Centerpin float fishing


alm21

Active member
Centerpin float fishing is popular around the Great Lakes and seems to be making it's way to the West Coast. I'm jumping on the bandwagon and will soon have my entry level setup complete, just need to put line on the spool (Okuma Sheffield/Wright McGill Centerpin Rod). I'm starting this thread for those who enjoy this type of fishing and want to share info on gear, riggings, techniques, anything centerpin related. Please share!

I'll start by asking "How do you prefer to rig up? Line backing, main line, leader, etc?" I ask as I am looking to rig mine for salmon/steelhead and could use some advice. Thanks.
 

Chedster

Member
I fill about half the spool with 30lb dacron then add pline cxx as my mainline. I have been using the little rubber bobber stops lately and they work really good. After the bobber stop, i run a bead, float, inline egg weight then another bobber stop against the knot I tie to my swivel. This additional bobber stop acts as a bumper to protect the knot from the lead egg weight. From there I just run about 2' of leader (Usually pline fluoro) to whatever I'm fishing.

First few trips for you might be awkward but you'll get the hang of casting pretty quick. Practice on the water as much as you can. This winter I started by leaving all my conventional rods at home and only took the center pin. Now its the only rod I take with me to the river:D It's been really fun to fish and truly is the best way to float fish. Feel free to ask me anymore questions about getting started.
 

Chedster

Member
Here is another tip I have been doing very will with, helps keep your bait in the zone. I started making my own "bait weights" to use while fishing eggs and other bait under a float. Use slinky shot and drill them out with a 1/16" bit or smaller. I then use pro tec powder paint and finish by baking in the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes to toughen them up. Pink and flame orange have been my favorite. Then just slide it on your leader and bait up with a small dab of eggs! I like a little yarn in the egg loop so it's easy to open and re bait.
 
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alm21

Active member
I fill about half the spool with 30lb dacron then add pline cxx as my mainline. I have been using the little rubber bobber stops lately and they work really good. After the bobber stop, i run a bead, float, inline egg weight then another bobber stop against the knot I tie to my swivel. This additional bobber stop acts as a bumper to protect the knot from the lead egg weight. From there I just run about 2' of leader (Usually pline fluoro) to whatever I'm fishing.

First few trips for you might be awkward but you'll get the hang of casting pretty quick. Practice on the water as much as you can. This winter I started by leaving all my conventional rods at home and only took the center pin. Now its the only rod I take with me to the river:D It's been really fun to fish and truly is the best way to float fish. Feel free to ask me anymore questions about getting started.
What kind of knot do you like to use between your backing and mainline? I'm not sure I know what the rubber bobber stops are. I'll have to look into that.

Yeah, funny you say that as I was thinking that when I go out I should leave the other rods at home forcing myself to get used to my float rod. I'm sure casting will be a bit frustrating at the get go but it will be worth it.

Here is another tip I have been doing very will with, helps keep your bait in the zone. I started making my own "bait weights" to use while fishing eggs and other bait under a float. Use slinky shot and drill them out with a 1/16" bit or smaller. I then use pro tec powder paint and finish by baking in the oven @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes to toughen them up. Pink and flame orange have been my favorite. Then just slide it on your leader and bait up with a small dab of eggs! I like a little yarn in the egg loop so it's easy to open and re bait.
View attachment 15753
That is cool! Great idea.

Unfortunately I will have more questions than tips being a newbie to centerpin float fising but I look forward to giving it go and will post on my experiences and other resources I come across.
 

Chedster

Member
I use the Uni to Uni splice. Google has illustrations for tying it.
Here are the bobber stops I have been using, many tackle shops should carry them.
 
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alm21

Active member
Ok, finally put line on the reel. I went into Great American Tackle looking to see what line Gary may have for centerpins and we got to talking. Although it wasn't what I was specifically looking for, I went with Gary's reccomendation based on what he's been setting people up with lately. He put 200yd of 20lb backing followed by 200yd 6lb Maxima Ultra Green. I was ideally looking for Sunline Siglon for my mainline but now I realize I will have to order it off the web. My main concern about how it's currently spooled is that it's not a purpose built float line and 6lb is on the light side. However, Gary has always given me good advice so I will give it a go and change if need be.

So here is my new float setup! Rod: Wright McGill 11' 6", 4-8wt, Action Mod/Light, Power Med/Light. Reel: Okuma Sheffield S1002. Getting into a fish on this setup will not only be a blast but I expect one heck of a challenge. Now, time to get out and learn how to cast this bad boy!

 
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markasd

Active member
I'm thinking he's probably got ya spooled up right, prolly counting on the flex of the rod to take up a lot of the fight maybe?
On my 12.5' bobber rod I run 6lb mainline and let the rods flex absorb some of the battle. I usually run no leader as well... tie straight to jig. I have not had issues with large fish on this light set up.
I have considered getting into the center pin game for a few years, but think I have enough other gear and fly rods to keep me busy.
Curious as to why you are getting into it? Advantage/Dis-advantage?

mark
 

alm21

Active member
Curious as to why you are getting into it? Advantage/Dis-advantage?

mark
I wanted to build a setup specifically for float fishing and as I started my research, I learned that centerpins are the dominant setups on the East Coast/Great Lakes and for whatever reason, not so popular here but that's changing. The main advantage that centerpins have over spinning and bait casting reels is the drag free float. You can get much longer floats with this approach, covering more water with fewer casts. The challenge is the mastering the casting techniques and landing of fish without drag. I'm totally new to it and haven't even casted mine once. So, I am up for a challenge! Catching fish is always rewarding but I think it will be even more rewarding on the centerpin.
 

