Float tubes offer a fully immersive and super rewarding fishing or flyfishing experience. Yet, subpar float tube fins will have you floundering before its time to reel in a big catch. A solid pair of fishing fins needs to be both secure and comfortable. What’s more, it needs to provide optimal propulsion while minimizing drag.Of course, there are several different types of float tube fins on the market. Read along to learn more about these fins and discover which one is right for your next aquatic adventure.Read along to learn more about this essential float tube accessory and discover our top picks.
The Best Fins for a Float Tube go as Follows:
How to Choose Float Tube Fins
There are several different styles and design elements used in float tube fins. As such, you need to make multiple considerations before settling on one. A good pair of fins should fit snuggly around the foot and eliminate the circulation of water around it. Most fins are one-size-fits-all and feature adjustable straps and buckles. The majority of float tube fins are also designed to fit around waders and neoprene socks. Straps, buckles, and pockets vary between models.
Once you’ve found a well-fitted fin, you need to ensure that it enables adequate propulsion. There are several different design elements that are used to reduce underwater drag and increase thrust. However, the dimension, weight, and flexibility of a fin also have a profound effect on its performance. Large stiff fins push large amounts of water with each kick, making for quick movements in deep water. Keep in mind that long fins are also more likely to come in contact with the bottom of a shallow aquifer. Not to mention, more muscle power is needed to engage them. On the other hand, smaller, more flexible fins engage easier but provide less propulsion. With that said, most tubers opt for semi-flexible fins that offer the best of both worlds.
Features to Look for in Float Tube Fins
Flat Paddles: Some float fins have a flat surface. These fins tend to be more flexible than force fins. As you can see in the above video, these fins tend to twist to the side and resist force if they do not have vents.
V-shaped Fin: V-shaped, or force, fins feature an upward-curved blade with a V-shaped cut in the center. The design creates a jet of water that helps propel a tuber forward with minimal effort. These fins closely resemble the tails of fish and make for swift natural kicks.
Hinges: Hinged fins open and lock in place as a tuber bends their leg backward and close when a tuber moves their leg forward. This intuitive design reduces the amount of drag between kicks, lending itself to optimal forward propulsion. This style of fin can also be folded up so that a tuber can walk on a beach or sand bar without having to remove all of their footwear.
Paddle Pushers: Paddle pushers are fins with lateral hinges. They attach directly to a tuber’s ankles. Anglers propel forward using a walking motion rather than traditional kicks.
Grooves: Many fins boast grooved tops. Ribs help fortify and stiffen the fins while forcing water into a direct pathway.
Vents: Strategically placed vents, or cutouts, help to reduce the amount of drag caused by the body of a fin.
Buckles: Manufacturers utilize a variety of adjustable straps. The most common types are single and double D-shaped loops, stainless steel springs, bungees, and clip buckles with D-shaped adjustment points. Many consumers prefer clip buckles because they do not require an angler to refit their fins before each use.
Straps: Heel fins are secured to the foot with a strap. The straps typically have adjustable tension and a quick point of release. Some float tube fins also feature keeper elements that attach to the ankle for extra assurance.
Materials: Scuba fins are typically made from rubber and/or plastic. The material must be nonporous and extremely durable to withstand repeated underwater kicks.
Full-Foot or Open-Heel Pockets: The materials and designs of fin pockets vary greatly. Most float tube fins have pockets that cover everything but the heel and are held in place with a strap. Nevertheless, there are also a few full foot pockets options on the market. Both kinds of pockets can be worn over neoprene water socks and fishing waders.
One-Size-Fits-All: Most float tube fins offer a universal fit. However, people with especially small or large feet may have difficulty getting their toes in the pocket, especially when wearing socks or waders.
Floatation: Some fins have a neutral buoyancy to prevent them from sinking in the case that they become separated from your foot. This is important because anglers are at-risk for getting stranded without two fins to navigate.
Tethers: Float Tube Fin tethers, like the one seen here, can be purchased separately. Nevertheless, some manufacturers integrate them into their bases design, saving consumers money and hassle.
Float Tube Fins Reviews
The best float tube fins go as follows below.
1. Outcast Power Kick Fins
Outkast’s Power Kick Fins are one-size-fits-most force fins designed for float tube and personal pontoon adventures. These robust polyurethane fins are engineered to last a lifetime. They even have an ergonomic foot cradle that consists of two fully adjustable overhead straps that are designed to fit around large wading boots.
What’s more, the bottom of the cradle features slip-resistant ridges. As such, the fins stay in place without any assistance. What’s more, their upward curved V-shaped blade lends itself well to rapid forward acceleration. As an added bonus, they feature an integrated Kicker Keeper to prevent the fins from drifting away when you need them most.
The Outkast fins are 18 inches long and 12 inches wide, dimensions that enable a powerful forward thrust with minimal drag. The upward facing blades even make it possible for anglers to walk ashore without removing their fins. With that said, if we had to change one thing about these hydrodynamic masterpieces, we would replace the simple wire buckle with a quick-release plastic clip with better integrity.
- Durable polyerethane
- Kicker Keeper included
- One size fits most
- Upward facing V-blade design
- Reduced Drag
- Fit snuggly over wading boots
- Fully adjustable foot cradle
- Need to loosen wire buckle to take on and off
- Slide adjusting straps
2. Omega Amphibian Navigator Float Tube Flip Fins
Looking for a premium pair of hinged fins? Be sure to check out the Omega Amphibian Navigator Float Tube Flip Fins. The Flip Fins feature an innovative two-piece design that is brought together with a resilient Aqua-Hinge that features military-grade anti-corrosive stainless steel springs.
