Belly boats or fishing float tubes may look like just regular inflatable water floating beds, but they are specialized fishing gear designed for anglers that prefer fishing in calm waters like lakes and small ponds. For instance, its footprint is significantly smaller than a kayak or canoe, so you can maneuver to a remote area without scaring fish.
You’ll need the right belly boat to have the best float tube fishing experience. In this article, we review the top choices available in the market based on durability, price, and extra features like ample storage.
A buyer’s guide is also available at the end of the article so you know what to look for in a high-quality float tube.
1. Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube
The best fishing float tube is the Cumberland Float Tube by Classic Accessories. Unlike other float tubes for fishing, it offers the best value for money, especially considering its onboard features.
One of its best features is its unmatched comfort, especially for long fishing days. It has an 18″ wide seat with enough room to move when casting or reeling. The seat is also tall for unobstructed visibility when fishing. The weight capacity is also 350 lbs. And if you are taking a quick break, your back will appreciate its thickly padded, adjustable backrest.
This float tube also rocks a hydrodynamic hull shape, which is not only for design but designed specifically for easier maneuverability in the waters. This shape also offers maximum storage to store your tools. It even comes with convenient cup holders, rod holders, and a mesh lap apron with a fish ruler.
In terms of durability, the Classic Accessories Cumberland Float Tube will last throughout different fishing seasons because it features an abrasion-resistant PVC bottom.
Best of all, fly fishermen and backwoods anglers who take the beaten path and long hikes to reach a hidden and backcountry but best fishing spot will also love its 14-lbs weight and carrying straps.
All in all, this float tube is the best purchase because you don’t have to give up comfort, durability, and functionality.
2. Classic Accessories Teton Inflatable Fishing Float Tube
On a tight budget? You should consider this inflatable fishing float tube, which Classic Accessories also make. Unlike the Cumberland, the Teton is lighter, weighing only 8.5 pounds. But that doesn’t mean you’ll give up durability because, like the Cumberland, it is also heavy-duty polyester.
So, what are you giving up? If padded seating is your thing, there might be better options than this float tube. It uses air-filled bladders for comfort and buoyancy. It also doesn’t have an adjustable backrest. Regarding storage capacity, you’ll get single zippered cargo pockets on each armrest, but you won’t get the drink and rod holders. It also has a slightly lower weight capacity versus Cumberland; it can only accommodate up to 250 pounds.
This belly float is for anglers who want to try float tube fishing without breaking the bank. It is almost half the price of the Cumberland, but you can still enjoy standard float tube features.
3. Outcast Sporting Gear OSG Stealth Pro
If you’re looking for unique features, compact design, and simplicity, the outcast Sporting Gear OSG Stealth Pro is perfect. This tube is more expensive compared to the Cumberland and Teton float tubes. However, this tube for fishing has additional features to make your 30-day fishing trip more efficient.
Firstly, the bottom is movable, allowing you to adjust the most comfortable seat and gear positioning. Plus, you can add more equipment like rod holders and anchors. That’s not the best part, though. Most float tubes are unsuitable for whitewaters or unstable lakes.
On the other hand, this float tube has rockered ends, so it is more stable even when traversing on waters with big swells. It also doesn’t have a frame, making it easier to set up. However, expect it to be heavier than a Cumberland; its weight is 35 lbs.
4. Classic Accessories Colorado XT Pontoon Boat
If you want a float tube made by Classic Accessories but with more features for comfort and storage, consider the Colorado XT. This fishing float is cheaper than the Outcast Sporting Gear OSG Stealth Pro, but its features are similar. But if you compare the Colorado XT to the previously mentioned Classic Accessories, you’ll understand why it commands a more premium price tag.
The Colorado XT Pontoon Boat doesn’t sport the usual U-shape float design. Instead, it rocks a pontoon style, which offers stability for sudden swells and maximum maneuverability like the Outcast Spring. The Colorado XT Pontoon Boat also has removable side pockets, which can combine to make a portable gear bag.
You get 20 pockets and a pair of insulated holders. If that’s not enough, this tube has a transport wheel, allowing easier access to your best fishing spot. For durability, you still get the extra tough abrasion-resistant PVC bottom featured in cheaper Classic Accessories models. It also has a powder-coated steel tube frame which adds rigidity to the tube.
This pontoon-style tube float weighs 77 pounds, but it can accommodate a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs. This float boat is a better choice than the rest if you plan to add a trolling motor.
Outcast Fish Cat 5 Max
What sets the Fish Cat 5 max apart from the Fish Cat 4 is the larger seating space and improved comfort. The tube for belly boat fishing has a foam seat and a comfortable backrest.
These features make the tube super comfy when you’re out in the water. Besides, there’s no need to worry about staying afloat because it has a 300-pound capacity. The U-boat shape keeps you well on the water, making extra casts easier. You can also catch big fish better on the Fish Cat 5 Max.
Goplus Inflatable Float Tube
This inflatable fishing float tube uses premium polyester and PVC, making it strong enough to carry up to 350 pounds. Aside from the durability, you get a pump for easy deflation and inflation. In addition, each side has a storage bag for placing bait and personal items. These storage spaces make items safe and secure from getting wet or falling into the water.
What You Should Consider Before Buying Fishing Float Tubes
New anglers need help choosing the best fishing float tubes based on their tastes and preferences. Still, manufacturers develop new tubes often, so you must be on top of your game when buying these tubes. Check for the following features to be on the safe side:
Your weight, plus that of your gear, matters when buying a float tube. If the maximum capacity is 350 pounds and your weight plus gear weight exceeds that, there is a huge chance that the float will sink.
The storage and pockets available on tubes should be easily accessible and have a high capacity. You need enough space for your bait, gear, and personal items to avoid losing anything while on the water.
High-quality float tubes use PVC and tough nylon. For instance, the Cumberland has a rugged PVC bottom to withstand tough waters. At the same time, the PVC material makes the tube last longer since jagged rocks and debris cannot affect it.
If you’re trekking or hiking to get to your fishing spot, get a tube with adjustable shoulder straps so you can easily transport it. You should look for a belly float with an adjustable backrest and a high seat position for maximum comfort during extended fishing trips.
Of course, ordinary tube features are enough to convince you to buy them. However, features like D-rings (rod holders) and a fish ruler are optional but can make fishing more convenient.
What Floats Your Boat
Fishing on a boat is fun, but fishing float tubes offers a completely different experience. Hopefully, our choices for the best fishing float tubes will sway you to try belly boat fishing!