Looks like the wife and I are in need of float tubes for our next fishing trip. We'll be fishing for trout on a lake, but of course I'd see plenty of other future uses for them as well. What are some things to know for first time tube buyers and users? I've done a bit of reading so far but would like any input and experiences you folks have. We'll probably buy used off eBay (or forums?) for budget reasons.
I have used tubes from home made truck tires to my current urothane tubed Wood River U-boat. My observations are that the U-boat style is WAY easier to kick into a wind. You can get a new Caddis truck tube style cheap. For very occasional use it would work fine. If you are going to use it more than a couple of times per year get a U-boat. Dive fins won't cut it. Get a pair of fins designed for float tubing. Fin tethers are your best friend if your fins don't float, ask me how I know....
I have a pair of fins and tethers I have never used. I also haven't used my Wood River tube for 6 years. If I can find it, and you are interested, I could hook you up. IM me if you would like more info.
As I have never fished from tube I can't give any advice, but have you thought about a sit on top kayak? I fish out of one all the time and it is great. I have been in several different models and the cheap ones will serve you well. You can cover alot of water and even go upstream in some pretty swift currents.
Kayak would be nice but too bulky for the car. We're going for maximum portability, and it looks like the float tube wins bigtime.
A quick looking around Craigslist got me a nice Browning tube for a mere $35!