This is a tried and tested favourite and a real winner of a float and when using chunky baits in fast flowing waters. The well crafted shoulder help make the float highly controllable while the buoyancy in the tip will stop the float from dipping as it runs through the swim. Its an essential float for Chub and Barbel.
When trotting fast rivers there comes a time when even the largest stick float is not man enough for the job, this is when we need to look at the heavyweight family of trotting floats. Fishing the float in fast deep, powerful and turbulent rives can be a daunting prospect for many anglers. It can be hard work. However, if you are prepared to put in the effort they can, and often do, produce large bags of big fish. A powerful 11ft to 12ft long rod with an all through action and a test curve of 1-2lb is the tool for the job. You'll be surprised at how powerful fish are with the addition of a strong current. Main lines are normally 4lb to 8lb, depending on target species.
Without doubt this is one of the best floats for fishing large baits in fast, turbulent water. They are as much at home in deep water as in shallow runs. It's fairly buoyant tip is highly suitable for use in medium to fast turbulent water, such as the Hampshire, Avon Dorset Stour, middle Trent and many other fast rivers, where it can be used to trot all size and manner of baits through the swim, either dragging the bottom or at various depths.
FISHING THE CHUBBER
As with all top and bottom floats, the ideal conditions would be an upstream wind, but even in a downstream wind it's still possible to trot using these floats. Back shotting or putting on a bigger size will allow you to 'mend' the line without disturbing the float too much. You may not be able to fish out so far, but you will still be in control. Large trotting floats are traditionally set up with bulk shot 12 to 24 inches(30-60cms) from the hook, with two or three No.8's, No.6's or No.4's as droppers. Rather than your bulk shot being AAAs or SSGs, it's better to use a string of BBs, as the smaller shot is not affected by the current and will cut through the water more easily. This shotting pattern is great when targeting Chub or Barbel, using big baits such as a bunch of maggots, corn, worm of hair rigged meat or pellets. Most times when fishing fast water you will be using groundbait laced with samples of your hook bait, when your feed reaches the bottom it will trundle through the swim at a slower pace than the current above. Therefore, you will need to slow down the speed of the float so that the hook bait is behaving like the feed. This is done by controlling the speed of the line coming off the reel. With a centre pin reel this is easy as the reel will have an adjustable drag, but there are other ways. With a fixed-spool reel you can feather the line with you finger as it leaves the spool, alternatively you can point the rod up stream, trap the line with your finger then follow the float down at the required speed. To go further downstream release the line, move the rod back upstream, trap the line and follow the float down again. There is another really good method that top river anglers use to great effect, called back winding, but to be efficient at it you need to practice quite a lot. The speed the hook bait is going through the swim is the key to success, you need to balance the speed to the amount of shot required to keep the bait down. The more you want to slow the bait down, the nearer the bulk shot needs to be to the hook. You may also need to change to a larger float, adding additional bulk shot. A few runs through at different speeds will soon show at what speed the bites are most confident, don't be lazy, experiment! It only takes a minute to change the float or to add or subtract shot. On some venues where the bottom is clean, you may want to drag a bait along the deck for the bottom feeders to chase. Depending on the flow, the best floats for job are the balsa trotter or the chubber, as these have buoyant tips. By removing a shot and setting the rig over depth the float will pull the bait along the bottom, at the same time slowing the bait down, but with the weight reduced it will not be pulled under.
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