The waggler is a float which you attach bottom end only to your line -i.e attached only at one end not both like a stick float.
Thread waggler up your line - lock in place with shots either side of float (TIP: leave a gap of about 1" between locking shots as this will help float collapse on strike and reduce friction). Attach hook length and hook to end of line and maybe some shots down line to aid sinking and presentation.
Away you go - Cast out put rod tip under water and turn a couple of turns of reel quickly to help sink line.
* Small shots spaced evenly for fishing on drop (No 9's, 10's & 11's)
* Bulk at half/three quarts depth and then droppers for flowing water.
* Bulk towards bottom third and couple of droppers to get bait down quicker.
I could go on forever if I went into detail - if you want more info then if you could be more specific about the venue, depth type of fish etc I may be able to help more.
The key is to fish the lightest float that (properly loaded) you can cast just past where you want to fish. The most common mistake beginners make is to put on a big waggler, put locking shot either side, cast out and find they haven't got enough shot on to cock the float. Then, even though they can already cast as far as they need to, they start putting on more and more shot, (usually strung all over the place) resulting in horrendous tangles on casting. They could solve the tangling problem by bulking most of the shot at the base of the float but then find they can cast twice as far as they need to, probably into a bush on the far bank. What they should do is put on a smaller float. Like most things in fishing, balanced tackle is the key to success.
The other mistake is to fish with too much float tip sticking out. For some reason, float makers seem to think we are all blind. Don't just shot down to the bottom of the bright coloured paint, if it's a calm day and you can see the float with only 2mm sticking out, then that's all you need.
You need a float rod with a softish action to avoid hook pulls and/or breaking the hooklengths on strike especially at distance with soft mouthed fish like skimmers.
get some float adapters, pieces of silicone rubber which on the cast/retrive/playing/landing will collpase leaving less restistance.
only shot the float down with what you feel comfy with. theres no point leaving a pin prick at 30 yrds if you cant see it.
If you are fishing on the drop/shallower than the full depth just put one or two No.8s down the line spread out. Especially if there are chub in th water.
use a sinking line on your reel.
if its windy cast slightly downwind and youll have less of a bow in the line to correct.
The key to fishing a waggler is to ensure that the bait falls in a natural manner, and that you feed regularly to make the fish compete with the bait. To be honest most anglers will only use half a dozen floats and the most common are straight and insert wagglers. Straight wagglers are generally used on rivers so that you can trip the bottom without the float dragging under and insert wagglers are generally used on still waters and very slow flowing rivers. If you buy floats of both types taking 2AAA, 3AA and 4AA these should cover nearly all of your needs. My advice for shotting is to place all of your shot either side of the float apart from the droppers. My general shotting patterns are generally dictated by depth and flow and are as follows:
Two tens, first one 10-12 ins above the hook, (just above my hook length), and the second one 10in above the first shot. On a river, depending on flow I might use eights.
Four - five foot:
As above with another number ten, 10ins above the last one, i.e. three tens, spaced at ten inches intervals working from the hook towards the float.
Five six foot.
This is where it changes. I would shot as above, but use a small bulk, two-three eights together, (or possibly sixes), just below half depth. So from the hook I would have, two tens, 10inches apart and then a small bulk, three eights or sixes, ten inches above that.
Six foot +
Exactly as above, but using a bigger bulk. Always make sure that the droppers including the bulk are in the bottom three foot. I would never use a bulk with more than three droppers below it as it will cause you tangles.
Always make sure that the bulk is in the bottom third of the water and that the bulk never weighs more than a third of the shot around the float. The only exception to this is slider fishing, which you shouldnt worry about unless the waters you are fishing are more than ten ft. deep.
Always try to keep it simple and always count your float down. By this I mean cast it out and count to see how long it takes to see the float settle as the shots register. You may not see each shot register however, you will get a rough idea of how long it takes the float to settle. If it doesnt settle, strike. Keep your feeding simple, ten-fifteen maggots every cast. You should be feeding every four to five minutes, if you are catching quickly increase your feed slightly, if you are catching slowly, or not a lot feed a little bit less. Dont stop feeding because you are not catching as this is one of the worst things you can do. If youre not catching keep on trickling the bait in even if you only feed five or six maggots every five-ten minutes.
A quick word on lines and hook lengths. 3lb Maxima will cover most of your waggler fishing at this time of year on both rivers and commercials. Use a 0.10 diameter hook length, (about 2lb), to an eighteen with double maggot and see how you go. If you are fishing commercials start on 0.12 unless you are struggling, (then you can try a lighter hook length). If you are caching carp dont be frightened to step up to 0.14 diameter line, (this should still break before the Maxima). In the summer step you lines up to 4lb Maxima and 0.14 hook length, (dont be afraid to go higher as long as your rod will take it).
Another important point is to sink your line on still waters. Cast past where you are feeding , put your rod tip six inches under the water and give it two or three very quick turns on the reel handle and if you watch the line to the float when you do this it should sink nicely, (a quick application of washing up liquid to the spool helps the line to sink.
Another tip is, if you are fishing a river always cast slightly downstream, five to, (flowing left) and five past, (flowing right).
