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float tube vs. pontoon

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float tube vs. pontoon
I know this might start a fire storm of comments but here it goes
I have been fishing with a Cumberland float tube for about 10 years now. It is easy to move in and out of the water which is good as I am 70 years damn old. I have purchased a pontoon boat from Cabelas but it is still in the box. What are the advantages and disadvantage of both and which is best to use at my age? I can take back the pontoon boat and get my money back however, I am not sure which is best to use at this point. Very confused however, it is very common at my age to second guess my dissensions.
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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
There is no law against having both. And there are some anglers who own boats, canoes, kayaks, float tubes AND pontoons. Each has its positives and negatives...based upon the angler's size, physical condition, preferred fishing methods, favorite waters, species, etc. So there is no clear cut one or the other.

The two quickest comparisons are size/weight and water size/distance. Tubes are great for fishing small waters or small areas of bigger waters. But toons will work well too. Toons are best for handling bigger waters, going longer distances and having optional means of propulsion...like oars and motors. You can go farther and faster in an oar propelled or motor driven pontoon than in a float tube powered only by fins.

I am in the process of doing an update and rewrite on my TUBIN' AND TOONIN' CD/book. Here is a chapter from the old version that is still applicable.

By the way, I have a few years on you and I still prefer a float tube. But I have added a motor in the last few years.

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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
rusty-hook wrote:
I know this might start a fire storm of comments but here it goes
I have been fishing with a Cumberland float tube for about 10 years now. It is easy to move in and out of the water which is good as I am 70 years damn old. I have purchased a pontoon boat from Cabelas but it is still in the box. What are the advantages and disadvantage of both and which is best to use at my age? I can take back the pontoon boat and get my money back however, I am not sure which is best to use at this point. Very confused however, it is very common at my age to second guess my dissensions.

TD wrote the book on this, and it is extremely helpful- consult his material first!

I am near 70 and have several of both kinds, here are some things important to me:

Which pontoon did you get, some are easier than others?

Pack in toons in particular, have many smaller parts which can be a hassle to assemble. Losing even one assembly pin in the sand or water can be a real pain.

IF you plan to collapse your tube or toon each time, toons will take much longer to assemble especially if done at both ends of the trip (less time fishing).

If you will be using without waders in Summer, toons are higher off the water, so you don't sit marinating your hind quarters from splashed water or waves.

I find a thick skin tube vs. toon to be better for rivers in my area, because of the many large boulders just below the surface that get caught on one tube or between the 2 tubes, especially when running shallow rapids. For me, powering upstream on a tube against current is more difficult, so I either use a bridle or portage up using backstraps- if I need to go upstream.

Hope this helps.

PM
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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
I have 1 pontoon which I enjoy and a few different float tubes which are each good for their intended purpose.


I do enjoy my pontoon when I need to cover more distance to get to a spot on a lake quickly and with less strain. My float tube will cover distances with more effort but I do have more control once I am in my fishing grounds.

I also have a boat and often carry my float tube on the boat so that I can fish better around areas of structure or small bays and harbors.

Each one has it's merits and like was aforementioned, there is nothing wrong with having both. You can easily decide how far or how quickly you want to travel on the water or just how quickly you would rather just get to some easy fishing spots. Fish On


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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
I have wrote no books, but have been tubing I bet pretty close to TD in time.
I have had them all and, NOT ALL are created equal.
Most Pontoons will require assembly and weight a major factor. But Many come with a wheel to help with this.
A TD stated, OAR power. I am betting I have grabbed an oar every time I have gone one. If nothing else, for Trolling. That stroke pattern can inspire bites with the stroke of the oar.
You will be mid calf in the water, so Hip waders are all that is required as far as wading gear. I always use a wader for water parasite reasons. Wink
Mounting a motor is you want will add to the trips to the water and the weight, but so worth it.

BUT, I get the Tube idea as well. Not quite 70 myself but not too far away either. I still like hiking in too.

I do own a 9lb 8' pontoon that has oars and I set well out of the water. They do cost more,......but worth it. The NFO Predator. No frame. Folds up small enough I can haul it on my Motorcycle.

Basically I am saying, not all are created equal, and there is a seat for every butt. BUT generally, the better features come at a cost. Just got to ask yourself how much you want them.



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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
I've owned both and as stated each has advantages and disadvantages.

Pontoon pluses vs Tube:
Higher capacity for bigger power systems and more stuff
Fishing farther out of the water, more comfortable in cold water times
Faster top speeds and greater range for same motor/battery combination

Pontoon minuses vs Tube:
Assembly/disassembly time
More susceptible to wind, harder to keep over the fishing spot
Heavier

I ended up selling my Pontoon. I usually fish pretty big lakes in my Tube (DC and Strawberry) but even those don't require a lot of moving between my launch point and desired fishing locations. Most the time I'm fishing right from my launch point.

I added a motor/battery to a larger tube to help with some longer runs and to troll -- copying much of that TD has done in that arena.

For me the assembly complexity and particularly the wind difficulties made the tube a better choice.

But I fish with mostly pontoon guys.

Give a man a fish and he's fed for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll spend his life squinting at invisible thread.
(This post was edited by MasterDaad on May 1, 2017, 7:29 PM)
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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
It's such a personal preference. For the last 4 or 5 years I have not used my float tube. My pontoon (Scadden Renegade) weighs only 28 pounds. I like to be able to cover more water rowing. It's very comfortable and is a good fishing platform. I couple of times I got hamstring cramps when fishing in the float tube. Not fun, especially when I had to kick a long way against the wind. I think I'll use my float tube a little this year, though...for short mountain hikes of 15 or 20 minutes.

I don't use a motor with my pontoon. I don't want the extra weight and hassle. And, I have a couple of small aluminum boats (9' and 12') that I use if I want motorized power.

I'm 70 years old, so we are in the same generation. Best of luck fishing! I'll be taking off next week for 7 days to the Eastern Sierras. I'll hike into lakes 3 or 4 of those days, and keep moving and fishing the shorelines. I'll use the Renegade on other drive-to lakes.
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Re: [rusty-hook] float tube vs. pontoon In reply to
You have probably either taken your pontoon back, or are using it by now, but I wanted to weigh in. I am a 61 year old women. I got my pontoon because I wanted a watercraft I could launch and retrieve it without help, motor around and explore & sight-see or row/paddle for some exercise.

I know many floaters and pontooners car-top or assemble on sight, but I have a simple flat bed trailer (craigslist $250) easy to float-on & float off from any boat ramp, and once I learned to back it up...super easy. I can push it around in the driveway by hand to garage or hook up. I also added a 7" pedestal and swivel for my seat which allowed me to mount the battery in the center under the seat for better trim and weight distribution. Also allows me to turn sideways to steer, which is comfortable and has 360 swivel which is great for photos

I named it Looney Toon. It has plenty of room for all my stuff ( mainly camera equip) everything stays dry, even me. I attached some pix below of my set-up and a great fishing spot on the Waccamaw river near Conway, SC I am in the process of making a front motor mount which I hope will improve comfort and help with tracking but what I am currently is OK.
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Good Luck!
Toongirl