A fly fishing float tube can be a great way to target fish in ponds or lakes. Here is what you need to know about this kind of fishing.A fishing float – often also called a belly boat – can be an excellent choice when targeting fish like or in ponds or lakes. These floats allow for a quite approach and and easy handling of fish caught. They also offer great flexibility when fishing waters that are a little more remote. Inflatable belly boats can be packed into a car and even carried on the back to ponds or lakes a little off the beaten path.
Other than in a kayak or canoe, you don’t use a paddle but your feet instead with a fin on each foot. That gives you great flexibility in casting since you don’t have to row or cast but can do both at the same time. Since belly boats and float tubes become increasingly popular, more and more manufacturers start producing them. In this guide we want to give you an overview of what’s out there on the market and the pro and cons of the different styles and models.Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never get paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.
Table of Contents:The great thing about fishing float tubes is that you can get going with little extra gear. Some float tubes in our test include additional equipment such as fins or a pump to inflate your belly boat. Additionally you might consider getting things like rod holders, anchors or dry bags depending on the gear you carry.Most modern day bellyboats have good storage options in the form of multiple pockets. It might take some time for you to get used to your belly boat but once you’re settled in, it’s a nice and relaxing way to fish. And it will get you places you would not have considered before.It’s also a comfortable way to fish if you’re practising catch and release since you’re very close to the water’s surface and can hence release fish with ease.1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. In this buyers’ guide we want to give you our opinion on a number of float tubes. We’ll offer our recommendations on all kinds of tubes for all kinds of budgets to make sure there is an option for all fly fishermen and women out there.Notice: We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves.Key features:– Weight: 14 lbs– Size (assembled): 56″L x 44″W x 19″H– High backrest– Ruler in front of the seatThe is one of our favorites in the mid-range section. There are a number of features that are very thought through and make it a great fishing float tube choice. The features a high adjustable backrest which can be a great asset especially if you are planning to spend long days on the water. The float features two rod holders and adjustable shoulder straps for easy transport.The comes with one large double zipper cargo pockets on each side for ample storage. Two interior zip pockets provide even more room for valuables. The also features a fish ruler in front of the seat for easy measuring of the fish you caught.:– Lots of storage space– Integrated ruler– Seat is very comfortable:– Set is only available with pump or finsKey features:– Cargo area behind the seat– Big side pockets– Max weight capacity 250lbsThe has everything you’re looking for in a high quality float tube for fly fishing. Its welded PVC bladderless construction make this fishing float tube extremely durable. You can fish your favorite water using the fins or if you prefer rowing, that’s no problem either.An integrated ruler, right where you need it, makes it a piece of cake to measure you catch and safely release it to the water if you want to. The ‘s seat is inflatable and the lap apron makes this float tube an excellent choice for fly anglers as the line pick up gets much easier. The also features two big equipment pockets (one on each side) and a big rear pocket behind the seat. The built-in carry handles, make it easy it transport and an carry bag ensures a safe storage.:– Removable fly patches– Stabilising bar across the front– Easy to get into and out of the water:– Backrest of the seat is quite low – makes the back tire more quicklyKey features:– Set includes fins, pump and rod holder– Triple stitched seams– Max weight capacity: 225lbsThe is an excellent choice if you want a high quality fly fishing float tube for beginners. Out of the box it comes with everything you need to get started: a pump to inflate the tube, fins to get you moving once you’re in the water and a rod holder for secure storage of your rod.The features a heavy nylon packcloth that makes this tube incredibly abrasion resistant and ensures fly fishing pleasures for years to come. We found the triple stitched seams to greatly increase the sturdiness of the .A weight maximum weight capacity of 225lbs puts the on the lower end of the spectrum. A great value for money choice.:– Set includes everything you need to get started– Lots of storage options around the float– Solid weight capacity:– Does not feature a ruler– Lacks a bit of stabilityKey features:– Set includes pump, fins, paddle and repair set– Integrated ruler– Max weight capacity: 350lbsThe is a great way to get into belly