The most popular form of fishing in the UK is probably float fishing. There is a bewildering array of float designs available form tackle shops so it can seem overwhelming to the beginner when they are trying to choose which to buy.
Floats enable the angler to set the bait at whatever depth in the water they like, during a session, the astute angler will change the depth in order to see if he or she can catch more fish. There is a lot to learn but so why not start waggler fishing with Liam Dale [DVD]
Each design of float has a purpose, different ones are used for styles of fishing. Broadly speaking, there are only 3 types of float, the waggler, the stick float and the pole float.
In this short guide, I will explain a little about the waggler float. I hope it helps.
When I say ‘the waggler float’ I really mean ‘the family of waggler floats’ as thaere are several different designs and hundreds of individual styles. Virtually each manufacturer has their own range which they claim is the best for a particular purpose. A straight waggler is exactly that … it has the same diameter throughout. An insert waggler has a very fine tip inserted in the top of a straight waggler stem which makes it very sensitive. A bodied waggler float has a fatter body added at the base. This means that it can carry a lot more weight and can be cast further whilst still retaining the sensitivity.
So how can you decide?
With difficulty! It depends on the venue, conditions and what you are after. You can either try out various types yourself on your local venue or better still, have a chat with the local tackle shop owner and others who have fished the venue for years. If you want a very sensitive float, then go for one with a thin tip. If you are fishing a river for bottom feeders, then a fatter heavier waggler float would be more appropriate as it helps avoid false ‘nibbles’ caused by the bait snagging on the bed as the river takes it along.
A waggler float if a float that is attached to the line using Non Toxic split shot
only at the bottom. The other type of floats are stick floats (floats that are attached to the line in two places) and pole floats, designed specifically to be used whan pole fishing. The stick float is designed for use in river fishing but the waggler float can be used in river or stillwaters, deep or shallow. The float body is usually coloured black or left clear (Crystal Waggler Floats
) to make it less visible to the fish. The tip is painted with a bright colour, usually orange.
The waggler can be fixed to the line in such a way that it remains at a constant distance from the hook or left to slide up and down the line.
There are many different ways of ‘shotting’ your waggler float. Generally speaking, you will use 1/2 to 2/3 of the weights at the base of the float. That creates a compact mass that flies well when you cast. The rest can be either spread between the float and hook, with a bias towrds the hook to avoid tangles. When casting, the favoured method is to flick the rod directly over the top of you, feathering the spool just before the flost lands to ensure the hook and bait hits the surface of the water first.