Believe it or not, there was a time before all-singing and all-dancing handmade pole floats were all the rage and it’s pleasing to see that many of the patterns that were on the go 20 years ago are still catching plenty of fish in 2018!
One of those is the Colmic Jolly, several of which adorn the winder trays in my seatbox and there’s one very good reason why – versatility.
In the smaller sizes, the Jolly makes a super float for fishing hemp or pinkies into far bank rat holes on canals and drains but up this to the 4x14 and 4x16 sizes and you’ve got a very good model for catching roach and skimmers on deeper venues. Go bigger still and the Jolly becomes a brilliant float for to hand work the whip or for running a bait down a big river.
With a classic pear-shaped body, carbon stem and thin plastic bristle, the Jolly remains surprisingly stable for such a thin pattern, the carbon stem giving the hookbait a slower fall through the water than if you were using wire. Dotting the bristle down is easy too as adding a No 11 shot doesn’t suddenly turn the float from a Belisha Beacon sticking out of the water to the proverbial lead balloon.
Available in sizes 4x8 to 8g, the only off-putting part about a Jolly is the pink colour – but who cares if it keeps going under?
Mick Wilkinson Steady pole floats
Simplicity is important to me when it comes to pole rigs for commercial waters and I try to keep my float choices to a minimum.
That means you’ll find only five or six patterns among my pole rigs and of these, the Mick Wilkinson Steady is my first choice for the majority of open-water situations in anything but a gale.
With a highly-visible but thin hollow antenna of 1.25mm diameter, super-strong polystyrene body and 0.5mm wire stem, these floats sit up quickly, are unbelievably stable and can be used with confidence with baits from sweetcorn to maggots.
My Steadies have taken a right battering over the years but even stems that have bent after fish ploughed into reeds have been easily straightened. They’re consistent in shotting from float to float, and I find the 4x10, 4x12 and 4x14 sizes perfect for most of my fishing. Mind you, I’m pleased hear that larger sizes than 4x16 are soon to become available for when the wind really blows across the Fens…
Deputy Editor, Angling Times
Always handy to have in your kit, this well-made bread punch set has brass heads of 4mm, 6mm 8mm and 10mm, all with decent cutting edges. Ideal for winter commercial carp bread disc tactics, the soft rubber hand grips make the punches easy to use in the cold.
ANGLING Times columnist and river ace Dave Harrell is justifiably proud of his new mono lines – Pro Float and Pro Rig.
As its name suggests, Pro Float is specifically for floatfishing, and comes in six breaking strains from 3lb to 8lb. The naturally floating line, which can be made to sink with the use of detergent, has good knot strength and abrasion-resistance, making it ideal for river work where underwater snags can pose problems.
Pro Rig is a clear, ultra-supple hooklength line available in sizes from ‘small fish’ (0.8mm) up to ‘heavy duty’ (0.26mm) for hard-fighting barbel and chub.
Excellent knot strength combines with suppleness and a smooth finish that makes it possible to move shot without kinking or damaging the line.
Price: Pro Float £7.99 (300m) | Pro Rig £5.99 (100m)
AVID Carp’s new Outline terminal tackle range is the result of two years of product development.
With its semi-transparent colour pigment and dark camo fleck finish, Outline blends in with any substrate. The fast-sinking material stays pinned to the bottom, so no need to carry an array of different coloured or tungsten-based components.
The prices of the full collection of Outline accessories range from £2.99 to £4.99.
1) LEAD CLIP KIT
Click-fit lead clip, matching tail rubber and size 8 swivel. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves.
2) RINGED LEAD CLIPS
For a hinged rig presentation tie your mainline or leader to the rear and tie rigs on to the reinforced ring section. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers.
3) QC LEAD CLIPS
Quick-change rigs and set-ups are easy with this double-ended QC lead clip system. Tie your mainline or leader to the rear and hook rigs on to the QC section at the front. Compatible with all Avid tail rubbers and anti-tangle sleeves.
4) LEAD CLIP TAIL RUBBERS
Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these streamline your end tackle and are super-soft for maximum safety.
5) NAKED TAIL RUBBERS
Compatible with all Avid lead clips, these provide streamlined end tackle when fishing without a leader.
6) X GRIP TAIL RUBBERS
These ensure large leads won’t eject on impact, but allow them to do so in snags. Compatible with Avid QC and ringed lead clips.
7) INLINE TAIL RUBBERS
For use with all Avid inline leads, these can also be used with Avid lead clips for a slower-releasing set-up or in colder conditions.
8) ANTI-TANGLE SLEEVES
Shorter anti-tangle sleeves kick your rig away from the lead perfectly. Compatible with Avid QC lead clips and QC drop off stems. It comes in two versions, standard-size and extra-large.
9) QC Drop off Stems
The first-ever drop-off stems for fishing with inline leads, with the addition of a QC link. Compatible with Avid anti-tangle sleeves and all Avid inline leads.
10) SOLID BAG STEMS
Pre-formed, so you can attach your mainline directly to the top of the stem. Great for quickly changing between pre-tied solid PVA bag set-ups. A ring swivel completes the process.
11) PVA LINKS
Attach a PVA link to your lead and then slide a PVA bag into the groove. A great, hassle-free way to avoid tangles when fishing with PVA bags.
12) SPEED LINKS
Change rigs or leads quickly with a speed link. Compatible with Avid chod and heli buffers, and can be used with the ringed lead clip system.
13) RING SWIVELS
Create safe rigs with extra movement with these high-performance size 8 ring swivels – ideal for helicopter presentations.
