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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:17 am • # 1 
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Hi -- I am brand new to this forum, and am looking for recommendations on an ultralight float tube and fins. The lightest tube set up I have found so far is the Creek Company 420 Ultralight Float Tube. I have had no luck searching for ultralight fins. I am headed for a backpacking trip in the Sierras in a few months and will greatly appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks
jsn


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:17 am • # 2 
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If you can find one of Pete Ross's Wood River "Stealth Rider" or "Glider Rider" float tubes, it should serve your purpose well. Weighs in about 6 pounds and can be inflated with the lung pump.
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They do appear on the site of the great unwashed masses from time to time. Craigslist as well.
Can't advise on the fins. I drag my Force Fins everywhere. Extra weight, but worth it to me.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:53 am • # 3 
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Boy, you guys are hardcore float tubers (and some awfully strong individuals) if you are willing to backpack with that stuff. I balk at even carrying my tent (<3lbs with stakes), and generally just carry a bivy sack and/or a tarp when I'm backpacking.

Nothing about what you are doing seems "ultralight" to me, because the ounces turn to pounds as the miles go on and on. But in this case the pounds are going to turn into....

Please post pictures/reports of the destinations that "require" this kind of dedication. Because to get an extra 6+ pounds willingly added to your backpack... Well those destinations must be unbelievable.

You have my respect and admiration, even if not my understanding.

---David


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:00 am • # 4 
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I merely offered a suggestion to his question regarding lightweight float tubes. I don't know of any tube measured in mere ounces, so compared to the 12-15pounds of the others, the Wood Rivers are the lightest I know of. I would like to know if there are lighter ones.
Speaking only for myself and a favorite hike-in/overnight that comes to mind would be Kirman Lk a bit N of Bridgeport, Ca. Big Cutts and Brooks with very little shore access due to the abundant tules.
One can chose to park near the ranger house on 108 and walk the service road in about 3 miles, OR continue west on 108 and park off road near the USMC gates. Wade across the W. Walker and head up the draw as you look south along the edge of the aspens. When you reach the top, Kirman is pretty much at your feet. Might be a 3/4 mi hike to the lake almost all UPHILL. Being an old Marine myself (63), I prefer this way, if nothing more to prove to myself I can still do it.
Yes, I walk slower and more carefully now and when I get winded, I sit my butt down and enjoy the view for spell. Good to be alive you know.
A word of caution, if you make the trek, keep your eyes peeled for rattlers.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:15 pm • # 5 
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When it comes to fins I agree with ablecane. I have 2 pair of Force Fins as well as others and only use the Force Fins. They are turned up in the front and allow for relatively easy walking in them. I would get the exact size type not the adjustable as those are much heaver and seem to have a hinge effect when tubing, I gave a pair of them away. That's how much I disliked them. I suggest you try whatever fins you select with what you will be wearing when you are actually fishing. I have 2 pair because one is XXL for use with waders and booties for cold water fishing and 1 pair of L for using with water shoes for warm water fishing.
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As far as float tubes I use an Outcast. They are too heavy for back packing but I do not need to go far with my tube. Looks like your research as found some of the lightest U tubes out there. Good luck with your search.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:26 pm • # 6 
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The Creek Company Ultralight 420 is on sale right now at Cabelas. 179$ and free shipping until 3-28. I wish I had the money. They come in a bag...just strap it to the pack frame.

Sucks being unemployed.

Dave


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 4:15 pm • # 7 
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Backpacking into the wilderness??? I remember I used to do that in the olden days before I got old. >:(


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:26 am • # 8 
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Thanks very much for your help gentleman. I'll start looking for this gliderider. Looks like you saved me two pounds if I can find one.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:07 pm • # 9 
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Gentlemen and Reel Ladies: Copy everybody on the force fins. On the tube itself, price is not an object for this one month trek, so I am ordering this:

http://www.orvis.com/store/product.aspx?pf_id=4A2P

It weighs in at six pounds. Thanks much for the help!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:15 pm • # 10 
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PS -- For Utah Dave. If you were going to set up a base camp here for just over a month, you might want to endure the float tube pain of two days in and two days out too:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&sugex ... CDwQ8gEwAA

Taut Lines


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:51 pm • # 11 
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Okay jsn. Now that you've wetted our appetites, you are going to have to post a detailed review with plenty of pictures upon your return. And I for one am looking forward to it!

