The best fishing float tubes in 2020 are comfortable, portable, and easy-to-store alternatives to boats and other water body vessels. Of late, fishing float tubes have gained quite a lot of popularity among fishermen as the tubes have a lot of new features and storage platforms as well.
Fishing float tubes, or “belly boats,” are lightweight, affordable, and you won’t need a garage to store it. Deflated, they will fit into a small backpack or tote. Upon inflation of a float tube, you can simply strap in on your car, place in your truck seat, or strap it onto your back.
When considering float tubes, there are two common styles, round and U-shaped. Round tubes are donut-shaped with a seat. They’re easily maneuverable but sit low in the water. U-shaped tubes are larger and have a removable crossbar that makes getting in and out easier, and they float a bit higher than the donut. All float tubes have a listed weight capacity. If you’re a big guy or gal, get a boat that will comfortably (and safely) handle someone your size.
Keep in mind that float tubes are not high tech tools, but efficiently maneuvering one does require some practice. Buy a pair of flippers and practice before going on a long adventure. A small paddle or even a trolling motor is also a handy tool. We always tether a plastic sculling paddle to our tubes.
Lastly, be sure to pick your float tube fishing spots carefully. Ponds and small lakes are traditionally great belly boat waters. Certain areas, however, on large reservoirs can be effectively and safely fished from a tube. We like to look for coves and shorelines that are afforded some wind protection. Also, keep in mind that wind isn’t particularly a friend to fishing float tubers, but it can be used to your advantage.
Before choosing any floating tube model, one should thoroughly review important features like comfort, maneuverability, portability, and storage. We’ve taken all of these into consideration with our reviews.
Fishing Float Tube Comparison Chart
|No.||Float Tube||Dimensions||Storage||Weight Limit (LBS)||Rating|
|1.||Super Fat Cat||64″L x 45″W x 18″H||Above Average||300||[5.0/5.0]|
|2.||Cumberland||56″L x 44″W x 19″H||Above Average||350||[4.9/5.0]|
|3.||Togiak||55″L x 47″W x 19″H||Above Average||300||[4.8/5.0]|
|4.||Fish Cat 4||54″L x 44″W x 16″H||Above Average||250||[4.8/5.0]|
|5.||Fish Cat 5||64″L x 47″W x 19″H||Above Average||300||[4.8/5.0]|
|6.||GoPlus||54’’L x 42’’W x 21’’H||Above Average||350||[4.5/5.0]|
Best 6 Fishing Float Tubes for 2020
- The Cumberland is a backpackable float tube that includes adjustable shoulder straps for easy carrying.
- The hydrodynamic hull shape supports superior tracking and steering.
- The thickly padded seat and an adjustable backrest offer excellent comfort for long days on the water.
- Two fishing rod holders are integrated with the tube.
- Click here to view our detailed Cumberland float tube review.
- Backpackable float tube with adjustable shoulder straps for easy carrying
- Hydrodynamic hull shaped for superior tracking and steering
- Thickly padded seat and adjustable backrest; 2 fishing rod holders
- The Togiak features a strong 300 pound max capacity
- The high back stadium seat with adjustable backrest provides extra support and comfort for long days on the water.
- The roomy armrest with additional reel pockets, gear pockets, small mesh pockets, and flat zip pockets offers plenty of storage.
- Rear mesh storage platform and horizontal rod holder provides great flexibility.
- The lash tabs and D-rings are helpful for attaching gear and creel bags.
- Includes a safety flag pocket for additional security.
- Click here to view our detailed Togiak fishing float tube review.
- 300 pound max capacity
- High back stadium seat with adjustable backrest for extra support and comfort
- Roomy armrest storage with additional reel pockets, gear pockets, small mesh pockets and flat zip pockets
- The Fish Cat 4 Deluxe includes all the innovative features of the Fish Cat 4 LCS such as high seating and big cargo pockets but comes in a fully inflatable
- The inflatable seat and seat back provide greater comfort for long fishing days and allows the boat to deflate into a smaller, more portable size.
- The Fish Cat 4 Deluxe LCS is for you if you love to still water fish in lakes ponds and reservoirs.
- If you want your knees to be up out of the water, this is an excellent fishing float tube.
- If you consider yourself a recreational angler who gets out on the water between 1 25 days a year, you will love this tube.
- The Fish Cat 5 Max is designed for the big and tall anglers
- This fishing float tube is 20″ larger than the best selling FC4 above and has 2″ more of interior seat space for a more comfortable ride.
- Overall it’s 3″ wider and 10″ longer and the tube diameter is 5″ larger than the FC4 mentioned above.
- The Super Fat Cat has some of the best, top of the line features of any fishing float tube.
