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fishing smallies on rivers out of float tubes

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hey i got a float tube last christmas and only used it once. i wanted to fish out of it next year on a river and was just curiosly if anyone else uses one and if anyone has any tips for me on fishing out of them

thanks

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Does the river have a strong current?  If so, take care so the current doesn't sweep you down at a dangerous rate.  Also, if you do go downriver, you'll need to ensure you'll be able to make it back upriver.  A lot of rivers have steep bluffs and not all of them have trails to follow.  Unless you can kick at a superhuman rate, you probably won't be able to use the float tube to navigate back upriver.  These are really safety issues but without safety hundreds (or even thousands) of fish won't seem worth it.  Also, watch out for them german u-boats. ;)

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I float-tube all the time on lakes and ponds, but never on a river.  If there's a very gentle current, I don't see a problem.

Basically, you just need to use it to get the hang of it.  It took me a couple of trips before I really got used to fishing out of it, but when you do get the hang of it, there are many big advantages to float-tubing...

Basically, there's no secret to using one, and it's not rocket science.  Just take it out a few times and you'll feel comfortable in no time.

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there are spots on the river that has pretty fast current but i know of some spots that  has barely any at all, that is where i was going to go. i was wondering if you can sightfish out of them? it seems to me that you sit low in them.

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Depends on your tube - some you sit really low while others have you pretty high above the water.  It sounds like you'd be much better off with a pontoon if you want to sight fish.

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/index/index-display.jsp?id=cat360011&navAction=jump&navCount=1&cmCat=MainCatcat20431&parentType=category&parentId=cat20431

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I agree with Tokyo Tony.  Sight fishing is difficult when one is sitting low on the water.  I don't think a regular float tube would be the ideal choice for sight fishing.    But then again, if you are careful and quiet, you might be able to get closer to the fish without them seeing you too.  In other words, if you can't see the fish, they might not be able to see you.

Oh, if you're going to be out in a tube, make sure your tube has plenty of pockets or you wear a fishing vest.  You don't want to get a long distance out and discover you've left the ideal bait choice 800 yards away on the bank (or in your vehicle).  Keep a diverse assortment of baits on hand.  And don't forget a pair of needlenose pliars or hemostats to release all those fish you are going to catch! :)

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Thanks for the information Tokyo_Tony. I've been eyeing those pontoon rigs for small ponds and backwaters. Just never thought the price range between them would have been that great! It appears you can spend as much as an 8' jon boat, which to me seems like maybe a better option? And how do you go about choosing one? It seems that every option you put on one (from the linked chart) kicks the price several hundred bucks more! I've got to re-think this whole pontoon thing.

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Yeah the prices on those are a little disturbing when you get to the high-end ones.  I don't have a pontoon, but I'd LOVE one of those that I could stand up on (with that stability bar thing).  However, I'm not gonna pay 1500 bucks for it.  I'd rather buy a freakin' boat.  I do absolutely love my float tube though - and those are pretty cheap.  My trout Kennebec thing was about $150, and I've gotten a lot of use out of it.  Nothin like catching smallies from a float tube out in the middle of the woods.

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The seat comes off and you can mount a riser and swivel and a walmart seat

Tips for tubing

1) where a personnel flotation device -  if you get a leak the tube will pull you down with it around your face.

2) anchor and line - cabelas sells one cheap http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item.jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat21276-cat20449&id=0023257317482a&navCount=1&podId=0023257&parentId=cat20449&masterpathid=&navAction=push&catalogCode=IH&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat20449&hasJS=true

s7_317482_imageset_01?$main-Large$

3) fins - cheap on amazon 25 bucks goes over your boots

4) if your going to change altitude never have your tube full - it will pop

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Definitely good advice Mayassa. However, I think a float tube anchor is not necessary at all. I bought one when I got the tube and used it once. There's really no need for it since your feet are in the water with flippers on. You can control exactly where you are with the twitch of a foot, and after you get used to it, you can pretty much do it subconsciously.

Although now that I think of it, I guess the anchor would be handy on a really windy day, IF you plan on fishing into the wind. That's the only application I can think of because if the wind is at your back it's easy to stay positioned.

EDIT: I realized you were talking about pontooning - then an anchor is definitely a good idea.  But for float tubing, not necessary.

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No you were right I was talking about tubing and I figured you can use the anchor from always having to kick to stay on station.

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Actually kicking to stay in position really takes no effort unless you're trying to fish against the wind (it's almost impossible to kick forwards in a float tube).  It's moreso just kind of twitching your toes or subtle movements.  On the other hand, kicking across a lake/pond can get really tiring.  When I first started, I would kick out to my spot wayyyy to fast, get cramps, and be all sweaty and out of breath.  Then I learned to take it easy.  8-)

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yea  i also bought a small one sided oar to tie onto the float tube and help me get around   thanks for all the tips   im goin to look into buyin a pontoon   as soon as i can afford it  but intil then a float tube will be good enough

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I can tube in a river the current is always pulling at you.

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I have fished my share of days on a tube in the main Umpqua river, in Oregon for the smallies.  Tis very fun, i fished the pools mainly.  My only advice would be to know the river you plan on fishing.  Drive up and down it's banks (if possible) know where the current is and were it would take you upon a mishap and always let someone know where you will be.  For the money you would put into a pontoon, you may want to look at kayaks, would be a used kayak most likely.

I have one opinion to ad to the pontoons compared to the tubes.  Isn't it true, the higher you sit out of the water the faster you will travel?  Meaning it would take less current and wind to move you downstream compared to a tube?

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It would take less wind, more current to move a pontoon.  Think about the part of your body/tube/pontoon that would be exposed to the current/wind

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