Dave Har­rell My top three pole rigs for fish­ing deep rivers

The float choices, line lengths and shot­ting pat­terns that will boost your hauls in deep wa­ter…

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

TO THE new­comer, pole float choice for rivers can be pretty daunt­ing.

Many an­glers end up buy­ing and us­ing floats that aren’t suit­able for the jobs they are in­tended to do.

This week, we’re look­ing at river pole float pat­terns for swims be­tween 6ft and 12ft deep. All th­ese rigs re­quire bulk shot­ting, and it’s ad­vis­able to make them up at home be­fore you go fish­ing.


This de­pends on the depth and pace of the river. If it’s shal­low you might get away with a length equal to the top three sec­tions of your pole, but as I fish a wide va­ri­ety of venues I nor­mally make mine up at home equal to five pole sec­tions of pole. I can al­ways shorten them if need be.


All the rigs in­cor­po­rate a bulk shot­ting ar­range­ment and small drop­per shots. For rigs up to 0.75g I nor­mally use a bulk of No8 shots. For rigs of 1g up­wards I use an olivette as the bulk.


Most an­glers go for or­ange bris­tles, but there are times where a yel­low top can be much eas­ier to see. In swims where there is a lot of shade or dark wa­ter in front of you, try a yel­low top and see the dif­fer­ence.


Some river an­glers pre­fer wire stems, oth­ers car­bon. I like to use wire when con­di­tions are less than favourable, such as a down­stream wind. I also pre­fer them when per­fect pre­sen­ta­tion is crit­i­cal and I need to slow the bait pre­sen­ta­tion right down.

Car­bon stems are less prone to tan­gling when you’re ship­ping out and the float bod­ies are smaller, as there is vir­tu­ally no weight in thin car­bon stems. In sit­u­a­tions where bites are com­ing reg­u­larly, I pre­fer car­bon stems.


A lot of an­glers go way over­board when it comes to rigs, but once you’ve de­cided which ones work best for you on your venues, make up three of each, in­clud­ing at least one yel­low top in each of the sizes.


I see a lot of an­glers with far too much bris­tle show­ing above the sur­face of the river. I al­ways make my rigs up so that less than half the bris­tle is show­ing.

For floats tak­ing 0.75g or less, I use a string of No8 shot. Any larger, it’s an olivette bulk. Drop­per shot with this float are three No9 shot, spa­ces out or bulked for a pos­i­tive set-up.

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