How to Customize a Float Tube

How to Customize a Float Tube
Float tubes provide fly fishing anglers a lightweight, portable means of getting off the shore and out into the water. By adding an electronic fishing finder, float tubes transform into a modern fishing machine that provides anglers valuable information to consistently catch fish. Read on for more details about customizing your float tube.


Difficulty: Moderate

Adding a Fish Finder

Things You’ll Need:
  • Float tube Humminbird Fishin' Buddy sonar Float tube buddy
  • Float tube
  • Humminbird Fishin' Buddy sonar
  • Float tube buddy
Step 1
The Humminbird Fishin' Buddy sonar is a portable fish finder that runs on six AA batteries. There are four models to choose from, the main difference being a higher screen resolution. Since most float tube anglers need basic depth readings along with surface water temperature, the Model 110 for $119.99 is a bargain. This fish finder comes with a C-clamp that needs to be mounted to the float tube for an accurate reading.
Step 2
Begin by adjusting the C-clamp so the opening of the clamp faces down. Twist the knob on the C-clamp far enough so the clamp can fit over the stabilizing bar. Tighten the knob so the clamp holds the fish finder firmly in place. Once you are in the water, you can adjust the height of the fish finder so you can easily read the screen.
Step 3
If your tube does not have a stabilizing bar or a firm surface, Cabela's offers a Float Tube Buddy. This useful accessory has adjustable straps that go around the float tube with a holster that the Fishin' Buddy slides into. Be sure to adjust the holster so the Fishin' Buddy's transducer is pointing straight down for the most accurate reading.

Rod Holders Come in Handy

Step 1
Since boats come with rod holders, why not add one to a float tube? These handy devices keep your rod and reel safe while your hands are free to deal with a freshly landed fish. Cabela's offers a rod holder made by Scotty that is uniquely designed for float tubes.
Step 2
The Scotty rod holder can be mounted anywhere on the float tube thanks to a pair of straps that go around the tube and cinch tight. Be sure to place the rod holder within reach when sitting in the tube; it may be a good idea to go out in the back yard and set up the tube to get the layout correct before hitting the water.
Step 3
Once you have the rod holder in place, always be sure to use the safety strap that comes attached to the rod holder. This strap goes around your rod and reel and keeps it secure in case you happen to bump into the rod while unhooking a trophy fish.

Anchors Aweigh!

Step 1
Once you find the hot spot in your float tube, having an anchor helps keep you there. Scotty developed a great product called the Anchor Lock, which mounts to the float tube in a similar manner as the rod holder.
Step 2
The Anchor Lock has a pair of straps that go around the float tube to keep it securely in place. As the with the rod holder, place the Anchor Lock within arm's reach so you can easily grasp the anchor line when needed.
Step 3
The Anchor Lock is quite simple to use. There are a set of "teeth" molded where the rope comes through and these teeth hold the line tight when the anchor is down. To retrieve the anchor, simply pull on the line to free it from the teeth.

Tips & Warnings

When mounting accessories, make sure to place these items on the side of the float tube so you will have plenty of room in front of you to cast and land fish.
Always wear a Personal Floatation Device (PFD) when using a float tube. Since anglers use sharp hooks there is the likelihood of accidentally poking a hole in the tube, causing it to deflate; a PFD will keep you safe in case of emergency.


Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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