When it comes to float tubes, you’ll want to make sure you have the right tackle on hand. Because you won’t really be able to take a whole lot with you, nor will you be have the ample storage capacity a bass boat affords. For this reason, it pays to organize your tackle beforehand. Taking two fly boxes that you can fit easily into the float tube’s storage pockets is smart. Load them with flies matched to the species you’re targeting and the water you’ll be fishing so that you can fish a wide variety of situations. Also, keep in mind that longer fly rods (in the nine foot range) tend to be better for casting in float tubes.

With a float tube, you’ll need to alter your strategies a bit. It’s smart to plan your fishing spot ahead of time. Remember, in a float tube you’re not going to cover a lot of water in an outing, so try to put in as close to the water you want to cover as you can, and fish every spot thoroughly before moving on. When you do put in, try not to go too far from shore. You don’t want to be at the mercy of the wind, current, or your own strength in the case of an emergency. It’s also a great idea to use the wind to your advantage. It will help when your legs need a break. In fact, if you find yourself caught in a breeze or current due to the wind, it can also be effective to troll as you move along. Lastly, keep an eye on the clock. If you only have a limited amount of time, or if night is approaching, give yourself a few hours to get back to shore.

There are a few other pieces of gear you should keep nearby, as well. Obviously, you’ll need flippers to propel you through the water, but don’t forget kicker keepers either, which keep your flippers attached to your ankles should they slip off. Also, I’ve found that packing ping pong paddles to be a great idea. They don’t take up much room and work wonders in emergencies when I need more power. It’s been my experience that, any time you plan on being on the water, be prepared to get wet, especially in a float tube. If you’re not up to that, then stay on shore. For this reason, I like to keep a change of clothes in my car. Other helpful items include waterproof cases for your wallet or phone, brightly colored clothing if your tube isn’t colorful, sunscreen, and food and water to stay hydrated and keep your strength up.

Float tubes are a great way for anglers to explore more of a lake without having to spend a lot on an actual boat. Float tubes aren’t going to allow you to speed from spot to spot in minutes, but they’ll do the job on smaller lakes or rivers. The tips outlined today will help you fish from a float tube effectively, so keep them in mind if you find yourself paddling through the water anytime soon. 

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