Pole floats, dotted down or some showing


I was wondering if some of the more experienced pole fishers could help me out here.
I read that some people talk about using their floats dotted right down, but others talk of leaving a bit showing.I have 4 questions.
1) does it depend on type of tip i.e. solid or hollow?
2) does it depend on time of year, summer or winter?
3) is it purely personal choice?
4) or does target species decide?
Hope this makes sense


The idea behind dotted down is so you can detect bites more quickly, the weather plays a big part in choosing what you do with your pole float, if it is a nice calm day then dot it down so only the tip is showing on the surface but this is of no use if it is choppy waters, you need to see the float tip.
Tips solid or hollow, a solid tip being heavier will show up bites more easy, a hollow tip being lighter and with air in the tip will fight to come back to the surface so the takes are not so positive, one reason you will see hollow tip floats bobbing around much more than solid ones.

Time of year, yes this is a factor,Summer fishing is very different to Winter so you need to choose your pole floats better,Summer time fishing, i would use a hollow tip float because the fish are up in the water more and these tips will be best suited to that,Solid tips would sit lower or take less weight over all, you would have to choose a bigger body float to compensate that problem and that is not such a good idea if fishing up in the water.

Personal choice, yes very much so, many will have a totally different way of looking at this and bring in all kinds of scientific reasons and yes they would be right but most of that is so trivial it is not worth mentioning in my books, so what ever answers you get it is all based on personal preferences but the over all facts are the same, it is just the shotting patterns and so on that differ, the float tips remain the same.

Target Species, yes, some as you know are very shy biters others will just grab and run, knowing what species do this is important in using the right float tip, shy biters need a very sensitive set up, others need not so much of one.

All i have said is only my way of looking at this problem and in no way am i saying i know best (if only) but many think in the same way on this subject although many go into this in more detail.

I’m looking to buy a new float rod and reel – any recommendations?


I’ve been using a Drennen tench float rod and a Shimano fight & drag reel as my go to float fishing set up for many years. I’ve used this highly flexible set up with a great deal of success over the years and its landed many of my pb’s including a 26lb Common and a 12lb 8oz tench.

But like all things I’m thinking it’s maybe time to stop being so sentimental and upgrade – and maybe I could do better 20 years on from when I bought this kit.


I guess it very much depends on the style of fishing you go for (OK, and budget too).

I suspect you tend to go for a more general approach rather than a “specimen hunter” but you do hit lumps every now and again? If this is so you are much like me, and I was in a similar position a couple of years back. I had a hand made carp rod from back when I was a kid (one of the first carbon rods owned by somebody in my local club) – over 30 years of fishing with it I have caught all sorts. Then couple of winters back it finally developed a permanent curve in the blank thanks to a 20lb pike!

I was gutted but decided to shop around for a replacement. One day I randomly saw an advert for a John Wilson Avon Quiver at the local Go Outdoors – £40.00 and looked/felt like something way more expensive so thought I’ll buy it for Tench/Barbel fishing in the summer whilst I find “the perfect big fish rod”.

It is now my primary stick – it’s taken carp to 24lb and handled them as well as (if not better) my brothers Sonix SK4’s, yet it is light enough for canal roach of a couple of ounces!!

What’s a good starter pole that’s nice and light without breaking the bank?


I am new to pole fishing and have bought an 11m Avanti pole but when it’s at 11m it’s got a very large bend in the pole and weighs a ton, what’s a good starter pole that’s nice and light without breaking the bank? I don’t want to spend over £200 but want something that I don’t need arms like Arnie to hold.


Always a problem when starting out in pole fishing, with a budget of £200 you should get a nice pole to start off with only down side it will be a margin pole so will weigh heavy,Match poles are lighter but more expensive, you local tackle shop might help you out so worth a visit but i would look on E-bay, some very good bargains on there now but the length of pole will be around 11 meters at this end of the money scale and many will not be much lighter than 1,000 grammes and could go to 1300 or so, the one i like is the Maver Blue Vega, it is 11 meters and is rated to a number 20+ with the elastic, weighs in at 976g so thats about as light as you will get and at under £100 on E-bay…i would take a look and see what you think.


Try this link to a pole compare site, should give you a few ideas but remember they are E-bay based.

A few rigs for Pole fishing, easy to make and understand.


I have changed from rod to pole fishing many years ago now, although I do still use a rod it is mainly all pole these days I use and like everything else in fishing you need the right rigs to be at it’s best, although many are based on personal preferences it is not that hard to understand the basic pole rig set up, a lot depends on the weight you use, many will use standard shot, some stots but what is best used for what.

