Best Fishing Float Tubes | Our Top 6 with Fins & Accessories (2022)

Last Update:
This post does contain affiliate links—we will be compensated if you buy after clicking on our links.
Best Fishing Float Tubes | Our Top 6 with Fins & Accessories (2022)

Fishing in a float tube is a fun and convenient way to fly fish, it also allows anglers to access waterways that are difficult to wade in and much larger bodies of water.

Float tubes offer several advantages over typical wade or boat fishing, which we will explore in this guide. We have gathered our top picks for float tubes based on quality, affordability, and customer reviews.

In this guide we’ll cover:Caddis Nevada Float Tube

  • Best float tubes (overall)
  • Best float tubes for the money
  • Best backpacking float tubes
  • Float tube accessories
    • Best float tube fins
  • Why use a float tube?
  • Things to look for when buying a float tube
  • How to inflate a float tube
  • Frequently asked questions about float tubes
  • And much more!

Let’s get started!


Best Fishing Float Tubes (Overall)

1. Cumberland Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

The Cumberland Inflatable float tube by Classic Accessories is our top choice for float tubes. This durable float tube is made from waterproof nylon composite with a PVC enforced bottom.

The convenient U shape of the tube allows for easy maneuvering and steering. The Cumberland is also great for dry fly anglers as the extra high seat allows for increased visibility.
Cumberland Float Tube

Specifications:
  • 56″L x 44″W x 19″H
  • 14 lbs. (inflated)
  • Max capacity 350 lbs.

View on Amazon →

The mesh stripping apron keeps your fly line organized and at the same time features a ruler for quick measuring of your fish. The float tube has tons of storage space behind the seat and compartments on the side of the tube.

The tube packs down nice with backpack straps to carry your tube into secluded waters.

View on Amazon →

Pros 
  • resistant bottom
  • Extra high seat
  • Plenty of storage
  • Stripping apron with ruler
  • Rod holder
  • 2 cup holders
Cons
  • Only 1 year warranty
  • Some people have noted the air bladders are not very durable

2. Togiak Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

Our other featured float tube in the best overall category goes to the Togiak by Classic Accessories. This is a step-down from the Cumberland, but still an excellent float tube at a slightly more reasonable price.

The Togiak is made from waterproof and durable nylon composite. This tube can be inflated in several minutes with a hand pump. Several pockets and extra room for additional gear ensures you’ll have all your equipment ready to go.

Specifications:
  • 55.25″L x 47″W x 19″H
  • 15 lbs.
  • Max Capacity 300 lbs.

View on Amazon →

The float tube packs down and is carriable through the use of attached backpack straps.

There is also a fishing apron with a fish ruler to keep your fly line organized and track your fish sizes. The seat has an extra high back rest for added support and cushioned for comfort. Be prepared to up your stillwater fishing game with this float tube.

View on Amazon →

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Easily carried with backpack straps
  • Arm rest gear compartments
  • Rear storage area
  • Stripping apron with fish ruler
Cons
  • Seat is not very balanced
  • Sits high in the water, making paddling difficult

3. Outcast Fish Cat 4 Inflatable Float Tube

Outcast has been a big name in float tubes and pontoon style rafts for a while. This Fish Cat 4 is an upgrade from some of their older models.

Just released in February of 2021, the Fish Cat 4 is making a name as one of the best float tubes currently on the market.

There are 2 vinyl air cells that inflate quickly and easily. The bottom is made from durable 1,000 denier PVC. 

Specifications:
  • 54″ x 44” x 12”
  • 16 lbs.
  • Max capacity 250 lbs.

View on Amazon →

The tube itself only weighs 16 lbs. but can still fit easily in a backpack and carried.

The Outcast Fish Cat 4 features easy to maneuver design, two armrests with large storage compartments. The seat sits higher and along with the backrest are both padded. It also comes equipped with an adjustable stripping apron.

View on Amazon →

Pros 
  • Extra High Seat
  • Comes with adjustable fly line apron
  • Large Armrest pockets
  • High seat for easy casting
Cons
  • Doesn’t feel stable on the water
  • Limited rear storage space
  • More expensive than other float tubes

Best Fishing Float Tubes For the Money

We have found two great float tubes that include some really great features but at a modest price.

1. Goplus Inflatable Float Tube

This is such an amazing float tube, and a price that is hard to beat. This float tube has a holding capacity of 350lbs! That’s the best buoyancy than any of our other float tubes. It is made from durable PVC with waterproof polyester fabric on the outside.

The Goplus float tube has a shoulder strap on the bottom of the tube so you can easily carry it when it’s inflated.

Specifications:
  • 53.5″L x 41.5″W x 21″H
  • 12.5 lbs.
  • Max Capacity 350 lbs.

View on Amazon →

The design of the tube is optimal for steering and maneuvering throughout the lake. It’s easy to stay comfortable in the Gopulus float tube with the slightly wider seat and cushioned backrest. Additionally, there is a seatbelt to ensure you stay safe when on the water.

