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Old 08-16-14, 08:41 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Dallas Ga
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Default What's up with float tubes?

I was told by a highly respected Chattahoochee fisherman and guide that I needed to get a float tube. I have done some research and have some questions that I am hoping that the experts on this site can help me with (of course without divulging any secrets).

First, whenever I look at float tubes online, they always show some guy fishing in a lake and they usually say for lake use only. Is that a CYA that they put out or are there special float tubes for rivers? I don't relish the thought of floating in deeper water a having a hole poked in the tube by a stick or a rock and suddenly be swimming (probably without my gear.)

Second, do you really have enough control over the tubes to fish when you are not touching the bottom? It seems like even the slow water moves too fast to fish. Do you use them to go from shallow water to shallow water and just use them as a mode of transportation in between. Also, do people really use the fins they show with them. It looks like it would be very difficult to wade in those things. It is also a concern about controlling the take out point and missing it by a bit and having to navigate the backyards of several multi million dollar homes (with varying degrees of canine and other security measures) to get back to my car.

Finally, I don't go to the Hooch a whole lot but I have really only seen float tubes a lot at Settles Bridge and in the DH section between Whitewater Creek and Paces. I hardly ever see them at Jones Bridge or Island Ford. Is there a reason for that other than possibly depth of water.

I would greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions.
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Old 08-16-14, 08:54 PM   #2
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I used to have a float tube and they are great for specific areas. It gets you to areas that you cannot bank fish. They are economical. Many folks use flippers to propel/controll them. I think a SOT yak would be more versatile. My 2 pesos.
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Old 08-16-14, 09:04 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Smyrna, GA
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Well I too wondered about float tubes and got great advice here. I probably have a couple of dozen floats under my belt and all on the Hooch. Most have been the short span between the steps and boat ramp at Jones Bridge.
I can tell you I only use it to get from one spot to another and NEVER use flippers in the river. A couple cheap dust pans theathered from each side of the tube are all I need to get from place to place and the take out. I bought a rod holder to make it easy to change flys and enjoy my lunch stream side without losing track of my rod.
As I'm still a beginner I'll defer to the experts who advised me so aptly.
I can tell you, you have to keep your wits about you but it's one of the most enjoyable fishing I've done. In spite of myself I'm even catching fish. While I do go alone to Jones Bridge it's more fun with a buddy and having that extra vehicle at the end!
Good luck. There's usually always someone to join you, especially we retired guys who have a week full of Saturdays.
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Old 08-16-14, 11:03 PM   #4
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Sit on top kayak is the way to go.......... and in my opinion get a better quality yak. But a cheaper starter kayak from craigslist with paddle and vest is ok to "get your feet wet" into kayaking.

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Old 08-17-14, 01:25 AM   #5
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Tubes are great to fish from especially with a buddy on new water. I have never used fins though. Once you are a few hundred yards north of your exit point you have to slowly start working your way towards the shore. I normally use mine during the winter months, even in shallow water to ensure I don't go completely under water if I lose my footing. Jones is shallow that's why you don't see a lot of them there. Bass pro has a white river brand for under $100. It gets the job done.
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Old 08-17-14, 08:25 AM   #6
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Float tubes are great for certain spots of water. Lots of folks use them. If you go to the dam, you will see a lot of guys at the top part of the dam fishing from them.

I have one that I still use from time to time for floats even though I have my boat. They take a little getting used to from a casting perspective and they can be dangerous if you flip in them at the wrong time too. It is best to bring a friend. If you want to try one out one weekend, I can lend you mine and let you try it out around the dam. Just let me know.

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Old 08-17-14, 09:01 AM   #7
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I just had a lengthy reply typed up and for some reason....lost it.

Wear a PFD whatever you decide. these:
The Drifter

The contents of this message might be totally inaccurate, misguided or otherwise perverse. If you are stupid enough to follow any of the tips listed here and mess up yourself or your equipment, I am absolved of all responsibility. The information contained herein is based on my personal experience and by no means constitutes the correct way to do it. Your mileage may vary.

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Old 08-17-14, 10:39 AM   #8
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I have floated from the dam to Settles in my ODC 420 many times. The benefits are numerous. Comfort, stability, hands free control while fishing using flippers, all of your gear is at your finger tips. A tube is naturally more easily transported.

A float tube allows you to fish perpendicular to the bank and take your time. A kayak stays in the current and fishes a lot faster and maneuverability requires that you pick up a paddle.

Negatives on float tubes are few (IMO). Slow water is slow as where with a yak you can easily power through. If you want to go back and fish a section again it would be easier in a yak.

Drag chains can be utilized with either one to control the speed of your drift.
Fishing Vicariously Through Others
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Old 08-17-14, 11:12 AM   #9
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Default Thanks

Thank all of you for the valuable inf. you may see me in the river in one soon (hopefully not spinning around in a circle)
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Old 08-17-14, 11:34 AM   #10
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Default Drifters links were sobering but

I assume this would be less likely to happen in a U shaped tube provided you kept your wits about you and were wearing a PFD. We used to (idiotically) float the Little River above Townsend Tennessee (the sinks) and the Tellico River in round tubes when I was in college. We would most always go back to campus battered and bruised and usually singing soprano
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