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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Float Tubes, Pontoons and Related Equipment Discussions » Float Tube, Pontoon, and Equipment Related Discussions » toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons

toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons

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1 toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons on Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:46 pm


Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Hey guys,
thought you might like to ruminate on this…..
would love to hear your thoughts. I originally made this list to help me design my new toon.

Here is my list of the top 10 Pros and Cons comparing toobs and toons.

toobs : pros

1) close personal relationship to the environment
   I don't think any one will deny that one of the coolest things about toobing is how close and personal the experience is relative to the environment ( the water). I think it is the number one thing I enjoy about toobing.

   I don't think there is a stealthier way to be on the water, and for fishing this is a great advantage.

3) kick propelled
   Hands free for fishing (and just about anything else!), ultimately maneuverable, and controllable.

4) simple,
   Very few parts, making it easy to assemble, maintain, transport and store.

5) inexpensive
   In relation to almost any other watercraft for fishing, I don't think it gets any more affordable than toobing

6) durable
   Toobs' simplicity and robustness, lend to good longevity of use. A well built toob can last you a lifetime.

7) comfort
   Can't get much more comfortable than fishing from a lounge chair!

Cool safety
   Hmmm,... this point needs a bit of qualification, .. From the stand point of me not being aware of any one dying in one, or even having been injured in one. Yes  very safe.

(note to self, see if there are actually any statistical records of floattube accidents, injuries or death,... just a point of interest. could use info to promote sport or product, support design features for safety)

9) fishability
   fair fishing platform. again because of it's close proximity to the environment (the water) it makes for a unique experience, particularly fighting and landing the fish

10) FUN
     nuff said.

toobs : cons

1) kick propelled... only.
   ...makes them heinously Sloooooow, (almost dangerously so) and limited in range, and ability. Also I have never liked the idea that when traveling, you are always moving backwards.

2) seaworthiness
 Obviously poor. It is a calm water craft, very susceptible to wind, wave, and current. It also does not do well in very shallow water.

3) storage
   Storage seems to be the nagging problem with toobs, there just isn't enough ,especially if you need dry storage.

SIDEBAR : Because of the designs of most toobs there are no structural hard points, making the addition of accessories a problem as well. Hence all the crazy PVC constructs seen to add such things as meters, extra rod holders, tackle boxes, clothes, food and drink, anchors,... you know, all your stuff!

4) comfort
   the toob is a bit confining, and depending on which type, as much as half of your body can be submerged. Staving off the cold is a constant problem, particularly your feet. And because you are the only means of locomotion, fatigue is also a factor.

5) safety
   Perhaps we should refer to this point in terms of the toob's seaworthiness. The toob is a very small, slow, and unstable craft. Safe? Hmmmm,...

6) launching
   Launching a toob (as well as getting back out) is a learning curve. and that's all I have to say about that...

7) fishability
   Ok I lied,... toobs are fair at best. I could go on and on about this point but out of respect for my toobing brethren.....




toons : pros

1)  close personal relationship to the environment
   I don't think any one will deny that one of the coolest things about tooning is how close and personal the experience is relative to the environment. I think it is the number one thing I like about tooning.

2)  QUIET!
   only a toob is stealthier, and only marginally so.

3) propulsion
   toons can be driven,..

   first : by kicking, for fishing this is the ideal method for stealth and control

   second : by rowing, simple and very effective for traversing distances

   third : by electric or gas powered motor, the best way to cover greater distances and/  or dealing with challenging weather and water conditions.

   In the best case scenario, all three.

4) seaworthiness
   The toon is a true watercraft in the traditional sense of the words. Technically a cataraft specific to fishing. Most are based on the whitewater cataraft and capable of equal performance. The toons draft very little water and are fairly low drag. This makes them, fast and maneuverable. Their wide stance and structural integrity provide superb stability.

5) storage
   The toon (cataraft) was designed to carry cargo.

6) durable
   Again,designed to take the rigors of whitewater rafting, built to last a lifetime.

7) comfort
   Yes comfortable as you wish to make it. You don't have to be submerged in the water constantly. Many are designed with standing platforms as well.

