28 November, 2017 |1 Comments
The slider float may well be under used these days, but Dynamite Baits’ Sam Collett reckons it’s a real edge on deep-water venues.
Is there a better sight than watching a float bury?
The problem regards conventional waggler fishing comes when the water is deeper than eight feet. You could fish using a long rod (15ft +), a pole or feeder, but all have inherent problems.
Long rods are unwieldy, poles have limited lengths and legering restricts you to presenting a static bottom bait. The solution to this conundrum is to use the slider float.
With the slider, the float is free to ‘slide’ up the mainline to a pre-determined depth, set by a stop knot. Unlike a standard waggler, which sees the float locked into position with shot or float stops. This means you’re not trying to cast eight-foot or more of line, which is very awkward and that’s why I love it. Plus, being a current England International, it is a tactic that I need to be ‘up to speed with’ if I’m going to compete. So, for those of you that have never fished the slider before, here are my fivegolden rules to master what can be a real deadly approach when targeting silverfish in deep-water venues.
In the mix
Fishing on Lake One at Makins today (www.makinsfishery.co.uk) this is a classic lake to use slider tactics. Primarily a carp water, it is packed with loads of silverfish, so the first job of the day is to mix up my groundbait. My approach revolves around the use of a mixture of Dynamite Baits’ brilliant new Silver-X Skimmer mix and Frenzied Hemp Match Black. The Skimmer mix makes up most of my groundbait choice as it has a combination of fenugreek and other spices as well a number of unique ‘silverfish’ feed triggers and palatants that drives skimmers wild! I add the Frenzied Black because as well as adding the flavour and taste of hemp, it turns the mix a lovely dark-brown colour, which I find silverfish are more willing to feed over. Plus, lighter groundbait often pulls in the carp, which I want to avoid today if possible. The mix is combined in a ratio of 2:1 Skimmer to Hemp. To complete the mix, I add a pint of soil for extra weight. This helps me to ball in more accurately. Once the groundbait is mixed, I then add a good quantity of particles. For the initial eight-ball bombardment I add 250ml of casters and 100ml of both dead reds and chopped worm. These particle-laced balls provide just enough to hold the fish and put an initial bait carpet down. I will then throw them over the size of a dinner table so the fish have plenty of room to graze.
Rod-wise all you need is a 12ft to 14ft float rod. The essential components start at the mainline downwards. Slider floats are between 6g to 20g so you need a quality mainline to cope with that stress. I use 6lb Guru Pulse. The float depends upon the prevailing conditions and swim depth. It’s about 12-feet deep where I’m casting today, with a brisk right or left wind, I therefore selected a 10g float, which is plumbed up to fish 12-inches over depth. This allows the rig to slowly drag through the swim, which silverfish often prefer as well as giving me an excellent presentation. The 18-inch hooklink comprises of 0.13mm N-Gauge to a size 16 F1 Pellet hook.
Crudeness is key
The big mistake slider novices make is to use too light or too complicated a shotting pattern. My simple non-tangle pattern involves a 10g olivette with four ‘trimming’ shots below it one-metre from the hook. Directly below this I have a twisted length of 0.22mm mono terminating to a match swivel, which the hooklink is then attached to. This twisted section acts as a boom to also help prevent tangles. Above the swivel, I will place two No6s to act as the droppers. It looks crude, but slider fishing is all about getting the bait quickly to the bottom, tangle-free.
Targeting bream and skimmers ideally, my hookbait selection is fairly classic. Live and dead red maggots, casters and worms. If there were less carp in the lake, or I was getting smashed by tiddlers, I would also try Dynamite Baits’ sweetcorn. The downside of corn though, is its bright colour can draw in the carp, who often bully the silverfish out. Then, through the session, I will regularly change my hookbaits as bream especially are notorious for changing their mind regards what hookbait they are prepared to take. By swapping every couple of casts, it will help get you many more bites.
Top up throughout the day
Even though I have put plenty of groundbait and particle in at the start, you still need to fire smaller balls of groundbait in through the session. To these balls, I will add loosefeed as I go, depending upon what is going on in the swim and how much or little feed I think the fish want. Every day is different, so you might need more balls less frequently or fewer, more often, depending upon the amount of bites I’m getting. Get it right on the day and you can really empty waters like Lake One at Makins Fishery as the silverfish rarely get fished for and what better way is there to target them than using float tactics? I can’t think of one..