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Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water
I have been considering the Caddis Nevada Gold Float Tube. What do you think? I will only be using it, maybe 25 days a year for 4-5 hours at a time. Mainly in the Appalachian mts NC, Tenn etc.
I prefer to keep the price below $160.00 shipped.
Chuck
(This post was edited by 5282jt on Jul 18, 2006, 5:58 PM)
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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
There is no tube made for fast water. Actually you can use any tube for fast water. Just be sure to leave a will that's up to date.
Seriously- fast water use a kickboat, kayak, raft, driftboat. Leave the tube for stillwater. I feel like $160 is pretty low value for your life. I'm sure there are others out there that have put in (a river)with a tube and have been ok but moving waters should be left for the bigger craft IMHO.












I'm with stupid.
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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
Chuck,

CoolWelcome to the forum. You'll get a lot of good advice here - just for the asking.

EA's comments for moving water are spot on.

You'll probably get a lot of opinions on tubes - sometimes based more on what people own themselves than much on the water comparison. I'll give you my opinion - that's all it is.

I've owned two Caddis donuts, one Caddis Nav IV, a FishCat 4, an ODC 420 and a Super Fat Cat. I've liked them in that order (least to greatest) with the SFC the best I've had, in my opinion. There are a lot of tubes I haven't tried. The closest I've done to the Caddis Nevada Gold is the Caddis Nav IV. It was a fine tube but in retrospect, I prefer not to have my torso in the water. The low slung seat was a frustration to me and the Nevada Gold looks like it has the same seat. It was colder in the winter and plowed a lot ofwater when trying to move. I compensated some by placing a square foam boat cushion on the seat, which helped a little, but it tended to slip out from under me. Going to the FC4 and then the ODC 420 brought me out of the water and onto a foam seat, which makes moving through the water a lot easier. My legs get wet only from the knees down. Also sits you higher in the water, which makes spotting fish and casting easier. The pointed bow is also a plus, as is the storage space behind the seat of the FC4, ODC 420, and SFC. The Caddis might do a little better in the wind, as hanging your torso beneath the water would tend resist being blown around a bit more than the pointed craft.

If I had $160 to spend on one of the tubes mentioned above, I'd get either the FC4 ($139) or the ODC 420 ($149). If shipping is necessary that would be extra. Of the two I like the ODC 420 best.

I've used a tube on moving water only a few times (my first experience was on moving water). I have no desire to tube anywhere but on stillwater. Our Northwest rivers are big and wild. You need a river-worthy craft. Perhaps you live around some placid streams, in which case I'll keep still since I don't have that opportunity.

That's my contribution to your research. Listen to what others say, too.

zonker
Visit my fishing blog at:

http://zonkersfishingblog.blogspot.com

(This post was edited by zonker on Jul 18, 2006, 7:53 PM)
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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
Hey 5282jt,

What exactly do you mean by 'fast water' ?

Personally, I would not recommend a float tube for moving water of almost any kind - due to the nature of the tube itself and my own experience on moving water.

If it's moving water you want to fish on, like EvilAsh and Zonker both mentioned - look into getting a pontoon kick boat(nice used ones can be had within your price range). Also, do yourself a favor and get a PFD.

As far a a general recommendation of float tubes(for stillwater), I have a Fish Cat 4 and can say that it has been a great ride for the past 3 or so years.

I have no experience with the Caddis, so I'm no help there.
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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
CoolYou have already been given some good advice. Float tubes are for still water. Don't put a float tube on a creek or river unless it is slow and deep. There should also be no obstructions...above or below the surface.

Being a thrillseeker is okay, right up until you find yourself in a situation that can cause damage to you or your craft...or loss of your equipment or your life. And, on moving water, things can happen fast and you can find yourself in big trouble before you know what is happening.

Depending on the type of water you are thinking about floating, even pontoons might not be a good plan for you. Make sure you know every foot of the flow very well before you launch, and be sure to become very familiar with your craft, your own abilities and limitations before you go.

Also, wear a personal floatation device and either have someone else with you or let others know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Now, have fun.
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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
Do rec tubers float the areas you are talking about? If so, you can safely(within reason) use a float tube on those same waters.

I've never used my tubes(a TU Bighorn and a Creek Co U-2000) in anything but moving water. Heck, thats what I bought mine for. U tubes can be just fine in moving water, if(and this is a big if) you know the water you will be using it on. I fish a mix of flat water up to class II water(although I will portage around anything that I consider risky), and have never had a problem that wasn't my own fault(got in one day when the water was much faster than normal and got washed right thru my spots and banged up my shins pretty good). If you know the safe wading levels for a river or stream, and stick to those levels, you should be fine.

BTW, forget about what the shuttle companies tell rec tubers about going thru riffles feet first. It is much safer for your legs to go backwards as long as you keep your feet up and scout your path first.