- The inflatable seat and backrest in the Super Fat Cat provide more comfort and compactibility than the Fat Cat mentioned above with the same above the water seating position for better visibility and casting distance.
- The adjustable-height stripping apron makes casting and landing fish easier.
- The Super Fat Cat LCS is for you if you love to still water fish in lakes ponds and reservoirs.
- The Super Fat Cat is a comfortable compactable stable float tube that is good in all conditions
- The Goplus Inflatable fishing float tube has high load-bearing and 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, and the firm bearing capacity of 350lbs will be suitable for all sizes.
- It’s made of entirely waterproof polyester fabric to ensure the safety of users and the long service life.
- The inflatable fishing boat comes with a pump that allows you to inflate the tank quickly.
- Each side of the float tube is designed with a storage bag, which can be used to place mobile phones, fishing bait, water cups, and other items.
- The inflatable fishing float tube has two adjustable shoulder straps that allow you to carry the boat to your destination. Also, there are two shoulder straps on either side of the seat to secure you in the chair and ensure that you do not fall off the seat.
- High Load-bearing & Great Buoyancy -- Our fishing boat has great buoyancy, allowing you to fish safely and smoothly in the...
- Completely Waterproof Polyester Fabric -- In order to ensure the safety of users and the long service life of fishing boats,...
- Easy to Inflate & Deflate -- The inflatable fishing boat comes with a pump that allows you to quickly inflate the tank. In...
Best Budget Friendly Fishing Float Tubes
If you are looking to get out on the water and don’t want to spend a lot of money, consider the following budget-friendly float tubes. They’ll give a great taste of what it like with these popular one-person belly boats.
Best Handheld Fish Finders
Handheld, portable fish finders are gaining popularity for shore, float tube, and inflatable pontoon fishing. They’ll detect and display water depth, approximate fish location, short & tall weeds, and sand & rocks on the bottom. In many cases, their portable design gives you another option to hang it around your neck.
Fishing float tube and kayak portable fish finders are appropriate for a variety of fishing environments. They can be used for offshore fishing, kayak fishing, ice fishing, lake fishing, sea fishing, and so on. They can be used on the moving vessel with speed below 5mph.
Quality Float Tube Fins
You’ll need float tube fins to maneuver in the water well. Check out these great options.
High-Rated Float Tube Oar Options
Look for rugged, lightweight oars to help you easily manuevar your float tube.
Popular Float Tube Accessories
These float tube accessories can come in handy while out in the water.
Excellent Low Cost Waders
Top Rated Inflatable Pontoons for Fishing
If you are looking for additional options for fishing, you may want to consider inflatable pontoon boats. The advantages of them are that they are more stable in rough waters, you’ll stay dryer, and you’ll have a better overhead look at fish below. The disadvantages are that they are more cumbersome to move around on dry land.
Top Considerations When Choosing a Fishing Float Tube
What are the fishing float tube design options?
The design of any float tube should help you track and steer well in the water. The shapes available are U-shaped, round-shaped, pontoon shaped, and teardrop-shaped.
- The round-shaped tube should be avoided as it is the hardest to maneuver in the water and many of them are also made of rubber material, which makes it hard to position oneself.
- In a U-shaped tube, you can easily hang your legs over when you’re ready to fish. They are easier to maneuver, but they can be uncomfortable to sit if no backrest is provided.
- Pontoon shaped tubes are a miniature version of pontoon boats. They have a lot of space to sit as they are cylindrical on sides, but they sometimes lack back support making it a little uncomfortable. A teardrop shape is a fusion form of U-shape and pontoon.
- After scanning the four models from Classic Accessories, for example, you can also compare them based on design. The Cumberland inflatable fishing float tube is a u-shaped one, beneficial for tracking water. The Togiak inflatable fishing float is also u-shaped and provides comfort, too, but cannot be deflated. The Teton float tube being uniquely shaped with the streamlined deck but doesn’t offer with padded backrest. Out of the four, only Bighorns, inflatable fishing float tube has a pontoon shape. Thus, having a lot of space to sit. Therefore if one has to choose among the four models based on design, Cumberland inflatable fishing float and the bighorn inflatable tube are highly recommended.
What float tube features keep you the most comfortable?
Comfort is one of the most important features to look upon when buying an inflatable fishing tube. If comfort is neglected, one can’t go fishing for long hours.
- If you suffer from a sore back, the buyer is advised to look for an adjustable backrest or a thick padding backrest. The material needs to be checked upon as to whether it can withhold the body weight or not.
