Tom Pick­er­ing on how to pick the right river float.

THIS WEEK: Pick the right float to catch on rivers

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

FOR­MER World Cham­pion Tommy Pick­er­ing has for­got­ten more than most know about float fish­ing!

As our coach this week, Tommy re­veals what de­ter­mines your choice of float when tack­ling a river swim and the key points you need to know for each pat­tern.

Don’t ven­ture on to flow­ing wa­ter be­fore read­ing this ad­vice!


The main rule gov­ern­ing which type of float to go for is dis­tance – I use a stick float up to four rodlengths out from my fish­ing po­si­tion. Any fur­ther away than this and it’s wag­gler ter­ri­tory. Be­cause the stick float is at­tached to the line top-and-bot­tom style and the line is kept on the sur­face, pre­sen­ta­tion suf­fers if you try to fish this float too far out.

A strong down­stream wind can also limit the use of a stick float be­cause a bow will quickly form in the line and the float will get

dragged to­wards your own bank. In this in­stance a wag­gler is bet­ter as you can sink the line it­self.

The best bet is to fish the side of the river with the most flow. If that flow is close in, with a de­cent depth, then you can catch on the stick float. If it’s on the far side then you’ll prob­a­bly need the wag­gler rod!

Some­times, though, on a swim with even depth and flow, you can fish and feed both a stick float and a wag­gler line.

Tommy with stick (left) and wag­gler floats.

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