I've only fished out of two tubes, the first time, a buddy loaned me his, an older style "U" hull float tube. It was ok, it worked, and I caught fish. I decided right there to get one, and I asked the same question you did. V-hull everyone said. I bought a Fishcat4 and unless I'm fishing with the family, you can find me roaming the lake in that. I love it. In my opinion It is faster and more maneuverable than the donut style, u-hull, and the pontoon style.
Wow, I just checked the Cabela's site, they seem to have raised their prices. 195 for the FC4, and 265 for the FC4 Deluxe. The cheaper models that can be found at both Cabela's and Bass Pro shop all have their place in the float tube world, and in all reality, if it floats, you are good to go. Find the one that is right for your wallet, get good fins, and find a comfortable personal flotation device. Check your state regs on what all you need to have with you.
First I like the layout of their site probably because I am used to one similar. I keep getting lost here, but it is worth it.
They did show some pictures of TU float boats or pontoon boats, but the boats produced by www.dryflyfloatboats.com are much more superior in my humble opinion. I don't know about costs, but I have at least 500 days logged on my boats and I have fished with guys who own many others.
I usually load my boat or boats on a little utility trailer, but In 5 minutes I can deflate the pontoons and load it in my car. It does take about 20 minutes to put it together. That can seem like a long time when you know the fish are biting. lol
My boat weighs less than 60 lbs so when I get to shore, I simply stand up grip the frame and walk to my car. Usually I have a lot of stuff, so it takes me a couple of trips.
I like the two many boat with 12 ft pontoons the diameter of the 10 ft pontoons. With Dave you can get what you want. It will carry two people and lots of gear. I used tubes for year, but these little boats are much more comfortable after a days fishing.
My first choice in float tubes is Outcast Fish Cat #4. I have 3 ,2 for the grandsons
Second choice would be Outcast Fat Cat I have one of these also, but I like the #4 much better.
My first tube was a Fish Cat #4 . I used it so much and so long it was practicly bleached white. I finally gifted it to a small bodied 8 yr old and he still has it. Mike
Thanks Gentlemen - this is very good feedback. I was leaning towards a Fatcat 4 myself - but those pontoons are also interesting - especially the versions that allow one to literally stand up and cast from a platform allowing one to flycast a little easier off the water.
Anyone have any experience with the standup platform versions?
Tom, since dry fly fishing is my favorite way to catch fish I have had a little experience fishing from a float boat. The guy who builds them almost exclusively fly fishes. He has designed a platform on the single boats and also for the two man complete with yokes and a very good stripping basket.
Since most of my fishing is done in rivers, I don't use the yoke as all I have to do is stand up on the bottom and cast as if I were wading. The stripping basket would come in handy when I have to make long casts but I use a simple little apron to store the line and it works pretty good.
If you exclusively fly fish, Dave has some other options you might be interested in as well. Give him a call and he can tell you more. I have recommended his boats to many of my fishing friends and so far no one has been disappointed in them. People often ask me if I have any financial interest in recommending these boats and the answer is "no". I only recommend them because they are extremely well designed for comfort and fishing.
A good friend gave me a Caddis belly tube. I used for for 3 seasons and I was hooked! Then last year I went out and bought a Water Skeeter. It has a v-hull design, lots of storage, you sit up high out of the water, and has 3 air blatters. Now on windy days, the fact that I sit up out of the water, makes me float faster than what I like. Also the fact that it has 3 bladders means it does take a little longer to prep. But it is so much fun. Someday I want to try a kayak.
Kenny, I must have a couple of hundred lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers within 20 minutes of me. On the other hand they are mostly small so by volume you may have more water than me. Guys in WI and MN may have even more. Anyway I live in Lake County. Then again in 25 minutes I can be fishing Lake Michigan, 3.5 hours to Lake Huron and about 5 hours from Lake Superior and Lake Erie. Too much water and to little time! ha ha ha