Generally, when I have to animate a tail there are two scenarios I find myself in. The first, wondering why the rig has so many controls that it becomes difficult to animate. The second, wondering why the rig has so few controls that it becomes difficult to animate. Wouldn't it be great if you could be the one deciding how many controls you needed?
Animating a tail just got easier!
Step 1) Customize your setup to have as few or as many controls as you want.
Step 2) Layer animation on the sub controls to add finer movement.
Step 3) Use IK tweak controls to easily add details to your animation, like contact or collision points.
Step 4) Finish your shot early and head to the beach!*
*Not recommended if the beach is more than 200 miles away and you intend to stay employed at your current job.