Float rod length choice

Freesolo82

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With regards to float fishing rod and line on a river what factors make you select a certain rod length? I am looking for a river float rod and have choice from 13ft to 16ft, is it strictly depth and distance that make the choice? Do you get better pick up with longer models? What other elements influence your choice?

Any input on this topic is appreciated

Thanks (y)
 

ukzero1

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What are you targeting? If you're looking for something that suits Roach, Dace, Chub on the waggler or slider then take a look at the Daiwa Connoisseur range. The 14ft would suit. If you're after trotting a stick float then go a little longer (16ft) for the line control and pick up. As always though, your budget will have a governing factor.
 

trotter2

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Deep swims and fishing at distance will be better with a longer rod and long trotting is also way more effective with a rod 15ft plus. Line control even at short range is better with a longer rod a good compromise is a 14ft rod short enough to remain light in the hand. If you take anything from this post keep this in mind not all long rods are equal the longer you go the more import this is.
 

Silverfisher

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I’ve always had 13ft as it’s what I’ve felt comfortable with to cover bother Stillwaters and rivers but if were to exclusively fish rivers I’d go for a 14ft for the added control without much added weight. Given that I do mostly fish rivers these days the next time I get a new float rod it probably with be a 14ft, beyond that length I find them a little cumbersome for my liking but a lot of people will swear by 15ft so it is each to their own.
 

Sam Vimes

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Water depth might necessitate the use of a longer rod without having to resort to a slider. However, water depth is not the only reason to choose a longer rod. I frequently fish with long rods on rivers of a depth that really do not require them. Far greater control, especially in adverse wind conditions, can be had with the use of a longer rod. The limiting factor is usually encroaching bankside undergrowth and trees. My own personal rule of thumb is to use as long a rod as is feasible when trotting and as short a rod as the depth of water allows when fishing a waggler.

13' rods were once the go to length for the vast majority of anglers. 13' was effectively the standard length for a float/match rod. 13' offered the best compromise between control and weight. Most float rod ranges didn't go beyond 14' and anything longer, or much shorter than 12', was seen as a specialist tool. Things have changed over the years. There are 15'+ rods out there that are lighter and better balanced than the 13' rods I used in my youth. Due to the rise of commie stillwaters, float rods of 11' and less are now as common as muck.

I understand and accept why many people rarely consider rods beyond 13'. There are now rafts of anglers that don't own rods longer than 12'. However, I firmly believe that rods of 15' should not be dismissed out of hand by any regular river trotter. They can add another dimension to your fishing and allow you to fish swims that others would dismiss, or have to resort to another method to fish. I do very little but trotting on rivers, it's my preferred method, even when conditions are less than favourable. I don't want to be hamstrung. I don't really want to fish the waggler unless I really have to. I'd sooner go home than fish a tip rod. For those reasons, I have float rods right up to 17' long. 15' is my favourite option, where there's space to wield it.
 

alsur

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I agree with what Sam's post only thing you have to consider is how open the river is, the river I fish now has a lot of tees and most swims are unfishable with longer rods. I must admit I wish todays 15ft rods where available when I regularly fished the stick.
 

Silverfisher

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The pace of the river is another thing worth considering. I have very few problems controlling a float of slow flowing rivers like my local Thames but have struggled a little on quicker ones where I’d imagine an extra foot of rod to pick up the line would help.
 

adriang

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The pace of the river is another thing worth considering. I have very few problems controlling a float of slow flowing rivers like my local Thames but have struggled a little on quicker ones where I’d imagine an extra foot of rod to pick up the line would help.
wise words here... last time I fished the Wye my 13ft rod was just not working as I wanted with the conditions. I looked at a few longer rods at the Evesham weekend. Cadence make a really nice 16 rod, and are launching a 17 one this month. But after looking I'm going to get a Drennan when I can hide the purchase from the wife.
 

Sam Vimes

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The pace of the river is another thing worth considering. I have very few problems controlling a float of slow flowing rivers like my local Thames but have struggled a little on quicker ones where I’d imagine an extra foot of rod to pick up the line would help.

It's a fair point. However, I've found that pace in isolation isn't a big issue. The problem is that pace often goes hand in hand with uneven flow, turbulence and shifting water. In the rare event of finding fast, but evenly paced, straight forward flow, then there's a lot to be said for using a shorter, lighter, rod, unless you are trotting a long distance. Then the extra length comes into its own again in terms of line pick up on the strike. It has to be said that I generally fish fast, and relatively shallow, rivers that you can often see the gradient on. That undoubtedly affects my preference for longer rods. However, that preference now still remains when I am fishing more evenly flowing rivers because I feel that long rods still offer me an advantage when conditions and flows are relatively benign..
 

Arry

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Most of the rivers I fish (Wid, Can, Pant and Blackwater) you can jump across... my float rod is 8'... wider rivers like the Roding or Chelmer I use a 10-12 footer
 

Freesolo82

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Thanks for all the comments people lots to think about considering the Cadence 14ft #1 for now
 

dave brittain 1

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Years ago everybody fished 13ft rods regardless with odd people opting for 14ft for deeper venues and distance control.

For me a 13ft is my go to for the waggler, however when it comes to stick float fishing I'll generally opt for 15ft or 16ft particularly on deeper pacey venues like the Wye where wind can also be an issue. Putting it simply you can hold more line off the water and you have greater control.
 

floatfisher

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Over many years I have used rods from 11ft glass to 15ft carbon and for quite a few years now I've used 14ft for all my river fishing, both stick and waggler. Personally I find the performance and balance of the lightweight Drennan Matchpro 14 footers ideal for all my requirements.
 

nejohn

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For me 13ft is the minimum unless you are fishing very narrow rivers or the swim is restricted by trees etc, I do like the feel of a good quality 13ft stick float rod and if conditions allow it will always be my first choice, but I do not have a problem fishing longer rods if I feel they will give me an advantage....one thing I will say is I have yet to find a 'bargain' rod over 14ft unless you can get one that is in a sale. Long rods are certainly one thing that you get what you pay for, when you have a waggle in the tackle shop be mindful that you will be holding the rod in the air for the whole day. There is nothing worse than trying to fish a full day with a heavy poorly balanced long rod with the action of a stick of wet celery, it will probably put you off for life. I know I've been there, years ago thought I would save some cash by buying a MAP 17/20ft rod rather than the Milo new era.....how wrong used it twice then ended up still buying the new era
 

Silverfisher

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Another thing to consider is the range required. Regardless of the size of the river if you have good easy paced and depthed water fairly close to your bank a 13 or 14 foot rod can be plenty whereas if you need a fair cast to get into the business area then the longer rod will obviously help with the cast and control especially if it's deep and/or quick water.
 

Freesolo82

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Given the venues I regularly fish my budget and the advice on here I Ordered the Cadence 14ft #1 today seems a bargin with the latest discount. £85 posted instead of the usual £130
 
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