One of the problems with long hours with no bites – as happened at the start of yesterday’s session – is that my head starts mooching and re-thinking things over and over… and yesterday’s mooching involved my use of the laying-on (aka lift method) technique and the weightings and floats and suchlike that I use and discussed way back in these postings.. esp. statement that the overall weight at the end of the line does not matter as the float will supply support… etc… etc… I’ve been trying to locate the actual text I wrote but I’m unable to currently as it must have been a part of a posting with a title that does not hint at the required content.

Anyway, FORGET IT! Based on imaginary non-inertial environments, etc… and so flawed in the real world, mainly due to inertial effects, pendulum effects of the weight swinging below the float, and even water resistance on larger shot…

NOW… peruse this article … Laying-on/Lift Method … which not only explains the basics of laying-on but gives good advice on setting the rig up… however, as usual, I have my own refinements to offer, nothing major, just tiny tweaks that add up and add to my pleasure of knowing that all is as well as I can make it…

The driftbeater type float is the definitive float for this method (in fact this afternoon I ordered some more a bit smaller (5BB) than the ones I currently own) … the antenna itself usually has very little buoyancy if any at all as they are usually a fibre glass bristle, meaning that once the body has been subjected by weightings on the line to lie virtually completely submerged then usually only a small shot, possibly one BB or even smaller, is sufficient to sink the antenna down to the sight bob.. {NOTE the sight bob itself is usually buoyant – made of polystyrene or similar and so, in use, it should NOT be pulled down to water level and usually only to about 1” above the water surface to allow for surface ripples and waves} as, if the float is correctly set and minimal weight for the situation applied, then that buoyancy of the bob entering into the surface of the water would cause the over/anchoring shot(s) to lift and the rig to move out of position and require re-setting of the rod-float-shot tension.

So… going through the ‘linked to’ article above here are some slight tweaks that I would make to the text as given…

Not mentioned in the text BUT a locked float is far better than a sliding arrangement in shallower waters although both attachment methods will work…

A… Yep, no problem with that… but you’ll be unlikely to be able to get the complete body submerged without the antenna sinking too – aim for the greatest amount of body submerged whilst retaining the entire antenna above water that you can manage. You won’t need to getting shotting resolution any closer than a BB in practice either (ie float sinks if a BB is added, take off that BB and the body shotting is as perfect as need be).

B… Lines can be helped sink by two methods – and they can be used together….

  • Wipe line with, and/or pour a little over the line on spool, washing up liquid either diluted or as is. This helps break the water’s surface tension that can hold lines up on the surface… but this will not last too long and will need re-doing from time to time.
  • If water depth allows a fixed/locked float attachment then placing one of the shot used to set the body weighting at about 12” above the float (ie rod side of float) allows the line to be pulled under the surface as the line is SLOWLY tightened – and also allows one further advantage in that it acts as a buffer when finally setting the float as per item D later… In the final stages of tightening the line it can be very sensitive and just winding 1” too much line can cause a problem eg the sight bob to catch the water and cause the anchor shot to be lifted and the whole rig to move thus requiring re-tensioning, etc… but, with the above float shot, the 12” section of line twixt the shot and float hangs vertically down when the line is slack, and as the line tensions so the shot starts to be raised and the line starts to take on a ‘V’ shape that opens further with more tension and thus this buffers the changes made in tension between the rod tip and the float itself and makes it far easier to get the correct overall line tension needed. Usually, 1BB is sufficient. So a body that needs 5BB of shot to set correctly is best done by placing 4BB of shot conventionally below the float and placing a BB shot 12” above the float.

C… Myself, I use hooklengths of between 4” and 6” in length (which I find to be the optimum) which I connect to the mainline via a snaplink. I use this method as I often add baits with use of a baiting needle and threading the hooklink through and doing so I have to do things slightly differently when setting up depths. For me, I place my anchor shot up against that link on the mainline meaning that my hook-to-shot distance is the same as the hooklink length. For basic depth setting, I set the depth to around 6” – 12” overdepth adjusting to a fine-tuned working position for the conditions encountered – winds, water currents and bottom contours will determine the exact requirements: windy/water drag may require float at a deeper setting to prevent effects, on an extremely still day with no water drag then a lesser depth setting can be used… and if the bottom has minor undulations (eg troughs/rises of a few inches) then a setting that allows for the shot resting on either may have to be found. But in general a 6”-12” overdepth setting works fine. Shotting – personally I have the equivalent of a BB or a AAA shot as the anchor but it really depends on what is needed to give optimum performance on the day in the conditions… and depends on the size of float used too which is also dictated by conditions…

  • Windy, lots of water currents – large float to hold up against the effects – which in turn means heavier shotting for the body and heavier anchor shotting… which in turns affects the float choice… As you see a bit of A affects B affects A which affects B… so you need to experiment with what works to find the optimum as its not a simple case of ‘X=Y therefore G’.
  • Still, no currents means lighter floats and shotting may be used.

But at the end of the day we’re looking for the lightest anchor shotting as possible for the conditions (although an 2SSG can be that optimum at times due to conditions) as that is the main thing that the fish will detect as being abnormal … but with it also being suitable for purpose ie holding float and hook/bait steady in the prevailing conditions… and with a float that is also suitable for purpose ie a float whose sight bob does not keep get blown down into the water thus causing the anchor shot to lift and so allow the rig to move (tip – allow more stem than usual to allow it to stand proud of the water can help here too).

E… obvious really but you do see people…. 🙂

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