Choosing a new float fishing rod

Looking for a float or waggler rod? Not sure of what features you need to consider before making a purchase? Then have a read of this informative Anglers’ Net guide to float rods; full of all the practical information and advice you need.

With commercial and club waters seemingly holding larger fish then ever, the traditional float or waggler rod has somewhat fallen by the wayside over the years with the progression of pole and specimen angling, but there is often nothing more satisfying than being sat by a lake watching a float gently slip away whilst under the grip of a feisty roach or rudd – surely the purest form of angling?

Either way, many of today’s float rods are bigger and more powerful tools than their traditional counterparts, and so are easily capable of dealing with the larger overall stamp of fish contained on many commercial waters, whilst still offering a pleasurable day’s fishing watching the float.

Most float rods are still of a three piece design, especially those of 13ft or more, although some of the smaller lengths may come as a two piece. When looking for a good quality float rod you need to consider what length would suit your style of fishing the best. The longer the rod is, the more capable it will be of casting out light floats and terminal tackle, though whilst a long rod will allow you to reach the fish at greater distances, it will obviously be more unwieldy when used in confined spaces, so if the waters you are likely to be fishing have dense undergrowth or low tree cover, you might be better of with something a little smaller at around the twelve foot mark.

Most float rods are designed with a fast taper (also known as a tip action) which means that when compressed, the blank can quickly retrieve line on the strike, and there will usually be a large amount of eyes whipped in at regular intervals in order than the line perfectly mirrors the arc of the blank under compression and thus is able to apply all of its pressure to the fish. The eyes should sit quite proud so light lines won’t come into contact with the blank or stick to it when fishing in wet conditions.

Float rods with a more progressive action will be better equipped to punch out larger carp waggler floats on commercial fisheries, whilst also being able to handle stick floats for all species and trotting floats when used on the river. Most modern float rods are made with lightweight carbon materials, but again it’s worth considering the type of fishing you intend to be doing as a longer rod will obviously weigh more, so fatigue may be an issue on long sessions.

Reel seats are usually uniform with a screw fitting and those at the better end of the scale will usually offer Fuji reel seats and guides. Handles will be down to personal choice, and whilst some offer varying degrees of Duplon, most offer a classic look with cork or cork composite handles.

In terms of extras, a hook holder is a handy feature allowing easy anchoring whilst you pour your flask or take lunch, and most should come with a quality bag for safe transport to and from the lake. There are countless offerings from a multitude of brands, so now you’re armed with the basics you can enjoy looking at all the available options at your leisure!

To make things even easier we’ve highlighted a few choice offerings available from some of the leading brands. First up is the Hardwear Float Rod. Hardwear have made quite a name for themselves at the entry-level end of the market and this float rod is perfect for most fishing situations, whether on commercial fisheries using the waggler for carp, or on your local Stillwater gently presenting a float to bream and tench. Its best feature though might well be its price; at just £19.99 it’s not going to break the bank. Full details HERE.

Hardwear Float Rod


For those wanting to tackle decent sized fish, the Daiwa Sweepfire Float Rod is a good choice. With a power progressive action, the Sweepfire is a versatile match rod suiting all styles of float work. It’s capable of casting out big carp wagglers on commercial fisheries, stick floats for tench, bream, roach and rudd or trotting for chub on the river. A quality float rod featuring a down locking reel seat, hook holder and cork handle. Competitively priced at £39.99; full details HERE.

Daiwa Sweepfire Float Rod


The TF Gear Classic 13′ Float Rod offers a positive striking action, unparalleled grace and scintillating float control. Built for the discerning float angler, this rod embodies everything magical about float fishing; poise, touch and instant contact with your quarry. This Classic float is a rod that everyone dreams of using, isn’t it great that someone still makes a rod that lives up to those dreams?! Priced at £69.99; full details HERE.

TF Gear Classic 13' Float Rod


Named the Shimano Purist Tench Float Rod, you won’t be surprised to hear that this stunning rod is designed to tame the larger specimens with its soft tip; perfect for cushioning the lunges of powerful fish. Add this to a lovely action ensuring small hooks don’t pull during prolonged fights and you are left with a perfect float fishing weapon for doing battle with specimens. Priced at £129.99; full details HERE.

Shimano Purist Tench Float Rod


The TF Gear TSI Float Rod is a remarkable piece of equipment. Using the very latest carbon fibres, the remarkable TSi comes to life in your hands giving you total control over every fish you hook. The TSi is built with the best components; resistance free rings that allow line to glide effortlessly, premium Fuji reel seats for absolute reel stability and premium Japanese shrink-wrap for sure grip in any conditions. Groundbreaking tournament tapers harness energy to produce distances never before imagined on the cast, whilst reactive fibres deliver pin-point accuracy cast after cast. Priced at £249.99; full details HERE.

TF Gear TSI Float Rod


If you’d like to view more fishing rods available from all the top brands, or any other fishing tackle items for that matter, then simply visit the Anglers’ Net Tackle & Bait Finder.

Happy hauling!

Julian Grattidge
December, 2010

Prices correct at time of publication

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