Slider float fishing

Aknib

Well-known member
I have to confess, until a few years ago it was something I would do as a last resort and would generally shy away from in favour of the tip.

But…

Since turning almost exclusively to the ‘pin and enjoying the extra distance and ease which the slider allows it has now become quite a fancied and favoured method for me, not least due to the fact that I also began, around the same time, hitting large waters regularly where tow was an issue and the bulk shotting style just happened to be ideal.

And then there’s that direct, strike through connectivity that you don’t get with a fixed float.

One thing that used to put me off was the size and weight of the floats often required for deep water but I think it was Ian Heaps who advised it wasn't a problem due to it largely being negated in water and the sensitivity remaining intact...

Which makes sense to me.

Do you enjoy slider float fishing and if not why not, if you haven't tried it are you likely to give it a go and if not, what's holding you back?
 

nottskev

Well-known member
I've been a big fan for a long time, but at the lighter end of the spectrum rather than with the big loaded floats plus bulk often favoured these days. I find it most enjoyable in waters that are up to 10-14' deep and usually fish between 2 and 4 rods out.

I've found 2.5 AAA is about as light as you can go; any less and it sometimes holds up instead of sliding through. I stop the float a few feet above the bulk with no8 or two. The float has less far to slide, and the bulk dropping freely a few feet gives it momentum to pull through more easily than if you cast off the bulk, if that makes sense without diagrams!

Having float and bulk separated makes casting a bit weird, till you get used to casting the bulk instead of the float. I gave my rod to a friend who joined me to watch for a bit. He's been fishing as long as me, but not with that set-up, and he cast it everywhere except where he wanted it.

As you said, Steve, the straight-through strike is great, you can move the bulk - or olivette - up and down to change how the bait falls, and it's really versatile. Compared to pole fishing deep water, it takes all the heavy lifting out and leaves you holding your favourite few ounces of carbon.

Even for depths well under the length of the rod, I often slide the float the last couple of feet. It's much easier to cast 7 or 8' than 9 or 10'.

Some of the float attachments on the market are a bit clunky, and I like these little Middy ones. The tiny eye means you don't need a big stop knot.



Some don't like casting or reeling stop knots through the rod rings. I'm a bit that way myself, and I'll often use a longer rod - 14 or 15' - so you can fish the slider in in up to 12' or so and still cast and net fish without the knot ever coming past the tip ring.
 

wetthrough

Well-known member
Yes, quite enjoy it and as you say it's surprisingly sensitive considering the size of floats used. Although you strike through the float you're still striking against the inertia of a sizeable weight but for whatever reason it doesn't seem to stop you hooking fish, even small Roach. I get tangles sometimes with corn and bread but if that happens I either move the weight down or stop the float further up so the distance from weight to hook is shorter than weight to float but it does limit the cast somewhat. Not sure why it happens sometimes and not other but suspect a slight crosswind might help.
 

Philip

Well-known member
It’s a technique I use a great deal.

I originally used it to tackle fishing a large deep river with swims going down to more than 20 foot for Roach. My standard approach was to bulk shot a few inches from the hook and use a braid stop knot with long tag ends that slide easily through even small rings. Two bunched up help to avoid slip. I also found placing a second stop above the bulk shot for the float to rest on when you cast also helped to avoid tangles…the gap between float and bulk shot set longer than the length of the float.
I use home made float adapters which are basically a bit of silicon with a swivel pushed into them to attach the float to the line. These slide well and allow the float to fold over on the strike giving a more direct line of pull when you strike - important when your fishing in deep water.
The floats I use are generally long straight wagglers. I am not a fan of the loaded variety. I had trouble finding long unloaded ones in the past so I used to make my own, nothing like as good as yours but functional.

I then used to over cast and gently pull back till the float cocked..often just ticking the clutch on the spool or the ratchet on a pin a click at a time to get the float set just right. Bites inevitably signaled by the floats rising and falling flat as a fish dislodged the bulk shot. Very exciting.
I liked it so much nowadays I use it it even on shallow lakes when stalking fish. A big advantage being that you avoid having to faff about finding the depth. Just set the stop a bit over what you think the depth is and the gently pull back to cock the float..the advantage being it takes just one cast rather than several to get perfect presentation ..so important when your casting to feeding fish.

Just recently I had a long chat with a guy who was allot more knowledgeable than me on sliders…he actually fishes with the French national team. He said that fishing the slider was his favorite method of all and he explained that he used a similar home made adapter to me with silicon and a swivel however his were over 10cm long. He explained that as well as the fold over aspect the other advantage was that the very long adapter also meant than when fishing on the drop it allowed him to twitch the bait back up without unsettling the float …almost like pulling the bait and hook back up in the water and letting it fall down again. The flexible adapter acting like a shock absorber keeping the float tip still. Made sense to me and something I plan to copy in the right circumstances.
 

whitty

Well-known member
I like the slider a lot,it is a method ive used for almost my entire angling life,i now think ive sorted it as much as I can and am totally confident on it,personally I find though I can fish with floats as light as 2.5AA,4AA is more reliable,as wind changes cause sliding problems at times,ive caught some pretty fair fish on the method and very big catches too,a real string to your bow and one that is well worth learning.
 

tigger

Well-known member
I have a few older Ian Heaps weighted slider floats. I have used some of them but only very occasionally, here's a pic of some of them....

