The floats to use when fishing shallow

Steve Ringer explains the tackle he uses when shallow fishing on the pole

The floats to use when fishing shallow

by Angling Times |

We’re now firmly in shallow water territory on commercial fisheries, catching carp and F1s a few inches deep.

It makes for very exciting fishing, seeing the pole hoop over and the elastic roar out of the tip as a fish is hooked.

Making a rig for shallow work isn’t too difficult – the main decision revolves around floats. Size, shape, length, they’re all things to take into account and that make a big difference to how well you’ll catch.

Back in the day, if you were shallow fishing, you’d be using a dibber, and quite a heavy one, to get the rig into position.

Things have changed a lot since then as we understand more about how fish feeding shallow behave. The mechanics of picking a float for shallow fishing can change from day to day and even during a session.

Float with a bristle

For me a dibber only works when fishing 12ins deep or less. Anything over that and I prefer a bristle float – an MW Cookie dibber for proper shallow or an MW AR for going deeper.

Double your plops

A 0.2g float will do nicely but a heavier float is used if slapping the rig on the surface is not allowed. By fishing a 0.5g float with a big pellet I can make the ‘double plop’ to attract fish.

Double your plops
Double your plops

Be ready for action

The float should sit up almost as soon as it hits the water. With most shallow floats, group all the shot directly under the stem and the rig will be ready to fish and show a bite in seconds.

Be ready for action
Be ready for action

Try a clear float

If the fish are being a bit finicky, a clear plastic float could be worth a try. It’s all down to personal choice – but my results haven’t proved to me that they make a massive difference.

Try a clear float
Try a clear float
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us