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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Float Tubes, Pontoons and Related Equipment Discussions » Float Tube, Pontoon, and Equipment Related Discussions » Need some recommendations!

Need some recommendations!

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1 Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:50 pm


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Ok so as the title says I need some help deciding on some new gear I'm in need of so I can get my super fat cats maiden voyage under way!

Fins- I've really only looked into force fins as far as reviews and stuff like that my question is are they really worth spending the money on them?
I've scoured eBay but no luck finding a used pair in my size I'm size 12 and plan on using hard soul booties over my wader booties with fins, $289 is a lot for fins I just want to be confident there worth the price tag.

Life Jacket- what's better inflatable PFD or standard life jacket , my hold up here is I would like to have a manual inflatable PDF don't want to spend the money on a standard PFD just to upgrade to a inflatable in few months down the road, can anyone speak for the inflatable PFD and recommend any good ones for reasonable price?

Booties- would like a pair of hard souled booties to wear with my fins and help protect my waders booties when I going to and from the truck loading stuff up, any recommendations on a certain brand for reasonable price?

Thanks in advanced guys for the help!

2 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:13 pm


Fins : Well speaking from experience and owning multiple pairs of fins I can say without a doubt that my force fins are well worth the $$$ and are very durable . Just the energy alone I save during a full day of kicking is worth it . You did not list your location ,but if you are in Southern California and have a turners around then grab a pair of Hot spot Fins $80 and they are proubly the next best fins out there for tubing. Check Craigslist on force fins as well as ebay , you will come across a killer deal.(for a size 12 foot you will need a larger fin to fit the bootie 2-xl or 3-XL more then likely) if not in California dive fins will work for you

Life Jacket : As far as this is concerned It will be personal preference . Myself I wear an inflatable PFD as I want to make sure I am always prepared for any situation and they are light weight and not hot to wear 100% of the time. A lot of guys like to use a Standard PFD and place it in the back of the tube , take into account a lot of tubes water gets back there and if we have our PFD getting water logged it becomes useless . also in a emergency situation we may not have the time to reach back grab the PFD and get it placed on properly ... So my vote goes towards the inflatable (make sure it meets your weight requirements)

Booties : just go to amazon and type in dive booties and you will pull up a ton with pictures . make sure you get a size that will fit on bare feet / with waders on . so get one size bigger for sure. also make sure they come up high enough on the back of the heel to allow for a good fit for your fins , would suck if they where too short and having fins rubbing the back of your heel.

Lastly BassHunter Welcome to the forums ,


3 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:18 pm


Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Fins: I've tried hotspot and force fins. I like them both and would highly recommend either one. I would not recommend spending retail on the force fins unless if you can spend that much without flinching... I waited to get my force fins until I found a killer deal on a used pair.

Life Jacket: I have a bass pro life jacket (not inflatable) and I wear it all the time. Although, I am planning to upgrade to a kayak life jacket because the back foam on my basspro one clashes with the backrest of the seat. I personally don't like the inflatable ones because I would hate for it to fail when I really need it. Foam is always ready to go.

booties: I use o'neil water shoes over the booties of my waders and put my fins over them. It works out great and no complaints here.

4 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:00 pm


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Fins: Do not go cheap here. Go with the best pair you can afford. Ask around, especially dive shops and they'll give you their opinions about each style of fin. Another good way is try to make it out to some meet ups with others here. I believe we all have different fins so maybe for the next gathering, a few of us can switch our fins with each other for a short amount of time, write our impressions and it can be posted up either as a sticky or in Jeff's following installment of the newsletter. As lolly said. No shame in bottom feeding on ebay/craigslist/classified ads!

PFD: Go with what you're most comfortable with. Any PFD is better than NO PFD. I have a full vest style pfd that I lug around (although I forget it at home sometimes...usually...) I don't wear it while fishing on the tube though so it's stored in my rear stowage box. LOlly pointed out another good idea: the more parts it has, the more chances it'll have to fail. That being said, if you do opt to get a manual inflating one, make sure you stay on top of the upkeep of it (especially replacing the inflation cartridges).

Booties: I use a cheap pair of water shoes. make sure you size up from your regular shoe size. I believe this is a rule of thumb for your average 3mm thick neoprene booties. The 5mm thick ones, size up 1.5 from your shoe size.