- The Cumberland inflatable fishing float tube has thick padding backrest as well as adjustable shoulder straps providing maximum comfort. The Togiak has back straps, but seating is weirdly located, making it uncomfortable to use. The Bighorn one does not provide with adjustable straps nor thick padding. The Teton tube lacks padding but has adjustable straps, making the seating comfortable. Thus, looking at all the models comparing them on the basis of comfort, the models such as Cumberland and the Teton are recommended as a good buy.
How do you store a fishing float tube?
The fishing float bought needs to be stored well too. If a fishing float is inflatable and has a great difficulty to be stored, they are easily vulnerable to get holes too.
- These inflatable fishing floats come with a bag to even store the tube once it is used. The fishing float tube also has storage platforms, which makes it easier to store fishing gear and gadgets.
- The storage pockets are usually found near the armrest, behind the seat, or on the exterior fronts. The storage pocket should be placed ideally.
- Otherwise, they are not of any use if they become out of reach to the user. The Bighorn inflatable fishing float has D rings attached to it for external gear storage.
- The Cumberland inflatable fishing float tube has side pockets enough for storage, but some find it cumbersome too. The Teton fishing float tube has multiple pockets at the armrest, which serves significant utility. The Togiak has flat zippers as well as armrest pockets, making it the model having the most storage. Thus, comparing models based on the storage facility, the Teton and the Togiak is highly recommended.
How lightweight and portable is a float tube?
Most fishermen choose to buy lightweight easy to carry fishing float tubes. One has to focus on portability as the float has to be transferred to any distance to get to the water.
Weight plays a crucial part in the portability of a float tube. The heavier the float tube is, the more difficult it is to be transported. The only reason non-inflatable floats have less demand is due to its high weight to be transported anywhere.
To carry a fishing float tube, one has to check whether the tube has straps like a backpack or it has a bag in which the float is to be packed. There are bags that can be purchased if your float tube does not come with one.
Summary of the Best Fishing Float Tubes for 2020
By scanning all the products in this review, you’ll note the best fishing float tubes are manufactured by leading brands such as Classic Accessories and Outcast Boats. Both do a really great job with quality and customer service and obviously your Amazon Prime membership doesn’t hurt with regards to free shipping.
We believe the Cumberland and the Fish Cat are great choices for most fishermen. They have a perfect balance of being lightweight and having a high maximum carrying capacity. They also have super comfortable high seats that help tackle the waves with ease. Also, they have adjustable backrests, which lets one decide whether the fisher wants an armchair position or wants to lie down.
Fishing Float Tube FAQs
What is a fishing float tube?
As described by Wikipedia, a float tube, also known as a belly boat or kick boat, is a small, lightweight inflatable fishing craft that anglers use to fish from. They were originally doughnut-shaped boats with an underwater seat in the “hole”, but modern designs include a V-shape with pontoons on either side and the seat raised above the water allowing the legs of the angler to be the only part of the body to be submerged.
Float tubes are used for many aspects of fishing, such as flyfishing for trout or lure fishing for largemouth bass, and enable the angler to fish areas otherwise not fishable from the bank.
Float tubes are either “U”, “V”-shaped, or circular. A standard float tube consists of an inflated bladder inside a sewn cover providing the seat, reserve air compartments, and tackle storage pockets. Many float tube anglers customize their crafts with rod holders, lights, and electronic fish finders.
How do you maneuver a fishing float tube?
You need flippers to maneuver your fishing float tube. Flippers will make it possible to move quietly through the water.
Remember to stay close to shore. While float tubes are puncture-resistant, accidents can happen. Being out in the middle of the lake with a deflating tube can spell disaster for your gear and makes getting your catch to shore that much more difficult.
What are some float tube tips?
- Take the right tackle and rod.
- Plan your fishing spot because you’ll need to stay close to shore.
- Then don’t go far in the event you get a puncture.
- Remember your flippers and make sure they’re attached to your tube.
- Bring ping-pong paddles in case of emergency situations, should you need more propulsion.
- Take advantage of the wind on your return when energy levels are not as high.
- Don’t just cast, troll too.
- Bring a change of clothes for when you are done fishing.
- Protect your valuables in waterproof cases and make sure they are tied up.
- Make sure you are seen by wearing bright colors.
- Watch the time to make as it sometimes takes longer to get back to shore.
- Remember sunscreen.
- Bring plenty of water and snack foods.
Looking for more tips? Check out this book with more great float tube tips.
What should you bring on a float tube outing?
- Fishing rod
- Life jacket
Do you wear waders in a float tube?
Waders are not necessary when float tube fishing, but they should be an essential part of your gear. They do a great job of protecting you from hypothermia and will keep underwater bugs like leeches from bothering you. They’ll also help you avoid abrasions. You can find a good selection of waders here.