“How long is this gonna take?” That’s the usual question I get from my daughters accompanied by the requisite groans of exasperation whenever I turn the truck into a tackle store. Admittedly, I do find that I take an inordinate amount of time perusing and examining every product in every aisle when I’m at the fishing shop. Everything from Walmart to small tackle sections at gas stations in the middle of nowhere will still get a few minutes of my time to see what they carry in stock. Over the years, I’ve come to learn a lot about all sorts of techniques and styles of angling just from reading packages and handling products in the stores. For a novice angler and even for seasoned veterans of the sport, the endless selection and variety of lures, tackle, and equipment can be intimidating. Having options narrowed down or gaining some background knowledge can be helpful when looking to try new products and techniques. In each article of Angler Management going forward, we will include a ‘Tackle Shop Talk’ profile of a product or two that our readers can take a look at. If you have any questions at all about fishing or what you can do to improve your experience or success on the water feel free to email me anytime as well.
Fishing floats are used by anglers primarily to present bait or a lure at a specifically set depth below the surface of the water. This can be advantageous to avoid snags and rocks on the bottom, targeting fish that are feeding near the top like goldeye, or for visual strike detection. Styles and sizes vary from the well-known ‘red and white’ round plastic bobber to pencil floats made of balsa wood. Each has its own merits and advantages depending on the application. One thing to keep in mind when selecting a style to use is that the rounder profiles have more resistance meaning a fish won’t be able to pull it under as easily. Depending on how or who is fishing, this can be either a positive or a negative. Another thing to consider is whether you prefer to have the float ‘clipped’ on the line or have it ‘run through’ the line and marked with a product called a bobber stop. Having a ‘slip float’ free running on the line is ideal for deeper line setting to enable the angler to cast properly. If you are setting the line around four feet or less, than a clip on float such as what the round bobbers employ will work just fine. The next time you are at the tackle shop, take some time to look at all of the available float options and see if you can work this aspect into your angling repertoire.