Chedster

Member
Nice setup! Should serve you very well. You will find that line twist will inevitably occur so changing the line 2-3 times a year is probably normal. This is why I stayed away from expensive "float" line. I just spooled up with Berkley big game and am pretty happy with how it fishes, plus 1200 yards is under $10.
 

mlw

Member
Interesting, I have a centerpin reel (odd russian thing off fleabay, doesn't spin forever, cheap). I was thinking of trying it on an 11' switch rod (7wt fly) or 13' spey.

What are the pro's and con's of a floating line?

Michael
 

Chromatose

Active member
Be sure to wrap some electrical tape on the sliders as so your reel will stay in place when fighting a fish ( 2 or 3 wraps on Each). Nothing worse than to have your reel come OFF during a battle. Good Luck.
 

alm21

Active member
Went and fished the Rogue for my first time with Rogue Wilderness Adventures. Our guide was Bob who happened to be the original founder of the company. The target species was the Chinook however, since we were going to be in a drift boat, I grabbed my center pin just in case…

Bob was intrigued telling us he’s only had one other client come out with a center pin over the years. We back trolled plugs and side drifted eggs but no luck. In fact the weeds were really bad causing us to reel in and clean our gear every few minutes. Getting tired of that, Bob wanted to see the center pin in action and put us into some steelhead waters. Now, I have not taken the time to properly learn how to cast the c.p. so I ended up striping line onto the deck and then casting out. I got huge drag free drifts. It didn’t take long for us to find success. I caught my first fish on my c.p. that happened to be a 1/2lbr steelhead. A bit later, we caught another 1/2lbr steelhead that happened to be a nate. I also caught a bunch of squawfish on it. No trophy fish but we had a lot of fun and were able to avoid the weeds, for the most part, with this method.

Bob was dig’n the float method realizing it would be a good method for guiding folks that aren’t experienced with drifting across the bottom. He said that he was going to go out and get some float gear that night for a trip he was going to guide the next day. I took the opportunity to give him some of my gear. Here are a couple pics:







Bob...

 

Raincatcher

Well-known member
Moderator
Be sure to wrap some electrical tape on the sliders as so your reel will stay in place when fighting a fish ( 2 or 3 wraps on Each). Nothing worse than to have your reel come OFF during a battle. Good Luck.
Since you told me you have been a fan of center pin fishing for years,I'm glad to see a discussion on it. Maybe we should talk to Anatolliy about a special section for it.
Thanks for opening up the discussion,alm21.
 

Chromatose

Active member
Nice Post. The Rogue has been a long time friend of mine as well.
Glad to see another fisherman who has moved to the dark side. I have been pinning for quite a few years now on both Coasts. Very effective way to fish.....................................:clap:
 

alm21

Active member
Since I recently figured out how to cast my centerpin properly, I've been taking it out on my steelhead journeys. I went out this last Sunday for some high water fishing and had my spinning rod for a drift setup and my c.p. for float. I gravititated towards my drift setup but then found my self switching back and forth trying a variety of presentations. Towards the end of the day, I was running some eggs under the float in a spot I was pretty sure fish would be holding. After getting nothing for a while, I switched to a pink worm on a 1/8oz white jig head. After a couple casts, BOBBER DOWN!, I go for the hookset not completely sure if it was a snag but quickly felt a head shake. My first thought was that I got into a small trout. I just didn't feel like what I was expecting. Nonetheless, it was fish-on and I immediately noticed how soft the action was on my setup, it was truly a shock absorber as the fish made some runs. After seeing a belly flash, I realized that I did in fact have a steelhead on. The fish went airborne and to my luck, stayed on. I eventually landed the fish and it ended up being a bright chrome wild hen around 5-6lbs (1 salt?). I was by myself and it was pouring so no pic. I have finally fought a sizeable fish on my centerpin and this is my first ever steelhead/salmon on a float! I have to say that I now have a lot of confidence in my c.p. setup (Okuma reel, Wright McGill 11' 6"). It made that fish seem like a ten incher. I am definitely going to do a lot more float fishing now! Using a c.p. isn't the easiest technique but fighting a fish on a soft setup with 6lb test on a reel that has no gears or drag is a blast!
 

alm21

Active member
Good Read....................Now your over the dark edge......
Oh yeah and I don't want to go back! I still need to tune how I rig a bit. I made the mistake of using 10lb leader and lost float to jig from snags. Picked up up some 6lb leader this evening. Chedster has a great idea of making "bait weights", I'd buy those but I guess I'll need to equip myself to make some.
 

Chromatose

Active member
There are quite a few types of rigging for different water flows. Shoot me a pm and I will send you a few links & assorted information that may be of some help.
 

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