Pole floats

Steve88

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Apr 3, 2020
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The only person who ultimately will know what you want/need is yourself.
You can get as much advice as you can but only you can put into practice on the venues you fish.
Stick to basic patterns and ask other anglers what they are using and why on the waters you fish.
Then add to what you have but always understand why you have certain floats and their usage.
I think a more important aspect than float shape I've been getting wrong is plumbing up, been plumbing up to where my float was shotted, so think I've been underdepth most of the time, could be why I miss quite a lot of bites. More practice needed in that area I think before I worry about float choice
 

lp1886

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The sheer number of float combinations is mind boggling. I rarely fish a commercial water (maybe 8 matches a year), but it is a snake lake with pretty uniform depths. I literally use 3 patterns - a Sensas Pellet pencil for fishing pellet on the deck in 3.5ft, the same float for fishing the margin in 2.5ft, a Drennan crystal dibber for pushing tight across if I have a bare bank opposite, and a Drennan tuff eye (Chianti shape) for fishing through the water. Those patterns work for me, but it’s taken me a few years to take the plunge and simplify my rigs. Before, I used to have an array of different floats and all I did was confuse myself! I suggest trying a few patterns and focus on making them work.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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I think a more important aspect than float shape I've been getting wrong is plumbing up, been plumbing up to where my float was shotted, so think I've been underdepth most of the time, could be why I miss quite a lot of bites. More practice needed in that area I think before I worry about float choice

The thing about plumbing up is that it is only a guide to the depth. A silty or uneven lake bed can mean that you are off "dead depth" by some way.

Take time to plumb up and get an image in mind of how the lake bed appears. There could be a deeper part where someone has fed recently and the fish have dug out a shallow depression while rooting for food. Plumb up from bank to full depth so you understand the profile of the margin slope. On a silty lake it can pay to fish just up the slope on harder ground. You may also find shelves or sudden drop offs, both potential fish holding spots. A shelf does not need to be wide, just a couple of inches is enough.

Once you are happy that you have established the depth then hook the rig into the topkit and grasp the connector and pull some elastic from the tip. This will release the elastic's tension on the rig and you should see the float move slightly towards the butt end as the line unstretches. Mark the float's position on the topkit with a chinagraph pencil, Typp-Ex or a piece of tape. This gives you a reference point to return to if you play around with the depth.

You now have a starting point. You need to decide whether you are going to fish "dead depth" or with some line on the deck. I am guessing but I would think most anglers will look to start with 1 inch or so of line on the deck. This can be achieved by plumbing up top the bottom or middle of the float body.

If you suspect the lake bed is soft and the plummet sinking in giving a false, overdepth reading then you need to check this using something lighter as a plummet that will not sink into the silt or mud. This could be a large grain of corn or large expander pellet. Plumb up and get your indicated depth established and marked on your topkit. Then move the float down so that the rig is underdepth by a couple of inches. Now get the rig shotted and dotted down with something like a 4 mil expander on the hook. Replace the expander with a grain of corn and this should sink the float more than the pellet did. Increase depth gradually until the float is showing as it was when shotted underdepth. The grain of corn is now resting on the actual surface of the bottom mud. Mark this depth on your topkit and then add the amount you want to fish overdepth or leave it as is to fish dead depth.

Feeding fish will hollow out the area where they are feeding so regularly check the depth with a grain of corn, particularly if bites dry up.
 

Steve88

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Apr 3, 2020
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249
The thing about plumbing up is that it is only a guide to the depth. A silty or uneven lake bed can mean that you are off "dead depth" by some way.

Take time to plumb up and get an image in mind of how the lake bed appears. There could be a deeper part where someone has fed recently and the fish have dug out a shallow depression while rooting for food. Plumb up from bank to full depth so you understand the profile of the margin slope. On a silty lake it can pay to fish just up the slope on harder ground. You may also find shelves or sudden drop offs, both potential fish holding spots. A shelf does not need to be wide, just a couple of inches is enough.

Once you are happy that you have established the depth then hook the rig into the topkit and grasp the connector and pull some elastic from the tip. This will release the elastic's tension on the rig and you should see the float move slightly towards the butt end as the line unstretches. Mark the float's position on the topkit with a chinagraph pencil, Typp-Ex or a piece of tape. This gives you a reference point to return to if you play around with the depth.

You now have a starting point. You need to decide whether you are going to fish "dead depth" or with some line on the deck. I am guessing but I would think most anglers will look to start with 1 inch or so of line on the deck. This can be achieved by plumbing up top the bottom or middle of the float body.

