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Float Tube Fishing in Ireland

Having a really great time fishing from the world's best floating fishing platform

A comparison of the water craft available for fishing lakes

Float Tube:

  • low cost = 400 - 600 top quality complete outfit
  • one angler
  • home storage - anywhere indoors
  • dry ride, chest waders required
  • unmatched stability
  • self bailing
  • soft sides bounce off rocks, productive rocky shallows are fishable
  • wind up to Force 3-4
  • slow to cover big distance of large water, cannot zoom from location to location searching for feeding fish
  • close to water - best for identification of fish food items, insect hatches, etc
  • fits inside car
  • can be backpacked to non road access loughs excess 1 mile
  • totally controlled drift speed/direction
  • fin power available at same time as hands are holding fishing rod
  • storage space limited - needs add on rod racks
  • stealth - unmatched

Fat Cat Float Tube


  • medium cost = 600 - 900 top quality complete outfit
  • one angler
  • home storage, needs rack or wall under lock & key, or garage
  • wet ride, wet or dry suit required, change of clothing required onshore
  • capsize possibility,  deck awash often
  • Sit-on-top kayaks are self bailing
  • rigid hull materials can get cracked and damaged by rocks but plastic ones have some "give" which "might" be helpful in rock impacts
  • stability: less than tube, does not like being sideways to waves, not designed for fishing drifting in short rolling wave as occurs in inland loughs
  • close to water, good identification of fish food items, insect hatches etc
  • wind up to Force 4-5, more windproof than float tube
  • significantly better than tube for distance covered on large lakes
  • needs roof rack for car transport, external storage on car while parked
  • can be carried short distance if no road access, needs trolley for more
  • drift direction control - drogue often required
  • rod must be put down to hold paddle
  • much fishing done with rod in rod rest due to above (except Hobie kayaks)
  • storage space limited due to low deck
  • stealth - some disturbance

Tarpon 120 Angling kayak


  • Calm water craft inherently unstable for (wind) exposed lough use where there is a rolling wave or swell. Capsize possibility high in waves. Wind drift extreme when broadside to breeze. Unsuitable for lough angling in countries with an Atlantic Seaboard climate. Better in a continental climate, or on rivers. Not recommended.

Osprey Angling Canoe

Dinghy 12' - 13':

  • Higher cost (new) = 1000 - 3000 complete outfit w/optional engine
  • 1 - 2 anglers
  • home storage, on trailer or wall for roof racked boat, under lock and key
  • dry ride, but takes in spray in big lough under power
  • stability: less than tube, more than kayak, limited capsize possibility (novice)
  • wind: Force 3-4
  • needs to be bailed out of splash, spray, rainwater
  • rigid hull materials can get cracked and damaged by rocks
  • more distant from water than tube/kayak, sub-surface insects hard to see and mistaken hatch identification begins to occur
  • low sheer (sides height) & open deck means can be swamped by big waves
  • needs roof rack or trailer
  • lake access within 100 metre of road access for two anglers, road access only if one angler
  • better drift/water/wind control than kayak, inferior to tube on drift management, better than tube on wind resistance
  • rods must be put down to row/manage engine
  • engine power a big advantage, (and weight disadvantage)
  • storage space can take many rods, equipment if only 1-2 angler aboard
  • stealth - inferior to tube and kayak, high wave noise if aluminium

Linder 440 Aluminium

16' - 18' Lake boat:

  • Higher cost (new) = 3000 - 5000 complete outfit (w/necessary engine)
  • really designed for 2 - 3 anglers, not one angler
  • home storage, lock and key on large trailer, usually so unwieldy that it's often left at lough shore under semi secure lock & key 
  • dry ride, only takes spray in extreme conditions
  • stability: vastly better than tube, kayak, dinghy
  • wind: Force 5 (16') to 6 (18'-19') waves to 2 metres - beats all other alternatives in a big wind, except near rocks where tube has advantage
  • beats all for covering large lough distances, except for bass boat + 100HP
  • needs trailer
  • needs to be bailed out of rainwater, but wave splash very small
  • rigid hull materials get cracked and damaged by rocks
  • high from water compared to tube/kayak/dinghy, easy to make mistaken hatch identification of sub-surface items
  • lake access only if there is road access to shore
  • in wind significantly better drift/water/wind control than all others, in calm inferior to tube on drift management
  • rods must be put down to row and manage engine
  • engine power advantage, (and weight disadvantage) 6- 8HP proven ideal for large waters
  • sufficiently cumbersome for single handed operation (drift adjustment by oars requires putting down the rod) that many dedicated anglers feel it necessary to add an extra electric motor for positioning
  • storage space - everything you can fit in the car, even with 2-3 anglers
  • stealth - inferior to tube and kayak calm weather, not material in big wave where other alternatives cannot go distance


Burke 19 Anglers Fancy

Boats left upright on trailer or at lough shore must be regularly baled out after rain, or have a cover on, which is subject to vandalism or wear & tear.

Trailers add 15% - 20% fuel cost to driving to fishing trip, roof rack adds 30% (kayak less than dinghy), Float tube has no extra fuel cost.

When trailering boats and inside of car is full of engines, jackets, fuel, some tackle must be left in plain view, not good in certain urban town areas, or at lakeside near those areas. This affects your choices about where to stop off for eating etc.


So it's horses for courses !    Who would not like to have them all?