Choosing the right Bolo float

Silverfisher

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I had a pretty ridiculous array of river floats but have largely cut down to keeping it simple in the last few years basically to just not confuse myself with too many options. On my local Thames and Avon drennan loaded crystal insert wagglers in 1g, 1.5g, 2g and 2.5g, drennan sticks in 5x6, 4x4, 6x4 and 8x4, drennan big sticks in 2BB, 3BB and 4BB and a drennan 5x4 alloy are pretty much all I use now unless very exceptional conditions and tbh out of those I only use half with any regularity. Got the odd other size of said floats as well but can’t recall the last time I used them. Do have some DH and middy wagglers and sticks that get the odd outing as well but not at all often although might add some of the smaller DH bolos at some point.
 

Zerkalo

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I've definitely been fishing too close in at Stourport I think. I have a load of DH Shouldered Alloy Stem Sticks from 4no4 to 14no4 and some Drennan Big Sticks up to around the same size. I have trouble getting the distance I need easily on all but the bigger ones of those, but then I struggle to see the tip, so I'm hoping a circa 3 or 4g Bolo as in the OP will cure those problems for me.
 

Silverfisher

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Depends where you fish at Stratford but on most of the lido you could get half way across with just about any float if that way inclined and it wouldnt take a particularly big one to reach the far bank if that way inclined. It is pretty wide on the rec though definitely quite a different river there before narrowing again at severn meadows.
 

Zerkalo

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I'm looking forward to fishing it as I always remember the Avon being a nice sized river, you haven't seen me cast yet though, I need all the help I can get with sideways casts, or just a bit of practise. :)
 

Silverfisher

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With a bit of thought you can overhead cast a top and bottom float if you really need to. Bit hard to describe but with a strung out rig it’s doable by sort of bringing the rod trip back across yourself to land the float upstream behind the float then a quick check of the line gets it all straightened out. Not the easiest thing to do often lands in a heap but if I really needed it can be done. Really is not needed on a lot of the Avon around there though just a normal underarm or side cast will go far enough.

All this talk of river fishing is a bit teasing when we’ve had so much rain in the last few days with more still come don’t think there will be much river fishing going on in the immediate future 🙁
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah it looks like rain for the foreseeable on my forecast. :( Underarm cast is what I usually have to do on the Severn because of trees in the way so I can count on one hand the amount of times I've actually been able to sideways cast, get the theory behind it, but getting the float to land in the right way and where I want it to is something I need to work on.
 

squimp

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With a bit of thought you can overhead cast a top and bottom float if you really need to. Bit hard to describe but with a strung out rig it’s doable by sort of bringing the rod trip back across yourself to land the float upstream behind the float then a quick check of the line gets it all straightened out. Not the easiest thing to do often lands in a heap but if I really needed it can be done. Really is not needed on a lot of the Avon around there though just a normal underarm or side cast will go far enough.

All this talk of river fishing is a bit teasing when we’ve had so much rain in the last few days with more still come don’t think there will be much river fishing going on in the immediate future 🙁
Thames has dropped recently - it’s too low for me. I could hold with 2oz on Friday - no good.

Maybe up again a bit in a couple of days.

Got a call 5 mins ago to say a day shooting tomorrow is being cancelled due to Covid - so I’ve got a spare day to fish……..just need to find somewhere with the right conditions.
 

Silverfisher

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Thames has dropped recently - it’s too low for me. I could hold with 2oz on Friday - no good.

Maybe up again a bit in a couple of days.

Got a call 5 mins ago to say a day shooting tomorrow is being cancelled due to Covid - so I’ve got a spare day to fish……..just need to find somewhere with the right conditions.
Yeah I should imagine it was fine Friday (It’s no good bombing for my preferred float fishing especially when the waters cold unlike for your barbelling! ) but its rained a hell of a lot the last couple evenings so I’d imagine it’s well on the way up again now especially with more rain to come. Is really annoying as there’s a ridiculous spell of 14-15 degrees forecast in a few days which were it a nice pace with a nice tinge of colour would see it float fish well but it’ll be bombing and brown by then. That’s if we even get a dry day to fish no fun in sitting in wind and rain even if it is mild even on the off chance I could hold bottom with a feeder let alone float fish. Feeder wise were it kind of 60-70g territory in those temperatures it would scream bream fishing but suspect it’ll be 100g plus territory by then which is just too much for me.

