New Kid on the Block - Float Tube Suggestions for the Bay

Discussion in 'Float Tubing' started by ThatOneGuy, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Been lurking on this forum for awhile and finally decided to join.

    After reading up as much as I can on recent posts (and some not so recent) I have decided to start exploring the bay after years of fly fishing streams and rivers in Idaho and more recently here in California.

    Looking for suggested brands of float tubes you all recommend or more specifically DO NOT recommend.

    As with all things fishing you get what you pay for but like most of us here (and during the craziness that is this current pandemic) I am trying to be mindful and make smart purchases with the small bit of extra funds I have set aside.

    I am currently looking at a Cumberland but if anyone is willing to point me in the right direction as far as what to look I would certainly appreciate it.

    Thoughts on other brands Togiak, Caddis, etc?
     
    #1 ThatOneGuy, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  2. cavedog619

    cavedog619 Well-Known Member

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    Paging Creek... :emoji_joy:

    I have Caddis Premium Plus. Took it out once a few weeks ago and had a blast. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer any of your questions since I’ve only recently started float tubing. I’m sure somebody will chime in.
     
    #2 cavedog619, Mar 18, 2020
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  3. Neuroshima

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    Cumberlands are good ( I like mine), but Fishcats are top of the line.
     
  4. Creek

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    I'm no more qualified than anyone else here.. I'm sure each of these guys agree that all of these options for equipment really come down to one or two things.. personal preference and cash on hand. The one thing I can tell you from experience is, I wasted a ton of money buying lesser value and cheaper gear at my own onset.

    Back when I wasn't sure if I was really going to enjoy it or not (like you I've always been a small stream Montana/East Sierra trout fisherman), I started off buying crap equipment. Big mistake. People always say "You get what you pay for." And they would be right. And I paid out a lot of money for garbage gear that now I can't even give away for free on 5th Ave. My loss.

    All that good money.. gone.. like I wasting it on fast food or something. Poof ! But that enormous waste is what I can tell you about - and help you avoid.

    Seems that Caddis and Outcast are the two primary float tubes that guys around here are touting and using. Each brand/manufacturer has their merits. And I can only speak to Outcast because I've never owned anything else, so here you go.

    When I chose my float tube, I wanted one thing - I demanded that my butt ride ABOVE the water. I didn't want to be sitting below the water line, so I researched tubes that offered that. Outcast touted their FishCat series of tubes of doing just that. So I asked a few guys that own them. Sure enough, they rode approximately 4-5 inches above the water line. Plus, Outcast boats reputation for warranty honor was first class.

    The float tube itself is made unbelievably well. Stitching is ridiculously strong. And what I really like about the model I bought (FishCat 4 Deluxe) was that it uses internal bladders that are seperate from the shell. In other words, if you end up with a hole to patch, you can remove the internal bladder that holds the air and fix it. Then after its dried and is confirmed to retain pressure, re-install the bladder and get back out on the water. Love it.

    The model I got (Deluxe) doesn't use foam inserts (like most float tubes) for the seat and backrest.. it uses inflatable bladders. So instead of having two chambers to fill, there are four. So for emergencies like some catastrophic event major blowout, you always have an additional three air chambers that are more than capable of getting you back to shore should you find yourself dog-paddling.

    In the end, I fell in love with saltwater fishing so much that I bought another one as a backup. Then I started buying exact duplicates of everything else I had that was top-notch so that I'd have it around for one, but also available to friends to use that didn't have gear.

    I can also speak as to the warranty provided by Outcast. A while back I had a fill valve blowout at the seam. All they asked me to do was tear up the outside shell into several pieces, take a pic of what was left, email it to them, and wait four days for my new one to arrive. Seriously? That's it? Yep. So I cut the tube apart, saved ALL of the components including all of the air chambers, and trashed the rest. Four days later and I have a new float tube in the box, and its still in that box as I dont need it yet.

    Hope all of that helped. Wait til you start getting into portable sonars, better reels, sinking lines, fins, flotation vests, etc and asking questions about it !!! Time of your life ! Mike
     
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  5. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Thanks Mike for the detailed response. You definitely solidified the argument to not go "cheap" on my first purchase even though I'm new to the float tube. I actually didnt think about the seating position a ton as I have waders but I am leaning towards your suggestion of making sure my backside stays dry.

    If any of you see a bearded 30's something guy struggling to catch fish on the fly in his new float tube in MB you'll know who it is haha
     
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  6. Creek

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    Pleasure sir. If you feel the need to have someone else along for the ride for any reason, drop me a private message and I'll be happy to send you my cell number so we can solidify the deal. None of the bays are necessarily fly fishing well right now. Low water temps, outside air temps, etc. Tons of reasons why that's happening. But will improve once we start having warmer weather. Mike
     
  7. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Thanks for the offer! I will definitely be sure to PM you once the fishing picks up and I get my bearings on the float tube life.

    In the meantime, going to take advantage of the slow fishing days to work on my casting especially since throwing a clouser minnow is a bit different than a #16 emerger Haha
     
  8. Creek

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    I agree.. if youre using a sink tip line, there really isnt much of a need to throw line at all - at least not like A River Runs Through It type throwing. Just wiggle-out several feet (depending on your water depth) of the heavy line and let it sink.. then start a slow kick backward and a short strip routine and you should be fine. The only time I ever throw line is when I'm close to a bait blast, or throwing toward rocks at a 90 degree angle while kicking.
     
