These days I fish generally on Carp and F1 venues, some canals and the odd river. These are the rigs that I make up myself. Success on matches means hours of preparation. I carry all the rigs that I may need in my seat box with plenty of spares. You will not find any spools of line and packets of hooks in my seat box. In a match you can not afford to be tying up rigs and hook lengths during the match. You need to be fishing all the time and this is one of the difference's to being successful or not in a match.
I try to keep my pole rigs simple but effective. Generally being heavy summer bagging rigs, Summer F1, winter carp/F1 rigs and Silver fish rigs. My rig lengths vary and I use the general rule of 0.1g of weight for my pole floats for every foot of water I am fishing in. Main line and hook choice is also important as are the shotting patterns that I use. In recent years the standard of pre-tied hook lengths available on the market has made tying your own hook lengths redundant and I now use Guru Ready Rigs for my pole lengths.
All my pole rigs use floats made by Nick Gilbert. I have no association with Nick, I just believe his floats are built to last, strong and supply is easy from his website giving me an better value over the general mass produced floats you buy in tackle shops which don't that last long.
In the latest instalment of Tackle Room Tips Preston ace Lee Kerry tells you everything you need to know about choosing the correct pole float. Some really useful tips here to help you choose the best pole float for your fishing. Just in time for all your upcoming summer bagging sessions. .
The England International has invested a lot of time into making these floats as good as they can possibly be. And now that he's 100% happy with them we can finally reveal the NEW range of Commercial Pole Floats from Preston Innovations. Trust us, if there good enough for Des then they're good enough for anyone!
For Summer hard pellet Carp fishing in good conditions I favour Nick Gilbert's XT Finesse Power, pole floats as these have a slim hard foam body with a 2mm diameter hollow tip, spring eye on a 1mm glass stem. with a durable metallic black paint, These floats are virtual unbreakable for big weight carp fishing! Set up on 0.17mm main line with a spread bulk above an 6 inch hook length.
I fish these on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with a strung out bulk of no.8 or no.9 Preston stotz's 18 inches from the hook length with 2 smaller no.10 dropper. Under this I use Guru SLWG banded Ready Rigs in various sizes from 18-14 hooks. Elastic choice is generally for open water is Preston 13h to 17h hollo if the water is very shallow with lillys and reed beds nearby or big fish are expected.
Generally in the summer months the carp will be closer in towards the margins in the warmer shallower water and my float choice for summer short pole bottom rigs for fishing baits like meat are 0.3g or 0.4g Nick Gilbert XT Mini Diamond pole floats. set up on 0.17mm mainline with a small bulk above a 6 inch hook length. These floats are ideal, being a short balsa bodied float fitted with a 25mm long 2mm hollow tip and 1mm glass stem. Being only 125-130mm long this float is ideal for shallow water bottom fishing, margins and far bank fishing with elastic ranging from 14-18
I tie these pole floats up on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge main line, not just because its strong but also I like its stretch factor. I use a 6 inch Guru size 14 LWG Ready Rig when I'm fishing for Carp with meat or corn.
I use a small bulk of Preston stotz's using no.8, no.9 or no.10's depending on the weight of the float. There is no need for small dropper shot if fishing with meat or corn as the bulk is only 6 inches from the hook the rig is very positive. The weight of the bait means it sinks quickly and nails the bait to the bottom.
I generally start fishing 2 inches over depth. If there is a tow on the water the rig stays still. This rig allows you to fish with strong elastic's up to size 18. An ultimate summer bagging rig.
You can come from last in the match to winning it in the last hour fishing the margins. I use Nick Gilbert, XT Edger Slim HD margin floats. These floats are designed for fishing big baits down the margins or far side of snake lakes, fitted with a new type of spring eye and is virtually unbreakable.The 1mm glass stem is glued into a 2mm or 2.5mm hollow plastic bristle. The slim HD foam body will pull through most snags or reeds and remain intact. The smaller sizes are perfect for fishing along the mud line.
I generally use an 0.4g float and look for 18 inches of water to fish in with 0.19mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with size 14 0.17mm Guru XS Carp Ready Rig. Elastics range from Red Hydro if big fish are expected or Black Hydro. These are normally fished with a small bulk of Stotz's above the hook length. The hook length is a 4 inch Ready Rig (cut down) as you don't want the hook length wafting around when large carp come into the margins.