There are two zippered armrest compartments and a very large mesh storage area behind the seat. The float tube also has side loop hooks and D-rings on the exterior for attaching a stringer or anchor.

View on Amazon →

Pros
  • Holds 350 lbs
  • Sits high in the water
  • Comes with pump
  • Very durable
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Some buyer’s have experienced poor customer service
  • Pump does not work well
  • Pushes rider forward in some instances

2. Caddis Nevada Float Tube

Caddis float tubes have been a staple among anglers over the years. The Nevada model is a perfect entry level float tube with some sophisticated features.

The tube itself is made from thick vinyl covered in a nylon composite. In addition, the exterior has fluorescent accents to help ensure you’re seen on the water in low light scenarios.

There are two large armrest compartments with a fly drying patch. The float tube also has a front rod holder, mesh stripping apron with fish ruler, and multiple D-rings scattered throughout for attaching additional gear.

The Caddis float tube also has a padded stabilizer bar in the front to minimize unwanted movement while fishing.

View on Amazon →

Caddis-float-feature

Specifications:
  • 46” x 20” x 42”
  • 10 lbs.
  • Max capacity 225 lbs.

View on Amazon →

Pros 
  • Fluorescent accents
  • Lightweight
  • Fly drying patch
  • Rod holder
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Hard to stay upright
  • Some reported issues holding air
  • Material is not as durable

Other Gear Related Articles

Woman casting


Best Backpacking Float Tube For Rishing

Float tubes can be excellent options for those small secluded lakes that don’t support boats or are too far to carry a canoe or kayak.

We wanted to highlight one float tube this is durable but lightweight to take on your next backwoods adventure.

1. Teton Inflatable Fishing Float Tube

If you’re looking for a high quality float tube to get you around the lake but won’t cost a fortune, the Teton is a great buy. Made by Classic Accessories, this durable little float tube is lightweight and perfect for those backcountry trips.

Like all the Classic Accessories float tubes, the Teton comes with a fishing apron and fish ruler. The air bladders are made from strong vinyl with a nylon covering.
Teton Float Tube

Specification:
  • 42.5″L x 40″W x 18.5″H
  • 8.5 lbs.
  • Max capacity 250 lbs.

View on Amazon →

There are several armrest pockets and a backrest storage compartment to hold all your equipment. The seat is built into the design of the tube but is sculpted and cushioned for comfort.

View on Amazon →

Pros 
  • Durable nylon composite material
  • Lightweight design
  • Easy Steering
  • 1 year warranty
Cons
  • Difficult to Maneuver if waves or current
  • Small seat
  • No quick air release, deflating takes a while

Fishing Float Tube Accessories

Float tubes come with plenty of features to keep you on the water and catching fish. However, there are a few other accessories we wanted to mention to increase convenience and efficiency—helping you catch more fish!

Float Tube Pumps

Some of our featured float tubes come with a small hand or foot pump, but it’s not a bad idea to have a backup just in case.

When purchasing a pump, it’s worth noting to make sure the nozzle of the pump will fit the different size holes of the tube.

Classic Accessories Hand Pump

  • Simple but durable hand pump
  • Lightweight and efficient
  • Multiple nozzle sizes
  • Affordable

View on Amazon →


Classic Accessories Hand Pump

Best Float Tube Fins

Fins are definitely one of the most important accessories when fishing from a float tube. Fins allow you to move around the water with ease, but also helps stabilize you in windy or wavy conditions.

Float tube fins are designed slightly differently from snorkel or scuba fins, and usually consist of straps as opposed to an opening to slip you foot into. This is ideal in that you can adjust the tightness for added comfort.

Here’s two pairs of float tube fins we feel are great options.

Outcast Power Kick Fins

  • Designed specifically for seated position
  • V-shaped for efficient movement
  • Fits men sizes 5-13
  • Step-in flippers with durable strap

View on Amazon →


Outcast Power Kick Fins

Classic Accessories Step-In Float Tube Fins

  • Designed specifically for float tubes
  • Solid rubber material
  • Increased maneuverability and power
  • Comfortable one size fits all

View on Amazon →


Classic Accessories Float Tube Fins

Rod Holder

A rod holder is definitely not necessary, but it can make things a little easier while on the water. There are several different rod holder options that include straps to wrap around the side of the tube.

Brocraft Float Tube Rod Holder

  • Fits both fly and spin/baitcasting rods
  • 47″ straps securely wrap around side of the tube
  • Completely adjustable

View on Amazon →


Brocraft Float Tube Rod Holder

Float Tube Bag

Here’s another item that will help add convenience to your fishing trips. Having a bag to carry your float tube can be helpful, but also having a place to contain your wet float tube on the way home ensures the rest of your gear and vehicle stays dry.

Outcast Float Tube Bag

  • Mesh sides for efficient drying
  • Duffle style handle
  • Large enough for float tube, fins, and pump

View on Amazon →


Outcast Float Tube Bag

Float Tube Anchor

Having an anchor especially on windy days can be a huge help. It gives your legs a break, and makes sure you stay in one place.