  9. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Been shore fishing in waders so I look forward to taking the approach you suggest once I get in a tube.

    Thanks for the tip!
     
  10. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    One off topic question on the sink tip line, how much backing do you usually hold or find yourself using? Unfortunately my 8wt sealed reel only holds about 150yds of backing with 8wt line. Am I under gunned?
     
  11. Double Minor

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    ThatOneGuy , welcome to the forum. FWIW, if you are able, I would take two rods. Mission Bay has a lot of shallow areas where a floating line can also be very effective.
     
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  12. Creek

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    maybe its just bcuz I sukk so bad, but I rarely get into the backing for anything. So I'm throwing a 6wt fast rod with Scientific Anglers 200gr 27' sink tip line. I did not fill my reel with backing. If you pulled it all out I'm betting there would only be 75-100 yds at most on there. But thats just me.

    Since the majority of the bay areas we float tube are (usually) no deeper than 20-22' at most (and I'm usually trying to fish ledges and drop offs in the 12-15' range) I rarely have more than say 15' of sinking line out. Add the Fireline leader and then the length of fluorocarbon and I'm probably into the water with about 22' or so at most.
     
  13. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Thanks! I'll keep that in mind and will likely invest in a second rod for the salt. I currently have an 8wt rod, would you recommend getting a lighter/heavier rod as the secondary or is having a pair of similar weight rods OK especially if the goal is to have a sink/float set up easily accessible?
     
  14. ThatOneGuy

    ThatOneGuy Member

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    Thanks for the advice on that, just the information I needed. Still new to fishing the bay and saltwater, been searching the forum for advice but you just saved me some time (and money) as the bay is going to be my primary target. Appreciate the line tips!
     
  15. Creek

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    Not sure where to steer you.. but I know I'd ask Craig Smith. he's a local legend, and he chimes in routinely on these matters. I trust him, Rick Vorst and Richard Cullip (my mentor) 100%. Rick and Craig can be found at Strouds Fly Shop. Rick owns the joint and Craig helps him out on his days off.

    My own personal preference is to throw either a 5wt of 6wt. I have a couple of both. And I'm pretty sure if you took a poll, the overwhelming majority of guys fly fishing the bays are going to be using 5's or 6's. Some use 7's, but an 8 might be starting to over-gun it.

    I only know of a couple guys that take along one sink rod and one float rod. My mentor does that - but he only does it when he fishes J St Marina. The last several acres of saltwater down there is most often 4' deep or less - which means the water is warmer - which is good for their target, Bonefish.
     
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  16. Double Minor

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    I got a deal on a 6wt rod from Creek and it is a very similar set up to his mentioned above. I also bring along an 8wt rod with a WFF line. I fish the same 8wt setup for freshwater bass. With the 6wt, my leader is no more than 6' of 8 - 12 floro. With the 8wt, my leader is always over 8' of 8-12 floro. By no means am I an expert, just a jerk tossing out a line and waiting for a jerk on the other end.
     
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  17. Werfless

    Werfless The Coach ..RIP my friends
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    I guess I will chime in here, though float tubes, bay bass and fly fishing gear is miles away from what I do these days. Bay bass clump together in a loose school most times: if you catch one, work that EXACT area over thoroughly before moving... Focus on areas that contain a mix of eel grass and sand, preferably with a drop off, those areas tend to hold fish regardless of the time of year. In MB, the engine blocks used as buoy anchors can hold fish any time as well, I am not sure if this is also true for SDB, as I have far less experience there. I do know what I have heard spottie fishermen say over and over again: SD Bay for numbers, Mission Bay for size, and the reports I have read on here seem to back that up. Make sure you read both stickies at the top of the bay section, written by a guy who has caught a hell of a lot more of them than I have...
     
  18. Neuroshima

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    I used to use a 7wt in the bays, but I've downsized to a 5/6 wt. It makes pulling up 8" spotties a lot more fun. I have never seen my backing in the bays, only in the surf when I've hooked a shovel nose or ray (of when fishing for carp). With that said, you never know what will be on the end of your line. I use a sinking line, mostly because I haven't gotten around to putting sink tip on my extra spool.

    The 8wt, with a full sinking line, would be good for the surf. And if you get out to the kelp for calicos (though it might be a little undergunned). As Double Minor pointed out, using the 8 wt with floating line would work, especially if you're throwing big wind resistant surface flies.
     
  19. Creek

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    I really hope alot of the fly fishing guys jump in here and fill your ears with their experiences and info. Craig is a wealth of information - even for the more experienced players on here. I could sit and listen to him all day.

    Although you could realistically throw pretty much any weight rod up to an 8, you'll definitely want to start out with a sink-tip setup before worrying about the floating setup. 5/6 is safest and most versatile. And morons like me that like throwing a dual-fly system better than anything.. boy are we screwed up.. there's nothing like having two decent fish locked down on two different flies, pulling you and your float tube in two different directions.
     
  20. Double Minor

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    flyfishinsteve64 helped me out with a bunch of larger flies that my 5wt just could not cast effectively. The 8wt has no problem with the larger flies. I have gotten into my backing twice on the 6wt. Once on a Stingray and another time on a Angel Shark, thanks again to Kam_Walsh98 on the Angel. Creek is right about Strouds as well.
     
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