14) MEDIUM and XL LINE ALIGNERS
Neat, streamlined alignment over hooks sizes 8-12 or 6-2, respectively.
15) HOOK BEADS
These small, grippy beads work effectively on hooks size 10-4.
16) HOOKBAIT SWIVELS
Big eye hookbait swivels are neat, convenient and far less obtrusive than many others of their type.
17) BOILIE SCREWS
These camouflaged hard plastic Boilie Screws will grip almost any bait. Create the perfect quick change pop-up presentation.
18) MIXED GROOVE BOILIE STOPS
Streamlined, tapered camouflage boilie stops.
19) Shrink TUBE (two sizes)
Camouflaged shrink tubing. Use on hook sizes 8-4 or 4-1
20) MEDIUM and XL DROPPERS
Slot your line into the dropper and twist until you get the right level of grip.
21) MEDIUM and XL RIG DROPS
Tungsten rig drops, a modern alternative to rig putty. Pre-formed on thicker wires.
22) Braided hooklink 20lb
Fine leader material keeps the rig pinned to the river or lakebed.
23) Unleaded leader 50lb
Ideal for use on waters where braid is not permitted.
These leads recreate popular shapes of yesteryear, but add a durable Outline Camo coating.
A double barrel flexi-ring swivel is moulded directly into the lead instead of being mounted on a brass loop, to amplify the bolt effect and reduce line twist and tangles. The leads perfectly complement Avid’s upcoming Outline Terminal Tackle range. Available from 1.5oz to 4oz, in half-ounce increments.
Price: £1.40 - £1.60
The ultimate streamlined design for extreme distance work, a favourite that has stood the test of time.
widely used by big-fish anglers in the 1990s. Ideal for use on sloping banks and the sides of gravel bars.
The raised tooth design grips the bottom to hold your river rig firmly in position. Great for steep marginal shelves too.
Drop Off In-Line
Perfect weight distribution makes this classic shape with its Outline Camo inline tail rubber the ideal choice for PVA bags.
There's arguably no better way to attach a float to your mainline. These adaptors incorporate a micro-swivel, enabling them to be used with the smallest of line stops.
Intended for use with Guru’s new 10mm and 13mm Foam or Balsa Pellet Wagglers, their large rounded clasp ensures free movement of the float, which will always sit at the correct angle for straight, accurate casting and fold flat on the strike. The clasp opens easily, enabling quick float changes to be made. In packs of 10.
This clever two-tone reel line incorporates an algae-coloured tint, said to offer a degree of invisibility to rival that cloak of Harry Potter’s. The line is also slightly absorbent, which helps it to sink faster, while its smooth texture promotes long, effortless casts. Add to that good knot strength and high abrasion-resistance and you have the perfect reel line for serious carpers. On 1000m spools in 12lb (0.32mm), 15lb (0.35mm) and 18lb (0.37mm) breaking strains.
If you're fishing into shallow water, these wagglers from Middy should be on your shopping list. With white bodies that won’t alarm the fish, they are perfect for smaller snake lakes and pools. The fluoro tops are visible at range, and the floats come in a wide range of styles and weights.
Said to be even more supple and soft than the popular Maxima Chameleon line, it’s ideal for rivers and lakes where its natural shade and ability to absorb light make it hard to detect. It’s super robust with good knot strength and abrasion resistance.
If you're finding it hard to hit the horizon on the cast, even when using shockleaders, these 300m double tapered reel linen come in Trans Khaki camo colour, and because you are casting something that tapers down from 0.50mm (35lb) to 0.30mm (12lb) or 0.33m (15lb) increased casting distances are easily achieved.
Drennan’s new Carp Pole Rigs feature quality components and are hand-tied to exacting specifications. Robust and sensibly balanced mainlines, hooklengths and hooks, and strong reliable knots, give you peace of mind. Carp 1, Carp 2 and Carp 3 rigs all come on 3.5m of line, while the shorter Carp 4 Rig is on 3m of line. Each rig comes on a durable winder too.
This ace new camo reel line for commercial fisheries matches muddy water, and its quick sinking properties far outperform those of standard mono.
Its polished hard outer shell improves casting distances and abrasion-resistance. On big 300m spools, in six breaking strains from 4lb (0.16mm) to 12lb (0.28mm)
The cryogenic tempering process results in a pattern up to 30 per cent stronger than all other PTFE-coated carp hooks on the market. Three patterns feature durable ultra-sharp long-life needle points...
Previously available under the E-S-P Raptor banner but now even better thanks to cryogenic treatment.
They suit a number of presentations (including the Ronnie Rig), where their quick turning, anti-eject shape and needle-sharp point guarantees exceptional hookholds.
In barbed sizes 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10.
This hook combines several proven patterns. Ideal for chod or stiff rigs, its fine curved sticky-sharp beaked point offers extra insurance when fishing weedy or snaggy swims. In barbed sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
This ‘enforcer’ of E-S-P’s Cryogen range is a medium shank pattern combining a crystal bend with a long, slightly offset fine, needle-sharp point and a slick Tufflon coating for secure hook-ups. The straight eye design allows it to be used with all bottom baits or pop-ups, with or without a kicker being added to the rig. Also highly effective for D-Rig presentations. In barbed sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Price for all the above: £3.95
Guru's new Kaizen is a super strong barbless, spade end, PTFE-coated hook ideal for any bait. The company's portfolio of top level consultants have told us that this pattern works especially well with luncheon meat however. Its unique offset shape, super-sharp point and extra-wide gape provide an impressive hookhold. The oversized spade allows it to be used without the worry of knots slipping off.
Sizes available are 10 to 20, with 10 hooks in each packet.