Best Floats for Steelhead

F

fish_4_all

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It is simple, something I can fish with no weight below the float except the jig and have none of the bulb showing, just the stick top. Does anyone have any suggestions for a reliably stable float for swift and slow moving water with such weights or am I kinda out of luck and need to find a larger one that I add weight to down the line?
 
C

Chedster

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I really like the Thill turbomaster #3 if I'm fishing a fixed float. Balances perfect with a 1/8oz jig
 
J

JeannaJigs

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I agree on thill floats, but I hate the fixed floats, they do however make sliders and that's what I keep in my jig arsenal. They have 3 or 4 different sizes, and they each balance accordingly to different weights. If not using a thill (because family members and friends like to raid my jig bag and then lose my gear) I use an el cheapo foam float...and if it's too large, shot my line.
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Less than 50 feet from the Santiam River! :)
Feeling foolish....

Feeling foolish....

:redface: This is a bit embarrassing. :redface: I just picked up a bag of bobber stops last week. Call me Moses Ronald's (aka MoRon) sister if you want,but I cannot figure those little devils out. :wall: They really should be required to include directions on ALL things related to fishing! :protest:
Somebody please help me.....:pray: :redface:
Be safe.
Barb
 
J

JeannaJigs

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:redface: This is a bit embarrassing. :redface: I just picked up a bag of bobber stops last week. Call me Moses Ronald's (aka MoRon) sister if you want,but I cannot figure those little devils out. :wall: They really should be required to include directions on ALL things related to fishing! :protest:
Somebody please help me.....:pray: :redface:
Be safe.
Barb
Lol barb...what are we gonna do with you? Are they the ones on little pieces of plastic tubing? if so, you slide that up your line BEFORE you put your float on, wriggle the stop off the tubing, and then pull both ends to tighten it...and the plastic tubing goes bye bye. then you put a bead below that, and then your float.
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Saved!

Saved!

Lol barb...what are we gonna do with you? Are they the ones on little pieces of plastic tubing? if so, you slide that up your line BEFORE you put your float on, wriggle the stop off the tubing, and then pull both ends to tighten it...and the plastic tubing goes bye bye. then you put a bead below that, and then your float.

JeannaJigs;
Lol...Well, now I don't feel quite so dumb. I did like you said,the difference is that I must have used a different bead somehow. The string didn't stop anything. The bead and the bobber kept slipping past it. I got so frustrated,I nearly had a Thill bonfire! Glad I didn't,those things aren't cheap. I do like them and will learn to love them with the right sized bead. Thanks,Jeanna!
Be safe.
Barb
 
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JeannaJigs

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Lol yes, you have to use a bead with a small opening, usually they come with the beads with real small openings, in pink or chartreuse. Otherwise...the bead goes right over...as you discovered lol.

good luck! lol
 
K

koboabe

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I have been using the West Coast floats.
I havent caught any fish, but I dont think thats the floats fault :D

just curious, how much weight do most people use with floating jigs or bait.
I have bee using a 3/4oz inline weight (built in swivle) and 1/4oz jigs or splitshot to make up the exta 1/4

is a 1oz float overkill for the clac?
 
F

fish_4_all

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So is it the ones with the long wire that are better or does it really matter once you get them set at the right weight?

For spooky fish a big 3/4 ounce weight down the line is fishing suicide. Not to mention that when they hit the steelhead will sometimes only barely mouth it and actually move back with so all you see is a light take down and a light bobbing effect instead of a normal drift .

As for slip floats, no choice up here. I fish in water form 18 inches deep to 20 feet deep with a float so have to have the option. I do not use any weight down my line unless I absolutely have to. And then I won't use anything larger than 2bb shot down my line. My normal jig weight is 1/8 or 1/16 or somewhere in between and I use floats just big enough to float it.

BTW Raincatcher, these jigs are starting to chant steelhead songs.
 
