When it comes to fishing, there are so many methods and styles on the market. We understand that many people like float fishing because it is a relaxing option, and you can be directly in the water. If you want to try this style, you’ll need the right gear.
Of course, the equipment can include the rod, tippets, and all the rest. However, you’ll also need the best fishing float tube, so we are going to review five products.
Also, we will include a helpful FAQ and buyer’s guide section to give you more information. Then, you’ll find out which product was the winner and why.
Best Fishing Float Tube Reviews
1. Classic Accessories Bighorn Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
The Classic Accessories brand has been around since 1983. It all started in a small Seattle, WA, basement. Jacob Engelstein was the founder and started out making automotive accessories, including steering wheel covers, seatbelt pads, and the like.
The company has expanded its horizons to include many other products. You’ll find that it produces high-quality items geared toward outside activities and living. That includes fishing, golf, grilling, and relationship.
This manufacturer primarily sells its products on third-party websites. You can find them in some retail stores in the northwest and on its company site, as well.
The Bighorn float tube has surpassed many other brands and models because it gives you the comfort and space you need to enjoy yourself on the lake.
This product features a broader construction than most others. This can make the craft bulkier, but this also translates to a more comfortable seat and orientation, which accommodates tall and wide anglers.
If you think about it in terms of living room furniture, this product is like a sofa while the others are recliners. Of course, that’s not all to like about the product.
- Storage and Organization
You’ll also find that there is plenty of storage, some of which are versatile and innovative. Most of the storage focuses on the armrests on both sides. Each one has five different zippered pockets.
Of course, there is also a larger zipper pocket on the headrest. You can fill it with more gear or padding to make it even more comfortable for longer fishing trips.
It doesn’t end there for storage, either. You’ve got seemingly endless ways to organize your items with the mesh pockets on the outside.
Also, there are D-rings built right in, so you can attach things to the main raft. Take your creel bags with you so that you don’t have to return to the shore to get what you need.
- Safety and Visibility
This model features a mute orange body, making it visible on the water. The rear is made to be bright orange, so passing craft can easily identify you. There is also a main stripping apron that includes a quick-release catch if the craft upturns.
What We Like
We were quite impressed with the largeness of the float tube. Even if you’re an average person, you’ll find that the extra room just automatically makes you feel more comfortable.
What We Don’t Like
While the spaciousness of the seating is one of the perks, it is also the caveat. Since it is so big and made for larger people, average or slim people might slide around. Using the restraint system is important, but you may still feel like you’re falling.
- Enhanced safety
- Max capacity of up to 300 pounds
- Several storage options
- Side-mount D-rings for more attachments
- Some sliding possible across the seat
- Doesn’t come with backpack straps
2. Outcast Sporting Gear Fishcat 4-LCS
The Outcast brand has been around for a while. The company believes that the best fishing excursions start when you have the right gear. With that said, it carries a variety of products to meet those needs.
Options include float tubes, pontoons, rafts, and frameless products. This way, you can get everything you need from one place. When it comes to float tubes, you’ll find that this company makes sure that everything is made using the finest materials.
Though you can find this product at some local fishing shops, it primarily focuses on online sales. Shop on the company website or top-rated third-party sites for your convenience.
You’ll find that the Fishcat 4-LCS is a highly popular float tube within the USA. In fact, it has recently been named the best-selling product on the market.
- Comfort and Durability
Immediately, you’ll find that the tube is designed for performance and is highly durable. It features a vinyl AIREcell material and a fabric denier with a weight of 500 PVC. Plus, this tube is 12 inches in diameter; the standard size means you’ll know how to use it.
Performance is key here, and this one does well in almost any condition. The comfortable seats will make you sit higher. Plus, the hydrodynamic design ensures that you don’t expend much effort while still being able to get where you want to go quickly.
- Weight Capacity
The weight capacity for this tube is 250 pounds. We have reviewed some that have higher weight amounts, but this is quite significant. Not everyone will need that, but some people are going to and won’t be able to use this product.
You should also understand that the weight limit includes all of your gear. Therefore, if you weigh 250 pounds, you can’t safely bring anything with you. Plus, some people just like having the peace of mind that they can take what they want without weighing it all beforehand.
What We Like
We were impressed by the rugged appearance of the float tube. It features a dark color scheme with black and brown with a touch of gray, as well.
What We Don’t Like
The one caveat we had was the lack of organization and storage. There are some storage options, such as zippered pockets. Unfortunately, there weren’t any rod holders, so you’d have to leave them onshore and go back when you wanted a different size or style.
- Durable and rugged
- Many storage options
- Smooth and easy performance
- No rod holders
- Weight capacity not as high as other brands
3. Outcast Sporting Gear Fat Cat LCS
Outcast Sporting Gear has been in the business for 13 years and is still going strong. This comes down to the fact that it continues to produce innovative designs that are of the highest quality. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it is a small company based out of Idaho.
