There's something special about floats and all anglers love to collect them but, far from being mere eye candy, each float has been carefully designed for a specific use.
Can you identify the different designs we’ve pictured here? If not, read on and learn the secrets of the running line.
1 Drennan Crystal Wagglers
WAGGLERS are attached bottom end only. Named because the earliest versions ‘waggled’ as they flew through the air. Used on lakes or rivers on a ‘running line’ ie, a rod and reel, as opposed to a pole.
Crystals are made of see-through hollow plastic designed for both silverfish and carp and in loaded and unloaded versions. ‘Loaded’ means the floats have a metal weight incorporated in the base that provides the casting weight in place of split shot, and which cocks the float.
Normally, loaded floats are manufactured so that the addition of a couple of ‘locking shot’ and a couple of micro shot down the line will cock them perfectly. The shotting capacity is printed on the float stem. “3.0g loaded plus 1BB” means the float has a 3g (the equivalent of 5AAA split shot) loading, plus 1BB shot extra locking capacity.
Loaded floats are far more streamlined than unloaded which require strings of split shot to cock them properly, so they cast further and are far less prone to tangling.
2 Straight and Insert Wagglers
MOST wagglers fall into two categories, ‘Straight’ or ‘Insert’. Straight mean that the float body is the same diameter all the way up. Insert have a separate, finer, sight tip inserted.
Straight wagglers should be used when there’s a surface tow on the water and you want to fish over-depth. The larger diameter sight tip prevents the float top being pulled under.
Insert wagglers should be used when conditions are calm and you want an ultra-fine presentation. The slim diameter inserts allow you to spot the shyest of bites. They’re made of many different materials, including Middy C-Throu design.
3 Peacock Wagglers
THESE were arguably the first and finest wagglers. Made from long, straight lengths of buoyant peacock quill with the feathers stripped off. Various lengths of quill, from six to 18 inches long had a simple metal eye whipped to the bottom end and were painted and varnished to waterproof them. A brightly painted top allowed it to be seen at long range.
Peacocks come in loaded, unloaded, straight, bodied and insert designs or with dart-type flights for accurate long-range casting. They’re also made from Sarcandas reed.
4 Bodied Wagglers, Giant Wagglers and Missiles
THESE are straight wagglers with a streamlined buoyant balsa body loaded with up to 30g of lead and built to cast up to 70 yards.
Many missiles have a series of flat, circular lead weights that fit together on the base so you can adjust the amount of sight tip sticking above the water.
5 Puddle Chuckers
MADE by Drennan, eight different types of float in 24 different sizes make up the dumpylooking Puddle Chucker family. The clever, seethrough floats are made out of clear plastic and intended for chucking up to shallow island features on the commercial carp pools - hence the name ‘Puddle Chuckers’. Like the Drennan Crystals the see-through design is intended to reduce the risk of spooking educated match carp. The shape means they don’t dive too far under water on the cast, yet they still retain a large enough shotting capacity to be cast to long range. The floats come in loaded or unloaded versions with normal or insert tips.
6 Stick Floats
THESE tapered floats are attached ‘top and bottom’ and are designed for trotting a bait on running water. They come in ‘dome’ top or ‘shouldered’ versions so they can be held back in the current.
ANOTHER running water ‘top and bottom’ float with a bulbous body to increase the shotting capacity and keep them stable in fast, shallow water.
MADE for shallow, pacy rivers where you need to get a big bulk of shot down quickly in the fast flow. These large, balsa or polystyrene bodied floats are capable of carrying up to 8 SSG shot.
Waggler floats DESIGNED for the commercial carp pools ‘Splasher’ floats are made to make a big splash when they enter the water, to attract the attention of cruising carp who associate the noise with food.
Baggin’ wagglers are huge balsa bodied floats with a built-in frame feeder attached. Mould a ball of groundbait round the feeder and fish a hookbait shallow below it. Fish rise up to eat the falling groundbait and grab the suspended hookbait.
DESIGNED to combat surface tow caused by wind, these floats have a bulbous base, ultra-fine glass fibre of carbon stem and big, highly visible sight top.
THESE fast-taper floats are perfect for delicate biting silverfish on canals, drains and stillwaters as they can be dotted right down to spot the tiniest of bit