Like everything it is personal preference here really but shots do have a tendency to ping off the line, this can happen on the cast (if rod fishing) or on the take, it can happen when landing the fish even, in other words it can happen at any time because you do not put the shot on tight it leaves it vulnerable to this happening but stots do not ping off the line, they stay in place and are more easy to put on the line, shots are more at home on moving water I think but not so much on static, this is were stots come in to play, they offer you better registration of bites in many cases and of course those lost shots don’t come in to play.

Floats come in all shapes and sizes and all take a certain weight to cock, this is normally on the float body but in pole fishing the weight can be strange because many are used to the weight in grams and shots used but in pole fishing it is normal to see floats with the markings like this 3×7, now this might sound like three number 7 shots but in fact it is markings for styls, so it is not 3×7 shots but 3×7 styls and that works out at lets say 6×13 shots or 0.03 grams, hard to follow maybe but the main thing is to remember it is mainly styls that is being referred to on pole floats not shots.

There are many different rigs around these days but here are a few that always get results and are easy to make and understand, on the drop rig is a simple as it gets, all you need is a light but sensitive float, a boded down type is preferred, the shots/ styls are set out even down the line, this can be done by plumbing up to find dead depth then lets say you have 4 feet of depth, you could put your shot on every foot of line space that means three in total, remembering you have to have a foot from hook and float so only three would be even spaced out, the idea is to allow the bait a normal fall through the water and also it has to be the right weight for the float, that is very important.

Margin carp rig, this is another rig that is easy to make, you need a long bristle to show up line bites better but it is not a must use, because it is margin work you need a short float like a dibber float but again make sure you have it weighted right, the bulk of the weight is put on the last third of line above hook with one dropper shot holding bottom, I like to class these as anchor shots and three inches over depth is about right for the hook bait.

Another simple but very effective rig is the surface rig, it don’t come any easier than this one, all you need is a light hook, line and some poly float and shot, you can use anything that floats as a bite indicator, I say poly float but it don’t have to be, if so you need something for it to be wrapped round so a light shot does the job, the poly float will keep everything on surface, bait should be a floating bait like bread or pellet wrapped around the hook, leave around 3 feet of line between the indicator and bait and around 2 feet from pole tip making it 5 feet line length, it is up to you on this part but the longer the line the harder it will be to land the fish.

These are just three very easy rigs to make and use and it pays to keep things simple, if you know of any good simple rigs for pole use just add them to this if you like but I will try and add some more plus a few little basic tips for those who might not be so up on pole fishing.


As a pole float assembler, I say that because I don’t turn my own bodies.
I spent most of last season fishing mainly match carp venues.
I can strongly recommend the high density foam diamond body design for its versatility and strength.

As a rough rule of thumb, 0.1g per foot of depth. e.g., 0.4g in 4 ft of water.

My favourite rig for carp being a 0.4g foam diamond, 25mm long 1.5mm hollow orange tip for dark water which can be blacked out in bright conditions with a sharpie permanent marker pen, new style spring eye and 0.8mm clear glass stem. Attach float to 016mm SHIMANO silk shock main line for accurate diameter and b/s strength and 3 pieces of silicon on the stem, using no.10 Stots about 2/3rds down the rig can be bulked together to get the bait down quick or strung out for a slower natural fall and finally a no.11 Stots dropper/tell tale shot just above the hook length. A 6″ or 15cm hook length of SHIMANO silk shock 010mm to 014mm depending on fish size and conditions. My preference of hook is a strong gauge Tubertini series 175 for large fish or finer series 808 for smaller fish. Great for pellet, meat and corn.
This float design in other sizes has also worked well for me in the margins and far shelf work.

Are you stuck for the right shot to use for setting up a pole rig?

Do you know the difference between pole float sizes?

Well here’s a guide to the most popular pole float sizes in styl weight and their matching weight in grammes, plus a guide to which split shot/Stots to use to cock them correctly…

float size Weight Shot equivalent

3 x 10 — 0.10g — 2 x No10 shot
4 x 10 — 0.15g — 3 x No9 shot
4 x 10 — 0.2g —- 5 x No10 shot
4 x 14 — 0.4g —- 6 x No8 shot
4 x 16 — 0.5g —- 8 x No8 shot
4 x 18 — 0.75g — 3 x No3 shot
4 x 20 — 1g —— 4 x No3 shot
5 x 20 — 1.25g — 5 x No3 shot
6 x 20 — 1.5g —- 6 x No3 shot