Fly fishing is one of the most versatile forms of sport fishing since you can perform it in many different places with a wide range of different equipment. If you want to stand on the banks of a river in your waders, you’re more than welcome to, but there are a few different approaches that you can take to this fishing discipline.
Fly fishing using a float tube offers a range of advantages, including giving you a better vantage point and the ability to fly fish in deeper water than would be possible if you were just standing. Depending on the float tube that you get, you may even have additional storage room for various kinds of gear.
In today’s guide, we’re going to go over eight of the best float tubes for fly fishing, and we’ll divide these products into various categories. We also include a buyer’s guide for additional context. Let’s start with the Best Float Tube for Fly Fishing, the Classic Accessories Cumberland.
- 1 Best Float Tube for Fly Fishing
- 2 Our Top Pick: Classic Accessories Cumberland Fly Fishing Float Tube
- 3 Our Runner Up: Classic Accessories Teton Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube
- 4 Best Budget: Goplus Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube
- 5 YILI Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube
- 6 Classic Accessories Togiak Fly Fishing Float Tube
- 7 Float Tube for Fly Fishing Buyer’s Guide
- 7.1 Important Features to Consider
- 7.2 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7.3 How can I quickly deflate my float tube?
- 7.4 How easy is it for a fly fishing float tube to sink?
- 7.5 How do you move in a float tube?
- 7.6 Do you have to wear a personal flotation device in a float tube?
- 8 Other Products We Looked At:
- 9 Conclusion
Best Float Tube for Fly Fishing
Our Top Pick: Classic Accessories Cumberland Fly Fishing Float Tube
Key Points at a Glance
- Hydrodynamic design for improved performance
- Durable bottom made of PVC
- Features a raised seat for improved visibility and angling
- The seat is padded with an adjustable backrest
- Includes both mesh and zip pockets for improved gear storage
The best float tube for fly fishing that we’ve seen up until this point is the Classic Accessories Cumberland. Like many of Classic Accessories’s products, the Cumberland is one of the best-made fly fishing float tubes that we’ve ever encountered, and this helps ensure that it will last you longer than the competition.
This model’s durability is due to its excellent construction and the high-quality materials used to assemble it. The Cumberland is made out of durable synthetic fabrics, especially along the upper side. On the underside, which often sees more damage than the top of the float tube, it’s reinforced with PVC that can take even more of a beating.
If this wasn’t enough, the Cumberland also comes included with a one-year warranty to ensure that you get the most out of it. Aside from this model’s reliability, there are a few other factors that put it a step above many of its competitors, including the wide range of features that make it a joy to use.
For example, the Cumberland is equipped with an array of different storage pockets, including a mesh storage area that’s sealed off with a draw cord, two zip pockets in the interior, and another pair of zip pockets located on the armrests. This allows you to easily store your catches while also bringing along a wide array of equipment.
Even better, the Cumberland is equipped with a high seat that makes it easier to scan the waters around you while you’re fishing, and the backrest is reinforced so that it can keep you in a comfortable position while you fish. While Classic Accessories’s Cumberland may be a little more expensive than some of its competitors, it’s well worth the money.
- Cumberland assembled size: 56"L x 44"W x 19"H,...
- Hydrodynamic hull shape improves tracking and...
- Extra high seat provides a dry fishing experience...
- Reliable storage includes a mesh pocket with draw...
Our Runner Up: Classic Accessories Teton Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with a padded backrest and a back-mounted storage pocket
- Side-mounted carry handles for ease of transport
- Equipped with a stripping apron and a ruler for fish
- Storage in both armrests
- Features a one-year warranty
Our runner up choice is yet another product from Classic Accessories, but this time it’s their Teton inflatable fly fishing float tube. The Teton is a little more affordable and less complicated than the Cumberland, making it a better choice for fly fishers who want to save money but don’t necessarily mind the loss in performance.
This model features a padded backrest that is integrated directly with the rest of the float tube, and so it offers a little less support than the Cumberland. This relative lack of comfort was one of the main reasons why this product was left as our runner up choice, but it’s still far more comfortable than many of its competitors.