If you’re planning on using an anchor make sure it is small enough to fit into your tube and the possibility of puncture is low. We recommend a folding anchor to save space.

Gradient Fitness Folding Marine Anchor

  • Fully collapsible
  • Expands to 12 inches
  • Rust resistant
  • Comes with 25′ rope with steel snap hook

View on Amazon →


Gradient Fitness Marine Anchor

Why a Float Tube For Fishing?

In all fishing experiences one needs to be able to find fish or at least be in a location where fish will be. Having a float tube lets you get close to the fish especially in places that are not accessible by wading or shore fishing.

Float tubes are also more convenient in a number of ways compared to a fishing kayak, boat or other watercraft. The small profile and minimal height off of the water helps anglers sneak up on fish and minimizes the chances of spooking them from a high profile watercraft.

Float tubes are also very portable and when deflated will pack down small enough to fit inside a large backpack. Furthermore, their small size allows for fun adventures in smaller alpine lakes where a raft or drift boat are impossible to reach.

Trout water icon

What To Look For In a Float Tube

We’ve outlined a few of the most important features when deciding on what float tube is best for you.

Comfort

Comfort is everything. You’ll be sitting in a float tube suspended halfway in the water for several hours, making sure you’re comfortable is key. A few different features that will add to comfort is the seat and backrest. Having a cushioned backrest and seat could make or break your day on the water.

Size is another component that will add to comfort. It’s important to have a float tube large enough hold you but also spacious so you’re able to maneuver and cast easily. Having a float tube that feels cramped may impact your ability to steer, cast, and essentially catch fish.

Trout-on-the-fly

Safety

I feel like this one goes without saying but thought we’d still mention it. Safety is key in whatever fishing modality you’re using, but especially in a float tube. Make sure you feel comfortable and secure in your seat.

If the tube has a waist or groin strap make sure to use it. If it doesn’t have a strap it’s not a bad idea to create your own, falling into a lake or river fully clothed with waders on is a lot harder to swim and float than it seems (speaking from personal experience).

Organization

Staying organized when you’re in a stationary position is very important. In a float tube you’ll have limited access and movability to be scrounging around looking for a particular item.

Most float tubes have armrest pockets with some additional storage behind the seat or in the backrest itself. You may also want to attach an anchor or secure other gear to your float tube and having numerous D rings and other hooks will make this much easier.

In addition, having a stripping apron is imperative for fly anglers. All of our products we’ve reviewed have this feature and for good reason. The stripping apron keeps your fly line in one place and not tangled up in your lap, waders or around the float tube.

Portability

Float tubes come in a variety of sizes. The lightest ones are around 8 lbs. with 15-16 lbs. on the heavier end. Depending on your needs, finding the right size float tube will make a difference.

If you’re looking for something to access backcountry lakes or ponds, a lighter tube is essential. You may also want a float tube that is easy to carry with backstraps or handles. As mentioned above, float tube bags are an option to help carry your float tube further distances.

Catch Fish Icon

How To Inflate a Fishing Float Tube

There are a number of ways to inflate your float tube. Foot and air pumps are the best option as they take a little more muscle but are the most convenient way of inflating. Another option is to use an electronic pump.

Cumberland Float Tube

I will sometimes use a portable electric tire pump that connects to my car’s power source. This is a quick and easy way to fill up your float tube.

Lastly, If you have the lung power, manually inflating the tube is an option. However this may take a long time, and depending on the nozzles of the tube, it may not be feasible.

catching trout on fly icon

Frequently Asked Questions about float tubes

Q. Do I need waders to use a float tube?

A. Float tubes generally require the use of chest waders to help stay dry and warm. It is possible to, “wet float” with shorts or a swimsuit in warmer waters although, having waders will increase your comfort.

If interested, check out our article on Best Fly Fishing Waders.

Q. Do I need a life jacket to use a float tube?

A. Safety is obviously number one! If you are out on a body of water with some wind or current it may be helpful to have a lifejacket. Certain areas may require by law the use of lifejackets, so check your local regulations.

Q. How much can a float tube hold?

A. Float tubes can hold a range of sizes and weights, ranging from 200 lbs. to 350lbs. Finding a float tube that will comfortably hold you is extremely important.

Q. Do I need flippers to use a float tube?

A. Not necessarily. You could do ok without flippers but will not move as fast or as effortlessly. If you have the option of using flippers, do so.

Conclusion

We hope this article has helped in your search for the best float tube for your fishing adventures. As always please leave a comment with what you liked or thought we could improve on.

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for our free email newsletter to be informed of new articles and other promotional offers.

Additional:

Photo of author
AUTHOR
Chuck started fishing as a small child, and switched to a fly rod as a teenager. He developed his skills on the numerous rivers and streams on the northshore of Lake Superior. He later moved out west and spent a decade fishing the wild and rugged rivers of New Mexico, Colorado and Montana. He currently lives in MN stalking trout in the driftless region of MN and Wisconsin.

Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00