Top 10 waggler tips

There’s nothing quite like watching a float slide under and it really sets the adrenaline racing. Here’s our top 10 waggler tips that’ll help you get more bites this weekend…

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Floats for lakes come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to understand what the role of each pattern is. In general, when targeting shy-biting fish such as roach, or crucian carp, a waggler with a thinner insert tip that carries less buoyancy is preferred as it offers less resistance when the bait is taken.

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Thicker tipped wagglers, or stumpy pellet wagglers, have four advantages: they carry more weight and can be cast further; the style is highly buoyant and can suspend a larger bait like a piece of meat; thick tipped wagglers are more visible and you can see a bite at range; and finally a thick tip (or straight waggler) can be fished well overdepth without the wind, or lake tow, dragging it under.

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One of the most frequent mistakes anglers make is plumbing the depth. To understand your swim, you MUST chart the underwater contours and that takes a plummet. Attach it to your hook and keep adding depth to your float until it cocks with the tip just showing. If it lies flat then you are fishing deeper than the swim. A high percentage of fish are caught ‘on-the-deck’ and that’s a great place to start your session. As more feed goes in then the fish might move up-in-the-water and you can adjust your float accordingly.

Different light conditions require different colour float tips but don’t colour them in with an indelible marker as it will stain it forever. Alternatively, use a series of float rubbers – the kind used for stick floats – and push them over the float tip to gain the colour design that suits the occasion.

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When waggler fishing always use a silicon float adaptor with a swivel in the bottom. It allows you to change float size and style should conditions alter, it helps prevent tangles on your shot, and it assists in allowing the float to fold flat on a sharp strike – reducing resistance.

Make sure you use balanced tackle for the species and situation. A strong forged pattern attached to an 0.17mm or 0.19mm diameter hooklength might hold a surging match-size carp, but try and use that for more cautious feeding species and your catch-rate will fall off a cliff. Look to use finer gauge hooks and thinner mono such as 0.10-0.12mm diameters for silvers.

Once you’ve plummed your swim, measure the depth against your rod. Put the hook against the handle and use the eyes to count the distance up to the float – this is your carbon measuring stick. Once you have this recorded, you’ve got the freedom to keep altering the depth to get more bites but can instantly return to fishing on the bottom without having to splash about again with a plummet.

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To ensure an accurate, long cast the bulk of your shot needs to be located around the base of your waggler (locking shot). This will ensure the float flies like a dart. The shot you use below the bulk dictates how quickly your bait falls through the water. A lightly strung pattern – a few number 8 shot – placed equally apart is a popular approach as it allows a slow fall of your hookbait meaning the rig is searching the water layers for feeding fish.

When a bait is moving unnaturally in the water fish can refuse to take it. And that means when waggler fishing, it is often very important to sink your line under the surface of the lake to prevent the wind creating a bow in the mono and blowing your float out of position. Do this by dipping your rod tip in the lake and making short sharp winds of the reel.

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If uncertain about the size of float, go for a slightly heavier version as it will give you improved control. Much better to be able to cast too far than not far enough! A bigger float will also allow more freedom with your shotting pattern.

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