I only use 2 mm tips in summer with an 8mm pellet, then I still prefer to use 1.7 mm if I can.
For most carp and skimmer fishing all year round it's a 1.5 mm so with the bottom shot a no 9 it will lift half the bristle if you get a lift bite, for skimmers in the winter it would be dotted down and kept up with bristle grease.
For silvers 1.2 mm float again nearly held up with bristle grease to detect the slightest bite.
A lot of the problems with skimmers & crucians not giving a good bite can usually be solved within half an hour by spreading the bait over an area of 3 feet instead of toss potting in the same area, they have to keep on the move then to compete for the next morsel, always happens at this time of year.
Try it next time Neil keep the bait tight to start with once you think you have a few fish in your peg ,spread the bait out a little.
Fishing yesterday I had some amazingly delicate bites that resulted in fish. That set me wondering whether many anglers actually fail to see a number of bites in a session. This could be down to poorly shotted floats, not dotted down far enough or just not recognising the bite for what it is. Eyesight also plays a part. Yesterday was my second session out after picking up new glasses.
It is just shy of two years since my last eye test. But a recent session where I was not being able to focus properly on the bristle had me calling at my optician on my way home to book a test. I am lucky in having an excellent independent optician just 500 yards from my front door. Over the years I have built up a great relationship with Tracey my optician and she understands my demands for as perfect sight as she can manage. The change over the last 21 months was minimal but noticeable to me. I may pay more than at Specsavers but the care and attention is well worth the price. I even had my eyes scanned this time with a £30,000 CT scanner. The one off scan does not tell much but small changes in the future could be an early sign of a problem.
So my first piece of advice is to get your eyes checked every two years. You may be amazed at what you can see with corrected vision. Eyesight is one area where you get what you pay for and I am happy to pay a premium for excellent service and results.
I always try and dot the float down as far as possible given how I want the rig to fish. Yesterday I had approximately 2mm of a 2mm thick bristle showing. One bite sank the tip no more than 1mm but out of pure instinct I struck and thus landed a crucian-looking 2lb F1. Looked exactly like a crucian apart from the colour. As I was landing the fish I was still wondering why I had struck as the movement of the float was so minimal. I guess it is instinct and experience overruling any conscious thought process. Other bites saw the tip dip under and immediately resurface. Most often this resulted in a skimmer. I have a theory as to why you get this type of bite from skimmers.
I think bream need to tip forward to pick up a bait. In sucking the bait in they cause the float to dip. But they right themselves and thus the float rises. I am guessing that many would not strike at such an indication, yet yesterday proved that you should.
With many of the float movements being minimal proves to me why it is important to dot the float down as low as possible. Even in a ripple I still keep the amount of visible float tip to a minimum.
I would much rather strike at half a dozen false bites than not see the real one when it happens.