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Thread: Tube For Quick River Crossings: Lightweight / Tough Enough / Easily Inflated

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Granite Bay, CA
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    325

    Default Tube For Quick River Crossings: Lightweight / Tough Enough / Easily Inflated

    Looking for something that fits the above just to float across unsafely waded sections of rivers like the Yuba, American or parts of the Pit, for example. Just for quick transport across the river. Ideally it would be lightweight and not require a pump and could be stowed in the back of a typical vest. Trying to avoid drowning with my wading gambles.

    Thanks for any ideas.
    TroutSource.com
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Stockton
    Posts
    106

    Default

    If something like that existed everyone would have one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    alameda
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    278

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    perhaps wearing a wet or dry suit maybe farmer John style? with quick drying pants and shirt over it, might work or a waist belt manual inflation device like this...
    https://www.sportsmans.com/fishing-g...pack/p/1445307

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Lotus
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Such a device could contribute to drownings, not mitigate them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Garden Valley
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    1,026

    Default

    I think John is probably correct. In the right hands, and used sparingly, it could in theory be very helpful...but it would also have lots of potential to get people into much more hazardous situations too. There are a few options out there which fit some of your criteria, but I think your final one would eliminate any that I would consider. If you did find something that could be stowed in the back of your fishing vest, I think the set up time to get it ready would make it a bit of a hassle? A good fitting PFD while wet wading has worked well for me in a few situations on smaller streams, but I’d be way too lazy to try that on a wider or faster stream.
    JB
    "Lord help me to be the person my dog thinks I am"
    - unknown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lafayette, CA (Contra Costa County)
    Posts
    316

    Default

    Float tube: how will your propel it? Fins or kayak paddle will add weight and bulk for you to carry while fishing.
    Plus float tubes are not designed for moving water, so wet wading it might be okay but with waders and wading boots it spells danger. Scadden has some lightweight, frameless, "U" boats but he made them lighter by using thinner material- probably too heavy and bulky to carry all day.

    PFD- I wear a NRS Chinook PFD/fishing vest when I use an inflatable.


    THE BEST: Several firms sell lightweight, "kayak-style" inflatables designed for backpacking. These weigh around 3-5lbs not including weight of kayak paddle, but they are designed to safely handle white water.

    Alpacka is one I used on a fly-in, paddle out with hiking between rivers. They now make some from Vectran (spun liquid polymer material- stronger than steel) but these are pricey.

    https://www.alpackaraft.com/rafting/


    NRS and AIRE also have similar boats.

    If you plan to walk to a spot to cross and return-- consider a boat designed for that: SeaEagle Packfish 7, a 1 person, 22 lb, raft. Inflated you can carry it like a backpack. Not a vinyl toy, good quality. I used one to float the Yuba and it was great. $350 or so new. Also, look at Outcast Commander and Scadden used to sell similar "kayak-style" open bottom inflatable.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Boulder Creek
    Posts
    159

    Default

    He he....
    Pack light get a light dry bag or dry back pack. Get naked and go for a swim you'll appreciate the waders more as you dry off!
    Watch out for the big browns I hear they eat trouser trout!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    32

    Default

    You could try one of these: https://klymit.com/products/litewate...31722990207066

    I've never tried them but I've seen a couple guys in Desolation use them for fishing, float tube style.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    757

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    I have heard about a guy who wears a wet suit to fish the McCloud and swim across the river to the opposite side, roping trout on all the seams over there that do not get regularly fished, as if he was a human otter. This is probably the safest approach if you are a good swimmer. I would definitely not attempt a float tube in any of the rivers you mentioned, except perhaps only to cross the slowest of the slow pools.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Granite Bay, CA
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    Thanks for all the interesting ideas, from naked to wet suit to some cool inflatables.

    The idea I had was simply to cross a place that's just a little to deep or swift to cross -- a marginal riffle (or tailout that morphs into a relatively harmless run). Something that would keep me from trouble if I slipped and fell. Or something that would allow me to just wade until it's too dangerous, then float/drift the rest of the way.

    For example, I was crossing the lower Yuba a few weeks ago with my brother in a riffle/tailout that had been easy the week before but was now sketchy. The water below was not too dangerous. It was in the dark, of course. He went first and about 3/4 of the way across he lost his footing. He was able to float on his back for a few feet and then was able to maneuver into some shallower water and emerge wet but unharmed. I then started losing my footing and decided to just "walk" with the flow rather than fight it and go down. It was like moon walking -- low gravity. Easy to keep moving, but of course hard to stop. It was kind of a deep riffle. So my idea was what if I had something that helped me stay above water if I tumbled. One idea is a small, lightweight inner tube around my waist that I hold above water level until I need it, then I just moon walk the rest of the way. Another is a swim buoy, or two of them, that I latch under my armpits. This is also a lightweight solution. The key would be finding the right water, the safest water to do this in.

    Swimming across would be doable with a wet bag or waterproof pack -- or if wearing a wet suit (I heard about a guy doing this on the Pit -- but not the McCloud -- either way sounds effective except neoprene gets hot as hell in the summer if you're walking around a lot, and it's real heavy (I'm thinking about the old school neoprene waders). Inflatables would be safer, but also heavier, and possibly overkill for what I'm trying to accomplish.

    Maybe I'm dreaming, but I'm just looking for a safe way to push the envelope a little further

    If I do attempt anything I'll post.


    PS The guy who uses the wet suit on the Pit (and maybe the McCloud?) is Fred Gordon, and he has Prince Nymph variety named after him
    Last edited by Troutsource; 05-26-2020 at 08:49 PM.
    TroutSource.com
    we deliver the river

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