Just like on the Cumberland, there are plenty of places to store your gear while you’re using the Teton, including the zip-up pockets on the armrests. There is also a single large zip-up pocket located in the backrest, so you’ll have all of the space you need to store both your catches and your gear.
Unlike the Cumberland, the Teton is a little less durable, as the entire float tube is constructed out of ruggedized vinyl. The lack of a PVC bottom means that this float tube can get damaged by rocks while you’re pulling it out of the water, so you’ll have to be a little more careful with it compared to the Cumberland.
- Teton assembled size: 42.5"L x 40"W x 18.5"H,...
- Hydrodynamic hull shape improves tracking and...
- One-year limited warranty
- Comfortable backrest
- Multiple compartment armrest pockets
Best Budget: Goplus Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with netting behind the seat for fish storage
- Can hold a maximum load of 350 pounds
- Features a velcro fishing rod holder
- Armrest-mounted zip-up storage areas
- Fish ruler mounted in front of the seat
The Goplus Inflatable Fly Fishing Float Tube is one of the most affordable options on this list. Rather surprisingly, it’s also one of the most reliable float tubes we’ve come across, and that’s not exactly something you would expect to see with such an affordable product. The tube itself is fully made of waterproof polyester.
Along with being made of durable materials, the Goplus float tube comes equipped with a range of extra features that you may not expect to see on a model within its price range. For example, the velcro fishing rod holder allows you to use both of your hands to access additional gear or estimate the size of a recent catch.
To make it easier to determine the size of freshly-caught fish, the Goplus float tube is equipped with a fish ruler right in front of the seat. There is also a mesh storage area at the back of the float tube where you can store your most recent catches so they don’t end up stinking up the interiors of the zip-up pockets.
This float tube can also bear even more of a load than some of the expensive models on this list, as it’s able to hold up to 350 pounds without a problem. The only disappointing thing about this product is that it doesn’t come included with quite as many accessories as some of the other float tubes on this list, but you get what you pay for.
- High Load-bearing & Great Buoyancy -- Our fishing...
- Completely Waterproof Polyester Fabric -- In order...
- Easy to Inflate & Deflate -- The inflatable...
- Storage Pockets & Fish Ruler -- Each side of the...
- Adjustable Shoulder Strap for Easy Carrying -- The...
Key Points at a Glance
- Holds a maximum weight capacity of up to 286 pounds
- Features storage bags on both sides that double as armrests
- Comes included with an air pump, 4-rod holder, one oar, and flippers
- High backrest for improved comfort and posture
- Constructed out of 600D oxford fabric
YILI’s inflatable fly fishing float tube is designed for new anglers that may not have quite all the gear they need. This model comes packaged with nearly everything you’ll need to get started, including a single oar for improved propulsion, an air pump, a rod rack where you can store up to four fishing rods, and even a set of flippers.
Along with these accessories, you get your hands on a wonderful fly fishing float tube that can keep up with the best of them when it comes to performance. This model can support up to 286 pounds, making it a good choice for anglers looking to bring along a large amount of extra gear without potentially exceeding their float tube’s weight limit.
To improve this float tube’s performance, it features a hydrodynamic hull that, when coupled with the included oar, is capable of attaining impressive top speeds as well as quick acceleration. The inflatable seat on this model features a high backrest that will keep you in a comfortable position while you fish, providing you with adequate lumbar support.
Over the left armrest, you’ll find a waterproof storage bag with zippers, where you can store the delicate gear that you don’t want to expose to the water. On the right side of the boat, you’ll find a more compact storage area, accompanied by an oarlock for the single included oar. If you like getting extras with your float tubes, this one’s the right choice for you.
- 【High Load-Bearing】 -->>Could Hold up to...
- 【Enough Storage Space】-->>Including 1xleft...
- 【Inflating & Deflating Easily】-->>Equipment...
- 【Comfortable & Durable Structure】-->> Thick...
- 【Including necessary equipment for...
Key Points at a Glance
- The Togiak features a max weight capacity of 300 pounds
- Designed for optimal hydrodynamic performance
- The backpack straps make this float tube easier to transport
- Features a stripping apron equipped with a fish ruler
- Tall, high-backed seat for improved visibility
If you’re looking to ensure that your float tube for fly fishing is as portable as possible, you should search for a model that has some included backpack straps, much like the Classic Accessories Togiak. This model features Classic Accessories’s renowned quality mixed with some helpful extras, including those straps we just mentioned.
