Would you ever shot a stick float like this?

Zerkalo

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When I fish the weir with my Bobber floats the plan is going to be a bulk of AAA shot with probably number 4 droppers but look forward to experimenting, especially if I get some different floats to try too. (y) That is similar to how I used to fish Loafers on the Blythe.
 

Nunachuk

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The only time I’ve ever come close to using a heavy bulk on a stick was on the river Guden in Denmark. This was to try and get through the many tiny dace and bleak to the better Roach. Even then the blighters were still following it down. We had to fish a piece of bright Orange silicon rubber on the hook to try and keep them at bay.
Was it Guru Silicon? Asking for a friend!
 

Nunachuk

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This is my shotting pattern I've used so far on the right to reasonable success, found it very simple, direct and tangle free but do want to use a strung out pattern when I get back out.

Shotting-Patterns-For-Flowing-Water-zpsc53eac99.gif
I have even seen shotting patterns for the stick, where the shots taper down and get smaller as they get nearer the hook.
 

Nunachuk

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But if you putb smaller shot on the stick in pairs, it gives you a lot of variable options.
 

Ken the Pacman

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The largest shot I would ever use on a stickfloat would be a number one maybe a BB in a small bulk maximum 3 shot below half depth with strung out or mini bulks below only to suit certain situations.
As long as the main bulk is just below half depth and the single or double shots below are evenly spaced tapered down in size you should not get tangles
 

Silverfisher

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Just for curiosities sake. Say you have an 8 no 4 stick float, would you ever use a single SSG shot to cock it? Maybe with one dropper?

Personally I'd side on a bulk of no4s instead for versatilities sake but I can't see why not if using a simple bulk? I know a lot of people prefer no 8s.
Not quite that extreme but with say a 4bb stick I quite routinely have a couple bb under the float to cock it then a couple down above the hook length. It’s not ideal but when you are on bleak avoidance it sort of balances sensitivity and bombing ability. Those that haven’t witnessed the Thames summer bleak plague might look at some of our rigs around here in shock but if you want any hope of getting through them you do have to get a bit flunky with floats and shotting. Or just fish hemp on the waggler or a more traditional stick rig!
 

Zerkalo

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When I tried waggler fishing on rivers, I've mentioned this before, but I really struggled with more than a few no8s down the line, giving me a very slow drop through the water and Bleak were quite a problem on the Severn, so I found I had more success and found it more enjoyable with a stick, however crude my rigs.
 

nejohn

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Have a look at the Drake floats on the Benwick sports website they are very good quality I have a good selection of wagglers, wire stemmed sticks and avons and am very pleased with all of them, as well as doing exactly what they are meant to do they are also beautifully finished and a joy to fish with, I think they also do loafers and pacemakers.
 

Zerkalo

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Nice! Got a few Drake Purple Sliders and they seem to be beautiful floats! (y) Most of my sticks are Alloy stemmed Dave Harrells, shame I don't have his river fishing ability to match lol. Most of my straight wagglers are Dave Harrells too.
 

NoCarpPlease

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This is my shotting pattern I've used so far on the right to reasonable success, found it very simple, direct and tangle free but do want to use a strung out pattern when I get back out.

Shotting-Patterns-For-Flowing-Water-zpsc53eac99.gif
This is a good diagram!
The advantage of many small shot is that you can adapt your pattern to any of the above as the fish change their feeding during a session.

In the end we have to consider "what is a stick float?".
We've certainly come a long way from the original slim balsa on cane floats which were quite limited in application for on the drop fishing.
Realistically, nearly ALL top & bottom floats are a balance of a material that is heavier than water with one that is lighter - it's just the proportions of those material - the shape and the tip buoyancy that really make any difference to performance.
After all - looking at Dave Harrell's range - is a 14no4 No.1 heavy based stick really that different from a 3g no2 Avon or a 3g no.1 Bolo??

So my personal take on top & bottom shotting is as follows
  • most of the time I use wire stem sticks rather than cane these days
  • up to 6no.4 I only use 8s and 6s
  • above that I'll also use no. 4 shot (but tapering nearer the hook)
  • For deeper than 7ft I only very rarely use the middle of those three shotting patterns in the diagram
  • My biggest stick floats are 14no. 4 - above that I use Bolo styles with carbon stems (4g and up)
  • I will generally shot bolo floats with olivette and a single dropper
  • In the past I've used both Balsa on Quill Avon (Topper) and also straight balsa (eg chubber) floats with bulks of BB or AAA as per pattern 3. But I find that my thickest tip bolos can do the same job on the rivers that I fish.
 

NoCarpPlease

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When I tried waggler fishing on rivers, I've mentioned this before, but I really struggled with more than a few no8s down the line, giving me a very slow drop through the water and Bleak were quite a problem on the Severn, so I found I had more success and found it more enjoyable with a stick, however crude my rigs.
the more that weight is separated on the the rig, the more the rig is prone to cartwheeling on the cast as the weights act as pendulums off each other.
Underarm or sidearm, smooth casting and feathering before landing will help a lot.

But equally - if you look at the old "antenna" rigs that were used 50 years ago - there were no locking shot around the float.
 

RMNDIL

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Not quite that extreme but with say a 4bb stick I quite routinely have a couple bb under the float to cock it then a couple down above the hook length. It’s not ideal but when you are on bleak avoidance it sort of balances sensitivity and bombing ability. Those that haven’t witnessed the Thames summer bleak plague might look at some of our rigs around here in shock but if you want any hope of getting through them you do have to get a bit flunky with floats and shotting. Or just fish hemp on the waggler or a more traditional stick rig!
My starting rig on the Thames in the summer - almost regardless of depth - is often a 3g rig with the olivette above 2 or 3 droppers and I can bet it will all end up bunched on top of the hooklength and that 6" one becomes a 4" one anyway !! Just use very slim floats.

With this silly rig and 10' - 12' of water it still ends up with too many bleak quite often anyway.
 

Silverfisher

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My starting rig on the Thames in the summer - almost regardless of depth - is often a 3g rig with the olivette above 2 or 3 droppers and I can bet it will all end up bunched on top of the hooklength and that 6" one becomes a 4" one anyway !! Just use very slim floats.

With this silly rig and 10' - 12' of water it still ends up with too many bleak quite often anyway.
Yep whilst I’ve haven’t used olivettes myself I see plenty that do. I’ve certainly used some big bulks to get through the sods. You can rarely completely avoid them, even feeders often don’t get through them, but at least stick rigs with a big bulk give you a chance!
 

mbuna_matt

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Good read.

This year I have been playing (for want of a better word) with cutting down light 1g Bolo's and using these and just an olivette trapped on the line between two stops., with the hooks length on a quick change swivel (as dropper). I have tried small sticks but wanted to experiment a bit.

I tend to wander the club river stretch which is between 2' and 4' deep so needed some ability to swap depths around. For the shallow runs the rigs seems to be pretty much tangle and bomb proof, even when retrieved from the trees overhead...... ;-) its a bit light for the deeper faster swims tho.
 
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