best fishing float tube

Are you looking for a way to access some of the best spots to cast, but without having to worry about the cost of a boat and trailer, and the hassle and upkeep that can come with that? One option is to look for a fishing kayak, which have become increasingly popular and effective in terms of performance, but these can also be tough on the wallet. 

In this article, Our fishing expert looks at an effective method of getting out on the water without dealing with the cost and maintenance of a boat or kayak. In this case, we will be focusing on float tubes designed specifically for fishing, which represents a great option for getting away from the crowds and closer to those hidden gem spots that are difficult to access from shore.

Below is a brief list of our Top 4 favorite fishing float tubes. We tried to highlight a range of brands and price points so that you have an idea of what’s available, but keep in mind there are other brands out there as well that may appeal to you, and you can also find cheaper or more expensive float tubes than what we mention here, but our range covers the majority of float tubes currently on the market.

Fishing Float Tube Reviews

Caddis Sports Nevada Fishing Float Tube

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good company
  • Multiple D-rings for additional accessories
  • Front rod holder and two main equipment pockets
  • Outer shell is made of heavy-duty nylon that is double-stitched on the critical seams

Cons

  • Not as durable
  • Seat can be easily damaged around the edges

General Consensus

This is a good Caddis float tube that many anglers have enjoyed over the years. It isn’t anything fancy, but it provides quite a bit of value for such a low price point. Again, you can likely find something cheaper, but this is still considered to be at the lower end for price and is better quality than cheaper float tubes that we have seen.

The U-shape design is pretty common among float tubes, as it offers an optimal blend of comfort, stability, and practicality. The Caddis Sports Nevada float tube has a suggested weight capacity of 225 lbs, which seems a little low to us. However, keep in mind this is “suggested”. We’re NOT saying that if you’re over 225 lbs that you should take the gamble head out into open water on your first go, but if you’re close to that weight, we suspect the main problem you will see just over 225 lbs is an issue of performance to begin with, which would then be followed by sinking for even larger individuals. To be clear, we are unsure of where these lines are drawn, so it’s probably best to stick with Caddis’ recommendation.

The durability of this float tube is ok, but not as good as the higher end models we will review below. The material for the outer shell is a heavy-duty rip-stop style nylon that is double stitched at the critical seems. It also comes with a wide nylon-coated mesh working and stripping apron.

There are also a couple big pockets for equipment storage, multiple D-rings for attachment of more equipment, and a front rod holder. The main downside to this float is the seat. It’s comfortable when it is in good shape, but the durability of the seat is quite low compared to the rest of the tube, particularly around the edges of the seat where it is more vulnerable to tears.

Overall, this is a great float tube for the price, and aside from a couple isolates issues, really does get the job done. So if you are looking for the cheapest way to cast into a spot from the water, this is definitely an option worth considering. If you have a little more room in the budget and really want to maximize performance, we would suggest considering our other reviews below as well.

Caddis Sports Nevada Float Tube
  • 46"x20"x42"
  • Double Stitched on Critical Seams
  • Heavy duty rip stop material
  • Two main equipment boxes
  • Backrest bladder

Classic Accessories Cumberland Fishing Float Tube

Pros

  • Great value for a mid-range price point
  • 350 lb weight capacity
  • Backable tube with adjustable shoulder straps
  • Thick seat with adjustable backrest
  • 2 rod holders

Cons

  • More prone to small punctures on the top half
  • Carrying straps are a little far apart for smaller individuals

General Consensus

Classic Accessories have a few different float tubes available. We like their Cumberland float tube because it’s great for both serious and casual fishermen and it offers very high quality for a mid-range price point, which is the main reason that we voted this as our #1 pick for best value.

The Cumberland ​float tube offers a mix of heavy-duty design, quiet and effortless performance, and practicality. The seat is nice and high, and is quite thick with an adjustable back rest, and while the connection between the seat and the tube can often be a vulnerable point for damage, we see no evidence of this in the Cumberland.

This tube boasts a 350 lb weight capacity, which is a 125 lb improvement from the Caddis float tube we reviewed above.​ The bottom of the tube is lined with rugged PVC, but not the top. Not having PVC on the top helps make the tube more lightweight and manageable, but it can also make the tube prone to small punctures if you roll the top onto the gravel or prick it with hooks or even dorsal fins. That said, if you have this in mind, and maybe a little bit of standard sealer at home, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

There is ample storage in the tube with 2 cargo pockets with and easy sliding double zipper. There are two rod holders, and perhaps more importantly, two drink holders as well. It also incorporates a backpack design, whereby you can carry it more conveniently with the adjustable shoulder straps. These straps are great, but for smaller to average sized individuals, they can feel a little far apart​, but this is a minor issue.

Overall, the Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube is a fisherman’s favorite and provides excellent value. It’s heavy-duty enough to provide confidence in its durability, and at the same time, the hydrodynamic design allows ​for quite and easy movement throughout the water, so you can motor or sneak around as you like. There are a couple minor issues like the top of the tube being a little more prone to punctures and the adjustable carrying straps being a little wide for smaller anglers, but with everything considered, the quality of design and performance far outweighs these subtle issues.

Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube Green, Standard
  • Cumberland assembled size: 56"L x 44"W x 19"H, Weight: 14lbs.
  • Hydrodynamic hull shape improves tracking and steering; rugged PVC bottom
  • Extra high seat provides a dry fishing experience and improves visibility; a comfortable, thickly padded seat with an adjustable backrest provides support for long fishing days
  • Reliable storage includes a mesh pocket with draw cord closure, two interior zip pockets, and two cargo pockets with easy-open double zippers

Outcast Fishcat 4-LCS Fishing Float Tube

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Rugged and durable
  • Easy and smooth performance
  • Ample storage
  • Popular across the country

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Weight capacity not great for cost
  • No rod holders

General Consensus

The Outcast Fishcat 4-LCS one of the most popular float tubes in the US, and in fact, it is claimed by Outcast as being the #1 selling float tube. The price isn’t enormous, as there are certainly some more expensive tubes out there, but it’s still the most expensive float tube we reviewed, so let’s see what we get.

First, this tube is known for it’s durability and performance. The AIREcell material is Vinyl and fabric denier x material weight is 500 pvc/30 oz. The tube itself measures 12 inches in diameter, which is fairly standard. 

Second, this tube performs extremely well. The comfortable seat perches you nice and high, and this tube is crafted with a hydrodynamic ​design that allows you to cruise around the water with minimal effort and quietly access the nooks and crannies of the lake. 

The main downside is that we simply thought we would have gotten a little more for the price. The weight capacity is 250 lbs, which is pretty substantial, but the Classic Accessories tube we reviewed above offers 350 lbs for a lower cost. While it may not be necessary for some people, it will be for others, and having a larger weight capacity also offers some peace of mind. There also aren’t any rod holders, which in our opinion isn’t a big deal, but it’s a little strange to us that they didn’t include them.

At the end of the day, this is a great float tube that Outcast recommends for anyone who is on the water 25 days or less per year. It’s durable and performs very well, but we find the cost is a little steep for what you get, mainly when compared to some other tubes that offer better value. That said, you do have the confidence of a reliable brand that is well known for fishing float tubes, so that is worth something. At the end of the day, the decision will come down to personal preference, but if you fit the criteria for this tube, we would definitely recommend it as a consideration.​

Outcast Fishcat 4-LCS
  • Inflated Size: 44" x 54"
  • Weight: 14 lbs.
  • Load Capacity: 250 lbs.
  • Tube Diameter: 12"
  • Fabric: 420 PC/500 PVC

Goplus Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Pros

  • Enlarged fishnet in the back keeps you organized and holds up to 350 pounds
  • A simple inflate and deflate process
  • Sleek camouflage design makes this a fashionable product choice
  • Air valve included to help you effectively regulate air

Cons

  • The quality of the pump is less than desirable for some consumers
  • Elevated inflatable bags are sometimes difficult to fit into the cover
  • The seat is not adjustable

General Consensus

If you want a statement float tube, the Goplus is the one you should be looking at. It’s high load bearing and has wonderful buoyancy, and this is something that makes it ideal for anglers hauling more weight.

With a strong weight-bearing capacity of 350 lbs, this is certainly one of the toughest and more buoyant float tubes on the market, and there is a lot to love here.

This Goplus float tube offers some pretty amazing product features, and it is important to take a close look at these.

For starters, it’s easy to inflate and deflate, and this makes it really practical and efficient, especially for those who might be newer to angling.

The backpacking straps are my favorite and also make this easy to transport and the storage pockets on each side of the boat make this one of the best float tubes for fishing that you can get.

The affordability of the Goplus fishing float tube, along with the space that is available on board the float, are two of the factors that have made this an essential for many of anglers.

The pros far outweigh the cons, but some users grumble about the quality of the pump included with the float tube. Though disappointing, we thought that was a small detail considering the affordable cost.

Given the great price for your money, and the practical appeal, this float tube has a lot to offer for those looking to get on the water without breaking the bank.

Goplus Inflatable Fishing Float Tube, with Storage Pockets, Fish Ruler, Adjustable Straps, 350LBS Load Bearing Capacity (Camouflage Color)
  • High Load-bearing & Great Buoyancy -- Our fishing float tube has great buoyancy, allowing you to fish safely and smoothly in the lake. There is a net at the back of the seat where you can store the big fish. The strong bearing capacity of 350lbs is enough to support your great booty.
  • Completely Waterproof Polyester Fabric -- In order to ensure the safety of users and the long service life of fishing float tubes, the materials we choose are premium polyester and PVC. Completely waterproof material ensures that the inflatable fishing float tube can be used on the water. So, feel free to use it and enjoy the feeling of catching a big fish.
  • Easy to Inflate & Deflate -- The inflatable fishing float tubes comes with a pump that allows you to quickly inflate the tube. In just a few minutes, you can get a perfect fishing float tube. When fishing fish, open the air valve can quickly take off the air and then receive.
  • Storage Pockets & Fish Ruler -- Each side of the belly boat is designed with a storage bag, which can be used to place mobile phones, fishing bait, water cup and other items. When you catch a huge fish, measure it with the fish ruler in front of the seat.
  • Adjustable Shoulder Strap for Easy Carrying -- The inflatable fishing float tube has two adjustable shoulder straps that allow you to carry the boat to your destination. In addition, there are two shoulder straps on either side of the seat to secure you in the seat and ensure that you do not fall off the seat.

