As we pursue the sport we love, we often place ourselves in hazardous situations. The Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen Board supports an informative corner to sharpen our be smart and safe behaviors.

Float Tube Safety

Fishing from a float tube is a safe and very enjoyable method of lake fishing. The following tips are given to help insure you have many enjoyable hours with these boats.

1. Read and understand all the safety instructions given by your boat's manufacturer.
2. Always fish close to a partner.
3. Have a "quick release" on your stripping apron so you are not held into your boat if it is turned over.
4. Don't lean forward to untangle line from fins as you could flip your boat. Get a friend to help.
5. Learn how to "walk" with fins as they can cause stumbles when getting into and out of the water.
6. Enter and exit on firm bottoms to avoid loss of fins, falls and spills.
7. Get off water in a storm with lightning.
8. A pontoon boat can be very difficult to get out of reeds if you have backed in. Get help from a friend.
9. Watch for others that are fishing near you and avoid their backcasts. Let others know where you are.
10. Wear eye protection.
11. Have the required safety floatation equipment with you.
12. Don't leave boat in sun when you return for lunch, etc. Let some air out so seams won't rupture.
13. Don't travel to higher elevations with boat inflated. The expansion in air will cause a seam rupture.
14. Have a signal light with you when fishing at night.
15. Know your physical limitations and don't exceed. Bad weather can make a return to your takeout very difficult.
16. If you use an anchor don't pull hard on the rope if stuck as this can cause a turnover. Cut it off and get another.
17. When wearing a waist belt don't tighten until you wade to belt depth. This exhausts air from your leg area and makes leg movement while kicking your fins much easier.
18. Waterproof cuffs on clothing will allow great amounts of water to be trapped in the arms in the event of a spill so keep them loose.
19. It is very difficult to get back into a boat if you tip it over. It is easier to push the tube to the shore by kicking with your fins.
20. If possible, practice escape procedures from your tube in your or a friend's swimming pool while your friend is there to give assistance if needed. You need to be able to find and release any cords keeping you attached to the tube while it is upside down. This will help reduce the "panic" impulse if you have trouble while fishing.

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