Still can’t complain as it was in good float fishing condition pretty much all the way from start of July to most of the way through November save for about the last week of august and first week of September when it was too slow and clear. It’s only really the last month where it’s been constantly either too slow and clear or too brown and bombing.
 

HALTON DANGLER

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Got my eye on a few rivers up here in north for this week, as say just about picking the right one for conditions, they keep getting near round here then back up again, tight lines lads
 

dave brittain 1

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The most underrated tactic on a river is the plain and simple straight waggler. If you can fish a stick in the flow, you can fish a waggler. You can fish it shallow, at depth and with 2-3ft dragging on the bottom to slow it down.

The only time I won‘t fish the Waggler is when the river is up and the fish are within 2-3 rod lengths. This is when the stick and whip come into their own.

If it’s 8ft plus deep this is when the bolo comes into its own or the slider if the flow is moderate on rivers such as the lower Tees or Yorkshire Ouse.
 

Zerkalo

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Thanks @dave brittain 1. Where I went wrong fishing a waggler on rivers to start with was too many shot down the line. It meant I was getting tangles until I realised I should use less shot down the line. All a learning curve for me, so I think I'm going to set up a waggler rod as well.
 

Silverfisher

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The most underrated tactic on a river is the plain and simple straight waggler. If you can fish a stick in the flow, you can fish a waggler. You can fish it shallow, at depth and with 2-3ft dragging on the bottom to slow it down.

The only time I won‘t fish the Waggler is when the river is up and the fish are within 2-3 rod lengths. This is when the stick and whip come into their own.
I’ve never really got on with straight wagglers, just don’t seem sensitive enough to me. I guess it’s because most of the river waggler fishing I do is with seed baits so I need the sensitive tip of an insert if not the baits gone before the float reacts.

I do 100% agree that waggler fishing is very understated by some though. For seed fishing in slow flowing fairly warm water which we tend to get here in the first half of the season which sees the fish very active waggler tends to dump all over sticks for effectiveness both from the presentation and seeing and hitting bites point of view. Can be deadly with maggot and caster as well back end of that period when the tiny fish slow down as well.


Where I went wrong fishing a waggler on rivers to start with was too many shot down the line. It meant I was getting tangles until I realised I should use less shot down the line. All a learning curve for me, so I think I'm going to set up a waggler rod as well.
Yeah I use very little shot down the line for waggler fishing, literally just 2 or 3 most of the time occasionally 4, either 8s, 9s or 10s or any mix of those. The advantage of such set up is that you can get a far more natural fall than all but the smallest sticks but with much greater range and sensitivity. If it’s flowing fairly slowly and the fish are busy it doesn’t take a great deal of controlling either.
 

Zerkalo

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That makes sense to me on slow flowing rivers, when there's a bit of pace I guess I just need the confidence that the hookbait will sink naturally and get towards the bottom. Warks Avon should be good practise, shame I think it's too busy there in summer and this winter I might get out if I'm lucky. (y)
 

Silverfisher

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Warks Avon should be good practise, shame I think it's too busy there in summer and this winter I might get out if I'm lucky. (y)
You get the odd day off in the week don’t you? I think it would be fine to fish in the summer then. I just wouldn’t fancy it on weekends then as it’s as busy as the Thames but much smaller so whilst you can fish around the people on the Thames I don’t think you could at Stratford! It’s an October onwards venue on the weekends I reckon.
 

Zerkalo

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Yeah I get loads of time off. (y) I just remember queueing for over an hour to get into Stratford with my ex to go on the ferris wheel and then getting accosted by people trying to sell us tickets to the latest Shakespeare play every 5 minutes, lots of tourists it seems. Hopefully this fishermans car park is a bit less central.
 

Silverfisher

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Yeah I get loads of time off. (y) I just remember queueing for over an hour to get into Stratford with my ex to go on the ferris wheel and then getting accosted by people trying to sell us tickets to the latest Shakespeare play every 5 minutes, lots of tourists it seems. Hopefully this fishermans car park is a bit less central.
Yeah I wouldn’t go anywhere near the Rec then but the lido should be ok in the week outside of the school holidays as even the Thames is reasonably quiet then. Earliest I’ve fished it is late September so not a direct comparison but it for what it’s worth it was fine then and think it was even a weekend.
 

Zerkalo

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That's true. I guess there are other BAA stretches I could fish in summer too.
 
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