Rigging Your Line
First, mount the reel securely on the butt of
your rod and run your fly line from the reel
through the guides, leaving about three feet
beyond the rod tip to work with. Measure off
9-10 feet of leader material from its spool and
attach this leader to the no-knot eyelet with a
clinch knot or loop to loop with a line ending
in a loop. If you are not using a loop knot
or no-knot eyelet, the leader is attached to
the fly line with a nail knot. Tie your searching
fly to the end of the straight leader with a
clinch knot, a simple loop knot or turle knot.
The loop or turle knot allows the fly to move
more naturally at the end of the leader. It
has been observed that if a small fly is tied
to a large leader with the usually recommended
clinch knot, the fly is canted and does not
float freely. Finally, attach the fly to the
keeper at your rod base and take up any slack
in the line and leaders with the reel. Now you
are ready to get into your tube and begin your
If you need to change lines when you are in your
tube, you can quickly and easily do this by:
removing the fly, reeling in the line, removing
the reel or spool and replacing it with a reel
or spool of the desired type line. After securely
fastening the reel or spool, dip your rod and reel
into the water butt end down to thread your line
through the guides. By using this method you avoid
the chance of breaking your rod and it is easier on
your body. Since reels are made to get wet, it will
not harm the reel to submerge it for this procedure.
Getting Into The Tube
Tubing is essentially a safe form of recreation,
however, getting in and out of the tube can be
problematic because it is possible to fall over
with the tube on top of you. Although everyone
tries to avoid this, most tubers have had this
experience at least once. For your safety, only
launch when other people are around.
You have some choices to make on the best way
for you to enter your tube. It may take some
trial and error before you decide what is best
for you. If you have a U-shaped tube, you can
place it in the water and simply back into it.
For a closed round tube you can either pull it
over your head or step into it. With the motor
assisted tube, it is necessary to step in because
with the two tubes, battery and motor it can't be
lifted over your head. For those with limited
mobility, the rod butt or folding staff can be
very helpful for getting in and out of the tube
and a small folding chair at the shoreline may
also facilitate the process.
Foot Entry Method
1. If possible choose a spot along the shore that
is free of impediments or sticky mud.
2. Place assembled rod next to where you are
sitting with the butt end next to you. Be careful
where the tip end is resting because it is
relatively fragile and easily broken.
3. Place fins on other side of where you are sitting.
4. Place tube in front of you.
5. With your feet just in the water, pull on your
fins and secure the tethers.
6. Stand up in shallow water, just to the side of
the tube. Secure your balance as necessary with
the rod butt or staff and step one foot at a time,
toe angled down, into the tube.
7. Secure the seat safety strap and stripping
apron by their respective straps.
8. Lay the rod across the tube, secure with velcro
strap and with both hands lift the tube by the straps
on either side to around your knees.
9. Slowly turn so that you are facing the shore
and with small steps slowly walk backwards into
the water, making sure there are no impediments
in your way. Or you can turn sideways and side
step toward the water.
10. When the water reaches your knees, sit down
on the seat and you will be floating.
Over The Head Entry Method
Follow the same steps as above except instead of
stepping into the tube, lift it over your head,
then bring it down over your head, shoulders and
waist. Again, fasten the safety belt and stripping
apron and carefully back into the water.
Moving The Tube
Since a great deal of float tube fly casting is done
while moving in reverse, you need to start kicking
backward one foot at a time once you are floating.
Point the fin straight down and then bring it
straight up in front of you. This motion will
give you the propulsion from your fins. Through
varying the speed of your kick, you can chance
the pace at which you choose to fish.
And, when you want to turn to the right or left,
use the fins as rudders to make this change.
Getting Out Of The Tube
After you have fished as long as you want or if the
weather turns inclement, it is time to head for shore.
For safety, remember when venturing out that you
always need to leave energy for your return. At
the first sign of increase velocity or the approach
of stormy clouds, you need to calculate where you
are and how long it will take you to paddle to safety.
Since distances on the lake can be deceiving, you can
help your calculation by remembering how long it took
you to get to your location. It is tempting,
particularly if fish are still feeding, to stay out
just a little longer. Resist the temptation in favor
of being on shore during a lightning storm or very
As you approach shore, once again watch out for rocks,
logs or sticky mud areas. Reel in your line, place
the rod across your tube, secure with velcro straps
and paddle backward into the shallows. When you can
stand up, undo the stripping apron and the safety
strap and walk backwards out of the water. At this
point you can step out of your tube raising your
heel first to facilitate egress or your can simply
lift the tube up over your head. You are safely
back to dry land.
For those using a power assisted tube, you may
want to remove the fins before getting to shore
since the tube cannot be lifted out of the water
with the battery in it. In this case, once you
are in shallow water, reach down to undo the fin
tether, pull off your fins and throw them up on
shore out of your way before stepping out of
your tube. ~ PCP
Continued next time.
Credits: Excerpt from Float Tube
Magic By Patricia C. Potheir, published
by Frank Amato Publications. We appreciate use