How to fish the ‘running’ flat float

Match fishing legend Bob Nudd explains how to vary your pace on big rivers for more silverfish

How to fish the ‘running’ flat float

by Angling Times |

Too many anglers have preconceived ideas about the flat float – they think it’s only useful for keeping a bait dead still and catching big fish on powerful rivers.

Twenty years ago, they’d have been right, but tactics and technology change. Today, flat floats are regularly used to run the bait with the river’s current and catch smaller fish – especially roach.

Here's how to do it...

Today, flat floats are regularly used to run the bait with the river’s current and catch smaller fish
Today, flat floats are regularly used to run the bait with the river’s current and catch smaller fish

Choose your float

You need a body shape that’s got half to three-quarters of a body (right) as opposed to a full body (left). This creates less drag when run through. I’d only use the full-bodied float if I wanted to nail the bait still.

Choose your float
Choose your float

Match size to the pace

Float size depends on how slowly I want to run the float down the peg. If this was a quarter of the river’s pace, I’d need a bigger float, but if I wanted it to go at three-quarters pace, I’d go smaller.

Match size to the pace
Match size to the pace

Cup in groundbait

Loosefeed plays no part in my feeding attack. Instead, groundbait is a must, and I always cup this in so that the ball goes straight down without breaking up too early and drawing in smaller fish.

Cup in groundbait
Cup in groundbait

Plumb up right!

You need a clip-on plummet, fixed to the bottom dropper. Plumbing up so that just the tip of the float is showing, I know the whole hooklength is laid on the bottom, with the final dropper just off the deck.

Plumb up right!
Plumb up right!

Setting the hook

On the strike you need to pull through the weight of the float and against the pace of the river, so you need substantial elastic. I use a hollow Browning Microbore in the pink grade (7-9 in old money).

Setting the hook
Setting the hook

Don’t fish too light

Light lines and small hooks aren’t needed, as the flat float is a very positive way of fishing – we’re talking 0.16mm mainline, an 0.14mm hooklength and a size 14 or 16 wide gape hook.

Don’t fish too light
Don’t fish too light
A decent mixed net of Norfolk Broads silvers
A decent mixed net of Norfolk Broads silvers
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