The Togiak features an excellent weight capacity of 300 pounds, ensuring that you can use all of its extra storage space to your advantage. The storage areas on this model include the armrest storage, which features a range of sub-pockets like storage for reels and other gear. There are also a variety of smaller mesh pockets all around the Togiak.
The inclusion of a large mesh storage area at the back of the float tube gives you the perfect place to store your fish. Like on our top pick, the Cumberland, the Togiak is equipped with a high-backed seat that will keep you comfortable throughout even the longest fishing excursions. The backrest can even be adjusted so that the Togiak is comfortable for anglers of all sizes.
Unfortunately, one of the main weaknesses of this float tube is that it lacks the Cumberland’s PVC reinforcement along the underside, making it more susceptible to damage when you’re near the shore. Aside from this minor gripe, the Togiak is an excellent choice for any angler looking for a float tube with enhanced portability.
- Togiak assembled size: 55.25"L x 47"W x 19"H,...
- Hydrodynamic hull shape improves stability,...
- High back stadium seat with adjustable backrest...
- Roomy armrest storage with additional reel...
Float Tube for Fly Fishing Buyer’s Guide
The obvious answer is that fly fishermen should buy a float tube for fly fishing, but let’s explore some of the reasons why they should.
If you’re thinking of traditional fly fishing, you probably have a mental image of an angler in waders heading into relatively shallow water and casting off with their fly rod. However, if you want to get to deeper water, you’ll need to get yourself either a small boat or an inflatable fishing kayak (or maybe you’d be envisioning someone on a stand-up fishing kayak).
Instead, you’ll want a fishing-focused float tube to give you a genuine fly fishing experience, as you’ll still be somewhat immersed in water (at least your legs will be).
A float tube will also give you a convenient place to store all of your fly fishing gear, instead of having to travel back and forth between the shore and the water to access your tackle box. You may still want a fishing shirt, but pants are optional here.
At the end of the day, a fly fishing float tube will just make your favorite activity that much more enjoyable, and there are few, if any, downsides to fishing using this technique.
Important Features to Consider
The first thing to consider is the amount of storage room you’ll have on your fly fishing float tube and whether or not it will be easy to access. Most fishing float tubes feature storage pockets built into the armrests so that it’s easier to get your hands on the gear you need when you need it.
Other models will also feature a netted storage area near the back of the float tube, and this is typically where you can expect to leave your catches.
The accessories that come with your float tube may not be the most crucial thing to consider when making your purchase, but they can help with those key make-or-break decisions when two models are otherwise similar.
There are plenty of accessories that can potentially come included with your float tube, and products that come bundled with these accessories are typically a great choice for beginner fly fishers who may not have all of their gear yet. These accessories can include oars, flippers, rod holders, air pumps, and much more.
The seat is another key part of whether or not you’ll enjoy using your fly fishing float tube. Some models are equipped with basic inflatable seats without backrests, and these can get tiring after a long day out on the water.
Other float tubes will come equipped with a padded seat that has an adjustable backrest. This will allow you to optimize your posture for maximum comfort, and it will also make it easier to get leverage against the float tube for better performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I quickly deflate my float tube?
If you’re trying to get moving in a hurry, many float tubes come included with a two-way pump that will allow you to both inflate and deflate it with less effort. On the other hand, some models come included with valves that will allow all of the air to escape as quickly as possible.
How easy is it for a fly fishing float tube to sink?
Due to their inflatable designs, float tubes tend to be naturally buoyant unless they have a hole through which the air can escape from them. Keep a patch kit handy! The only other case in which you can expect your float tube to sink is if you overload it, so be sure to stay below the maximum weight limit.
How do you move in a float tube?
There are a few different ways to move around while you’re in a float tube. These include using an oar to propel yourself through the water, which is the rarer choice. Most float tube users wear flippers on their feet so they can more easily and naturally move through the water.
Do you have to wear a personal flotation device in a float tube?
