The Coach Andy May’s float ad­vice

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME -

WHETHER you are fish­ing for carp on a com­mer­cial, roach on a nat­u­ral still­wa­ter or chub on the river, the wag­gler should in­stantly come to mind at this time of year.

As the fish push out of pole range as tem­per­a­tures fall, rod and line tac­tics reign supreme, and the wag is the most ver­sa­tile of them all.

Reign­ing Fish O’Ma­nia cham­pion Andy May can eas­ily turn his hand to any coarse fish­ing tac­tic but there’s noth­ing he loves more than reach­ing for the wag­gler.

“It’s a tac­tic I have grown up us­ing and it has caught me an aw­ful lot of fish on a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent wa­ters,” ex­plained Andy.

“As with any method, you need to pay at­ten­tion to the fine de­tails to make it work, but the most im­por­tant el­e­ment of it has to be float choice.”

This week Andy re­veals his top five types of wag­gler and when to use each one...


“At this time of year the fish are still go­ing to be feed­ing fairly heav­ily, but they are now likely to back away from the large splash of the float hit­ting the wa­ter.

“The fact that this type of wag­gler is fairly narrow means it will enter the wa­ter with a lot less noise and won’t spook the fish if you are fish­ing shal­low, or close to an is­land in shal­low wa­ter.

“At the same time, it is quite a buoy­ant float which will help you tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween a real bite and a line bite as big carp cruise through the swim.

“I pre­fer a loaded ver­sion that re­quires very lit­tle shot on the line. It casts well and pro­vides a slow and nat­u­ral fall of the hook­bait.”


“Sil­ver­fish bites can be shy right now and a sen­si­tive float like this is vi­tal when tar­get­ing them with mag­gots and casters.

“Make sure it is well dot­ted down and you will see ev­ery sin­gle bite from roach, chub and ide when fish­ing on com­mer­cials.

“Once again, a loaded pat­tern is best, shot­ted to pro­vide a slow fall of the bait through the wa­ter.”


“On days when the light lev­els are con­stantly chang­ing due to cloud cover it pays to use a float where you can change the colour of the tip.

“I carry a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent float tips and find that or­ange, yel­low, white and even black can help you see the wag­gler bet­ter.

“The fact that these floats are clear means they are less ob­vi­ous to fish in clear wa­ter, and this leads to fewer of them be­ing spooked by your rig.”


“When you are faced with a very deep swim, the slider float can’t be beaten.

“It’s a loaded float that sits on top of a bulk shot. Af­ter cast­ing, the bulk shot pulls the line through the eye of the float un­til the float reaches your slid­ing stop knot.

“The depth you fish at is set by the dis­tance be­tween the slid­ing stop knot and the hook.”


“Prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar type of wag­gler on the com­mer­cial scene, it works really well when the carp are re­spond­ing to noise.

“It is most ef­fec­tive within sec­onds of it hit­ting the wa­ter as carp come into the swim to in­ves­ti­gate what is go­ing on and then take the hook­bait.

“If you haven’t had a bite within 10 sec­onds, twitch the bait, feed a few 8mm pel­lets over the top and then re­cast.

“It’s a very busy tac­tic but the re­sults can be in­cred­i­ble, par­tic­u­larly when it is mild.”

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