5 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:08 pm

Tim Murphy

Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Dear basshunter,

FINS  As far as fins go you are on your own.  I have adjustable Force Fins and while they propel me through the water just fine I absolutely hate them.  I prefer my 25 year old Caddis lightweight fins because I can walk in and out of the water with them on and I cannot do that with the Force Fins.  The Caddis Fins are much more flexible and if I am walking in them and stub a fin on a stump or rock or get them caught in weeds I can easily just power my way through the stuff.  Hit something with Force Fins on and there is no give.  I'm going to look at the flip-fins I've seen some of the guys here talking about because you can flip the fin part up against your shins and walk sort of normal in and out of the water.

PFD  I just wear a Bass Pro Shop boating vest I picked up for about $ 20.00.  It's not a thing of beauty but it has a lot of mesh and it's not terribly hot in the summer for me.  Mine is like this one except it's high vis yellow.  I bought it during a Spring sale last year when it was half priced.  I'd like a kayak fishing vest to help manage small gear but I have yet to find anything that fits me well and I need at least a 3XL.

BOOTIES  I just ordered a pair of these in size 14 from Austin Kayak specifically because like yourself I was looking for something to wear over breathable waders that have neoprene feet.  I won't trash my waders by not wearing some type of boot or shoe over them and it's hard to fit my regular studded size 13 wading shoes into the Force Fins.  They fit, but it's a wrestling match.  Here are the boots I bought [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  I wear a pair of the $ 30.00 Bass Pro Shop flats booties in size 13 over old sweat socks in the summer when I'm not wearing waders.  The BPS booties are just too small to fit over my waders.

If you can't find a PFD or booties you also might want to check out  They specialize in whitewater gear and they have a lot of different shoes and booties and many lifevests.


Tim Murphy  Smile

6 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:50 pm


Team Poseidon
Team Poseidon
Fins: The fact you wear a size 12, there will be little Force Fin showing. I am with Murphy, I too have the adjustable, and while I don't HATE them, I don't use them anymore and haven't for 4 years. I fine the Scuba style is much easier on the legs and require a lot less movement.

PFD: I just wear a regular boat life jacket. It works when I ski, it will work when I am fishing. And it didn't break the bank.

BOOTIES: I wear regular fishing boots now, but I will get some FLATS booties like the Simms for my SUP. Austin Kayak has some nice ones
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

7 Re: Need some recommendations! on Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:55 pm


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
Wow thanks for all the responses guys!

Ya for the fins I'm not sure if I wanna spend that much for new force fins I'm still on the fence about that would love to find a used pair to save some money, I wanted to get the force fin pro model not the adjustable ones and for the booties I'll just go with any pair that seem nice and reasonably priced,
Can you guys recommend any brands for the inflatable PFD's and or Standard life jackets or good online or local retailer, also does anyone know any stores that even carry force fins locally, i'm in south OC Thanks for all you help guys!

8 Re: Need some recommendations! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:33 am


Inflatable - Mustang makes a rugged PFD that will fit all shapes and sizes .. just make sure whichever way you go , it meets all your requirements , weight especially !

As far as lolly suggestion it is spot on , if you do get a inflatable like I use then make sure to monitor your Co2 , the vests make it pretty easy for us as most have indicators if its green its good to go , red replace the cylinder .  Thumbs Up 


9 Re: Need some recommendations! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:00 am


Senior FTFF Member
Senior FTFF Member
Buy the FF from either Tim Murphy or Renegade for a good deal  Red Smile . Now you just need the PFD and Booties, great suggestions from everyone that has chimed in.

I personally dont wear a PFD but I carry one when I remember. Shocked  I wear these over my wader booties

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

just make sure you get a size bigger. I use the Force Fins and recommend them. I got mine for a great price used.

10 Re: Need some recommendations! on Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:15 pm


Junior FTFF Member
Junior FTFF Member
I think I've decided I wanna go with an inflatable PFD the only time I will use the PFD is while float tubing so when I don't think it will be as hot a standard PFD and bulky in the summer time, also if I didn't feel like wearing seems like it wouldn't take up to much room in the back of the tube ( harbors or bays I will always be wearing it) and checking the indicator at each outing before putting on or in the tube won't be a problem.
I like all the suggestions about the booties what's been recommended is pretty much what I'm looking for, cheap and will protect my waders probably will need 2 pairs one that's a size bigger to wear with waders and one that matches my size to wear without waders for the summer time when you can trunk it in the lakes!

What's good brands for inflatable PFD's ?

Do any stores stock or carry force fins locally?

Been bottom feeding and CL, eBay for used FF's but no luck in XXL size!

I wanna go tubing I can't wait to get this stuff so I can hit the water in search of my PB LMB lol !

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