Not all float tubes are created equal. Three main types of belly boats exist on the market: the original round design, the U-tube design and the pontoon design. The original round float tubes consist of a truck tire inner-tube sheathed in nylon cloth with pockets. They work in a pinch, but are a poor choice for stream fishing. Their design makes it difficult for you to get out of the boat in shallow water. Round float tubes can also flip over in current and pin you upside down.
The U-boat, which is open in the front and forms a semicircle around the angler, is a better choice. These are more expensive than the round design, but are safer to use. They are lightweight and easy to carry to the stream.
The pontoon design, however, is the best choice for floating streams. The pontoon style employs two pontoons that feature a spreader bar in front of the angler, and a backrest for more comfort on longer floats. A pontoon design is easy to get in and out of, especially in shallow water. You can prop their legs over the spreader bar and float through shallow shoals. Some anglers drill a hole in the end of a small wooden oar, run a piece of rope through it and tie a carabineer to the end of the rope. They next attach the carabineer to the D-rings on a belly boat so that they can maneuver in current without having to worry about losing the oar. Other anglers wear flippers on their feet to control their belly boats on streams, but a pair of wading boots or plain work boots do best in flowing water. The thick soles of these boots protect your feet from impacting rocks. Flippers make exiting the boat difficult on slick rocks in current or in shallow water.
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Last edited by jeffcpr on Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total