I use a 0.2g Nick Gilbert NG XT inline Dibber floats for my shallow fishing because these floats eliminate wrap overs when shipping in and out. This float is perfect for fishing pellets shallow. It is virtually unbreakable with a dense balsa body. Built with a 0.8mm glass stem. I use this pole float for Carp and F1 shallow fishing on 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge mainline. Carp shallow rigs are generally 18 inches deep but if F1's are expected then I would have several set up at different depths between 2 foot and 6 inchs as F1 can move up and down the water column in the summer months. For fishing between 6 and 12 inch deep I use the dibber float but for deeper than this a 0.2g float with a bristle is best for reading bites and I swap the dibber for a Nick Gilbert NG XT Jordan. 4 inch hook lengths are used when fishing shallow and I just cut down the Pre-tied Guru SLWG Ready Rigs.
Hook lengths are Guru SLWG Banded Ready rigs. However I cut these 6 inch rigs down to 4 inches. the hook size's range from 20's to 14 depending on bait and expected fish size.
For Spring and summer F1 fishing with pellets I favour these Nick Gilbert XT Jordans because I want a short pole float with a wire stem designed for F1 fishing, This float is built with a short 21mm long, 1.5mm diameter hollow tip and heavy 0.6mm wire stem so the float is fishing straight away. I use 0.15mm Guru N-Gauge mainline with no.10 shot. The shot is a loosely strung out bulk starting at the hook length at 1 inch gaps. Hook lengths are 0.13mm - 0.11mm Guru SLWG Banned Ready Rigs for hard pellets or 18/20 sizes of Guru F1 Pellet Ready Rigs if fishing with soft pellets.
For F1 and winter carp require very sensitive floats and these Nick Gilbert NG XT Finesse Carbon HD (spring eye) floats are my first choice. These are a superb winter float. They are built with a 0.6mm carbon stem going all the way through the high density foam body into a 1.2mm hollow tip. The spring eye totally encloses the line so you can fish light without fear of line damage. Perfect for baits like maggots. They are designed to get maximum shot for the float size giving unrivalled sensitivity with a slim body. This float can be fished with a bulk shot or strung out fishing on the drop. I use tapered strung out no. 10's from the hook length. These float are designed for silverfish/F1's but with the spring eye and tough construction are suitable for winter carp.
For sly biting winter F1 and Carp I light hook can make all the difference to catching these pole rigs have been designed for use on smaller commercials where fish like F1s dominate. They are tied with the F1 Pellet hook. They are designed specifically for these hard-fighting weight builders. The white gape and round bend allow the use of softened hook baits and practically guarantee good hook holds
.My choice for silver fish work are Nick Gilbert NG XT Finesse Carbon HD (side eye) pole floats.These are a superb winter silverfish float. They are built with a 0.6mm carbon stem going all the way through the high density foam body into a 1.2mm hollow tip. Perfect for baits like soft pellet, maggot and corn. They are designed to get maximum shot for the float size giving unrivaled sensitivity with a slim body. This float can be fished with a bulk shot or strung out fishing on the drop. These are designed for silverfish/winter F1's if you are fishing for carp I would recommend the spring eyed model.
Silver fish fishing means light lines, hooks and light elastic's where a use a no.4 and no.6 elastics, with small shots going down to no.11's and 12's Main line choice is 0.13mm Guru N-Gauge with 6 inch hook lengths of Silstar Matchteam 0.10mm, 0.08mm and even 0.06mm using spade end B611 and B510 barbless hooks in sizes 18 to 24. Again I work on a 0.1g for every foot of water. However on some canals where there is a lot of boat traffic using a heavy float is better as this combats the water flow when the water is moving because of the locks opening.
These vary and these floats can be fishing with either strung out shot or a small bulk with a few dropper shot but generally I try to fish a light as I can so the bait sinks slowly and more naturally. The most important thing is to have the float dotted right down and sometimes a little bristle grease it required to set the float correctly. This is really important in the winter months when the feeding fish will hardly move the float. Sometimes the float will only more sideways and not dip down. When fishing a bulk I have it 18 inches from the hook with three very small no.11 droppers spaced at 6 inch intervals, the last dropper being just above the hook length loop.
I will normally start to fish an inch over depth but as the match goes on you have to experiment and change this if no bites are happening. If you have not had a bite for a while do some thing different with the rig or your feeding. There is no point just sitting there waiting for a bite and I have had countless times when a small change results in a bite.