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JeannaJigs

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I have been using the West Coast floats.
I havent caught any fish, but I dont think thats the floats fault :D

just curious, how much weight do most people use with floating jigs or bait.
I have bee using a 3/4oz inline weight (built in swivle) and 1/4oz jigs or splitshot to make up the exta 1/4

is a 1oz float overkill for the clac?
Depends on the size of the float and the size of the jig, subtract the jig weight from the float's rating, and then add shot accordingly, or an inline weight, whichever you prefer. I used to go with an inline weight right above my leader swivel but this last winter strayed from that and started shotting my line. Had more hook ups this winter than last, but not sure if the weight method changed the presentation enough to make a difference or not? It's certainly easier to adjust than a single inline weight...just my two cents :)
 
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fish_4_all

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Jeanna, can you explain more what you mean? Shot down the line in spaced intervals or all at one location? What kind of shot do you use?

The only fish caught in my group Sunday was caught using silver shot about 24 inches above the sand shrimp. I missed 2 or 3 and was just using the jig and a sliding float but I found out my point was bent up so that might explain that.
 
M

Mike123

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I use West Coast a lot... but I really want to get some Drennan and some Raven floats. I really like those clear ones, and they are tough as nails.
I've noticed my when using braid on my West Coasts, that the braid cuts into the little tube really bad.
 
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JeannaJigs

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Jeanna, can you explain more what you mean? Shot down the line in spaced intervals or all at one location? What kind of shot do you use?

The only fish caught in my group Sunday was caught using silver shot about 24 inches above the sand shrimp. I missed 2 or 3 and was just using the jig and a sliding float but I found out my point was bent up so that might explain that.


It depends on the size of the float and the water I'm fishing, and whether or not I'm using micro jigs or not, but, I put a couple #5 splitshot below my swivel, and then will evenly space them out on my leader, keeping it 14" or more from my jig, depending on water clarity. I find that I can more easily adjust my weight this way, just a personal preference.
 
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JeannaJigs

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I use West Coast a lot... but I really want to get some Drennan and some Raven floats. I really like those clear ones, and they are tough as nails.
I've noticed my when using braid on my West Coasts, that the braid cuts into the little tube really bad.
I want to get some of those clear drennan floats and give 'em a go, I think they would work really well up on the mac. it's ultra clear water, and I find myself fishing 24-30" slots with wary fish, I still hook up with thill's but I can't help but think that a clear float would greatly improve things.
 
S

steelhead_stalkers

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Clear floats don't work so no need in wasting time purchasing them :lol: :lol: I would say use as small of float as you can get away with. When I first started float fishing I was using 28g drennans and I thought they were small and this is on small coastal rivers. Now I use 6g and 8g floats all winter long except my roe rod had an 11g on it. Using as small of float as possible makes for no mistaking when a steelhead grabs your jig. I fished some holes last year where the steelhead were really finicky and all I would see is my float twitch and hardly move down, I would pull up and fish on!!

Another thing when float fishing that a lot of people don't realize is that sometimes you can feel the fish bite your jigs before your float moves. It happened to me six times last winter which isn't a lot compared to how many I hooked but still something to think about. Had I not had an extremely sensitive rod I would not of felt that fish pick up my jig and swim with it. My float never moved half the time!!

I don't even want to think about how many times steelhead picked up my jig and swam with the current before spitting it out. Back to the point, I was using an 11g drennan on the Willamette recently and it worked fine and you could even step up to a 20g and be fine. I will use an inline weight and then a few small split on my leader depending on depth, current and other variables. One thing you want to remember is sometimes the current can be weird and your jig wont be even close to where you think it is. You look and see your pretty jig floating six inches below the surface and you wonder why you can't hook a steelhead. :D Keep and eye on your line and make sure you have enough weight on your leader to keep your jig down.
 
L

luv2fish

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all these bobbers have their importance at times and place...in my very short fishing experience, i've used most of them and had fish on almost all kinds ...except the weighted floats....mebbe i'm not good with them..a very good explanantion can be that....like i'm not good with fixed float either........slip float is my personal preference.

.i've caught steelies in crystal clear conditions above north fork reservoir on clackamas river...conditions so pristine and clear, you can throw your quarter down at the bottom and still can see it.....the only thing that works at that time is the clear one....i caught 2 brute's one after another on 2 different spots on consecutive casts.....one was 33 inches and the other was 36..big steelies...and on both spots there were 4-5 other fellow fishermen with thills and balsas --small ones but not getting the result....


