EVERY angler has a favourite float - or several of them. Here's a look at which type to use on a stillwater in different situations.

Lake fishing floats differ from river patterns in that most of them are attached bottom end only.

Two thirds of the shotting capacity is often used to lock the float on the line, leaving a slight gap so it folds neatly on the strike.

Straight wagglers made from ultra buoyant materials are perhaps the most versatile of lake float patterns.

These are really good for both fishing at distance and flicking out to fish holding features.

A decent-sized straight waggler should hold its position over a baited area in wind, surface drift and undertow, provided you sink the line.

Wagglers with slender insert tips are better in calmer conditions as they register even the most subtle of bites and are a good choice in the winter months for shy-biters.

Bigger floats for bigger jobs

For float fishing at distance or in very deep water, a large bodied waggler is the better option.

Bodied wagglers tend to be larger than other patterns, requiring plenty of shot, so they cast surprisingly long distances and offer a stable presentation.

Lock them at the correct depth, as with standard wagglers. Or use a sliding stop knot if the swim you intend to fish in has depths which exceed the length of your rod.

Large floats requiring plenty of split shot aren’t always necessary for close in work or lowering baits along margin hotspots.

Lake fishing floats for more finesse

For rigs that don’t require much in the way of casting, opt for a pole float.  They are great for stalking and offer superior bite indication.

Slender, delicate insert wagglers do the same job too and are well worth using for those shy biters.

It’s great that traditional stillwater float fishing for species other than carp is making a well deserved comeback.

You’ll need a variety of stillwater patterns to deal with all situations, be it weather conditions, depth or reaching distant catching zones.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Big value Maver float rods

Powered by Angler's Mail

Now have a closer look at the floats…

These straight wagglers are the most versatile stillwater pattern. They are usually made from peacock quill, reed and hollow plastic with crystal varieties being the most discreet for clear water conditions. Attached bottom end only, they offer far greater stability than top and bottom floats – and cast better too.

Bodied wagglers require plenty of weight to cock them and are the preferred choice for thumping out baits at distance. They’re also suited for fishing at depth and offer enhanced stability, especially when wind, surface and undertow are a problem.

Use an insert waggler on calm days. They are more sensitive than straight patterns and indicate the really shy bites. They can be shotted down to a mere pimple on the surface for those ultra shy feeders, such as large roach and canny perch.

Little darts and canal insert wagglers are tops for close-in work, using ultra fine gear and small baits. These delicate stillwater floats are only suitable for calm conditions as any surface chop is enough to drag the float under.

Pole floats don’t have to be used exclusively with poles – they work very well on a running line too. Attached top and bottom, these floats are excellent for gently lowering rigs in the margins to intercept kerb crawling carp and tench.

Some insert wagglers are provided with interchangeable tips for differing light levels, but carrying a pot of correction fluid and a black permanent pen allows you to quickly change the colour as soon as the conditions change.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Set of ready-made float rigs

Powered by Angler's Mail

GOT A  STORY OR  VIEWS TO SHARE WITH US? Email us, with or without photos, to: anglersmail@ti-media.com YOU could get into print with us.

For the best exclusive content, read Angler’s Mail magazine. Click here to find out how to get your copy every week.

Mail columnist Steve Collett explains more…

There has never been a better time get AM print magazine sent direct to you… each and every week.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY HERE – AT A GREAT PRICE!

You may also like to read these Angler’s Mail stories…