Inflatable Fishing Float Tube Buyers Guide

What are the Benefits of Utilizing an Inflatable Fishing Float Tube?

Inflatable fish floating tubes offer many benefits that help you make the most out of your fishing trip. These products are designed to make you feel more comfortable and safer out on the water. They also make your life easier by helping you store your valuables and fishing gear while offering a floating tube that is easy to navigate and transport.

Comfortability

Your fishing trip will usually keep you on the lake for most of the day, so you need to feel comfortable sitting in the same place the whole time. Inflatable tubes allow you to relax and lounge as if you were sitting on the recliner at home. Fishing requires focus and skill, but it is also a leisurely activity that should help you relieve your stress.

While fishing boats are much more powerful, effective, and expensive than a tube, you may develop back problems over time. Sitting hunched over or with no upper and lower back support will cause unnecessary stress on your vertebrae. On the other hand, a tube provides a padded seat that is angled for optimal ergonomic positioning and won’t harsh on your nether regions too much.

When you shop for different fishing float tubes, pay close attention to the seat, backrest, and armrest. You want a product that has ample padding and flexibility to morph to your specific shape. The tubes with adjustable backrests are much more valuable, and these should be a priority for you.

Portability

Fishing float tubes are the ideal option because they are a lot lighter and smaller than typical boats or kayaks. After a long day on the lake, it is convenient to have a tube to walk with your car and store. Weight plays a significant role in portability, so the more massive the float tube, the more difficult it will be to transport.

Depending on the product, most tubes will include a carrying case to move it back to the car. Much like the seat, you should double-check the reviews to ensure that it is a convenient process. Some of the more advanced products have shoulder straps so that you can wear the tube like a backpack. If you are looking for the most valuable products, you should prefer strapped tubes.

Affordability

Fishing float tubes are an ideal option because they do not require the hefty upfront investment that a regular fishing boat does or the licensing and registration costs. You can find most tubes for under a thousand dollars depending on the size, comfortability, storage space, and raw materials.

Storage Use

Inflatable fish tubes are also perfect for storing your belongings and fishing gear. While there are many useful waterproof storage products on the market, tubes have all these compartments built-in on the sides and other accessible areas. Most fishing tubes have mesh bags provided or even compartments attached to the armrests. Some other products have ample space in the back via a net or container.

The critical thing to consider here is the number of items that you will bring with you. If you pack heavy, you want to invest in a tube with more than average storage space and floatability. If you are a minimalist and looking for a cheap option, you can use a tube that comes with a couple of built-in armrest containers or additional mesh bags.

Besides the storage space in the tube, fishing backpacks are an excellent product. You could also purchase separates. This bag allows you to store your bait, tackle, and other fishing items. You can also invest in a functional fishing vest for extra storage.

Variety of Shapes to Choose From

Another positive feature of float tubes is the selection you have at your disposal. Tubes come in main shapes like round, U-shaped, and pontoon, which will get covered in the next section. Each type of fishing tube offers unique benefits for different kinds of fishers. They all differ in maneuverability, storage, capacity, and portability.


Float Tube Safety Tips

Before you venture out to the water, you must always double-check to make sure you have all your safety gear packed and ready to go. You can never be too safe, but here is a shortlist of the essential items to bring on your fishing trip:

  • Eye protection – sunglass, preferably polarized lenses, are vital in protecting your eyes from water glare
  • Hat – not only do caps or boonies protect your head from getting sunburnt, but it also shields it from getting knocked by an errant hook
  • Float tube repair kit – in case your tube gets punctured or ripped for a hook or branch, and this will help you restore the tube so you can continue to enjoy the day
  • Personal flotation device – this could be an inflatable fishing vest or life jacket
  • First aid kit – bring the essential items that could fit into your storage containers or bags

Besides packing the correct tools, you could implement some other mindful practices when going fishing on a tube. For example, my grandfather always had a whistle to create attention if of trouble or in someone else’s way and needed to get their attention. If you are going out on the water with a friend or group, you should also bring walkie-talkies or radios easy to use.

To protect against branches and spines from puncturing the tube, you can place carpet runner plastic on the outer and inner coverings of the tube. You should also make sure you have the necessary tools to prevent you from drowning.

Conclusion on the Best Fishing Float Tube

As you can see, there is an ideal tube for just about every situation and person. You need to define your fishing goals and invest in a proper fishing float tube that is comfortable, safe, and makes you successful out on the water.

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