Float Fin Fishing Advantage

Float Fin Fishing Advantage
A fully "finned" Rainbow

Small lakes and ponds are often packed with Trout, Bass, Bluegill etc...One of the most intimate ways to explore a stillwater is to fish from a small floating craft like a float tube, pontoon boat, kayak or canoe. While canoes and kayaks have some advantages, they both have two distinct disadvantages compared to inflatables. One, canoes and kayaks take up a fair bit of space when traveling. Two, they are propelled with paddles which means we are either paddling or fishing, but not doing both. Inevitably, we paddle up to a spot we want to fish, stow the paddle, get the rod in hand, cast to the desired location and the wind or current swings our floating craft around so we are no longer facing the direction of our cast or worse yet, it blows us away from the area we'd like to fish. 

In a float fin tube we are able to put our back to the wind, kick with fins and hold our position. The drawback to a float tube is that we are limited to covering a smallish area (depending on our strength and stamina) since our only means of propulsion is the fins.

The best of both worlds is an inflatable pontoon boat. In a pontoon we have oars (or on some models an electric trolling motor can be added) to propel us moderate distances and fins to hold our position in the wind while retaining the ability to cast. (we can't cast well with a paddle or oar in hand) Also, many pontoons are capable of running rivers. Most river worthy craft are 8 feet in length or longer. While floating a river we again can benefit from a set of fins by kicking to slow our drift much like the oarsmen would do on a dory or drift boat. By slowing our drift we improve our presentation. We use the oars to maneuver through rapids but utilize the fins most of the float to enable us to fish while still maintaining control of the boat. Like the float tube, a pontoon on stillwater can maintain postition by putting our back to the wind and kicking with the fins leaving our hands free to fish.

I talk to many anglers considering an upgrade from the "old float tube" to a new pontoon. Many remark how they look forward to no longer needing to use fins. They soon find out (if they don't take my word for it at the shop) that a pontoon without fins is kind of like fishing without a hook.... Most days I'd opt to leave my oars home if you made me choose between the oars and the fins.

There are many great brands of inflatable craft. Check out the offerings from the links below to get an idea of the models and price points available:







A fully "finned" Rainbow

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.


Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

A More Perfect Reel!

There's a new Hardy Perfect Reel that's even more perfect than the original (1927) Perfect--which was flawlessly hardy.

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are are eating to select the best carp...


Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

See More Stories

More Accessories


Spine Of The Rod

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 20, 2017

Finding the Spine Of The Rod every time.


Scott G-Series

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 28, 2017

Scott has hit a home run with this one: The Scott G-Series is a rod that will be winning fans...


Waterproof Packs for 2018

Ross Purnell, Editor - July 01, 2018

Whether you are deep wading a river in the Pacific Northwest, or wading the flats on the west...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.