FLOAT LEDGERING

As its name suggests, float ledgering combines many of the advantages of ledgering with those of normal float fishing. The simplest and best known method of float ledgering is widely known as iayingon’. Anglers often resort to layingon when fish are responding to float tackle either in midwater or near the bottom. By changing style, they are able to fish the bottom itself to seek the more wily and larger specimens.

When layingon, the float is raised to a position on the line about a foot or so greater than the water depth (measured with a plummet). When the tackle is cast into position the float fails to cock because the weights or shotting, lying in a heap on the bottom, exert no pull on the line. The line is then tightened with a turn or so of the reel, drawing the float towards the bank and at the same time taking up the slack between the float and the shotting. The shotting straightened out, the shots exert a downward pull on the float, which cocks somewhat obliquely.

This is a far finer presentation of the original tackle than simply float fishing with the bait on the bottom, because the float is now set well away from the bait. The line runs obliquely and is less likely to cause shy fish to become suspicious of the bait when it is well presented.

Modifying the tackle

Although a simple change to layingon from normal float tackle can be very effective, you can improve your tackle with several modifications. The shotting can be rearranged to provide a more immediate reaction to bites or the float can be changed to suit the slightly different balances of forces now operating between float, shots, and current or wind. The combination of float and shotting should be varied to suit the widely varying water conditions met by the angler. Layingon is just as effective with a light porcupine quill and a single shot in stillwaters as with a heavy cork or balsabodied antenna float with several shots in a light stream.

In the proper hands, layingon tackle can be extremely sensitive and very

Effective. Bites are normally signified by a light trembling of the float, which eventually slides under, giving the angler ample time to tighten on a good fish. Good bream, roach and other species often succumb to layingon techniques, and the method is particularly suited to fishing in slow and sluggish waters or in the stillwaters of lakes and ponds.

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