The Fishing Corner — Taking a look at floats


Recently, I was asked to conduct a fishing clinic for a group of guys who come together annually at a camp to do some salmon fishing. Actually, I have been doing this for several years and when asked again, I wondered what might be a relevant topic. The director suggested I address the subject of using floats, which is somewhat of a new approach to presenting a lure, particularly in river situations.

When we think about using a float device while fishing, many are accustomed to the round plastic bobber which clips on to the main line. To keep this bobber from sliding up the line, anglers can double clip it at the top and bottom.

This approach has worked well on lakes where casting is not usually too much of a challenge; and also, where the weight is not overly heavy resulting in a bobber able to stay afloat.

A new and improved bobber is now being offered to anglers which works exceptionally well in rivers. It is a cigar-looking float which, I might add, has some pros and cons. In my opinion, the pros far outweigh the cons.

First of all, the manner in which this float is attached to the main line is totally different. A stopper is used and the float literally slides up and down the main line to the depth set by the stopper. Incidentally, the stopper depth can be adjusted easily to accommodate varying depths of water, which is so prevalent when river fishing.

I see at least five advantages to using this float device, which is gaining popularity with river anglers. The first is ease of casting. Since the stopper passes through the guides of a fishing rod and the float itself slides, one is not dealing with casting a bulk of line such as the case with a conventional plastic bobber.

Secondly, this river bobber comes in several sizes and thereby can accommodate more weight before it will sink. This is a desirable feature since the presentation of offering and weight is considerably larger than what is generally used when fishing lakes.

Next is the visibility factor. Because of its size and capability of staying afloat, anglers can see its action at greater distances. This is particularly helpful when fishing moving water and rapids are involved to obscure visibility. Along these lines, when a takedown or strike occurs, the submerged bobber sends instant feedback to the angler that something of great interest is occurring at that moment.

Fourthly, using a float device such as this will keep the terminal tackle from hanging up on submerged logs or rocks when fishing a snaggy section of the river. Rivers tend to collect snags which are often undetected by the angler but fish will collect in these places.

Finally, it will give the angler a viable option to fish both slow and fast moving water. This situation occurs very often, especially when fishing from a boat, and provides the fisher with an opportunity to adapt more readily.

The major downside to using this technique is when the mainline breaks, it is easy to lose your float. Unless you are able to retrieve it, you have just contributed to some angler downstream. By the way, the cost is somewhat more than plastic bobbers. However, it is worth it in the long run.