I would love to see somebody catching metals in broad daylight in july and august low clear water conditions on west coast or balsa..or anykind other than clear...a thill might work for their appearance..

now coastal river is different system....if you fish tide water, its always merky..no matter what time of year...throw a west coast or balsa ...it will serve the purpose...

Right now when i'm going on clack, i just throw 1 oz. balsa with 15 lb mainline and same leader..just in flouro.... cuz i'm targetting chinnok and not worried about steelies...chinook doesn't have any preference unless heavily pounded and there's nowhere to go...means if the water is down and they can't make through it

Jeanna ..you use the same shot pattern which i do...especially for clear conditions and i keep my shots 16-20 inch from my jig or jensen egg( single one..they are my fav for metalheads and silvers)
 
J

JeannaJigs

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all these bobbers have their importance at times and place...in my very short fishing experience, i've used most of them and had fish on almost all kinds ...except the weighted floats....mebbe i'm not good with them..a very good explanantion can be that....like i'm not good with fixed float either........slip float is my personal preference.

.i've caught steelies in crystal clear conditions above north fork reservoir on clackamas river...conditions so pristine and clear, you can throw your quarter down at the bottom and still can see it.....the only thing that works at that time is the clear one....i caught 2 brute's one after another on 2 different spots on consecutive casts.....one was 33 inches and the other was 36..big steelies...and on both spots there were 4-5 other fellow fishermen with thills and balsas --small ones but not getting the result....


I would love to see somebody catching metals in broad daylight in july and august low clear water conditions on west coast or balsa..or anykind other than clear...a thill might work for their appearance..

now coastal river is different system....if you fish tide water, its always merky..no matter what time of year...throw a west coast or balsa ...it will serve the purpose...

Right now when i'm going on clack, i just throw 1 oz. balsa with 15 lb mainline and same leader..just in flouro.... cuz i'm targetting chinnok and not worried about steelies...chinook doesn't have any preference unless heavily pounded and there's nowhere to go...means if the water is down and they can't make through it

Jeanna ..you use the same shot pattern which i do...especially for clear conditions and i keep my shots 16-20 inch from my jig or jensen egg( single one..they are my fav for metalheads and silvers)
I have to agree with ya on the clear floats, the upper mac is super clear and in some areas very shallow...and that's where the freaks of summer like to hang out. I can't help but think a black float a very short distance away would scare off a skittish fish, whereas a clear one might not. I know guys that have used them and swear by them, and then there are guys that say they are garbage. So the only way I'll find out is by buying a couple and using them myself. Good to see someone else shots their line in a similar pattern...I had a "guide" ask me why I did that a few years ago...I basically said you're the guide, shouldn't ya know? It's the simplest way to get your jig presentation just right.

Speaking of clear floats, anyone know where I can find some of those fellas? No one sells them down here in Eugene (That I'm aware of, I haven't found 'em yet)
 
F

fish_4_all

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I wish I could fish the way I want to but it sound like not using shot is costing me fish. Never thought of this before, is a good thing I asked.

Clear, red, black ,yellow or fluorescent pink doesn't seem to matter up here as long as the rig is set up right and you have the right size jig in the right color. Have seen spooked, fished hard all day long wouldn't eat a perfect shrimp steelies hit a miniature jig under a 3" cork float. Clear floats might make a difference but it doesn't seem to as long as you cast well above the fish so that they don't see it fly onto the water.

Now the shot pattern could well make a difference here. I fish some really fast water most of the time and getting the jig down quick might well be my problem. My best luck has been when I had a shot down the line so maybe I need to rethink my aversion to doing so. I guess I just don't like anything down my line, gonna have to change that ideal I think.

Prime example, when I went Sunday, I fished the same hole with 2 other guys using a stealthy float that had a small profile and I used the same bait and rig as they did. The float the one used that caught the fish was 3 inches around, a bright green on the bottom and huge. Only difference, shot down the line, about 20 inches above the bait.

To be honest if you could actually see a fish bite with one I think you could use a bright orange water ballon for a float as long as you fished it right.
 
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