You know you’re getting the best products when the company cares about its employees. With all that said, you’ll find many products available, including pontoon boats and float tubes.
While you may be able to find products in some sporting goods stores, the company is primarily focusing on selling online. This keeps overhead costs low, which is passed down to the customer. Third-party sites are the best way to shop in most cases.
The Fat Cat LCS is for fishers who want to be on the water for hours and aren’t messing around.
- Durability and Comfort
You can easily see that it is rugged and ready for action. Of course, the “fat” part of the name is also indicative of its strength and durability.
They call it fat because it is 45 inches wide, 64 inches long, and 13 inches high. You’ll also find that it’s quite easy to carry wherever you’re going. Plus, these float tubes only weigh 18 pounds.
You’ll be impressed with the foam backrest and seat. It will help you stay comfortable while you’re sitting and fishing all day long. Of course, it’s designed for serious anglers who spend over 25 days on the water each year.
- Storage and Capacity
Where storage is concerned, you’ll find that there are plenty of D-rings available. This allows you to attach things like soft coolers or waterproof items. There is also a small pocket and multiple zippered pockets on the armrests.
If that weren’t enough, you’ve also got plenty of space behind the seat, where you can store a backpack or cooler. That way, you can take all of your gear with you.
- Maximum Weight Capacity
The load capacity for the float tube is 300 pounds. This is quite impressive because it means that you and all of your gear will fit and float while on the tube. Keep in mind, though, that the weight limit includes your weight and that of your supplies.
What We Like
Though there are many things to like about this product, we were impressed by the sheer size of it. While it doesn’t look like much in pictures, you’ll feel comfortable and cozy without feeling restricted or claustrophobic.
What We Don’t Like
Overall, we weren’t impressed with the product after it was deflated. It’s quite heavy at 18 pounds, but there’s no strap for transport. Though you can put it in a duffel bag, it would be easier if it had its own transportation.
- Quick to inflate
- Comfortable seat
- Pockets for organization and storage
- No carrying strap
- Mesh table obtrusive at times
- Hard to install foam
4. Outcast Fish Cat 4 Deluxe Float Tube
One of the reasons the Outcast brand has been featured so much here is that the products are solidly constructed and do what they claim to do. If you enjoy fishing and want to be on the water to do it, this brand is likely going to have what you need.
Its focus is still on innovation and development of new designs, but it also offers on accessories and other options other than float tubes. Therefore, you may be able to use the same brand for many of your needs.
The goal here is to be affordable and practical. Primarily, the owners know that you won’t take a chance on the product if it doesn’t do what you need it to do. Of course, you can find the products on third-party websites and the company site, as well.
With this product, you’ll be able to move faster on the water and stay warm. This means you can spend more time doing what you love and cover more area.
If you’re looking for something that sits above the water and features the modern U-shape design, this is the product for you.
- Ease of Use
Of course, it is an inflatable float tube, which means you can easily transport it to the site and inflate it within minutes. Then, you just deflate it and take it back home. It’s highly portable.
Those anglers who like to spend as much time on the water are going to enjoy this tube. It’s designed specifically for people who are on the water 25 days or more each year.
Though not included, you can also get the optional anchor system separately. That way, you don’t have to tire your legs out to stay in place.
What We Like
We were impressed that it only weighed 16 pounds, but it had a load capacity of 250 pounds. That means you are likely to have everything you need with you and won’t get tired getting it to the water.
What We Don’t Like
Though the idea was there, we weren’t happy with the mesh table. Yes, you can set things on it for getting things ready, but it seems to get in the way when you’re casting. However, it might be ideal for resting while you’re waiting for the fish to bite.
- Plenty of storage options
- Sit higher on the water
- Well-formed and sturdy inflatable seat
- Many accessories to go along with it
- An odd tray setup; seems to get in the way
- Could have a few more pockets and D-rings
5. Sea Eagle PF7K PackFish Inflatable Fishing Package
Sea Eagle has been around for over 50 years, so you know that it is a popular brand. Its innovation and continued development have made the name synonymous with high-quality.
You’ll find these products in many shops, but it does a lot of its selling online. Third-party websites tend to have great deals and free shipping.
This product is a pontoon-style float tube because it has raised and air-inflated sides all around it. Therefore, you may not need waders at all.
- Ease of Storage
You’ll find that this craft does need oars or paddles to move around because it is completely enclosed. However, you do get the right tools for the job and a holster to store it. Oar locks are on both sides, making it easy to keep them close to you.
If storage space is what you crave, you’ll be impressed. It’s over 4 feet long and 13 inches wide. Plus, you’ll get four zipper pockets, two side compartments, and plenty of space in front of the seat.
