Loaded or unloaded Deep Stillwater fishing?

plattsie_fish

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I tried a new club lake yesterday. Wasn’t very successful to be honest. Had heard it fished well but not a lot showing. My question is this. I started on the feeder but then wanted to do a bit of float fishing. The lake was very deep. I have a 13ft float rod and it was about that deep. I was pleased that I didn’t snag up having such a large ‘dangle’ but was casting in fear!! Had a think about it when I got home. Maybe thinking about slider float fishing but have never done it before. Would it make any difference using unloaded floats so to have more shot down the line so the line lays tighter. I usually use almost entirely loaded floats. Any thoughts??

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mikench

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If part or fully loaded slider floats are good enough for James Robbins they are good enough for me. Try Drake, Polaris and another make I canot recall except it's 3 letters like AWT.
 

plattsie_fish

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I have some drake floats. Usually I am Drennan all the way but I bought them just because James Robbins used them! Love his YouTube clips and he was a lovely guy. Did me a great deal with some reels as well. So you can use a ‘normal’ float as well. Something to look into!! Thanks for that....
 

Keith M

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In my view fully or part loaded floats have no real advantage in really deep swims unless you are getting your bites mainly in the top few feet of water, and even then I would probably prefer to use spaced out shot with a longer rod; which would allow me to count down each shot all the way down to the very bottom and see bites at any level.
NB: I got top weight in two of our team matches using this method back in the day using a 17ft float rod I bought just for this scenario.

The slider float usually depends on getting your bait onto or near the bottom fairly quickly, so moving your bulk shot down the line near to the bottom is what you need to pull your line through the float ring(s); whereas a loaded float just reduces the amount of bulk shot you can place onto your line which is not really the ideal in these situations as too little shot can sometimes seriously reduce this ability.

Keith
 
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peterjg

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Plattsie_fish: I used to live in Chesham, there are some good waters near you.

For deep water it it is easier to use a slider than struggle to cast with a long drop from float to hook. I suggest that you use at least a 4 or 5 bb float. Make a slider float attachment by squeezing a size 8 swivel into a bit of silicon tubing and push onto the bottom of the float. Then get some pliers and gently close the bottom eye of the swivel so that the reel line slides through but not your stop knot.
 

Roger Johnson 2

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Hello mate, I used to do a lot of fishing with slider floats on the Bedfordshire brick pits, my go to floats were loaded bodied wagglers in the 2-6 AAA region, depending on distance, wind and undertow.
I found loaded cast much better, otherwise you cast through the float which cuts down distance and accuracy enormously.
The set up was stop knot from 3lb line with 1inch tags, to flow through the ring we’ll, followed by a sequin (I had some left over after hand sewing thousands onto my ball gown) to act as a float stop then float with waggler adaptor so float changes could be made easily, shotting patttern is one or two no.6 (depending on float weight/casting strength) 12-15” above the bulk shot which is about 4’ above the hook with two no6or8 dropper shot, the aim being to fish on the drop over the last 4-6’. Casting, normal overhead cast overshooting the fishing area and gentle feather to straighten out before landing, sink the rod tip reel the float back to the fishing area to sink the line, then open the bail arm and let out line with the rod tip still under the surface as the bulk shot sinks to depth count down how long it takes to register on the float, and then not how long it takes for the drop shot to register, any variation will then either be a tangle or more hopefully a bite on the drop.
Rod needs to be a fairly beefy 12-14 float rod as strikes need to be long and firm to strike through the float and upward strike is more effective than to the side.
I tended to fish slider anything over 10’ but it can also be useful at smaller depths if casting is restricted, I’ve caught fish on the rig at up to 25 feet and distances of 30+ yards though striking can be challenging at those distances.
Final point the shot above the bulk shot keeps the float off the bulk shot and reduces casting tangles.
Good luck.


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Bluenose

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For deep water fish a slider that's unloaded. Something heavy like a 2 swan drennan polywag dotted right down. Use a float adapter with a swivel attachment and a small micro-bead above the float for your stop knot to catch.

As Keith says the heavy shot is needed to pull the line through the swivel eye, as the bait sinks. A thinner diameter mainline will help also.

