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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to post this now because I just finished emailing someone a lengthy explanation of the float rig. Checked my emails right after and there were two more requests for a good explanation.

Hopefully this will explain what it looks like and how it works without to much confusion. Sometimes words just don't give the entire picture. So here goes.

Traditional float or bobber rig is the standard clip on version either plastic, cork or foam. Clip it on desired distance from your hook and toss it in the water. Works great as long as it is within a few feet of the hook. I the float is too far away rom the hook then you can't reel in your line all the way without unclipping the float. Casting a rig like this is just about as easy as trying to throw a slinky accurately. Enter the sliding float rig.

This rig comes in many shapes and sizes. Key to the sliding float is the float will have a hole right through the center of it. And the hole will be large enough to allow your line to pass through it. Another key and there are a few to this rig is the stopper. Some rigs use a piece o cotton string that comes on a very small liece of plastic tubing. You take your line direct from your reel and pass it through the guides. Then you pass it right through the small piece of plastic tubing. Now you take this piece of cotton sting that is pretied on the tube ad gently slip it off the tube onto your ishing line. Once done throw the tube away. You are finished with it. Now you have this pretied piece of cotton on your line. It looks like a very small coil of string with two ends sticking out. Take both ends and pull very tight. This will pull the knot tight. Don't worry because cotton can't hurt mono fishing line. Pull the two ends very very tight then using a nail clipper clip off the ends of the knot. You should if done right end up with a small cotton knot on your line that if when pulled hard will slowly slide up and down on your line. You now have what is called the bobber stop in place. Along with these bobber stops are small beads with a hole through the center. Now you pass your line through the bead. Simple. Now take your line and slide it through the center hole of the float or bobber. Almost done. Now take a snap swivel and tie it to the end of your line. Now you can relax because all that left is the leadered hook and a split shot.

The bobber stop or cotton knot is the neat thing about this rig. It's small enough to be reeled directly onto your fishing reel without causing any problems. You can slide it up and down to allow your depth of the hook to be set wherever you desire. The bead and float will just slide effortlessly up and down between the stop and the snap swivel. If you want to cast, the float and bead are directly down on the swivel so you have a nice neat package to cast. No throwing a slinky. Once the rig hits the water the line will start to slide right through the float. This will continue until the bead and float come into contact with the stopper. So if you are fishing in say twenty feet of water and have the stopper set at eighteen your line will slide through the float and hit the stop and hold your bait two feet of the bottom. Hook a fish and start reeling in and the float will just slide back down your line until it hits the swivel so it never gets in your way.

If you want to look on line you can check out sliding float rigs. There are many many sizes of floats and an assortment of stoppers. The stopper I just mentioned is the one I have used for years. However I'm always trying to refine my tackle so I checked around and found this stopper that I started using last summer and love it. It's now the stopper of my choice. Called the Jack Petersons Custom Bobber Stop by Northland Fishing Tackle. The model I use is called ST-L It is packed four stoppers and beads to a pack. The bobber stop is actually a small piece of orange rubber that easily slips on to your line and holds fast again without damaging your line. Easy to use and deadly when fished correctly.

A few tips. I use this rig with my favorite bait. A nice lively juicy fat minnow. I set the stop so the minnow will be a few feet off the bottom. The only place deadlier for this minnow to be than a few feet off the bottom is on dry land. Near bottom is a death sentence for any small fish. This said the minnow will go crazy trying to get out of this area even with a hook in it. If you use a leader with any length to it the minnow will always seem to be able to tie it into a knot. Nothing ancy but I can't tell you how many times I have reeled in to find an overhand knot in the leader. I tie my oun rigs and for the sliding float rig I keep my leaders right around four or five inches long. Just doesn't give the minnow enough room or leverage to get Boy Scoutie on you.

Why it works. This rig works so well because it keeps the minnow in the flounders kill zone. Bait on the bottom is not the best place. Bait dangling just overhead is perfect for flounder catching. Also every gamefish in our waters will always pay attention to that near bottom area. The float rig will also keep your baits away from the many clumps of seaweed that littler the bottom. When you drag a rig over the bottom you are like a rake through the grass. Another reason this rig works so well is that it will drift with the wind and tide very slowly keeping your bait not only in the deadly area but also keep it in that area longer.

This rig is better than perfect in shallow water. Even flounder get spooked in shallow water. But they love to hunt there especially in low light conditions. Early morning, late evening and cloudy days are the perfect times to go shallow water flounder hunting. But you want to do it quietly. Anchoring up and letting the float rig drift for you will keep you quiet and the fish relaxed. Five feet of water just set the stop at about four feet. Place it in the water right next to your boat and let it loose. The wind or tide will slowly drit it away and the small chop on the surface will make the loat bob up and down causing the bait to be very active allowing every fish in the area to see it. Just let the rig float away until you almost loose sight then just reel in and do it again. Another tip is to throw a little chum. Even canned cat food works wonders. Doesn't always draw in the predators but it will work magic on what they love to eat. Chum in shallow water will get every grass shrimp and shiner moving in right behind your baot. The predators will soon show up to work this concentration of food. What better place for your float rig and bait to be hanging out.

Want to fish deeper water then just set the stopper at the depth you want. Your bait will still stop no matter what depth you set it at. I do use one or more split shots on this rig. I place them directly to my line just above the snap swivel. I did at one time place them on the leader but flounder shaking their heads caused many of these to just ly off. Placing them on top of the swivel will cut this problem down a little.

Most important. The secret to the sliding float rig is slack line. As long as your line is slack your bait will be at the desired depth. If your line draws tight your bait will be slowly pulled back up through the float. It a sliding float rig ad it slides both ways. Just watch the float and feed out line. When the float goes under reel in the slack and set the hook. Very simple rig. I like minnows because they are alive and flounder love them. But I also use strip baits and grass shrimp and anything else I have ever caught flounder on. With the float bouncing on the surface it will give even dead bait a lifelike look to it.

