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Float Tube Fins

Discussion in 'Float tubing' started by Nashinator, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Just got my first float tube and I need fins. I've scoured the forum but still have some basic questions:

    1. I will be wearing stockingfoot waders. I already have wading boots but don't know if I will need them. Do the fins go directly over the neoprene stocking foot or over wading boots? And if over the stocking foot, should I be wearing an additional "dive sock"?

    2. Many recommend expensive Force Fins. How do you determine sizing? Do you just order online based off their sizing chart? Is there a shop in SD that carries the fins?

    3. Force Fins come in a bungee and nylon heel strap style. What would be best?

    4. Are there any knockoff fins out there that offer great performance at a discount? I don't want to skimp but $200+ makes me cringe

    5. Do fins attach securely or should I be tethering them?

    Much appreciated!
     
  2. CraigSmith

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    You should have some type of boot or bootie over your wader feet to protect the feet. Otherwise the fins and fin strap will chafe the foot and cause it to wear out faster.

    There used to be several float tube booties on the market. These were neoprene booties lighter than standard wading shoes. Unfortunately these are no longer on the market. I asked the owner of one of the companies that made them why they were discontinued. He said they did not sell well enough. Cabelas still sells a lightweight neoprene wading shoe I think. Its the closest I found. It has a felt sole so it is a bit more bulky than the old float tube booties, but it is still less bulky than a wading boot. You can also look for divers booties that are big enough to fit over your wader feet. There are some neoprene socks out there that you can put over your wader feet too.

    I have been using force fins since 1997. I have an original non adjustable pair (the strap only adjusts - this is called the "Original Force Fin") and a pair that is adjustable (now called the "Float Tube Force Fin") to different boot or bootie sizes. I have had that adjustable pair for 10 years and keep the original pair I bought in 1997 as a loaner. With the cost spread out over 10-20 years the lifetime cost of the fins is pretty low though the initial outlay might be considered steep by some. I have tried many other pairs of fins both before and after I started using Force Fins and for me the Force Fines are better than anything else. Their design puts less stress on my knees and ankles. They work well for maneuvering tubes and pontoons and work well for speed. Some fins, like longer diver's fins, may be better for some when kicking long distances.

    With the standard Force Fin that cannot be adjusted for boot or bootie size you need to get a fairly large sized fin. I wear a size 8 street shoe. With wader feet and then some float tube booties the XL Force Fin is just barely large enough.

    I believe the nylon strap is better (more durable) than the bungee, which is used on their lightweight models. But I haven't actually used the bungee type. The fins listed on the Force Fin website in the Fishing category only have the nylon strap.

    The Float Tube Force Fin has neutral buoyancy so it will not sink if it comes off. My original adjustable Force Fin sinks like a rock. So does my Original Force Fin. So I use tethers. You can but the official Force Fin tethers but I made my own with some web straps and buckles from REI.
     
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  3. kobra

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    You should wear something over the stocking foot waders to protect them from punctures. I wear the cheap velcro tennis shoes from wally world and slide them into my fins. But i have the adjustable ones wit the bungee strap. Dive boots should work just fine.
    There used to be a dive shop in Oceanside that carried force fins. Try a pair on over your dive boots to see what size you need. Every once in a while you see them used for sale fairly cheap. Might try ebay as well as Craigs list. I seriously recomend the leashes. I got mine from bass pro shop a long time ago and they were about 6 or 7 bucks.
     
  4. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your replies. Very helpful.
     
  5. fisheromen

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  6. diegofish

    diegofish Well-Known Member

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    I have a pair I can give you if you like. Look up my post about fins. I used these fins for 2 years and still work great.
     
  7. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Really @diegofish!? I don't have a Mustang but maybe I can trade something.

    Went through Amazon to order 2.5mm neoprene dive booties in size 13-14 to wear over my wader stocking feet. Hope they fit - I'm 12 street shoe, 13 wading boot. Think your fins will work?
     
  8. diegofish

    diegofish Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't matter if you don't have a Mustang. lol
    They might. They're lrg if that helps
     
  9. mikecheck1212

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    I've never used forcefins...I'm sure they're great but the price tag kills me..I use the ones that go around my shoes...I don't use wading boots...too expensive and heavy...I use regular shoes I don't wear anymore..
     
  10. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Got some $50 Cressi dive fins on Amazon. The reviews from divers were great, I just hope they work ok in the tube. They're longer than I expected.

    74246[/ATTACH]'] EFAE2477-BB91-4FCE-BDD7-2433AC831DAB.jpg

    Got these dive booties to go over the stocking feet. They're fairly thin, I hope they at least hold up for my first outing.