Best of luck,
Hi Craig, well one easy way of doing it Mucker is to put a piece of silicone float rubber on before you tackle up with your float etc. Then when you are rigged up slide the float rubber down over the top of your waggler so its fixed top and bottom. Then chuck it underhand with the plummet leading the cast. When your gear hits the water lift your rod so you are giving slack line, reel in and move your float until you have it as you want it. Mark the side of your rod with a dab of Tippex so you know your depth take the rubber off the float and snip it off the line. Bobs yer mothers brother.
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no i know how to fish the stick on running water i just cant fish the waggler on stillwater, plumbing is the thing that i struggle with, i will give what barry said and anyone else who has any tips would be nice thanks.
Have you tried a sliding waggler? You will need one of the swivel type float adapters and depending on how deep you are going to fish either a sliding knot or a ledger stop.
If you are not fishing a greater depth than the length of your rod put the ledger stop on the line, followed by the adapter. Put most of your weight about two to three feet from the hook with a couple of small weights between the main bulk and the adapter.
Attach a float to the adapter and check for correct cocking. Then put a large enough weight immediately above the hook to sink the float. Cast out to your chosen spot feathering the line so that the hook is in front of the float when it strikes the water.
The line should feed through the adapter until it reaches the ledger stop whereupon the float will cock then sink. If it does not it means that the hook is on the bottom. Reel in and adjust the ledger stop. Repeat until the float just sinks or just cocks, depending on where you want your bait and then remove the weight at the hook and fish on.
If the depth is greater than the rod length crimp the eye on the adapter slightly and use a sliding knot instead of a ledger stop.
It sounds and reads a lot more complicated than it really is but it can't be that difficult as I use it all the time and I am as cack handed as they come. The main advantage being that it is a piece of cake to adjust the depth you are fishing at. Just slide the ledger stop up or down to suit.
If you want to plumb up accurately - you can attach your waggler bottom end and use a 'half hitch' knot over the top of your waggler. You dont need to use a rubber then!
If your plumbing up at long distance it can be difficult to cast a large plummet when you've also got a waggler up the line, especially if you've got a fair bit of depth on. - Make sure your bulk around the base of your float takes it well down towards the tip - you only need to nip a large shot onto the hook to use as a plummet then as this will be enough to sink the float if you are too shallow. You will be able to cast this better and get a better plumb up.
When plumbed up, undo the 'half hitch' and take the shot off and away you go.
One thing to remember when fishing the waggler is that there's no way (unless you're fishing at very close range) you're going to be able to plumb-up as accurately as if you're fishing the pole.
IMHO you're always better to aim to fish slightly overdepth. If you find you're getting indications (smashed maggots etc) without seeing bites then shallow up a bit.
If you're fishing big open waters there's likely to be a fair bit of undertow - if it's windy anyway. In that situation you'll have to fish overdepth, and have shot dragging on the bottom in order to hold the float still. To be honest if the wind (and consequent undertow) gets too bad, you're probably better off switching to the bomb or feeder in order to present a still bait.
Ideal spots to practice are the big match lakes at Woodlands, the older lakes at The Oaks (or try fishing Alders and see how close to the island you can get - take plenty of spare wagglers with you though), Renny or the big lake at Dromonby.
Hi Craigo, "using the half hitch", to be honest Keith Arthur told me about that many moons ago but I much prefer to use the silicone rubber. I was thinking about telling Millbob about that but then if he didnt know what a half hitch was I thought I would have hells own job explaining it on here.
I make all my own wagglers with my own way of putting them on the reel line. I dont use shot at all apart from 10s droppers and a 12 tell tale. The wagglers I use for "most" of my lake fishing take exactly 2x10s and a 12. If I cast in and the maggot is off the bottom it actually registers on my float tip and I inch the depth up accordingley, thats how I do most of my depth finding on the waggler. Bearing in mind that I know most of the waters I fish. This is only reliable in waters with depth up to and around the 5 ft mark and you also have to have fine inserts on your wagglers.
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Don't overcomplicate things with the waggler if you're fishing stillwaters. Plumbing up is simple. Undershot the float by a aa and put a plummet on. Cast it out, if it goes under, add depth, if it sticks out, take depth off. Ideally you want in-between 2-6 inches on the bottom, depending on the undertow. More tow, more on the bottom. You can even fish with two foot and several small shot dragging on the bottom if it's pulling through to get your presentation right. One tip is always mark your depth on the rod using tipex, because if you start experimenting, (you should to keep the bites coming and find out how the fish want it), you will always know where to go back to, to start again.
as for waters in the North East, try Aycliffe pond, (in Newton Aycliffe). Woodlands at Thirsk is a good bet and if you want some good roach fishing on a stillwater the Leeds lakes at Caterick can be superb, however conditions need to be right. If you want to get into club matches Aycliffe is verry good, (Try a web search on Aycliffe Angling Club and it will come up. Best pegs are 29-40,10, 12 and pegs 1-4. Use a 3aa waggler, a 0.10 hooklength to a 20 with double maggot and you should do well. Most people fish the pole which leaves the waggler line all to you.
The Tees at Darlington Dam/ Blackwell is well worth a visit in the summer as it is solid with chub and dace.
When plummbing the depth, I correctly weight my waggler then use a SSG shot to plumb. I find that using a proper plummet when waggler fishing can cause a bit of noise on the water whereas a SSG shot does not.