Best Fishing Float Tubes
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, we will look at an effective method getting out on the water without dealing 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 3 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
- 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
- Not as durable
- Seat can be easily damaged around the edges
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.
- 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
- More prone to small punctures on the top half
- Carrying straps are a little far apart for smaller individuals
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.
- Rugged and durable
- Easy and smooth performance
- Ample storage
- Popular across the country
- Weight capacity not great for cost
- No rod holders
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 knwon 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.