If you suspect the lake bed is soft and the plummet sinking in giving a false, overdepth reading then you need to check this using something lighter as a plummet that will not sink into the silt or mud. This could be a large grain of corn or large expander pellet. Plumb up and get your indicated depth established and marked on your topkit. Then move the float down so that the rig is underdepth by a couple of inches. Now get the rig shotted and dotted down with something like a 4 mil expander on the hook. Replace the expander with a grain of corn and this should sink the float more than the pellet did. Increase depth gradually until the float is showing as it was when shotted underdepth. The grain of corn is now resting on the actual surface of the bottom mud. Mark this depth on your topkit and then add the amount you want to fish overdepth or leave it as is to fish dead depth.

Feeding fish will hollow out the area where they are feeding so regularly check the depth with a grain of corn, particularly if bites dry up.
Thanks Neil, I have experienced the hollowing of my swim after having feeding fish in my peg.

I think I used too tight of a silicone when tying my rigs, as its a nightmare to move the float and I tend to get a little lazy and think that depth will do.

The next time I go I'm going to plumb up to bottom or halfway of the body rather than how much bristle I would like showing when fishing.
 

chefster

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Thanks Neil, I have experienced the hollowing of my swim after having feeding fish in my peg.

I think I used too tight of a silicone when tying my rigs, as its a nightmare to move the float and I tend to get a little lazy and think that depth will do.

The next time I go I'm going to plumb up to bottom or halfway of the body rather than how much bristle I would like showing when fishing.
When you’re missing bites , or getting liners it pays not to dot the float down, then when it does go under your sure it’s a proper bite, and it’s better to have tight silicon, that way you know your float hasn’t moved on it’s own
 

Steve88

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When you’re missing bites , or getting liners it pays not to dot the float down, then when it does go under your sure it’s a proper bite, and it’s better to have tight silicon, that way you know your float hasn’t moved on it’s own
I need to shot my floats again anyway cause I think I may have had some shot resting on the bottom of the water bottle I used as a shotting tube ??

I think the silicone is a little too tight could of used the next size up, I pulled the body off of the stem trying to move it last week.
 

richox12

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Dec 28, 2003
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I need to shot my floats again anyway cause I think I may have had some shot resting on the bottom of the water bottle I used as a shotting tube ??

I think the silicone is a little too tight could of used the next size up, I pulled the body off of the stem trying to move it last week.

Move the silicone before moving the float and push it up. Don't pull it.
 

Fred Davis

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Sep 13, 2003
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I think that although body shape is important what is more important is to think about what you are doing shot wise, take Jamie hughes he plumbs up on a margin peg if he finds an even depth, flat bottom he advocates a bulk 3 to 4 inches from the hook however if the margin is a slope then a strung out shotting pattern flicking the rig out and pulling the float more importantly bait onto the shelf is the way to go, so have a good think about what you want to acheive and what is the right way to go about it in the peg you have drawn, they are all different, so no going there with preconceived ideas because that's the way you always do it! start using that brain ;-) I hear that Jamie is a bit of a perfectionist in the fact that he will even go into the water to clear any debris from the top of his margin shelf if it has a flat bottom and where permitted
 

Steve88

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Apr 3, 2020
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Well plumbed up more accurately tonight, and hot more bites was catching lots of skimmers on 2 plus 2, then this lump turned up, had just swapped to a 3inch size 18 hook length too. No idea of the weight but deffo a PB
 

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chefster

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Well plumbed up more accurately tonight, and hot more bites was catching lots of skimmers on 2 plus 2, then this lump turned up, had just swapped to a 3inch size 18 hook length too. No idea of the weight but deffo a PB
Well done Steve, see it’s coming together for you ???
 

Steve88

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Well done Steve, see it’s coming together for you ???
Cheers Chefster, not ashamed to say it took me what felt like 10 very nervous minutes to finally land it, was using 9 to 12 hollow and it just kept screaming off.

Not my first Carp but since going fishing with the lad we've been hoping to land one together, was worth waiting for.
 

chefster

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Cheers Chefster, not ashamed to say it took me what felt like 10 very nervous minutes to finally land it, was using 9 to 12 hollow and it just kept screaming off.

Not my first Carp but since going fishing with the lad we've been hoping to land one together, was worth waiting for.
Don’t matter how long it takes to land , better than trying to rush it and losing it ??
 
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