Jump to content
CybrSlydr

Float 'n Fly - folks tried it?

Recommended Posts

With the weather getting cold as well as water temps, I'm thinking of trying the float 'n fly technique.

 

Anyone have experience with it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did read a rather lengthy article on here about the technique, which is what got me interested (after hearing about it on another fishing forum).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup!  That's the article I read.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did it for a few years.  I caught everything but bass on it so I quit trying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't make it work. Berkeley gulp minnow on 1/8 oz head or hair jig without bobber works way better for me. Honestly my catch rates go to almost zero every single time I attach a bobber to my line

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The traditional float n fly uses a fixed 7/8 dia pear shaped bobber and it's a difficult rig to cast using standard bass rods. 

My background using Thill slip bobbers with a bobber stop for trout fishing is easily adapted to use for float n fly presentations using Spro Phat Fly with standard length bass rods and works for me.

Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't get why the author of that article is so down on slip bobbers.  Seems like a natural modification to the original formula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve used a slip bobber as well and the SPRO phat fly as well.  Caught a ton of 8-10” Spots...nothing bigger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there much difference between using the 1/16 and 1/8?  I'd go with 1/8 just because it'll cast better with the bobber.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You loose action with a slip bobber on the downward wave movement technically but It doesn't seem to be a big factor with the right bobber when sitting still riding waves. Moving the bobber after the cast requires the jig to slide up through the bobber before the bobber moves forward, the jig doesn't stay down at the set bobber depth and that does take more time.

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I've selected 3 of the SPRO 2-packs, two of the Thill slip floats in 7/8" and some bobber stops - anything else I might consider?  What about scents?  I've read they can help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

Yeah, I don't get why the author of that article is so down on slip bobbers.  Seems like a natural modification to the original formula.

He mentioned it in the article, and Tom touched on it. Fixed line for best detection of lift bites, working the jig by working the float (too easy to overwork with a slip float), and guaranteed depth control during the entire retrieve. Not saying it won't work, just not optimal. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful using scent on hair jigs it can gum up and stick the hair together, you want hair to breath giving it movements.

Tom

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have, and it has worked for me, for LM's in ponds. I've only used it -resorted to it- during mid-winter when the water gets really cold (~40F) and catching gets really tough here. Prior to this, with warmer water (up through the 40s), like TnRiver46, I do just fine casting hair jigs and grubs.

 

For FnF, I use a 9-1/2ft 6wt fly rod, with an UL spinning reel. The length lets me fish a long enough lead below the float. Slip-bobbers can be rigged to work, but my waters are shallow enough the long rod covers it. I'm using braid bc it floats making it easier to mend to the float, which can help keep the jig from skating along bc of surface currents. I use fluorescent yellow braid bc I can easily see what the surface currents are doing. I run a mono/FC 6# (.009) leader about the depth of the water in length.

 

I tie my own jigs, and haven't yet strayed much further than fine nylon "craft hair".

 

Any weight jig is fine, it just has to be able to be able to be supported by the float. I use longer bullet or quill-shaped floats that will sit vertical with a matched jig.  I like it to sit low in the water, so that the float is sensitive -doesn't take much to take it under. I also know the depths I'm fishing and I try to place the jig above the bottom. That way I'm asking the fish to move up to take the jig, figuring they'll turn to go back down making detection easier. I experiment with depth to see if they'll come up. I usually run my jigs 2 to 3 feet off bottom.

 

With proper weighting (small spit shot) you can even rig a quill to stand or rise if a fish moves up with the jig. I haven't bothered to do this bc I use the method so infrequently; I just haven't worked things out to that kind of precision. When the water gets that cold, ice-up is imminent so the window for FnF is short here.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Team9nine said:

He mentioned it in the article, and Tom touched on it. Fixed line for best detection of lift bites, working the jig by working the float (too easy to overwork with a slip float), and guaranteed depth control during the entire retrieve. Not saying it won't work, just not optimal. 

I got that, but I didn't think they were as big a deal as he made them out to be.  Then again, I've never really tried it, so my experience is nil.

40 minutes ago, WRB said:

Be careful using scent on hair jigs it can gum up and stick the hair together, you want hair to breath giving it movements.

Tom

Do they make like a... solid that you could put on the hook then?  Something solid that would slowly dissolve and not gum up the hair?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never seen any of the hardcore FF guys around here use a slip float. In fact, most still customize their own bobbers by cutting in half and adding weight instead of buying the plastic pear-shaped ones. Try the slip float and see how it goes. Buy a fixed float just to have something to compare to. I'm guessing you'll go fixed in the end if you stick with it long enough and use it on different waters or situations. A lot of control lost with a slip float. I've used Thill floats but always with the rubber collar to peg the line in place, essentially becoming non-slip. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Paul Roberts said:

I have, and it has worked for me, for LM's in ponds. I've only used it -resorted to it- during mid-winter when the water gets really cold (~40F) and catching gets really tough here. Prior to this, with warmer water (up through the 40s), like TnRiver46, I do just fine casting hair jigs and grubs.

