There are situations in which good presentation means everything. Job interviews, meeting the in-laws for the first time, your first day in a new job. But today we want to focus on the stuff that really matters. Bait presentation. Particularly under a float.
Wagglers are of course nothing particularly new. But the advent of loaded pellet waggler floats have brought a new lease of life into the game. We are going to talk about loaded waggler floats. How they differ from traditional waggler floats, and some of the benefits to using them.
There are a few differences worth mentioning. The first and perhaps most obvious, is that loaded waggler floats do not need any weight adding to the line in order to ‘cock’ the float. The weight needed to set the float is integrated into the base. This is beneficial as the float has a slightly lower profile. Meaning you can cast it further. Often loaded pellet wagglers have aerodynamic fins on the upper part of the float, optimising casting distance and accuracy.
The second advantage is that due to this integral weight, you can leave your hooklength relatively unburdened. There is no longer a need for a series of split shot down the line to correctly ‘set’ the float. As a result your hookbait drifts and sways down through the water in exactly the same manner as the numerous offerings you have no doubt been throwing into the swim for the last half an hour.
If we look at when we would use a loaded pellet waggler we can see other beneficial features. They are best fished in the summer months when the water is warm and fish are feeding in the top levels of the water. Floats are fairly limited in their range, certainly no longer than a rod length’s depth. If the fish are on top in say, a foot of water, you’d be hard pressed to fit the float, the setting weight and split shot all in one foot of hooklength. With a loaded waggler this problem is solved.
Finally lets talk about float fishing in general, and what we are trying to achieve. There is no better way to zero in on the depth that fish are feeding than float fishing. Moving and sliding split shot up and down your line however can lead to damaging the line. A loaded pellet waggler float is held in position by rubber ‘stops’ which can be slid effortlessly up and down, until you nail the depth that works.
With loaded wagglers you have got everything to play for. There are no disadvantages as such, you can even have the best of both worlds and maybe pinch on a no.4 shot if you want the float to ‘sit down’ a bit. But that said, a sodden pellet probably weighs about the same.
As usual with all tackle there is plenty to choose from, here are some of our best ideas when it comes to loaded pellet waggler floats:-
This little float has it all. A slimmer profile and guide fins mean it casts like a dart. The finish has been specifically designed to be fairly unobtrusive when in the water, this is good as the carp do get wise after repeatedly falling to the bait directly under a float which is ‘obvious’. One feature worth noting is the brass ring sitting beneath the body of the float. The ring is designed to stop the float diving as deeply on contact with the water. This is another feature to prevent spooking the fish. The float is also available in two sizes, which is ideal if you fish bigger waters.
If you want to give loaded wagglers a go this package gives you excellent value. There are four included in a pack, and a range of sizes mean that you will have a pellet waggler for all occasions. These models aren’t exactly ‘stealthy’ and are a ‘budget’ model compared to some of our other selections, but for that price you can afford to give them a go.
Sometimes you need to go big or go home. Premier’s selection offer the best of loaded and conventional with a float that comes ‘pre-loaded’. This gives many of the advantages of a loaded waggler, but the option of adding some shot. A good time to do this would be to get your bait past pesky roach and skimmers. Available in two colours, natural and green, and with a fair bit of bulk, you’ll be able to get this out to where the fish are without breaking a sweat. With three in a pack this is another set that offers excellent value.
Low profile, sleek and stealthy. Clear floats work best when a venue has been heavily fished. A dark float will put an educated carp off in the blink of an eye, but clear is obviously much harder to see. At 8mm you wont be setting any distance records, but this will get the job done, and done well. The loaded weights are removable and changeable so you can set the float exactly how you like.
The Guru waggler is a bit bigger but boasts many of the same features as the 10mm version. These too have an anti dive ring and are in a natural ‘low spook’ finish. They are lacquered to ensure maximum durability so you’ll get plenty of use out of them.
Now these are a smart trick. With some floats you are stuck with the finish, size and color. A couple of pairs of these and you are limited only by your imagination. Any conventional waggler can be inserted, immediately converting it to a loaded waggler. The best bit is that once this is attached, you don’t have to re-rig if you want to change float. Just pop one out and put another in. They are fairly weight too meaning you can get a good cast going.