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I just bought a float tube this year and I'm still trying to figure out the most productive system. Can I just troll by kicking? Should I troll a fly? A spinner? Jigs? I know that different times of the year give way to different techniques - but any seasoned float-tuber advice would be tremendously appreciated. Thanks. MJ
 

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MJ,
I've had my float tube for about two years now and finally did some serious lake fishing with it last summer for the first time other than just goofing around getting use to it. I went to South Twin lake over by LaPine and trolled around with a simple swivel/small sinker/3ft. 3lb leader w/power bait. I had a blast catching some nice fat feisty trout. I am not a fly fisherman and only use mine for fishing in this manner. It takes a little getting use to for figuring out how to manuver.

JK
 

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I've been float tubing for 15 years. How you fish in a float tube depends on you and how you like to fish. You are gonna wear yourself out pretty quick trying to troll a spinner. Personally, I only flyfish out of my float tube. I usually kick troll to the areas that I want to fish (Structure, Holes, etc.) then I will cast and retrieve. It really is a matter of personal preference. Just experiment until you find out what suits you.
 

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Tanner and Artwo are right on. Don't try to troll spinners in a float tube. You won't last too long. I learned that lesson when I spent a week at Badger lake trout fishing. Trolling worms or powerbait on the bottom is very fun and produces some awesome catches. It is great acting as you own bobber! Cast spinners and spoons once you get to a spot. This is a great way to fish the shoreline. If there is a wind pushing you along you can also do some jigging. I've caught lots of crappie, smallmouth and trout doing that on some lakes.

I also use my float tube for duck hunting. It doesn't quite have enough places to put a limit of birds, but they can be very helpful in lakes or ponds. I've got a bunch of old potato sacks that I sowed together for a cover. Ducks don't seem to recognize me as a threat at all. One word of warning: when you do shoot, make sure your feet are planted on something solid or you will regret it. When you are floating and shoot you will either spin like a top and not get another shot or you will damn near flip over and be too scared to shoot again. At least that is what I've found. They are best used as a portable blind, moving from place to place or for picking up birds w/out a dog.
 

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Another trick is if you are going to cover a lot of water or fish larger lakes is to use actual dive fins instead of the small ones they sell with float tubes. Dive fins generate much more power and you won't have to kick nearly as much. Just take off your wading boots and slip them directly over your waders just like a wet suit.

The only drawback to this is that good dive fins aren't cheap. They can cost you as much as a float tube. But if you already dive, then you can use the fins for both purposes.
 
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