Cool infinitely adaptable and capable of accessorizing.
  there are literally hundreds of applications for the toon (cataraft) and a major reason for this is it's adaptability, modularity and ease of accessorizing.

9) fishability
   very good (I could go on and on about this point but out of respect for my toobing bretheren.....)

10) safety
     fast, stable, shallow draft, robust, rated for class V whitewater, Hmmm,... very safe

toons : cons

1) heavy
   hard to store and transport. A pickup truck, a garage, and a tolerant wife are handy.

2) big (bigger)
   hard to store and transport (refer to item 1)

3) complex
   more parts, longer set up time, (pumping) greater maintenance, and more crap to break or lose!

4) expensive
   Like, three to five times more!

5) seaworthiness
   unfortunately because the toon drafts very little water, with very little drag, it also is most affected by the wind. It drifts severely in high wind. This is perhaps the biggest performance complaint among users.

6) launching
   because of it's size the toon requires more clear space to launch easily, as well as getting back out. Launch ramps are handy.

7) hard to transport to and from the launch site.
   Need wheels.




Ok, I have been thinking about writing this for some time now. As much for my own reference as anything else. as many of you may well know I am in the process of building my own toon. I structured this article so that the Pros and Cons were the top 10s on my list. I am going to use this comparison to help me design the best inflatable fishing platform I can. Please feel free to add, detract, contest or what not, any of the points I have put forth. I respect all your opinions and need help from wherever and from whomever I can get it.

Much appreciated...…    bodfish

PS you will note that I did not complete all 10 of the cons for either platform. Just couldn't think of any more I guess…Hee Hee!

2 Re: toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons on Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:04 pm


FTFF Member
FTFF Member
I live in a place where the lakes can have ice for 4-6 months of the year - so when faced with the toob or toon choice, I went with a toon so that I could keep dry. Cold and dry is much better for me than cold and wet.

Toons = easier to stay cold and dry Very Happy 
Toobs = easier to stay cold and wet No 

Also, depending on where you live (and the laws), one con to owning a toon is that you have to pay registration fees and put ID numbers on the toon if you have any type of electric or gas propulsion. More hassle and more cost.

3 Re: toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons on Sun Dec 08, 2013 2:09 pm


Good right up Bodfish.
The only thing I like to add to the toob section on seaworthiness,
Depending on what toob you go with they are very seaworthy.
I have fished the bays with 30+ gust of wind, white caps the whole 9yrds in a surper fat cat and felt very safe. With the design of a toon, I don't think it would be possible to fish in that type of weather.
Your higher out of the water, higher of Center of gravity. More likely to tip over, very high drift rate with wind and current. In a toob you have a lower center of gravity, lags are in the water with more drag on drift rate.
Like you said there's pros and cons to both.
The only con I can add to tubes is the slow rate at covering water and how far are you willing to go.
I can see where you can cover more water on a toon by rowing or motor but for the price of a good too and a motor, you can buy a boat for that price.

4 Re: toobs vs. toons Pros and Cons on Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:17 am


Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Hey Miller,
Yea, Verily brother! I have spent my times in the snot!
I think what I mean when I say "seaworthiness" I mean a craft's ability to make headway in bad conditions. The very reason that makes a toob so difficult to capsize, (low center of gravity and a good portion of your body submerged) also makes it a poor craft for making headway in heavy current, and wind, too much drag. I suppose it is the difference between being a bobber or a bouy. Perhaps the biggest issue I have with the toobs seaworthiness is it's propulsion system. Leg kicking alone is limited to how far, or how long, your legs will last against unrelenting current and wind. (let alone rough water). Rowing, and/or the ability to use a motor simply increase your power to make headway against the elements. I have had my most harrowing moments in my toob. Not because I was afraid of capsizing, but because I was sure (at the time) that I did not have it in me to kick hard enough to stay out of danger. (Channel Islands Breakwater, one night a very long time ago… long story…)

as far as the toon, YES it is very susceptible to the affects of the wind. I have spent years learning how to compensate for this problem, and I am tired of it!!...That is why one of the major characteristics of my new toon design is to radically lower the free board, and reduce the sail effect that the present toons suffer from.

as far as cost of toon and motor to cost of boat? Yeah, I suppose.. but toons are more fun than boats! and you don't need to trailer them!


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