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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I originally posted this query on the Tackle Section but received no replies. Float Tubing is perhaps more commonly associated with Fly Fishing in fresh water but could be done (with care) in salt water.

The original query was:

Belly Boats/Float Tubes
Does anyone have any experience of Belly Boats/Float Tubes? I had associated them with fresh water fishing, but last week went to the Baltic Coast in search of sea trout (failed miserably - wind in wrong direction?!).

Anyway, there were a couple of guys fishing 100-400m off shore in Belly Boats (seemed cold), but at least they got a couple of decent sized cod, whereas most of the 30 or so shore anglers blanked.

(Also I am thinking of a trip to a small island (Sylt) off the north sea coast of Germany, just south of Denmark and am told that there is virtually no chance of fish from the shore (commercial overfishing!!) so a belly boat may be a possible answer.

So, any advice (would have to be limited to winds of 1-2 off shore, or 3-4 on shore and of course life jacket and waders would be essential).

Have been advised the new Shakespeare Salt float tube is worth a look.

Steinbeisser

NB
In the Baltic Sea, it is brackish (5ppm salt rather than 35ppm salt normally found in the North Sea. There are virtually no tides, so no tide driven currents, only wind driven currents. Obviously, wind offshore is a major risk so would likely curtail the use of a float tube under these conditions except if the winds were extremely light.

Float tubing would seem to offer easier transport and storage, plus lower capital cost compared to a canoe, but is limited to it's distance off shore.

Can anybody offer any words of wisdom on choice of Float Tube and safety tips?
 

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I have been using a belly boat for fishing at sea numerous times. I must admit however that I alway did this in a closed off area, an inner-sea so to speak. The problem with a bellyboat is the propulsion, which sucks.

Last year two guys in kajaks where taken back to shore by the coastguard because they couldn't get back to shore due to the currents. Keep in mind that, compared to a belly boat, getting forward takes a *lot* less effort in a kajak. On top of that a kajak is a *lot* more streamlined as well.

I really wouldn't recommend anyone to use a bellyboat on the open sea, unless you are dead sure there are no strong currents along the way.

If you have no experience in bellyboating, first try it out on a lake and see how it goes. Best brands (in my opinion) are Outcast and The Creek Company.

NB. I have tried several (neoprene) waders and they all suffer from the same problem sooner or later.. the seems in the crotch area come loose. Not so much of a problem when the water temperature is nice enough but when it is cold it sure will make you yodel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have been using a belly boat for fishing at sea numerous times. I must admit however that I alway did this in a closed off area, an inner-sea so to speak. The problem with a bellyboat is the propulsion, which sucks.

Last year two guys in kajaks where taken back to shore by the coastguard because they couldn't get back to shore due to the currents. Keep in mind that, compared to a belly boat, getting forward takes a *lot* less effort in a kajak. On top of that a kajak is a *lot* more streamlined as well.

I really wouldn't recommend anyone to use a bellyboat on the open sea, unless you are dead sure there are no strong currents along the way.

If you have no experience in bellyboating, first try it out on a lake and see how it goes. Best brands (in my opinion) are Outcast and The Creek Company.

NB. I have tried several (neoprene) waders and they all suffer from the same problem sooner or later.. the seems in the crotch area come loose. Not so much of a problem when the water temperature is nice enough but when it is cold it sure will make you yodel.
Hello Jax

Thanks for the reply. Do you have links to the Creek and Outcast Belly Boots? Are these American? I have not seen their names come up on Internet searches.

I accept all your comments re the propulsion of a Belly Boot in open water!!

Steinbeisser
 

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I have no experience of float tubes but would agree with the concerns about wind, currents and changing conditions. If you are in a safe area it could be OK and I have certainly heard about people using them on the sea.

Personally I fish from a sit on top kayak rigged for fishing (Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler edition) It's great for getting to those hard to reach places and covering loads of ground. It will cope if the weather deteriorates and at 4 knots you are fine in all but the worst currents.

Rich.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have no experience of float tubes but would agree with the concerns about wind, currents and changing conditions. If you are in a safe area it could be OK and I have certainly heard about people using them on the sea.

Personally I fish from a sit on top kayak rigged for fishing (Ocean Kayak Prowler 13 Angler edition) It's great for getting to those hard to reach places and covering loads of ground. It will cope if the weather deteriorates and at 4 knots you are fine in all but the worst currents.

Rich.
Thanks for that. I am actually in the process of asking advice on Sea Kayaks for Angling and the Ocean Prowler 13 seems to be well rated. Sounds more suitable for longer distances and rather safer in conditions where there is a wind blown or tide driven current. 4 knots is quite fast and as you say, that would cover most eventualities.

Looks like a different ball game in terms of money (lots of little add on bits - VHF, fish finders, compass, rod holders, etc. etc!!) and storage/transport also more of a challenge.

What do you wear in cold water conditions? The information I have so far is normal cagoule/wind/water proof clothing or a dry suit. I would have thought a floatation suit may have been good for winter conditions.

Cheers

Steinbeisser
 

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Hi,

There is loads of good information about kayak fishing at

www.anglersafloat.co.uk

they also have a handy forum which should provide plenty of answers.

Regarding extra kit, yes you could spend a fortune on GPS, fish finders etc. Personally I haven't, I just use a basic angler edition kayak. I do take flares and a mobile phone with me though and always make sure that someone knows where I am and when I will be back.

Clothing wise, I tend to wear a full wet suit in winter and a long john in summer with a rash vest and cagoule if it's breezy. The best winter wear seems to be a dry suit.

Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi,

There is loads of good information about kayak fishing at

www.anglersafloat.co.uk

they also have a handy forum which should provide plenty of answers.

Regarding extra kit, yes you could spend a fortune on GPS, fish finders etc. Personally I haven't, I just use a basic angler edition kayak. I do take flares and a mobile phone with me though and always make sure that someone knows where I am and when I will be back.

Clothing wise, I tend to wear a full wet suit in winter and a long john in summer with a rash vest and cagoule if it's breezy. The best winter wear seems to be a dry suit.

Rich
Thanks for that info Rich. I already looked at that site (lots of useful info) but have now enrolled on the forum.

As regards the add ons, I already have a Garmin GPS (from general activities, so that is covered). A mobile phone is OK provided there is cover - I think I should be OK initially. Compass I think is pretty much essential, but not so expensive.

I'm pretty sure my wetsuits from scuba and kayaking are now a bit too small but will have to do at a push for the present.

I must say that I have found it difficult to find a dealer of Ocean Kayaks in Germany but have just been given a local importer's name - so will check tomorrow if they have anything of interest. Maybe SOT Kayaks are not as big in Germany as in the UK and USA !?

Steinbeisser
 
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