Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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So I see all of these posts about rods and casting small rigs, but what is considered acceptable?

 

I know this is different if you need to get out there with a slip float or if you're tossing a light jig.  That being said, how far do you cast your 1/32oz jigs and how bout your slip floats?

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               about  34.5  feet  to  40.1  feet  on  average

You can throw this a lot longer on a slip float - especially a large slider float. On thinner line, say a 3 lb. line, you will be able to send that slip float a long way - if it is a bottom-connect float (not the tube-type center-tube plastic slip float) - but one that connects at the bottom and not the top. Along with your jig, you would add some split shot beneath the float in a stack. The larger the float- the larger your stack of split shot would be. Some of these floats pictured are up to 12" long and some are also weighted (Blue, Green & White) weighted floats will go a long distance.

If you reduce your main line to 2.5 lb. and you go with a very long rod in the 12 - 16' range, the leverage you will get will blast your rig way out into the water fo you -no worries... I will have to test these out to get some actual distances to you. You can see the common thing all these share is the connection is at the BASE of the float and no line will come out the top of these. 

I don't think I have intelligence enough to use floats. Every time I try to cast a float attached only at the bottom instead of through the float, I get line and lure and float and sinkers all twisted up in a snarl. 

There is a shot pattern that will help you and make your rig nearly tangle free. Largest or several large shot 12" from the bottom of the float. These will take about 80% of the float under. Then go to your hook and this is where you will put the smallest shot you have 8" from the hook. Above that should be a slightly larger shot which is about 18" from the hook. Using this pattern with your split shot will improve your rig to be nearly tangle free.

If you are using Water Gremlin sinkers - stop doing so. The little wings on the back of that shot are the reason you are tangling - the line catches in there. Once the line catches, the loop will create a tangle - game over. For the float angler - use Anchor split shot - it is the best or Thill brand split shot. Give it a try this season.

The big top set of shot is to help you cast- it is the weight in your rig. The bottom two or three smaller shot are to show you when a bite or a take has occurred. It is very important that you have most of the float beneath the water and only 1/2" or LESS of the float tip is above water.

I will have much more information on float fishing which will help you catch more fish than you ever have in your life - just ask a few people who have been slowly adapting some of what I love- live bait float fishing. Their catches are going up and up.. Keep up the great posts and I will try to fill you in with info. Let me know how your new rig with quality split shot works...

Thanks, I think I got it. Will try this next time out.

i agree with yo on a very large part of what your saying here. also one thing ive found  is the type of rod and reel makes a big difference also.  but personnaly; i try not to have to cast a great distance; just a comfortable  pitching type distance is all i want

Great answer- long-distance does not always mean more fish - in fact, it sometimes makes it more difficult to pick up strikes at that distance. Yes- the reel makes a big difference as tiny micro-reels do not cast as well as big wide spool reels. You are much better off fishing at 6 ft. away rather than 60 ft. for catching fish. Also using a long rod is not always easier, but sometimes necessary because you need to cover that ground. I prefer fishing with a 9 foot cane pole (carbon fiber)...

Well put Mike - at greater distance, slower reaction. I would say from my experience, there are times when fish eject the bait faster than I can hook set even with only 4 feet of line out - but at 60 or 100 feet, you are greatly reducing your reaction and hook set power on our tough-lipped friends... nice post.

By the way- I see no problem casting 80 - 100 feet with a proper float setup - but this is usually something you would want to avoid - see above.

These floats sure are pretty. Although I don't see how that you can see them except under the most ideal conditions (dead 

calm water, clouds,  close to you ). I use the flourescent red styro bobbers and sometime I have a hard time seeing them. (And I do wear glasses)

  I do have some of the Thill stick type floats, but if you happen to get hung up,(fishing from shore) good chance I'll lose that $1.50- 2.00 float.

ah- well it is time for me to release one of my secrets. While I have lost a float or two in my life, retaining both your floats and the rest of your rig is simple. Use a slightly lighter leader than your main line so when you get hung up, you can pop that leader and be back fishing with a fresh hook in under a minute.

I usually tie 10 - 12 leaders prior to my fishing session or a few more if there are some big fish in the waters I am headed to.

Floats work very nicely in big choppy waters if you have them balanced. The key is you will see the float tip disappear and reappear in a rhythm. Now you see it, then it is gone, now you see it, then it is gone and repeat. When the rhythm breaks- set the hook. Any change in that rhythm, set the hook. Some of my best days were when the float was being buried under waves! A little known fact is that I am near-legally blind and so near-sighted that I have to wear glasses or contacts.

The more wind and more chop you have- the more stable a bigger float will be in the water. 

Remember too that these floats you see are casting floats mainly for ponds, reservoirs and lakes. I have a whole set of pole floats which you would use at short-range which I will have online after this weekend. This set of pole floats will react so much better than your Thill stick floats - I know because Mr. Thill was my teacher. If you are fishing a float outside comfortable vision range, you are missing the subtle takes that panfish strikes show on a float anyhow... much better to fish closer where you can see it and even better to fish a pole float vs. the styro foam floats for seeing. 

I've been doing the trick of using a leader slightly weaker than the mainline for several years now.  All of my catfish rigs are strung with braid, either 40-, 50-, or 65-lbs test line.  I typically use 20 lbs test or 40 lbs test mono for a leader, on those rigs, depending on the size of the fish I'm expecting, and available cover.

For my more "all species" rigs, those are strung with 10 lbs test braid, and one has 20 lbs test braid.  I typically max out with 8 lbs test mono on those, although I can go up to 20 lbs test mono for the pole with 20 lbs test braid.

In my backpack that I carry when fishing, I have several spools of line to use for leader material.  4-, 8-, 20-, and 40-lbs test mono, and a small spool of 8 lbs test fluoro.  I typically tie leaders as I need them.  I used to tie a dozen leaders at a time, and store them in my Plano boxes.  I've found that my jigs and other lures tend to tangle with the leaders to much, so now I just tie as needed.

Try a piece of cardboard the length of your leaders with notches in both ends- keep those rigs straight. You are right on - this has been helping your fishing - nicely done.

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