Youtube videos should help, but in a nut shell, cast out ensure everything lands in a straight line, tighten up quickly with a few quick turns, but then release the bail arm and the mainline will flow nice and freely through the swivel. Everything will then be in a nice tight straight line between rod and float. Remember to check the position of your stop knot regularly and make sure it hasn't moved.

It takes practice, but it's worth having a few sessions just to get the mechanics of the rig right, without worrying about whether you catch anything, if that makes sense.
 

rob48

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If you haven't got to cast too far I'd use an unloaded float and use all the bulk to get the bait down and keep the float stable, especially if there's a strong surface tow. If it's a longish cast or the winds awkward, a loaded float will sit on the bulk and cast more easily. Depends on the conditions on the day.
 

plattsie_fish

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In my view fully or part loaded floats have no real advantage in really deep swims unless you are getting your bites mainly in the top few feet of water, and even then I would probably prefer to use spaced out shot with a longer rod; which would allow me to count down each shot all the way down to the very bottom and see bites at any level.
NB: I got top weight in two of our team matches using this method back in the day using a 17ft float rod I bought just for this scenario.

The slider float usually depends on getting your bait onto or near the bottom fairly quickly, so moving your bulk shot down the line near to the bottom is what you need to pull your line through the float ring(s); whereas a loaded float just reduces the amount of bulk shot you can place onto your line which is not really the ideal in these situations as too little shot can sometimes seriously reduce this ability.

Keith
Thanks for that. Keith. Might have to dig out my unloaded floats as not really bothered about slow fall. Think at the lake I fish at they are all on the deck anyway. Appreciate your thoughts. Still getting my head around the slider thing. Might have one more go normal. 17ft rod? My goodness!!
 

plattsie_fish

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Plattsie_fish: I used to live in Chesham, there are some good waters near you.

For deep water it it is easier to use a slider than struggle to cast with a long drop from float to hook. I suggest that you use at least a 4 or 5 bb float. Make a slider float attachment by squeezing a size 8 swivel into a bit of silicon tubing and push onto the bottom of the float. Then get some pliers and gently close the bottom eye of the swivel so that the reel line slides through but not your stop knot.
Really. Good man. I grew up in Chesham Bois, used to fish the stretch of the river chess by Chesham dump! I moved back here when my kids cam along. I fish up in Watford. There are a couple of big carp boy lakes which look beautiful. Might ask if they want someone to take care of all the pesky bream and single figure carp. I’m happy with them for now!!
 

plattsie_fish

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Hello mate, I used to do a lot of fishing with slider floats on the Bedfordshire brick pits, my go to floats were loaded bodied wagglers in the 2-6 AAA region, depending on distance, wind and undertow.
I found loaded cast much better, otherwise you cast through the float which cuts down distance and accuracy enormously.
The set up was stop knot from 3lb line with 1inch tags, to flow through the ring we’ll, followed by a sequin (I had some left over after hand sewing thousands onto my ball gown) to act as a float stop then float with waggler adaptor so float changes could be made easily, shotting patttern is one or two no.6 (depending on float weight/casting strength) 12-15” above the bulk shot which is about 4’ above the hook with two no6or8 dropper shot, the aim being to fish on the drop over the last 4-6’. Casting, normal overhead cast overshooting the fishing area and gentle feather to straighten out before landing, sink the rod tip reel the float back to the fishing area to sink the line, then open the bail arm and let out line with the rod tip still under the surface as the bulk shot sinks to depth count down how long it takes to register on the float, and then not how long it takes for the drop shot to register, any variation will then either be a tangle or more hopefully a bite on the drop.
Rod needs to be a fairly beefy 12-14 float rod as strikes need to be long and firm to strike through the float and upward strike is more effective than to the side.
I tended to fish slider anything over 10’ but it can also be useful at smaller depths if casting is restricted, I’ve caught fish on the rig at up to 25 feet and distances of 30+ yards though striking can be challenging at those distances.
Final point the shot above the bulk shot keeps the float off the bulk shot and reduces casting tangles.
Good luck.


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Going have to look into this slider fishing. Will have one more crack using unloaded to help with under tow and the like but thanks for your thoughts. I bet your ball gown looks fabulous!
 

plattsie_fish

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For deep water fish a slider that's unloaded. Something heavy like a 2 swan drennan polywag dotted right down. Use a float adapter with a swivel attachment and a small micro-bead above the float for your stop knot to catch.