Good luck and if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.

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Re: [5282jt] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
The only tube I would take on moving water would be the Freestyle H3 (about $400)
It is long enough to put your feet up if need be.
But, then at 6' long you could also look at the Bucks Bag Alpine which is a 6' pontoon with a frame for a few dollars less, plus oars if you need them.



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Re: [Riversedge] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
People do all kinds of things for thrills and a rush. Some of them even survive and thrive. More power to 'em if that's what they want to do. But that sort of thing is not for everybody - especially someone with apparently little or no experience (otherwise he wouldn't have to ask, right?) Perhaps thought should be given to what our newbie wants to accomplish. If he's looking for a reasonably safe fishing trip so he can stay alive and take care of his family, he should think over the moving water before he launches on the basis of our advice here and gets himself into trouble that he can't back out of. All it takes is one unseen sharp submerged stickup in fast water to come into contact with a very lightweight tube bladder to turn a fun time into a disaster. Strapped into a collapsed tube, drowning could occur quickly. If he's looking for a thrill that flirts with potential danger, then I guess he's looking for more than what I'm seeking. Let him shoot through.

I live on a Class II river. People float it in inner tubes, kayaks, and canoes sometimes in the summer. (I guess that includes "rec tubing"?) So you don't have to have a hard drift boat to make it though. But sometimes people drown or have close calls right here in our little town. At the time of this writing (unless it was recovered in the last three days) there is a brand new Fish Craft aluminum drift boat waiting to be recovered from an S turn on the river. The husband and wife took the shiny new toy out on their first trip just last week. The story circulated is that they hit a newly fallen tree and flipped. They were not wearing their PFDs. The boat quickly filled with water and was pinned down by the current. Had there not been an experienced resident along the river who happened to see them and managed to pull them out of the water using his own boat, they'd likely be dead. I'm not saying don't do it. I'm not saying it can't be done. I'm saying, "Think it over first."

BTW, the original question was about a Caddis product. Frankly, my experience with the Nav IV showed me that they are pretty light weight even when compared to some other lightweight tubes. Maybe that has changed, as mine was purchased about 4 or 5 years ago.

I don't want to start an argument here. Just proceed with caution. Stay safe. You only have one life to live. Sometimes you can't back out of what you let yourself get into.

BTW, here's a link to the Sunken Drift Boat story.

z~
Visit my fishing blog at:

http://zonkersfishingblog.blogspot.com

(This post was edited by zonker on Jul 19, 2006, 9:21 AM)
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Re: [zonker] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
In Reply To:
I don't want to start an argument here. Just proceed with caution. Stay safe. You only have one life to live. Sometimes you can't back out of what you let yourself get into.

z~
You will get no arguement from meWink. Safety should always come first. As I've said in the past, I wouldn't tube my river if I wasn't intimately familiar with my waters, and I can tell you from experience that not everyone has the ability or temperament to float tube in rivers or streams. My best fishing buddy absolutely hates it, says he can't control the tube(but he's just fine in a rec tube, and yes zonker,inner tubes are what I meant by that).
Edited to add: BTW, my U-2000 is a little too "lightweight" for my tastes, for my body size, in rivers.
(This post was edited by Riversedge on Jul 19, 2006, 8:28 AM)
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Re: [Riversedge] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
Cool'Preciate your good attitude, Riversedge. Hope mine matches it.

I can't speak from personal experience but it seems to me just thinking about it that an inner tube would be safer than a float tube in such situations as your legs aren't hanging down in the water and you aren't restrained by any seat slings or cross bars (as in a U-tube). If you got in trouble you'd be in the water unhindered from any deflated bladders or nylon shells. With a PDF on, you'd have a good chance of floating free with your head above the water. Also, it seems to me that an inner tube designed to support an 18 wheeler is a bit more durable and puncture resistant than a lightweight tube bladder designed generally for a person less than 200 pounds.

Anyway, guess our new member is getting some things to think about as he decides, which is good.

z~
Visit my fishing blog at:

http://zonkersfishingblog.blogspot.com

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Re: [zonker] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
Not a problem, zonkerCool. I think that different people need different things to be in their "comfort zone". I've fished from inner tubes, but never enjoyed it. It's awfully hard to get a decent cast when you are laid back like that, and your control is limited IMO. As for the crossbar at the front of the tube, I don't use it. If anything happened to my tube, I would be slipping right out the front. I do attach a 4 ft piece of para cord to a d-ring, and also to my shorts, so the tube doesn't get away if I am wading.
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Re: [flygoddess] Float Tube recommendations for occasional fast water In reply to
I would agree with flygoddess. Also, if I recall correctly, the H3 is also the only tube I have seen that is actually white water rated.