Timing the strike when you are float fishing, especially for roach, is one of the great skills of angling.
All I can say is to imagine what the fish is doing under water. One thing I will say is that if you get sucked maggots or crushed casters, the fish has had the bait and you did not strike at the right time. This is the time to experiment with shotting depth and float type.
Ron, thanks for your last reply. I was under the impression that you stike when the float goes under!
How much movement should the float do before I strike.
ps. I don't know if you remember but you helped on a previous topic of mine, so just to let you know on my first trip I caught 2 small roach, a very slimy bream and a mirror and common carp bot about 6-7lb!
if it is still moving downwards you are in with a chance of connecting with the bite but most beginners make the mistake of not striking till the float has completely disappeared by which time with small species like roach they have already spit the bait out.
if it look like it's going to disapper then strike, you are asking one of the most difficult questions in fishing and one unfortunately which you only learn the answer to with experience.
probably the best advice i could give is keep striking earlier and earlier till you start missing them all the time then you will know what is too soon.
this changes from species to species and day to day as well though.
Decidedly un-daft; if a roach decides a bait isn't quite right, the bait will get spat out far more forcefully than it was taken in - so you get a faint flicker as the fish takes, and a full-blooded dip as it rejects the bait.
More importantly, make sure youre float is dotted down to the merest dimple.
This way you weil see the slightest movement, and wait until it goes under.
A trick of the match lads it to shot the float so that it "just" sinks.
What you do then is to smear the top of the float with vaseline, so that only the tension of the water is holding it up.
Use this method for fishing just off the bottom.
If you are fishing on the bottom, say by 6"-8"
Try either deepening or shallowing up in order to give the fish more time to take the bait properly. This last part is trial and error.