As Keith says the heavy shot is needed to pull the line through the swivel eye, as the bait sinks. A thinner diameter mainline will help also.

Youtube videos should help, but in a nut shell, cast out ensure everything lands in a straight line, tighten up quickly with a few quick turns, but then release the bail arm and the mainline will flow nice and freely through the swivel. Everything will then be in a nice tight straight line between rod and float. Remember to check the position of your stop knot regularly and make sure it hasn't moved.

It takes practice, but it's worth having a few sessions just to get the mechanics of the rig right, without worrying about whether you catch anything, if that makes sense.
It’s looking like practise is needed. Thanks for advice!
 

Aknib

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Unloaded every time for me, I want that shot down the line to get the float sitting pretty and the bait on the deck quickly.

I really like slider float fishing even in depths that don't always warrant it, I find it far easier to cast a bulk shot on a slider rig in say eight feet of water than when it's on a fixed float rig and on the large waters I occasionally fish the low bulk shotting is a necessity to combat the strong drift, the 'strike through' on the bite is also very direct.

Having the option of positioning the bulk shot low down is a big winner for me over loaded, the lower that shot is and the more of it there is the more stable the rig will be and the better it will hold in excessive tow.

Given the fact that I rarely if ever use anything other than a 'pin these days it also helps if a little extra distance is required although I'm usually good for around four rod lengths so it's rarely an issue... Four rod lengths is long range for me lol.

I think both will work, it's a case of finding out what suits you best and how well you do what suits you.
 

john step

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I agree with the advice on unloaded. I would emphasise the need to overcome tow on these deep waters with shot down the line for stability.
The further one casts the greater this problem occurs which means the optimum distance can be comfortably achieved with an underarm swing .
 

markg

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I find one problem with sliding floats is when you cast the hook line can fly back and tangle with the float, this especially happens if your casting any distance and all your main shot are low down near the hook so the float is hanging near the hook as well when casting. I put a small split shot about 4ft-6ft above all the main shot to keep the float away from the bulk shot when casting, I suppose you could use a leger stop if you wanted. I use an unloaded as float as well for no particular reason but I can adjust any shot pattern to suit easy enough.
 

wetthrough

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Partially loaded for me if casting any distance, 30M+. If not partially loaded it can slide back against the stop knot. If it does slide back against the stop knot it's impeding the cast. Like Mark above and others I put a float/leger stop to make sure the distance between float and bulk is greater than the distance between the hook and bulk. This also impedes the cast somewhat, maybe 3 or 4M in 35 but it pretty much eliminates tangles. You might get away with the float resting on the bulk with some baits and some wind conditions but put a piece of flake or sweetcorn on in a headwind and there's a high probability of a tangle. It's worth doing for sanity IMO.
 

whitty

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Bugger me Gordon,30m,i'd need a lighthouse to see the bites,seriously though,as has been stated if casting any distance(20m or more),or in awkward wind conditions then partially loaded floats with at least 4aa capacity plus the loading,however my prefence is for an unloaded peacock float of around 3/5aa,buy or make a float adaptor with preferably an old type swivel,smallish eye,if not carefully squeeze them with pliers,a stop knot with at least inch long legs on the knot,plumbing up can be difficult for the inexperienced,I shot the float up roughly(within 3/4" )with it locked with shot,then place one of the aa shot on the loop you fix your hooklink to(no hook),the rest in a bulk say 15" up, tie your stop knot at the supposed depth,cast out gently and slightly upishly to stop tangles,if the float cocks as you had it,it isn't deep enough,so increase by six inches or so,if it sits up,or lays flat,reduce the depth of your knot,hope this helps,it is a great method but needs practice and care,it certainly isn't a whoosh casting method...
 
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wetthrough

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It's some time since I fished at that sort of distance and my eyes have deteriorated since. I'm not sure I could manage now.
 

rayner

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I used to fish the slider at Dam Flask, in fact thinking back it's the last time I really enjoyed a day fishing. There I go again getting sidetracked.
Getting back on track, the swims at the Flask where I would fish were on average between 10 - 15 feet deep depending on how high or low the water was.
I would use a float between 3 to 4 swan shot with half the capacity loaded into the float a bulk 4 feet from the hook then even spaced droppers.
Always fed with groundbait, never loose feed.

Edit
I had a stop knot at half depth.
 
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