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jimbob

Float tubes

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I came from Kamloops in 1988 where I used a float tube.  Never saw another human being in these parts partake...  Buddies stopped by warden last week.. I think prob. from Presque Isle district. (Young Fella)  Stated Life jackets are the law...Welll...my question is....How many people have died fishing from a float tube IN MAINE since 1988???  And was this slipped into midnight legislation to gain more money for the State Of Maine?  Or, is the warden looking for a fight??

 

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Some guys I know were fishing a pond near Patten last week and were checked by a hiding warden.  No mention of life jackets......

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No  mention probably because they are not required.  Float tubes while fishing are exempt from the law.  That according to IF & W website boating law book.

 

 

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I  agree with you jim as I don't wear a life jacket when I'm in my float tube I just think that the wardens are tired of pulling bodies from the water so I can see their point also

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Regardless of law anyone with common sense should carry a PFD in their tube, like mentioned above the wardens are probably tired of all the recklessness on the water and pulling bodies from the water probably gets old real fast. I can't say as I blame them.

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When you say recklessness, are you talking about how quickly a float tube fisherman can reach zero to 45 and potentially hurt themselves or others? Then, dead bodies are pulled from the water in the wake of a float tube?  I guess that answers all my questions.  Recklessness equals float tube??  Really??

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I am neither here nor there with this topic. I think in certain situations especially fishing in the dark extra precautions should be taken. More so in tidal areas as current can do some wierd things and a float tube could deflate or possibly flip or something along those lines, wearing a life jacket would be smart. I am not saying it should be a law just be smart waders fill up and swimming goes out the window if not using waders you have better odds. Never used a float tube but am thinking of getting one sometime soon so certain situations a life jacket is the smart thing to do. Life jackets don't make you less of a man just my two cents

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I was fishing a small pond about dusk one time and I hooked onto a nice bass, 4lbs or so, by the time I got him unhooked he had poked a hole in the front of my tube. I didn't notice it until I leaned forward and could hear bubbles. I hot finned it back to the launch and made it but it was getting lower all the time. If I would have been on the other side of the pond that night it might have got dicey.

My tube has 2 backup bladders in the backrest that I think would keep me afloat.

As far as the dangers of float tubing a horn or having to wear florescent orange would keep you safer than a life jacket, as I see it the biggest danger in a float tube is from boaters not paying attention, on water that allows power boats.

I'll never forget the time fishing a southern Maine POND, casting to shore like you do when fishing from the water and some A$$clown pulled a skier between me and shore. Obviously from away, I'm sure you can guess where.

As far as flipping over in a float tube, I doubt it.

Life jackets are always a good idea, like helmets on motorcycles, seatbelts, not smoking with your kids in the car etc etc but like everything else, no one likes "The Man" coming down on them and telling them what to do. In the world of lawsuits and insurance everyone has to be managed by what could happen to the "weak links" I'm sure as soon as someone does drown in a float tube the knee jerk reaction will be to require life jackets.

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Keep in mind that Maine law exempts PFD requirements for float tubes, but the Coast Guard considers a float tube to be a "vessel" and a PFD is required in their jurisdictional waters.

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I always take mine in unfamiliar waters.  I wear the inflatable kind that lays flat on my chest.  If I need it, I just pull the handle.  Easier for casting too.  Most of them places I use it are small ponds.  Not a lot speed boats.

 

I'll have mine at the Float Tube Jamboree this Saturday on the York River.

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One could argue the float tube is a life safety device in and of itself.  However, depending upon the model, there may only be one bladder - I have a Deluxe Fat Cat which falls into that category.  I'd wear one if 1) in cold water, 2) in rougher conditions, 3) planning to fish any significant distance from shoreline, 4) potentially near boat traffic (I've encountered less than courteous ski boat operators on Highland Lake, bad enough in a canoe, forget being in an inflatable) or 5) by myself for an extended period of time.  

I'm sure all have opinions regarding freedoms, placing others at risk, impact of tragedy on family/friends, etc.  The above is what I would do personally for myself as I'm inclined to think that most anyone who has unfortunately passed as a result of drowning while pursuing a recreational activity likely thought they were safe prior to partaking.  A medical issue, even as minor as a severe cramp, can be the difference in a solid swimmer not be being as capable as one may otherwise be.  Just me but I'd rather be safe than sorry if I find myself in that situation.

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