What We Like
We were impressed with the overall space included here. Nonetheless, you still have to ensure that you don’t go over the 300-pound weight limit.
What We Don’t Like
Though the oars are included and you do have to use them, they aren’t the best quality. Thus, you may need to buy a replacement or be at the mercy of the water current.
- A lot of space for legroom and extra gear
- Internal air bladders for durability
- No need for waders
- Side-mounted oar ports
- Oars required for maneuvering
- Low-quality oars; will need to be replaced
When it comes to buying the best fish float tube, it can be hard to manage. There are many products on the market, and they range in shape, size, and portability. As such, we created this helpful buyer’s guide to help you choose wisely.
Fishing float tubes used to look just like inner tubes. They featured a backrest and a donut-shaped material. On the other hand, newer models have three styles: teardrop, U-shaped, and pontoon.
U-shaped versions have a U- or V-shape for the main body. It faces outward like an operator seat. They’re easy to get into and often contain a seat back or raised backrest.
The teardrop style is a hybrid between pontoon and U-shaped versions. They usually keep the U-shape, but the back is separate from the chair. This means you can operate them more efficiently.
Pontoon-shaped tubes look like mini boats. They tend to have two inflatable, cylindrical pontoons, one on each side. Plus, they feature more space, but they might be harder to maneuver.
You’re going to be sitting in this float tube for most of your fishing day, so it should be as comfortable as possible. When you sit in it, it should mold to your body.
It’s also essential to think about the backrest. You should choose one that is padded and adjustable. This allows you to raise or lower it, depending on your needs and the type of fishing you’re doing.
Also, the seat height is a concern. You want it to be easy to get in and out of, but you also want it to sit high enough. This allows you to cast and sit comfortably while fishing.
The float tube needs to give you enough storage capacity. Most of these tubes have a mesh platform at the rear to sit a small cooler or backpack. Sometimes, they also have D-loops so that you can attach more gear as needed.
Pockets might also be included. This allows you to keep everything with you and organized. You just have to remember in which pocket you put certain things to get to them quickly.
You’ll want to focus primarily on portability when choosing a fishing float tube. When you set out in the morning, it will be deflated. This makes it easier to transport.
With that, you should consider how easy it is to inflate. You can find electronic inflating devices that make the process faster. Then, when you’re done for the day, deflate it once more and put it in the car.
1. What Is Float Tube Fishing?
Float tube fishing is where the fisher sits in a float tube, also called a kick or belly boat. It’s a lightweight, small, and inflatable fishing craft that anglers fish from. In the past, they were donut-shaped, but modern ones feature a V-shape and have pontoons on the sides with a raised seat.
You will sit in the craft with your legs submerged in the water. You may or may not have fins or paddles to help you move. Then, you will sit and fish with your gear behind you while holding your rod.
2. Are Float Tubes Safe?
Yes, float tubes are relatively safe, but there can be some risk. For one, you must be careful that you do not puncture the craft.
You do need to be careful while using the float tube. Anything sharp could be problematic. This includes fingernails, beverage containers, and more.
Make sure that you know the weight capacity, which includes you and your gear. Never go above that number, or else the device could sink with you in it. Also, make sure that the product is made using high-quality and sturdy materials.
Though it may not be required where you’re fishing, wearing a floatation device is essential. If you’re in deep water and experience a puncture, you can swim or float to safety.
3. Do You Need Waders for a Float Tube?
No, waders are not necessary to wear with a float tube. That being said, they should still be part of this style of fishing. For one, they will protect you from getting too cold.
Plus, you never know what is in the water. You don’t want to risk leeches and other creepy crawlies from getting onto or into your skin. Also, they will protect your legs from cuts, scratches, and bruising.
It’s best to focus on neoprene materials. There are many thicknesses available, and some are even insulated. Most people choose stocking foot chest waders.
4. Do You Need Float Tube Fins?
In a sense, yes, but it also depends on the water conditions. The goal of the foot fins is to get you where you want to be and keep you somewhat in place. Your legs and feet are going to work constantly while you’re fishing in the float tube.
Unless you are focused more on relaxation, you are going to want to stay close to your preferred fishing spot. Those who want to relax more than fish may not mind floating downstream or whichever way the current flows.
Even if you are in still water, you will need the fins to move you to the right place to fish. Then, you may not require the fins. They will also keep your feet warm and dry while on the water.
Though there were things to like about all of the products, we feel that the best fishing float tube is the Outcast Sporting Gear Fat Cat LCS. We loved the colors, spacing, and storage compartments.
Of course, we were also impressed that it held up to 300 pounds. The one caveat was that the mesh table sat a little too high. Nonetheless, this is a great product.