Best Pole Floats For Margin Fishing

I absolutely love fishing in the margins. I would say it’s probably my favourite way of fishing, especially in the summer. It means you don’t have to ship your pole out very far and there’s a bigger chance of catching larger fish, especially carp in the edge when it’s a hot day.

Here are some of the pole floats, that in my eyes are the best for margin fishing in the summer.


Preston Innovations “Edge” floats

I’ll admit it, Preston is my favourite brand, and that’s why they are at the top of the list.

These are available in the following sizes:

  • 4 x 12
  • 4 x 14
  • 4 x 16

If you are confused by what on earth the sizes above mean, the best way to think of it is that 4×12 is smaller, and 4×16 is heavier. The 4×12 is perfect when it’s not windy down the edge and you are using a smaller bait. The 4×16 is better suited for a larger bait and will do better when the edge might be a bit choppier or if there is a bit of a tow on the water.

Prestons “Carp Shallow” floats

Even though this float says “shallow” on it, it can still be used for edge fishing and for mugging. It really is a great versatile float. I would use this if the edge is really shallow (under 2ft) and this again comes in a few different sizes. Just apply the same principles as above, use the smaller float for lighter baits and the heavier size for bigger baits and choppier water.


What if the edges are 4ft or deeper? Should the float choice change?

This was very confusing to me when I started fishing. 

The angler next to me who was very experienced came over and asked why I was using the Preston “edge” float when the water was 4ft deep in the edge. My response was that as it said “edge” on it that’s why I used it. He then explained to me to treat the 4ft edge as if it was just 4ft in open water and use a float that suited that depth.

In these sorts of situations, it might be better to opt for a diamond float as these are designed to be fished at a deeper depth. An image of these is below.

Is a dibber float ok to use in the margin?

If the margins are shallow and the fish are really having it, I see nothing wrong with using a dibber to almost “dob” or “mug” fish that are down in the margin. Dibbers are very small floats and I’ve used these to sneak bait quietly in between the reeds when I can see fish patrolling in the margins.

What margin rigs do I have set up?

In my tackle box, I have a range of Preston “edge” rigs all set up. I have multiple rigs made up all the way up to 3ft. This means that anything over 3ft I will then go and change my float and rig to a different setup.

Does it matter what the float stem is made of?

The margin floats are going to take a battering. The bites will be fast, and the fish will be big. There’s also a good chance the fish will head straight into reeds, lily pads, or anything else that’s nearby. Margin floats will generally have a glass stem which allows them to bend and take a real thrashing. They will handle the margins better than a wire or carbon stem.

Should I fish with a stronger line when fishing float fishing in the margin?

All my margin pole fishing rigs have a minimum of 0.17 mainline with an 0.15 hook length. To be honest, most are 0.20 which allows me to use an 0.18 to an 0.19 hook length. I have even got as far as 0.25 to 0.22 when it’s the height of summer and the fish are really on the feed.