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Float Tube Fishing in Ireland

 

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

What is a Float Tube?
A traditional float tube is a 20 inch heavy duty truck inner tube covered and protected by a high strength flexible polyester nylon /cordura cover.
This cover is extremely tough and has a fitted seat, backrest, reserve air compartments, and large tackle storage pockets. This cover is double and triple stitched at all stress load bearing points rather like a rucksack but obviously a totally different shape.
The fisherman who will sit in the tube wears stocking foot chest waders and professional scuba diving flippers, so his legs which are in the water remain dry and warm, and seated comfortably, he "walks" easily over the water with a gentle movement of the flippers.
The seat is comfortable for long hours of fishing (unlike a boat).

Not all float tubes are round in shape
Anglers have found that a Vee shape cuts through the water better, and makes for faster finning with energy saving. Of course the air bladder in a U or V shape tube is specially made to go inside these tube covers. The cheap air bladders are vinyl, the best are urethane.


Fishing a big lake from a Vee tube - the Bullet


The round "donut" type float tube and fins

The round shape tubes have a safe feel, suitable for beginners. However if you have tried a Vee tube once and experienced the better handling, you are unlikely to want to change back!

Float tubes are very portable
Many weigh as little as 5 kgs / 10 lbs (including the inner air tubes) and can be carried in one hand. So walking a long way to the water is not a problem! Deflated it folds up to 12" x 18" so popping one in the car boot when going on a fishing trip is simple.
The cover has many D-rings attached. So we can use these to carry an inflated tube  as shown in the photo.
We can also use these to attach landing nets, sonar fishfinder units, and all the fishing paraphenalia we like to take with us while we fish out on the water.
 

Backpacking a float tube is simple

Tube Vs Boat?
Having a float tube allows you to wade over water whether it is 2 feet deep or 20 feet deep. So the tube eliminates the need for an outboard motor and boat. You don't need an outfit worth E1500 or more to catch a bag of fish when you can do it for a fifth of that.

Your float tube may be launched in under one minute whatever the terrain.  You just walk into the water wherever you like, and walk-wade away, fishing as you go!

The tube is very handy because it leaves you hands completely free for fishing ... there's no need to pull an oar, when your feet do the work. Moving into position is as simple as walking.

Situations Perfect for Float Tubes
A float tube is ideally suited for many common angling situations. For example you steer your own drift with your legs so there is no need for either boat or ghillie/boatman.  In a boat you and your pal are stuck close together, fishing the same water when trolling for example, but if you are both fishing from tubes you can spread out and cover more water.
Often an a lake there are soft margins or lack of a slipway which getting a boat in impossible. This won't affect a float tube which is simplicity itself to launch. In fact if you want to fish several small lakes in one day, what I call "lake hopping", this is very easy from a tube.

I often use my tube when I want to bank fish, but the shore is too deep or boggy for safe wading, or when high banks or trees and bushes make casting difficult. In these circumstances the tube is a wading safety aid, and it carries your gear as a bonus. These conditions seem to occur on many pike lakes, and I find that most of my pike come by tube these days!

Also, the float tube is great for days when calm conditions make it very difficult to approach wary fish, and a silent stalk is required.  My tube is as silent as they come. In fact it has a very low profile in the water and this together with the silent movement hardly disturbs fish at all. So casting long distances ia just not needed, and fish can be approached very close indeed before they take alarm.  You become part of the environment in a tube, and this alone increases your catch dramatically.

Backpacking into distant mountain or inaccessible loughs. What else is there to say? A boat can't go there. Even a kayak needs two people to carry it, and the size and weight limit the distance one can be carried. But a tube ..... no problem.
Choose which way to do it ... inflate and backpack pre-inflated with your gear in the pack inside the tube centre.
Or the alternative, pack it deflated, bring along a high volume hand pump, or a battery and 12V pump, inflate on arrival at the lakeshore.   This favours walking through trees and brush, or climbing over narrow rocky paths where a big tube on our back (while light) is too bulky for convenience.
There are thousands of these small pedestrian access lakes dotted around the country, all never fished from a floating platform, just waiting to be explored by you and your tube.

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