We report a combination of physical property and neutron scattering measurements for polycrystalline samples of the one-dimensional spin-chain compound CoV2O6. Heat capacity measurements show that an effective S=1/2 state is found at low temperatures and that magnetic fluctuations persist up to ∼6NT. Above NT=6.3 K, measurements of the magnetic susceptibility as a function of T and H show that the nearest-neighbor exchange is ferromagnetic. In the ordered state, we have discovered a crossover from a metamagnet with strong fluctuations between 5 K and NT to a state with a 1/3 magnetization plateau at 2<T<5 K. We use neutron powder diffraction measurements to show that the antiferromagnetic state has incommensurate long-range order and inelastic time-of-flight neutron scattering to examine the magnetic fluctuations as a function of temperature. Above TN, we find two broad bands between 3.5 and 5 meV and thermally activated low-energy features which correspond to transitions within these bands. These features show that the excitations are deconfined solitons rather than the static spin reversals predicted for a uniform ferromagnetic Ising spin chain. Below TN, we find a ladder of states due to the confining effect of the internal field. A region of weak confinement below TN, but above 5 K, is identified which may correspond to a crossover between two- and three-dimensional magnetic ordering.