How to fish a waggler float in winter

England’s Des Shipp explains why the float offers unrivalled versatility

How to fish a waggler float in winter

by Angling Times |

It’s sometimes easy to fish almost on autopilot, turning up at your peg and immediately starting to work out where you’d be best off fishing the pole – and leaving one of the best weapons for catching cold-weather carp in the rod bag!

I’m talking about the waggler, something that for so many anglers only ever makes an appearance in summer when fished shallow with dumpy pellet wagglers. Those days are a long way off, though, and instead, fishing conventional float tactics with the bait presented on the bottom gives you versatility, something that the long pole just can’t offer.

Here's how I do it...

One of the best weapons for catching cold-weather carp
One of the best weapons for catching cold-weather carp

Use a loaded version

Loaded wagglers cut down on tangles and fly straight. I carry two basic patterns – a thick plastic Preston Innovations Dura Wag and a more slender Drake Floats insert peacock.

Use a loaded version
Use a loaded version

Plumb up accurately

You can’t get an accurate depth reading on the waggler using a big plummet. Instead, I use a large 3SSG locking shot designed for flat floats, nipping it on the hook.

Plumb up accurately
Plumb up accurately

Change baits quickly

Using a Quick-Change Swivel allows me to swap hooklengths and baits without needing to lose any depth off the rig if I decide to switch corn for pellets, or vice-versa.

Change baits quickly
Change baits quickly

Pick your pellets

I always try to feed 6mm pellets, as this is the same size as the bait that I’ll use on the hook. I’ll also take 8mm pellets in case the wind gets up or I have to go further out.

Pick your pellets
Pick your pellets

Keep fish on the deck

Feeding lots regularly isn’t advisable, as it may encourage the fish to move off bottom in milder weather. Half-a-dozen pellets fired out on each cast instead is perfect.

Keep fish on the deck
Keep fish on the deck

Cast with ease

Although carp are the target, there’s no need go heavy. I use thin 4lb Sinking Feeder Mono for easy casting. Hooklengths are 0.13mm Powerline to a size 16 KKM-B Eyed hook.

Cast with ease
Cast with ease
The rewards are still there if you search your swim
The rewards are still there if you search your swim
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