Slider floats

Slider floats have an unjustified reputation for tangling up your terminal tackle. Shotted correctly, however, and treated with respect, they will catch fish where the swingtip cannot.

Slider floats are enjoyable and effective in use, but curiously neglected. It is difficult to understand why anglers will sit all day watching a motionless swingtip without trying a slider which, by giving a greater variety of presentation and often a little movement, provides a better chance of fish, particularly bream.

Length of float

Many sliders have no loading and, although they are effective, the floats developed by my father and myself are better. With these, it is important that the cane goes into the peacock quill, producing a strong joint. The length of the float is not particularly important, although it must be long enough to keep line below the surface drift. The peacock quill should be anything from 6in to a maximum of 10in long.

The amount of lead wire required is just enough to sink the balsa barrel, leaving the full length of the quill standing above the surface.

The swivel is important, for it allows the float to turn in the air without the line tangling. A size 12 swivel is ideal: it is small enough to stop at the knot tied for that pur-pose. If you cannot get so small a swivel, a larger one with a small bead positioned between the stop-knot and float may help.

It must be stressed that this float is intended to slide up and down the line and to stop at a certain depth. The required depth is obtained by using a stop-knot to halt the float. A simple way to tie a stop-knot is to take a few inches of 4-6lb line, form a coil with two tails alongside the reel line and pass either tail through the loop, and around the reel line and the other tail four times before pulling both ends tight. Not too tight, however, because although the knot has to stay in place, it is important that it can be moved without having to break the reel line. If the stop-knot does move when you are casting and reeling in, do not tighten it more, but tie on another stop-knot about an inch above it.

Another important point to remember is to trim the tails to a length of %in after tying the knot. There are two reasons for this. If the tails are too short they will be bristly rather than flexible and will not pass through the rod-rings easily enough. Second, when fishing extreme depths, the knot, or knots, will be lying on the reel and short tails will impede line flowing off the spool. The longer ones will lie flat as line is wound over them.