Great boats worthy for great anglers!
We choose the best boat for each situation, whether it is trolling on a river, pelagic on the deep lakes, casting on the big Volkerak or exploring the Irish lakes in an adventurous way.
Fishing in a bellyboat or floattube is beyond any doubt the most relaxing and nature friendly way to fish and explore mother nature!!!
The mere fact that there is no motor involved, is a major bonus : no pollution in terms of exhaust nor noise will spoile the fun. Not only will you enjoy nature on a far higher level, it even will affect your health in a very positive way.
Approaching and catching pike, jumping just in front of you whilst in the fight : nothing compares to the sensation of hooking and playing them in a floattube!!!
Bellyboats are light, ideal to travel, and almost impossible to turn over. So not only safety is high on the board, but accessability is top. You should always wear a life jacket though, because one never knows what might happen. Surely since pikefishing very often involves fishing with trebles.
In a bellyboat, you always navigate backwards by use of the flippers,which is why the back is almost always fluorescent orange for maximum safety. Best is to go upwind for maximum steadiness.
Over the years bellyboats have been improving and developed in several shapes. Later on even pontoon boats got into play, yet for travelling, those are too heavy as a fishermans gear.
The original bellyboats were round in form and rather small or compact.
Main advantages are fast navigation, not prone to windy conditions and ease to use for turning towards the exact wanted angle without any effort. this is particularly handy when fishing weedbeds where very accurate casting is needed. The fact that your legs are completely in the water and functioning underneath you as a deep fin, gives you great stability.
Disadvantages: the fact that the tire is round : it is sitting in front of you, so you need to fish above it, which tends to get heavy on the shoulders after a few hours of casting and reeling in. Secondly they contain almost always only one tyre, so one chamber. Usually you have one or even two spare airbags on the back. Last disadvantage is the fact that you have to step into the circle, which is a meticulous thing with waders and flippers on. Also getting out is not as comfortable.
To alleviate the discomfort of stepping in and stepping out of the belly, a U formed belly was developed. This is also an ideal way to flyfish, since you don't have a tube in front of you, and usually a small net is foreseen, which is ideal for stripping in the flyline. As you are seated in this kind of boat, only the lower part of your legs are in the water, as from your knees. In very cold conditions this is an advantage as well. Further on the Uboat often contains two chambers for the main U-tube, which contributes to safety. Yet it is not all glamour! As you only have a small part of your legs into the water, you don't have the same resistance to the wind, it will make you drift faster, and it will be less obvious to turn a certain number of degrees to reach just that spot in between the weedbeds on your left or on your right. The shape of the boat tends also to be more sensitiveto the wind. Also a Uboat tends to close his two legs in front of you. So often a pole is used to fix them. Which causes discomfort to fish. But if you don't use the pole, you will usually get into trouble with your back when bellyboating for a long time, because of the seated position will not be optimal.
By far my favourite is the latest development in bellyboats :
They exist in different sizes, optimal for anybody's body length or bodyweight. They have the same disadvantage as the U boat in terms of sensitivity to the wind, yet the V shape makes it just a little easier to cut the wind and keep it on the right track.
But as far as seating comfort is concerned, they are second to none. The seating position is perfect and even adjustable with straps. Getting in and out is a piece of cake.
Furthermore they are by far the safest since they always contain multiple air chambers, nowadays even six or more.
Another big advantage is the fact that you have some space behind the seat in the top of the V to store a small bag or even a frigobox!
Let's drift straight away and hook some