Float Tubes Rock

February 15, 2011

Bighorn Float Tube in Red

The Sofa of Float Tubes

Float tubes have come a long way. When I was a kid we’d take a large truck tire inner tube, wrap some webbing around it if we were feeling productive and call it good. These days, float tubes are basically floating easy chairs with all kinds of pockets, fishing tools like stripping aprons and rod holders and compartmentalized bladders for extra safety. Most are made of tough 420 denier and up polyester with at least 3 mm of thickness for the bladder material. While more complicated, they are certainly more comfortable. A friend of mine has pulled his out as an extra chair at gatherings many times.

Modern float tubes typically offer at least 300 lbs of weight capacity, though keep in mind that as you approach that weight, of course, more of you is going to be sitting in the water. Most will be able to keep your rear out of the water, however. Float tubes are ideal for fishing in small lakes, ponds and slow-moving rivers. They are extremely portable and most weigh under 15 lbs, a significant weight advantage over their brawnier cousins, personal pontoon boats, which can weigh as much as 70 lbs or more.

It is one of the best times of year to purchase a float tube as well, as most manufacturers have discontinued older models and are looking to move them out the door in time for March, when float tube season starts to heat up. I have a Bighorn float tube on special right now at $98.02, including shipping, which is quite a break from their original retail around $180. If you can see yourself in a float tube, now is a good time to make it happen.

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