are the 2 boats that we have had the privilege of putting on the water.

So let’s start with the Explorer, and explain the basics first.  The boat comes complete and ready to go.  You receive the boat, an inflatable seat, Motor Mount, Backpack straps, a crossbar, apron with a pocket in the apron, a foot pump, repair kit, and a carry bag for all.  This boat is a bladderless float tube which is important to know as it is built very different than most float tubes.  The outside boat material is a very thick rubber with heat sealed ends.  This boat is built with the most amazing quality, you can see it when you first pull it out of the box. 

So in preparing to get out on the water, I pre-inflate the boat at home which has to air chambers which are both pontoons as well as like said earlier the inflatable seat as well.  All use the summit valve, which I believe have a very good feature we will talk about later.  So when I am done inflating the Element I quickly notice that it has a pretty narrow profile.  The boat itself is very lightweight and with the backpack straps very easy to transport to the water’s edge.  Now for the test ride, and GT would be handling that part of the day.    As per GT the float tube was built very well and he really liked the clipline and the fact that the bags were removable (sold separately).   He mentioned to me the boat looked very fast as it is light and tight.  The drawback was that it was narrow.  This aspect would work great for a thinner smaller person but for me personally, I can see it would be hard for me to get in and feel comfortable in.  That, of course, does not mean that it is an uncomfortable ride.  While on the water GT mentioned that the seat did not feel good to sit on “too hard” which would lead to discomfort and ending the day sooner.  But quick-fix simple release a little air to make it softer.  After doing that on the water all was better for GT.  Another issue was the crossbar it was tough to connect when on the water.  Seven Bass said, “the key is to roll it in, and as you roll you pull back a bit and it pops in.“ I also feel that the more you connect it the easier it will become.  The overall handling of the boat on the water seemed great as it glides through the water with ease, and keeps you high and dry.  Cost is about $550 and weight capacity is 350 lbs.  As far as how they stack up to what we have out here already there is not too much on the market like it, so it is in a class all its own.  After discussing some of the concerns with Seven Bass the did mention that then the Expedition Kick Boat had a wider sitting area, it is called the Big Boy and can handle 400 lbs and runs for $600 with all the same supplies.  I think this boat has its place here with individuals that can see its value over other boats we have here in the USA.  I cannot express this enough I think the overall plus here is their quality, just plan top notch.

Now onto the Flatform I myself have had my eye on these tubes of kick boats for the last few years so to finally see one in person, I was impressed.  The boat is about 6’ 7" tall and 4’ 4" wide with there air chambers.  The boat is bladderless with a unique construction concept, called drop stitch.  The drop stitch construction allows the boat to in flat (no bladders) but not round out simple hold its flat platform style.  It does not look like the 2 side pontoons are drop stitch as they kind of round out some, but the largest chamber is flat which is the center and largest portion of the kick boat.   The boat comes with a crossbar, a kayak type seat, a repair kit, a motor mount, large center scag, Oars and mounting hardware, a stand-up pump with a pressure gauge (important) and a carry bag for it all.  A note; right off the bat this boat is heavy at 41 lbs.  But with that being said once again you are struck with the overall quality and construction of the flatform and all Seven Bass Products for that matter.

So with the boat all inflated and ready to go I made two trips to the water one for the boat and the other to bring rods, fins, and side bags for tackle storage.  If you are looking to backpack or have to carry your tubes a distance to get to the water this is an issue, but there still is the option to inflate at the water's edge.  Not really an option for me but I feel it is important to note.  Once I was ready I shoved off and I was quickly struck but its ease of movement in the water.  There was no real effort to kick and turn, I was under the impression that it was going to be tough to move and turn but no not at all.  Don’t get me wrong you can feel the extra weight but only slight it is not an issue and is far outweighed by its ability to move in the water.  A concern that some people had was would it fight into tight spots for me into boat slips when needed.  Yes it will I did slip into one boat slip to retrieve an errant cast and I was able to slide in between the dock and a smaller tied off boat.  I backed in turned around and back out without hitting anything.  The overall size will limit your ability to get into the tightest spots but you won’t lose this all together.

I was very comfortable on the flatform after I adjusted the kayak style seat to seat me back a little more.  The flatform I would say is just like have the best of a kayak, a SUP Board, and a float tube.  You have oars that work well (more on that in a moment) you have the ability to stand up on it.  This is a great feature that I know has intrigued many, I did not attempt this but I am sure I will be testing this out soon.  One thing I can see that is an issue is the oars,  They are short and when in a strong current and wind, they don’t provide much movement for you.  It is designed for you to pick up your legs out of the water and row, but I found that in the current and wind it was better for me to keep my legs in the water and kick while I rowed.  The best features it posses like a float tube is the fact that you can deflate it and store very easily.  Plus it can also be packed into the trunk of a car and transported to your favorite lakes and bays and inflated on the spot.  The Flatform is in my eye one of the top performers when it comes to Float Tube / Kick Boats.  Over the years I have used quite a few and I feel this one is on the top of the list for me.  The Flatform retails at $1199 and is worth every penny, it is about 6’ 7" tall and 4’ 4" wide and is very stable and maneuverable.  It comes with oars although I because the oars are small they don’t provide and strong rowing ability I still like having them as they can add you to getting out of some bad situations when needed.  The Flatform can hold an impressive 450 lbs and while heavy at 41 lbs still has a great some great agility on the water.  I think I have found my new favorite float tube. 

There will be some more testing and reviewing going on with the Seven Bass Kick Boats, and in time I am sure we will push them to there edge.  They have asked us to point out any downsides so that they can address them for the U.S. market as they continue to grow.  I have been waiting for the last 3 years to test out their products and I can say so far they have not disappointed.  Expect to see more from Seven Bass in the future quality product will always find their niche and Seven Bass will find there very quickly.