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Ratherbfishing

Belly boats and why they aren't for me

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Not to be a hater but they are not my thing.  I received one as a gift and was quite enthusiastic about receiving it. I thought: "Here is my opportunity to fish places I can't normally get to!"  After a few attempts, however, I have concluded they simply aren't worth it (for me).  Here are my reasons (in no particular order):

 

- Sitting so low in the water makes anything other than awkward lobbing casts or overhand casts rather difficult.

- Sitting SO low also makes it very difficult to see into the water. Several times I found myself casting into water that was only a few inches deep (or                 completely chocked in weeds).

- Getting into and out of the water is very awkward-especially on steep banks.  I made an absolute fool of myself trying to climb up onto rip rap. 

- Difficulty in tying on new baits without immersing the rod/reel (what DO you do with the butt end of your rod when you're trying to tie on a bait?)

- Inflating and deflating boat requires  extra equipment, effort, and takes a fair amount of time.

- Mobility is limited and SLOW.  Fishing anything other than very small waters is not very feasible-unless you are willing to confine yourself to a very small area

- Mud tends to suck flippers off your feet if you have to stand up.  (Lost a strap on the first time out because of this).

- Felt like I was operating in a straight jacket - this cannot be overemphasized.  If I wasn't crazy before, I nearly was afterwards.  It is quite awkward when you can't move freely about.

- Not all ponds are like this but many have a lot of rotten vegetation and sediment on the bottom and stirring it up stunk like a sewage treatment plant.  Bad!

- Even with a fishing vest with MANY pockets I found lure management difficult.

- Small thing but if you forget anything, you're "done."

- You wouldn't think so but there is definitely a learning curve with these things (see most of the items above).

 

If you are a fan of this type of fishing, I applaud you.  For me, unfortunately, it was not fun.  I wound up buying a Pelican and am much happier with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for sharing, it doesn't sound like fun to me either.

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I had similar issues with low to the water inflatable one man pontoons...but add in getting batted all over the place by the wind...

 

Bought it, tried it twice, sold it.

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17 hours ago, Ratherbfishing said:

 

 

If you are a fan of this type of fishing, I applaud you.  For me, unfortunately, it was not fun.  I wound up buying a Pelican and am much happier with it.

 

I have a Pelican sit-in Kayak and it is low to the water. I can't imagine fishing lower than that until I read your review.

 

Belly-boats look like fun but I imagine I would have all the same issues with them after my first trip as well.

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I had one for a while. I was fishing down a bank and heard a little noise on the shore that was probably 10' away. Looked up and saw a giant beaver had emerged from the hole it had dug into the bank. As soon as I saw it, it jumped in the water and went under headed right in my direction. Probably the only time in history a belly boat has ever been on plane. I was kicking for all I was worth to avoid a potential scuffle with the oversized rodent. I sold it shortly after that. 

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6 hours ago, Bluebasser86 said:

I had one for a while. I was fishing down a bank and heard a little noise on the shore that was probably 10' away. Looked up and saw a giant beaver had emerged from the hole it had dug into the bank. As soon as I saw it, it jumped in the water and went under headed right in my direction. Probably the only time in history a belly boat has ever been on plane. I was kicking for all I was worth to avoid a potential scuffle with the oversized rodent. I sold it shortly after that. 

Thanks for this!  Esp the belly boat on plane part!  I needed a good laugh this morning!  

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I know that my brother-in-law used one for a while to fly fish some small lakes and ponds for trout.  I never saw him use it, and I don't think he uses it any more, possibly for the same reasons - it's more hassle than it's worth.

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in florida a belly boat is what gators call lunch...........

 

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Thanks for sharing. I was actually looking at getting one for some remote strip pits around me. Now I’m thinking...maybe not!

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42 minutes ago, Tracker22 said:

Thanks for sharing. I was actually looking at getting one for some remote strip pits around me. Now I’m thinking...maybe not!

Don't let us discourage you, just be aware of the possible hassles and problems.

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I've had waaaaaay to many huge snapping turtles come and check out my kayak for me to consider fishing in one of those things lol. 

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12 hours ago, Further North said:

Don't let us discourage you, just be aware of the possible hassles and problems.

Exactly. 

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I used mine twice, it was just too d**n slow for me. Went to a pontoon with a trolling motor and that was fine for a while, then eventually to a pelican bass raider which has been great. Been considering a real boat now if I can help silence the practical money man inside of me. 

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I had a Browning float tube for about 5 years 95-2000 and used it to fish some of the big strip mines in Central Illinois.

 

Kayak fishing was unheard of back than and a canoe could not be kept in the back of your car. I caught my PB/LM in that float tube

 

I caught a lot of fish out of mine, but GOD are they a PIA to fish out of:

 

-Pain to get in and out of the water.

-You sit too low to make accurate casts into cover.

-They will eventually leak at one of the seams and they it will not be able to be fixed.

-The fins suck when you have to walk through a low spot.

 

I was in my late teens/early twenties. I was in college, I was poor because of college, but that rig put me on fish that were unfishable from the bank. I would fish out of one again, especially if it was back in those old strip mines.

 

When I got my Native kayak out fishing the first time. I was fishing the Causeway for speckle trout and my mind wandered back to that float tube and how much those times mean to me. 

 

Good luck, dont let us discourage you, but they present a challenging aspect to fishing.

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