 

For FnF, I use a 9-1/2ft 6wt fly rod, with an UL spinning reel. The length lets me fish a long enough lead below the float. Slip-bobbers can be rigged to work, but my waters are shallow enough the long rod covers it. I'm using braid bc it floats making it easier to mend to the float, which can help keep the jig from skating along bc of surface currents. I use fluorescent yellow braid bc I can easily see what the surface currents are doing. I run a mono/FC 6# (.009) leader about the depth of the water in length.

 

I tie my own jigs, and haven't yet strayed much further than fine nylon "craft hair".

 

Any weight jig is fine, it just has to be able to be able to be supported by the float. I use longer bullet or quill-shaped floats that will sit vertical with a matched jig.  I like it to sit low in the water, so that the float is sensitive -doesn't take much to take it under. I also know the depths I'm fishing and I try to place the jig above the bottom. That way I'm asking the fish to move up to take the jig, figuring they'll turn to go back down making detection easier. I experiment with depth to see if they'll come up. I usually run my jigs 2 to 3 feet off bottom.

 

With proper weighting (small spit shot) you can even rig a quill to stand or rise if a fish moves up with the jig. I haven't bothered to do this bc I use the method so infrequently; I just haven't worked things out to that kind of precision. When the water gets that cold, ice-up is imminent so the window for FnF is short here.

 

 

I fish reservoirs, so a slip bobber makes most sense to me - the depth varies a lot at the places I fish (though if there are actually fish there or not is anyone's guess... lol).  Since fish are deeper during this part of the year, I could need anything between 10-30ft of leader.  

 

I'm also trying to make this work with the equipment I have - I have a 7'3" MH baitcaster (1/4-1oz) and could repurpose my Deeper rod (a 7ft Pflueger combo rod that came with the reel) for this.

 

I currently have 10lb InvisX on the baitcaster and 40lb catfishing line on the deeper rod.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used a wacky rigged plastic worm and senkos under a floater before.  Light tackle worked best for me, but I couldn't seem to catch anything but dinks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway - aside from the assortment of hair jigs and the bobbers, anything else you fine folk think I should pick up as well?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The problem FC main creates with bobber is the line sinks between you and the bobber creating a belly in the line killing any subtitle strike detection other then watching the bobber go under. Mono line is the way to with F n F or braid with a FC leader.

The F n F is really a light line (5 lb to 7 lb) presentation where a spinning outfit works good for me.

Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, WRB said:

The problem FC main creates with bobber is the line sinks between you and the bobber creating a belly in the line killing any subtitle strike detection other then watching the bobber go under. Mono line is the way to with F n F or braid with a FC leader.

The F n F is really a light line (5 lb to 7 lb) presentation where a spinning outfit works good for me.

Tom

You know, I did notice that when I was fishing.  There'd be quite a large bow in the line and it felt pretty heavy on the end of the rod.  

 

I'll look into some mono.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, CybrSlydr said:

I fish reservoirs, so a slip bobber makes most sense to me - the depth varies a lot at the places I fish (though if there are actually fish there or not is anyone's guess... lol).  Since fish are deeper during this part of the year, I could need anything between 10-30ft of leader.  

 

I'm also trying to make this work with the equipment I have - I have a 7'3" MH baitcaster (1/4-1oz) and could repurpose my Deeper rod (a 7ft Pflueger combo rod that came with the reel) for this.

 

I currently have 10lb InvisX on the baitcaster and 40lb catfishing line on the deeper rod.

 

You're in trouble if those are your only two options tackle wise. Better off not even trying, but that's just an opinion, obviously. Will be very frustrating trying to fish this on heavier tackle. As Tom mentioned, this is supposed to be a finesse option with light line, almost always spinning gear. Several guys around here use crappie rods (the long 8'-10' models) as an economical alternative rod (often $20-$35). Also, this technique is primarily designed to catch suspended fish, so regardless of how deep your waters are, it's rare to ever have to go much over 12', even in waters like Dale Hollow where you have 125' plus of water depth available. The more active suspended fish are almost always shallower. If you have to go deep, most guys that do that will switch to live shiners on a vertically fished down line - often a split shot rig, but I've seen guys use baitcasting equipment with heavier sinkers for this successfully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't exactly float n' fly, but I catch a lot of bass early each year while trout fishing with micro jigs under a bobber. I caught my biggest this year with a 4.5 pound fish on a 1/80th oz Turner Jones micro jig. I have done a little of the real thing with a Spro Phat Fly though and it does work if you have the patience. 

Image may contain: outdoor and water

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×