You may think that a PFD may not be necessary because the float tube itself is buoyant, but you should always wear one just in case. This is especially true because a pierced float tube may not be able to keep you above water long enough to get back to shore. See our article on Best Kayaking PFD For Women for ideas.
Other Products We Looked At:
Wistar’s Fly Fishing Float Tube is another excellent choice that only just missed making the top five on our list. If you’re looking for something as affordable as possible, you can find this float tube for a surprisingly low price, and much like the Goplus model that we looked at earlier, this product is much more durable than the price would suggest.
This durability comes from the Cordura fabric used in the construction of the Wistar Float Tube’s outer layer. With a max load capacity of 350 pounds, this model even beats some of our top picks when it comes to the amount of weight that it can support. The inclusion of two large pockets along the sides of this float tube ensures that you have all the storage space that you need.
This model features many of the same things you’d expect to find on more expensive float tubes, including a fish ruler mounted right in front of the seat, and a high backrest. The one thing that didn’t impress us about this float tube is the pump that came with it, as it’s nearly useless. This was the main factor that kept it out of our top five.
Key Points at a Glance
- Reinforced Cordura construction for improved durability
- Comes included with a foot pump for quicker inflation
- Features an ergonomic backrest for improved comfort
The LAZZO float tube is similar to the YILI float tube that we took a look at earlier in our guide. However, this one is a little more expensive than the YILI, which is why we left it out of our top five. Aside from the higher price, you’ll get many of the same accessories with this fly fishing float tube, making it an excellent choice for beginners.
The accessories that come with this model include an air pump, a fishing rod rack, and a pair of flippers for easier propulsion. This model features a hydrodynamic hull shape, which is another similarity between it and the YILI float tube, ensuring that you can easily cut through the water instead of having the float tube resist your forward motion.
This model also has adjustable shoulder straps so that you can carry it around like a backpack when you’re out of the water. The LAZZO float tube is equipped with Boston valves that make it easy to inflate and deflate in a hurry, ensuring that you waste none of your free time when you’re ready to start fishing.
Key Points at a Glance
- Equipped with storage pockets above the armrests
- Max weight capacity of just under 290 pounds
- Includes a fishing rod rack, a hand pump, and flippers
The final product that we’re taking a look at in our fly fishing float tube guide is the Caddis Nevada. This model features excellent build quality and reliability, but it is let down by its relative lack of extra features or accessories when you compare it to the other models that we’ve looked at so far. It has even fewer features than the other products outside of our top five picks.
However, the double-stitched construction makes the Nevada an excellent option for anglers who often have to deal with challenging conditions that can easily damage a less rugged float tube. The float tube itself is made out of heavy-duty ripstop nylon, which is designed to minimize the amount of damage it sustains from things like sharp rocks and tree branches.
On the armrests, you’ll find a pair of equipment pockets, as well as a hook holder on the left side. There is also a rod holder near the front so you can use both hands when required. Unfortunately, that’s about every extra feature you’ll get out of Caddis’s Nevada. A bit more effort put into this design could easily put it in our top five due to its durability alone.
Key Points at a Glance
- Durable ripstop construction improves this float tube’s longevity
- Features a rod holder mounted at the front
- The backrest doubles as an air bladder
Let’s sum up our top three products to make it easier for you to decide which of them works best for you.
The overall best model that we’ve selected is the Classic Accessories Cumberland, as it features the best build quality on this list. If you want a fly fishing float tube that is in for the long haul, the durable materials used in the construction of the Cumberland will be sure to satisfy you, including the ruggedized PVC bottom.
The Classic Accessories Teton attained our runner up spot, mainly due to its union of excellent quality, an array of diverse features, and its more affordable price point than the Cumberland. If you want to stick with a Classic Accessories product but don’t want to pay top dollar, the Teton provides you with an excellent compromise.
If you want to save as much money as possible on your new fly fishing float tube, opt for the model from Goplus. This product is ridiculously cheap for what you get out of it, including a durable design as well as quite a bit of additional storage space so you’ll always be able to keep all of your gear with you out on the water.
We hope that this review guide has made it easier for you to find the best float tube for fly fishing. Picking out the best model can often be a challenge if you can’t get your hands on it, but we’ve reviewed them so that you don’t have to waste your hard-earned money. Happy fishing!