---David


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:16 pm • # 12 
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When I backpack to fishing places I took my float, tent, etc. etc. The first time I went to a secret pond I pack my 5mm neoprene waders!!! it was an uphill 6hrs hike...

...I was 24 years old :P


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:10 pm • # 13 
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Utah David wrote:
Okay jsn. Now that you've wetted our appetites, you are going to have to post a detailed review with plenty of pictures upon your return. And I for one am looking forward to it!

---David

Same here! Sounds like a great time.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:44 pm • # 14 
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an outcast trinity is about 7 lbs and is a good choice, but so is the easyglider.
http://www.outcastboats.com/outcast/products/?id=1


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:44 pm • # 15 
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I have been fishing from a float tube exclusively for over 30-years, though I have never had what ya might call a light weight tube. I can endorse Outcast products as my buddy and I have been using Outcast brand tubes (Caddis before that) for over a decade now and zero trouble with either of our tubes. These are not "garage queen" tubes either as we fish year around and rarely miss fishing two weeks in a row. In short, our tubes have gotten a lot of use!

I can also endorse Force fins as they have served both my buddy and I for as long as the Outcast tubes have with no problems there either.

Here are a couple current photos of my over a decade old Outcast. Bye the way, we use the back pack straps Outcast sells to go with their tubes and do short packs with our tubes inflated into a few small lakes here in Oregon.

Old and reliable Outcast tube.
Image

You can see my force fins in this photo. Wild Brown was released. 8)
Image


Randy


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:29 am • # 16 
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I'm late to the discussion but the Creek Company U-Boat designs come in at about 6 pounds and are very cost effective. They also have a less expensive version of the Outcast Trinity called the ODC 420 Ultralight that includes a stuff sack.

If you really want a light backpack watercraft then look into Alpacka Rafts. Both the Alpacka (4lb) and Scout (3lb) models are purpose designed packrafts.

Dave


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:17 am • # 17 
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Hello gentlemen,

You seem like float tube experts, and I am in need of some expert advice.

I bought a Wood River Gliderider tube in 1998 and used it a lot until around 2002. It sat idle for a decade and it is time to dust it off!

However, I cannot find the adapter needed to attach to and inflate the primary air bladder in the Wood River tubes. I must have lost the connector!

Do any of you know what type of connector or adapter is required to actually connect to and inflate the Wood River tubes (vintage 1998)? I hear that it is a Shrader valve but could not find what looked like a 100% match to this tube. I would rather not blow through $45 through trial and error purchases of adapters.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks a bunch...


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:47 pm • # 18 
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Any chance you can take a picture of the valve opening? Maybe with a ruler next to it for size relationship.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:47 pm • # 19 
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Hello, newb here. I've heard fellow float tube anglers rave about that Glide Rider. I've had a Creek Co U boat since the early 90s, with truck inner tubes for bladders. I replaced the backrest tube with a PVC bladder when they became available to lighten it up. It still holds air and floats but the cover needs a small patch job near the main bladder zipper. I got a "Classic" U boat for my son about 10+ years ago and it's still in good shape and is very lightweight. This summer I invested in an Outcast Trinity. I have been able to do one hike-in to a mountain lake so far. Hoping to do one more before the season ends. My entire kit with everything I need for daytrippin' including waders, fins, PFD, wading jacket, net, Bernoulli bag pump I made, food, and water filter bottle fits into / lashes onto my Fishpond Tundra Tech Pack, and weighs about 20lbs total. I am very pleased.
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Some wildflowers along the way
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Image

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Turned a corner on the ridge above the lake to see this
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The lake
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Using my homemade pump
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After rigging out the tube and putting my toys away. Ready to shove off
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Landed eight of these and one small rainbow
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At 5:00 PM as I was getting ready leave
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Spied this old girl eying me on the hike out
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Last edited by Brian_Miller on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:27 am • # 20 
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Welcome Brian, what a great photo introduction. Look forward to more of your posts :)


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