This rig is also great from land such as docks, bulkheads, sod banks and even beaches. Just cast it up current and feed out slack line then let the current slowly drift it right down along where you are ishing. You don't even need a boat to drift fish this rig. It's simple and deadly. Just remember to always feed out line to keep it slack. thats the big key to this rig working correctly. Great way for the kids to have fun. Sometimes it's difficult for kids to get the hang of drift fishing. Bouncing on the bottom can confuse them. Watching a float is like candy to the kids. Watching their expressions is priceless to adults. Hope I did this rig justice and didn't confuse anyone. Any questions just ask.:thumbsup:
 

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Fred - Thanks for posting all the details. Once again all good info. I was thinking about this rig earlier today (cabin fever). I had picked up the parts when I stopped in to see you in the fall. Looking forward to using them. Do you modify the float in any way - make the hole in the top larger so the line slides through easier? Also - any problem with the stop staying place on braid? Thanks again. See you soon.

Nick
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fred - Thanks for posting all the details. Once again all good info. I was thinking about this rig earlier today (cabin fever). I had picked up the parts when I stopped in to see you in the fall. Looking forward to using them. Do you modify the float in any way - make the hole in the top larger so the line slides through easier? Also - any problem with the stop staying place on braid? Thanks again. See you soon.

Nick
There is a problem with the cotton knot stop just rom being wet then drying out and then wet again. Thats why I kept experimenting and found the orange rubber stop. Works much better. Yes I forgot to mention the size of the hole in the float. Thses floats seemed to have been designed for resh water and very thin diameter lines. Most floats have a pretty good size hole through them but have very small caps at the ends. I just clip the ends off to open the holes so take heavier line like 20 pound test. Both cotton and rubber stops work well with braid but I find that mono seems to slide through the float easier. Still one of my rods I use the loat rig on is always spooled with Fireline so it does work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great tip. Any chance you carry the sliding bobbers and stops in the shop?
We sure do. Make up our own pack. Two floats with the ends already clipped. One larger float for live minnows and a slightly smaller float for cut baits. One pack of the bobber stops and another pack of three short leadered hooks I tied. All you need is snap swivels, split shots and a hunk of bait.
 

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the sliding float is simply deadly...:thumbsup:.. I learned it years ago fishing live shrimp for trout in Florida....I use it here in WW alot of the time...its great when you get wind against tide situations...the float generally follows along with the current, unaffected by the wind........Ive gotten stopped numerous times by guys who think Im fishing for weakies...when I tell them Im after flounder most think im nuts...:nuts:...but then Ill show them a few fish and they come around..:rolleyes:... once you learn how to set the correct depth, your golden...try it in an inlet while fishing from shore I guarantee you outfish everyone else around...:D......
 

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It really pisses me off that I left all my beads,floats,leader, hooks and bucktails down the beach. Can't get to it until April. After reading Freds posts about tieing rigs I really miss the stuff.
 

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It's amazing how it really hasn't ever caught on up north. The go to for just about every inshore species down south is a live shrimp or "mudminnow" under a cork. Live bait under a cork has produced everything from trout and spottail to flounder and black drum, and with baited a nice live mullet in the fall it kills BIG spanish from the piers and jetties.
 

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We sure do. Make up our own pack. Two floats with the ends already clipped. One larger float for live minnows and a slightly smaller float for cut baits. One pack of the bobber stops and another pack of three short leadered hooks I tied. All you need is snap swivels, split shots and a hunk of bait.
Fred, have you ever combined the clam belly clum technique using a float rig?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
how much split shot do you usually use? Good for stripers in the back too with clam id imagine? Thanks
Normally I use one of those assorted packs of split shot. If I have a large bait I only need a small split to take it down. Too much weight and it will pull the float under. I use the reusable shot because I'm always changing.

I keep an assortment size floats with me. One of the larger loats can keep a live spot up. I use that setup around the bridges where I don't want the spot getting down to all the tangles. Even a small spot can pull the float under but only a few times for a second or two. They just can't fight the float. I use it with clam in the back and it works great. Especially after rain or wind storms. Bottom water is beat up and a real mess of muddy water. Down near the bottom it's real thick. I set the float to run the bait about five feet off the bottom. Seems that this is about where the stripers want to be when the bottom is a mess.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fred, have you ever combined the clam belly clum technique using a float rig?
Sure do. A few years back I was out on what looked like the perfect back bay striper trip. Between moons and cloudy witn no wind. Couldn't wait to get to my favorite spot. Chummed and all ready for that first fish. Nothing happened. After an hour I was a little confused. Didn't want to move because this spot was the one I'd fish if someone said. Either catch a fish or you die.

Finally stuck the rod in the holder and just sat there. Then I realized that anytime I reeled in to check my bait it was all gritty. Began to think about what the bottom must have looked like because we had just recovered from a real hard noreaster. Surface water was pretty clear but it seemed like the heavy sediment was down deep where my bait was.

Just about gave up when I put a foat on. Let it drift out behind the baot and started slamming the fish. I believe the stripers or any fish for that matter don't want to swim in the gritty churned up water any more that we want to walk the beach on a real windy day. Hurts the eyes. Thats why I won't go fishing without a few floats in the tackle bag. Just never know when you may take a bad day of ishing and make it a great day.
 
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Another worthy bump. As a weekend warrior I fish the weather (WIND:mad:). After learning how to use them these float rigs have save several trips that would have been otherwise lost.
I’ll look for one of his old Videos of how he used them.

 
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