boat fishing. At only around $150 (for the set) it offers many features of a quality float tube. The has a nicely padded seat that ensures comfort all-day long and features a security strap. Behind the seat is a net to store gear or your catch. On each side it features big storage bags for your tackle and gear. The ruler just in front of the seat makes it easy to measure the fish you catch.We found the can be easily carried on your back. It has 350 lbs load bearing capacity hence making it a good choice for bigger people as well. It comes with a pump so you are ready to fish within minutes.:– Set includes everything you need to get started– Very lightweight at 12.5 lbs– High max weight capacity of 350lbs:– Lacks attachment options for additional gearKey features:– Set includes pump and repair set– Big ruler in front of the seat– Max weight capacity: 286lbsThe is another great choice to get started with belly boat fishing. It comes with a pump which means you can get going within minutes. The even features an adjustable back rest, a feature that is usually reserved to mid-range and premium fishing floats. It’s bearing capacity of less than 300 lbs (286 lbs) means it’s not the ideal choice for big people.The also comes with adjustable shoulder straps that make it easy to carry this fishing float tube around. A seat buckle strap provides extra security when out on the water.:– Set includes everything you need to get started– Quite lightweight at 15 lbs– Repair set means long product life:– Back rest of the seat lacks a bit of stabilityKey features:– Weighs in at 15lbs– One year limited warranty– Max weight capacity: 300lbsThe is an excellent choice for the highly organized fisherman. It provides numerous (zippered) pockets on both sides of the fishing float. At 300 lbs its bearing capacity is a little lower than the and it comes in at 15lbs. Just like its brother (we’ll talk about in a second) it features a high adjustable back rest. The padding on this one is not quite as comfy as on the version (see below).Of course the also features shoulder straps to carry the belly boat and a fish ruler on the front for measuring purposes.:– High weight capacity of 300lbs– One year limited warranty– Horizontal rod holder– Excellent stripping apron:– Back rest of the seat lacks a bit of comfort for long days of fishingKey features:– Weighs in at 15lbs– One year limited warranty– Max weight capacity: 300lbsWith the we are entering the section of premium fishing float tubes. You won’t realize all the features that make this kind of belly boat more expensive at first glance. The difference is in the details.The ‘s high seat position makes you sit comfortably above the water making casting easier from an elevated position. The PVC bottom is very sturdy and abrasion resistant. With a load capacity of 250 lbs the is not the perfect choice for big people. It weighs in at 15 lbs making it a good choice to carry around to a remote lake or pond.:– High back rest provides comfort and back support– Durable PVC bottom– Stripping apron is hight adjustable:– Rather low max weight capacity of 250lbs– No integrated rulerOne last word on taking care of your float tube: always make sure your tube is dry before storing it. Also, don’t leave your belly boat in the trunk of your care for longer periods, especially not during summer. Just like , these fabrics are not made to be exposed to high temperatures over longer periods of time. Don’t store it fully inflated for longer periods of time.Belly boat fishing can really open up new waters for you. It is easier than you might think and adds great flexibility to your fishing. However, before going on your first fishing float tubes trip to a remote pond or lake, make sure you are able to carry all the gear.The float tubes in our review all weigh in between 14 lbs – 20 lbs. That might not seem to much at first glance but remember that you need to carry fins, , , etc. as well. This can quickly add up to 25 lbs – 30 lbs. Usually it’s a good idea to limit your fishing gear to the essentials.Give yourself some time to get used to fishing from a belly boat in the beginning. Like anything that’s new, you will need some time to get used to the movement of the float. Casting from closer to the water’s surface needs some getting used to as well in the beginning. In the end it might even help you to perform clean casts.Managing your line might take some time as well. Just like when fishing from a boat or skiff, make sure your line is free before letting it shoot. Don’t be frustrated – your line will get caught every once in while which is totally normal.Ultimate Guide: Best Wading JacketsBuyer’s Guide Best Wading BootsTop 6 Fly Rod CombosTop 6 Best Fly Fishing NetsA Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Starter KitsGuide to the Best Fly Reels for SaltwaterGuide to the Best Fly Rod under 200Notice: We take part in so-called associate programs and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up purchasing a product after clicking one of the links in this article. We only recommend products that convince us and that we use ourselves.