Floats: you can’t have too many

I hope everyone managed to catch the amazing sunrise last Saturday morning…

I was driving to work, passing a local water and had to pull over towatch the brilliant orange sun burning off the dense white swirlingmists.

What an evocative autumn sight reserved for the early morning angler. Shame I hadn’t got the rods!

On the return trip, I called into Cliff Maddon’s tackle shop over atStaveley, to pick up some bait.

I’ve known Cliff for over 25 years now - and we always have a good chinwag, putting the world to rights.

He’s got a supply of floats, which look homemade, they have strong aluminium stems, body-up oval balsa bodies and relatively thick tips,ideal for the breezy conditions forecast for the following morning. Of course I had to have one, I love trying different floats!

Back home, under further inspection, the float was perhaps a little bit old fashioned, the aluminium stem maybe a little too thick.

I rigged up three silicon rubbers on the stem and a black float rubber on the tip.

I didn’t put any shot on the rig, waiting until I got to the fishery.

It looked like it might be a self-cocker.

On the bank with a size 18 hook tied to the rig, I started plumbing up.

I’d got around three foot of water at the side of some lily pads, ideal for a maggot bash!

The float took a single size nine Stotz to cock it and I added two number 11s down the hook length to leave around half an inch of the bright yellow tip showing.

A steady trickle of reds and whites and I soon had my first sail-away bite, which I missed. Nothing changes.

Next put-in resulted in a micro roach, which struggled to swallow the single maggot. At least the float gave a good indication despite the size of the fish.

Quite abruptly a shower of fry broke the surface, scattering pell-mell, probably being pursued by a big perch. Increasing the feed rate and with a couple of reds on the hook, I soon had an indignant half-pound ‘stripey’ in the net.

I lost three more fish through hook pulls then had a good run of decent fish, all on double red.

The new float was well and truly ‘christened’ and I’m back to Cliff’s next weekend for a couple more, in bigger sizes and different tip colours.

You can never have enough floats!