 

ian g

Well-known member
I enjoy the method too as I prefer float fishing , one question do any of you use olivettes for bulk shot?
 

whitty

Well-known member
Not for me,AA shots as the float adaptor lies tight to them,i use 5.4lb pro-gold on the slider mind....
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Bit of both. I have several floats that match up nicely to an olivette plus dropper(s) and I'll happily use those. I've found either shot or olivette casts equally well, neither tangles and the olivette between float stops can be moved with welcome ease.
 

peterjg

Well-known member
I use sliders quite a lot, some of the lakes I fish are 14ft or more deep. Philip in his post mentioned using a float adaptor with a swivel in a piece of silicon tube - this idea works well - I gently squeeze one eye of the swivel so as to close the eye to a slit big enough for the line diameter.

Sliders work well when float legering and are surprisingly sensitive. Used sometimes with a small homemade cage feeder.

I also use (now rarely) homemade Avon type sliders with two eyes for use on a particularly deep swim on the Thames (14ft). These floats worked ok but I found that when the float was held back and slowed the line was being pulled back through the float eyes so their use was limited.
 

rayner

Well-known member
It's not a method I've used since I was nailed to commercials. Reservoirs were where I would fish the slider locally, waters I could travel to I just couldn't see the point when reservoirs were so good locally.
The only other waters I thought correct for me to fish slider were the loughs in Ireland.
All the sliders I used were homemade jobs with a semi loaded base of around 2AAA, shotting capacity was 3 to 6 AAA.
I'm not surprised they were so sensitive for there size, I've never been afraid of using lead. So long as fish aren't physically picking the lead up it's not a problem. What's above the water decides the sensitivity.
They cast well, sinking line wasn't a problem, they are stable on windy days, what more could you want.
If I were to use a slider now I would certainly use Olivette instead of shot, I never used adapters the floats I made had a tiny eye made from an eyed hook. The slider knot was made with 2lb line with long tags.
 

liphook

Active member
This summer, based on advice from a fellow crucian chaser, I'm going to use a slider for crucian fishing, not because of depth but because of the advantages of direct striking and reduced swim disturbance. We're fishing under the rod tip in the margins of small/tiny farm ponds and he tells me it makes a real difference. I'll be interested to see how it goes
 

ian g

Well-known member
Would you all regard the use of a Polaris or equivalent float as slider fishing?
more float legering Mike , for one thing you don't really strike through the float . I would say give it a go , it's a nice way to fish especially on deeper waters
 

silvers

Well-known member
I don't fish for crucians - but was struck by a line in Jim Baxter's "rising antenna" about a London matchman (Bill Francis) who walloped Ivan Marks. Bill had his float in/under the surface film. This struck a chord with my experience of floats that are fishing in that film result in more sailaways from other species.

On sliders - very rarely - as I'm either fishing shallow stillwaters or rivers with a decent flow.
 

Aknib

Well-known member
A couple of years ago I made a set of Perch bobber sliders, not really with the intention of fishing them in deep water but more for being able to lift the worm regularly without causing too much surface disturbance when fishing right under the tip and they've worked well...

nice name for baby girl
 

rayner

Well-known member
I don't fish for crucians - but was struck by a line in Jim Baxter's "rising antenna" about a London matchman (Bill Francis) who walloped Ivan Marks. Bill had his float in/under the surface film. This struck a chord with my experience of floats that are fishing in that film result in more sailaways from other species.

On sliders - very rarely - as I'm either fishing shallow stillwaters or rivers with a decent flow.
Jim Baxter used to write in the now defunct Angling Star. A proficient local angler, I used to enjoy his articles in the star.
Talking of floats fished under the surface film, I was fishing a match at Worsborough res, the chap to my left fished hemp and emptied the place, he gave me a lesson in hemp fishing. We were chatting after the match and he explained his white float that he fished under the surface.
He was Dennis White, very generous with his knowledge, especially when he explained how he hammered me.
 

nottskev

Well-known member
Would you all regard the use of a Polaris or equivalent float as slider fishing?
I wouldn't want to run down an invention that's popular with some, but I think it fits some particular circumstances. In Ireland, for instance, back in the day, the fish, if you found them and fed them enough to hold them, weren't hard to catch and weren't tackle shy, but the conditions were often hard to beat - fishing out into deep water on big exposed windy lakes. Given that, a fairly clunky but effective rig on what they used to call "stout tackle" made sense. I've never been tempted to use one over here though, although no doubt some find uses for them. Iirc, the inventor was known for coming up with things useful for holiday anglers fishing abroad on big wild waters that weren't fished much.
 

Philip

Well-known member
I also use (now rarely) homemade Avon type sliders with two eyes for use on a particularly deep swim on the Thames (14ft). These floats worked ok but I found that when the float was held back and slowed the line was being pulled back through the float eyes so their use was limited.
Peter, as an idea you could try one of those self locking / trolling floats, or alternatively make your own locking mechanism for your float of choice. Basically a short U shaped section of stiff tube (biro tube heated & bent into shape for example) attached to float adapter. The line passes through the U shape. It should slide freely to depth but lock in position when the line is pulled tight by the flow.

As a footnote this may be similar to how the aforementioned Polaris type floats work although I am not up to date with all the terms used nowadays so I am guessing. We used the self locking system on home made depth finders back in the day. Was great as you could get the exact depth in one cast on still or slow moving water.
 
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