The Belly Boat
With bass fishing in Italy has arrived, for some years now, even the belly boat is nothing more than a donut of various shapes consisting of one or more inner tubes that allows you to move in the water using only the strength of your legs.
The bassmen of the beautiful country have soon learned to appreciate it and understand its real potential, but let’s see what is and how the belly boat was born.
Nobody knows exactly when the first belly boat was built, but certainly the invention of the tyres with the inner tube has allowed the idea of the donut to be born. In fact, before the 1940s some fishermen improvised a first rudimentary belly using a simple inner tube as a life jacket, thus being able to reach areas otherwise unattainable.
From the artisan to the commercial version the step was short; in fact in 1940 the Tucker Duck and Rubber Company of Fort Smith in Arkansas launched on the market the first belly boat and after a few years of dominance it found itself competing with the MFG that created in Oklahoma the first belly boat with main tube communicating with the seat.
The first belly boats, however, were plagued by some serious problems including the explosion due to water infiltration and lack of elasticity of the rubber, this defect was solved only in the 70s with the discovery of new materials that brought the belly boat to the worldwide success that we all know.
The Evolution Of The Belly Boat
Throughout history, belly boats have evolved, not only in terms of materials and construction but above all in terms of shape, in fact they can be divided into 3 types:
Round Boat: It was the first model of belly boat on the market; it was composed of a single pvc inner tube with a central harness, the advantages of this type of belly were:
- The small space occupied that allowed the transport even in less accessible places.
- The price was quite low.
Obviously this type belly went away gradually becoming extinct because of the disadvantages that it involved:
- Half of the body was completely immersed in water. Of course in summer this could also prove to be a merit but during the spring and autumn it was not so pleasant.
- The difficulty of manoeuvring once in the water.
- The speed of wear of the waders that due to the rubbing between the legs and the seat were worn out before.
U Boat: After years of dominance of the round boat appeared on the market this new type that vaguely resembles the shape of a U and had some improvements that led to retiring the Round boat.
- A double inner tube capable of offering greater safety
- For the first time, the seat had a backrest that allows the fisherman to sit in a much more comfortable position.
This second type of belly, undoubtedly better than the previous one, was not free of defects, even if less serious.
- It was not possible to use it in rivers with too fast currents.
- Despite there were compartments for storage space was still limited.
V Boat: This is the last type of belly boat to come on the market.
It is much more manageable than previous versions, and with its V-shaped tip allows us to cut more easily the water, helping us to do so much less effort during movements and movements.