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How to avoid over inflating a tube

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How to avoid over inflating a tube
So I'm embarrassed to admit this but I just had to buy my second replacement air bladder for my float tube. Generally what can I do to be more careful? I bought an air pressure gauge so hopefully that helps, but today I was at a reservoir, with the air temp in the 70's, with the water being cooler. I took it out and inflated it, as it seemed to be deflating a bit. When I filled it up it seemed firm, but I heard that dreaded hissing sound. Any advice would be appreciated!
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Re: [happybob91] How to avoid over inflating a tube In reply to
That is tough one. I have had bladderless for a long time but do remember this experience.
I would travel with a soft tube to my destination , then put it in the cold water while i got waders on.
Then pump it up to firm. Usually worked. Of course I would deflate when leaving too.




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Re: [flygoddess] How to avoid over inflating a tube In reply to
When you say a soft tube do you mean partially inflated? Also is it a tube or toon you have that's bladderless? I like the sound of that.
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Re: [happybob91] How to avoid over inflating a tube In reply to
Most overinflation problems (damaged air bladders) happen because of transporting your fully aired up tube in a hot car...or out in the hot sun. But you can also suffer some damage by bringing your craft in to shore and leaving it pulled up out of the water when the sun is beating down. Only a few minutes and your ride can swell to dangerous pressure.

As already suggested, you should always lower the air pressure while getting to the water...with your craft either inside a closed vehicle or exposed in a truck bed or trailer. Ditto for the ride home after fishing.

When you get to the water, air your craft up to a good firmness...no pressure gauge really needed. Then position it partly in the water while you finish prepping to launch. Then check the firmness again before you head out. Early on cool mornings you will often have to put in some more air to firm it back up.

Unless it gets really hot and bright later, you shouldn't have to worry about adjusting the air pressure while you are fishing. The difference would be if it got much warmer with hot overhead sun. That can harden up your ride big time. When I lived and fished in Arizona I sometimes had to touch the valve lightly by late morning to reduce pressure slightly. And as soon as I hit the shore coming back in I bled off more air while the tube was waiting for packing up and leaving.

You can have just the opposite problem if launching late in the afternoon for some evening fishing. Make sure your craft is hard-full at launch. Then watch it for sagging as the sun drops and temperatures cool. This is a good time to carry a small portable air pump in case you need to add some air later.

Many of the little 12 volt air pumps will not put in more than about 3 PSI...so no problem. In fact, a lot of us who use them use a hand pump to harden them up a bit. But you should not need a pressure guage. Firm covers will keep you afloat without damage. Just don't let them overinflate in the heat.

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Re: [happybob91] How to avoid over inflating a tube In reply to
Yes under inflated. I have tube and toons and several other inflatables that are all bladderless. Tube Dude has one as well.
They are pricier, but very durable. Lighter, less problem specially with zippers and sand. Not as effected by temp or altitude change.
But for now, TD has given a very good write up on how to get several years out of your tube.




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Re: [happybob91] How to avoid over inflating a tube In reply to
happybob91 wrote:
So I'm embarrassed to admit this but I just had to buy my second replacement air bladder for my float tube. Generally what can I do to be more careful? I bought an air pressure gauge so hopefully that helps, but today I was at a reservoir, with the air temp in the 70's, with the water being cooler. I took it out and inflated it, as it seemed to be deflating a bit. When I filled it up it seemed firm, but I heard that dreaded hissing sound. Any advice would be appreciated!

Very good information given above, just a few adds.
It is difficult for an inexperienced person to tell the proper inflation, so myself would get an accurate guage if I could't get help from an experienced tuber. I haven't had luck with the airhead dial type guages made under different names as far as accuracy. A low pressure pencil volley ball guage works better, but I adapted it myself with latex tubing.
You can also do a feel test at the hardest part of the tube away from the points which works with a little practice. Generally your knuckle should go in about 1/4" maximum at the hardest part of the tube.
One advantage of the bladder type tubes is that they can be topped by mouth tube (no pump needed) to the correct maximum pressure, which is about 2 PSI for the normal person. A bladderless tube usually requires higher pressures and the use of a pump. The mouth tube can just be the hose section from a manual pump. I was able to rig my older ODC 420L tube so it can be inflated while under way in the water, since all the critical nipples are within easy reach.
Hope this helps.

PM