The fins are made from a combination of high-quality thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and more ridged TPE. Meanwhile, the frame is manufactured from durable, yet pliable polypropylene G3.
The Flip Fins offer superior propulsion with reduced loads. What’s more, they can be flipped up to allow anglers to walk ashore without removing any accessories. In fact, the soles of the foot pockets even have raised treads to prevent unnecessary slips and falls.
On top of that, the blades can be locked down in the straight position to enable hassle-free kicking sessions. The fins also have tapered side ribs to increase their flexibility while maintaining a drag-reducing level of stiffness. Customers are overwhelmingly pleased by the Omega’ performance in and out of the water.
- TPE blade inlays
- Military-grade stainless steel spring for hinge
- Enable onshore walking
- Fit over most waders
- Tapered side ribs
- Fin lockdown features
- Anglers must master specific walking style of kick
3. Outcast High-Thrust Fins
Outkast’s high-thrust foot float tube fins are made of lightweight polyurethane that allows for maximum maneuverability in the water. The step-in fin features a one-click plastic buckle and nylon ankle strap for pleasant kicking sessions on a tube or pontoon.
Not to mention, these fins come with a Kicker Keeper that straps securely around the ankle to prevent loss. They also feature sliding D-rings that can be adjusted to accommodate waders.
The fins are flat with a barely noticeable trio of channels running along the surface. Their sturdy scalloped ends are not well-suited for free diving or snorkeling. However, the stiff bill pairs well with waders and boots and offers optimal tube navigation.
What’s more, these fins stay put for powerful propulsion. Not to mention, they are super snug when properly strapped down. They’re also surprisingly easy to walk with on the beach or sand bar.
- Firm polyurethane fin
- One-click adjustable strap and Kicker Keeper
- Universal fit
- Frog fin design
- Some drag
4. Float Tube Force Fin
The Float Tube Force Fins are specifically designed for use during float tubing. They boast a well-engineered upward-curved V-shape that helps anglers accelerate through all sorts of water.
Not to mention, they have an adjustable foot pocket that easily accommodates wading boots and/or tubing socks. What’s more, their snap-on straps enable snug adjustments and optimal foot comfort the whole day through.
The Force Fins have a unique design that helps them to propel through the water with ease and speed. Not only that, but they have neutral buoyancy. As such, you don’t have to worry about one sinking if it should fall off your feet.
What’s more, the curved blade snaps into place when a tuber’s foot moves downward, dramatically improving the potential thrust.
- Secure fit with one-click buckle
- Snaps into place to improve thrust
- Comfortable foot pocket
- Accomidates waders and socks
- Specifically designed for float tubing
5. Classic Accessories Thruster Float Tube Fins
Classic Accessories’s Thruster Float Tube Flippers are budget-friendly high-thrust fins with vented blades for extra powerful propulsion and nonexistent drag. These fins are perfect for pairing with boots and stocking foot waders.
They even have one-click heel straps with easy-pull loops for rapid fittings and releases. What’s more, the foot pocket covers the entire front portion of the foot for a super snug fit.
The Thruster Float Tube Fins are great for navigating around lakes and ponds. However, they tend to loosen easier than other float tube fins. Still, they sell for a fraction of the price of most alternatives.
What’s more, the vast majority of customers seem to approve of the Thruster fins. Not to mention, they have an aesthetically pleasing split-color design that looks great underwater.
- One-click strap connection
- Fit over waders and neoprene socks
- Universal fit
- Superior thrust
- Vents reduce drag
- Straps often loosen on their own
- Side buckles may become misaligned
Why Use Float Tube Fins?
Years ago, anglers used miniature hand held paddles to navigate the waters in float tubes and pontoons. While this helped them to quickly reach their fishing spot, they often struggled to maintain their position, especially when up against currents and surf.
What’s more, handheld paddles made tackle and bait changes virtually impossible. Tubers eventually turned to traditional scuba fins for navigation and propulsion. These innovative accessories enable tubers to propel forward while keeping their hand on their rods.
Believe it or not, swim fins were used by early inventors like Leonardo de Vinci and Ben Franklin. However, the first modern swim fins were developed by an inventor by the name of Louis de Corlieu and used by the French Navy.
Since then, they’ve been adopted for military, occupational, and recreational use. What’s more, they’ve become a mainstay of float tubing.
A reliable pair of float tube fins will help you navigate to your fishing spot and back again. They’ll also minimize the amount of stress on your legs. In fact, a hydrodynamic fin will let you use less energy, giving the ability to focus your energy on angling.
How to Use Float Tube Fins?
Float tube fins are relatively easy to use and require minimal training. Most tubers utilize a variety of kicks to propel forward. In kicks, the legs are kept relatively straight and swung back and forth at the hips.
Legs may be rotated simultaneously or in an oppositional scissor-like motion. Meanwhile, hinged fins require a walking-like motion. Finally, helicopter turns and backward paddling are used to rotate or stop. Check out this helpful video to familiarize yourself with even more float tube techniques.
Float tubing requires a bit of physical exertion, but it shouldn’t be overly taxing on the body. Oftentimes, poorly fitted or inferior fins are at fault for painful, uncomfortable float tube sessions. To avoid this conundrum, we recommend that you seek out fins that are comfortable, reliable, and hydrodynamic. Keep in mind that you may even need more than one style of fins if you fish in a variety of waters.
Just remember, a solid pair of float tube fins can help you nail that picture-perfect catch you’ve been after and return you safely to the shore when you’re done. No matter what fins you choose, float on, be safe and enjoy the water!