    74248[/ATTACH]'] B0A5468C-7A49-41F9-8A33-C22DF19C9544.jpg

    Installed the castmate system today. Still tinkering with it. The holders are cranked down but still seem wobbly. I'll probably attach tethers to the rods until I'm more confident they're secure.
    74250[/ATTACH]'] E4CF08B4-3422-4F08-B01A-38ACBE98E2DA.jpg

    On the Castmate, the rear strap passthrough doesn't seem right but it was the only way to attach. Does anyone know how the back strap is supposed to fit on a Super Fat Cat tube? I passed the strap through the drain hole but it'll surely tear over time. Is anyone using their Castmate with only the front strap and velcro D-loop connectors?

    74252[/ATTACH]'] 3DB22AE4-4402-41C5-BE80-45BC3DC57E6A.jpg
     

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  11. chris cox

    chris cox Well-Known Member

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    Cool fins, I would see if you can upgrade the straps, yours look pretty cheesy. I use spring straps and they are the money...easy on/off while in the water. Also the booties aren't the best choice, diving boots are what you want so you can just walk from your car to the water and back. Go to a local dive shop to get fitted though, I underestimated what size boot and spring strap I would need and the fit could be better.

    IMG_20170428_154141.jpg

    IMG_20170428_153640.jpg
     
  12. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! Will take your advice. That strap looks awesome. And the booties are more what I expected mine would be like when I placed the Amazon order. I'll have to get some like yours.
     
  13. weldon

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    I have had Force Fins (both regular and now adjustable) for years and find they are the only way to go when float tubing. Dive fins operate on a ripple effect for transferring power to water to make forward movement possible as in a back/forth (repeat) motion. However your body is fairly straight when moving. When sitting in a float tube Force Fins give water movement on the up stroke (strong stroke) with the quads doing the effort. On the downward stroke (weak stroke) the fin folds up and offers less water resistance. This action greatly reduces any muscle cramping, puts less stress on the Achilles and is alot less tiring on a long slogh or against a current.. Back in the day when I was a SCUBA diver I used very long Cressi free diving fins which have a double ripple effect then most normal fins and you can really move but they are way too long for any other use except open water diving . FF are just short enough to move around in circles if need be and with upturned tips make short walking efforts alot less dangerous without stubbing the fin tip and taking a header. Also FF are made of quality material and have alot more "snap" at the end of the stroke where any fin, regardless of design, made of cheap material will not have the necessary "snap" which facilitates movement of water. I use stocking foot waders and Glacier Glove 2 mm neoprene booties that have an adjustable velcro ankle wrap instead of zippers and a semi-hard sole that wears better and is more slip resistant. Lets me walk to the entry point from my vehicle while carrying my tube/gear and are easy on/off both with the waders and with my FF.
     
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  14. BruceSmith

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    I used dive fins for years, they work well, take a little getting use to when spinning around, but they are fast. Since then I have gone to Hot Spot fins. They are really nice and they float!

    One thing about the booties. Like Chris Cox posted I like dive booties that he pictured. The best way of going about buying the right size is to literally take your waders into a dive shop such as Sport Chalet or I think Dick's, and try on different pairs until you get the right fit, really it's the only way to go.
     
  15. toolbox

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    Like Bruce said bring in the waders, booties in when you buy the fins and make sure they fit just right and definitely not too tight! Here's a pair of cheap but perfect mares diving booties that I have used for several years. I have talked several people into trying them and they all Love them. You can survive 14.5 hours on the water with a leak but not with fins and booties that do not fit right. Good luck! Screenshot_20170507-165912.png
     
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  16. chris cox

    chris cox Well-Known Member

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    When I first got outfitted I went to house of scuba here in San Diego. Literally a wall of booties and fins to choose from, selection is unparalleled. They did look at me a little weird when I came in with waders though...the guy behind the counter even said that was a first. My thought was if I want diving fins go to where the divers go. It worked out well.
     
  17. Nashinator

    Nashinator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again fellas. I should have updated the thread, but earlier in the week just before my outing at Barrett, I found a set of adjustable Force Fins on Craigslist. I also ordered a pair of dive boots on Amazon. I returned the other items I had purchased.

    I really like the setup. Had no issues at all.

    3165252C-01D0-408A-8C6C-31DF04CB11F2.jpg

    AD611535-9F76-435A-9609-4AB41CBF36EB.jpg
     
    #17 Nashinator, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  18. fisheromen

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    Those fins will will last your whole fishing career! Crazy tough!
     
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