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  1. #1

    Default Dotted down, rubbish?

    Most of the advice I've read over the years suggest that, when float fishing on a still water, the float should be dotted right down, so only 1/4" or so is showing above the surface. The reason for this is usually stated as being either 1/ it makes everything more sensitive or 2/ it provides less resistance to a biting fish.

    The physic in question here is bouyancy. Now, I'm no expert, so this is just a guess and if I'm wrong, my theory is shot. Here goes:

    I think that the bouyancy of an object is the same whether the object is above the level of the water, level with it, or beneath it. So, a float with a tip say an inch above the water offers no more resistance to a biting fish than does a float which is submerged.

    A float 1" above the water will move just a as much as a float 1/4" above it so there is no difference in sensitivity.

    Having been through that rather dull and perhaps misguided attempt to explain physics let's look at a couple of practical fishing situations, and contrast the dotted down float against one with plenty showing:

    Imagine the fish are playing around with the bait. The dotted down float disappears every time, suggesting a strong bite. A strike results, perhaps just as the float is rising to the surface. With a float with plenty showing, it's easier to read what's going on, and maybe time the strike better.

    Consider a sail-away bite now. After the frustrations of all the knocks as described above a fish picks up the bait confidently. This might just be another finicky knock to the bloke with the dotted down float wheras the angler with an inch or so showing has a better idea of what is going on.

    And then fishing fish a dotted down float puts more of a strain on your eyes, so is probably less enjoyable.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Subtropical Buckinghamshire
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?


    You've been around this site long enough to know not to lift lids off cans of worms, but you just did.

    I think the latter part of your post is correct, especially if using a fine antenna tip. I think some of your first half of the post can hold water too, if you'll pardon the pun.

    However, I'll leave it there as no doubt there will be some that will prove all maner of stuff with all densities of materials to prove you wrong.

    Good post, but get your tin hat on ready!
    "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!" - Theodore Roosevelt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    south yorkshire
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    Ric, I wont argue with anything you say, but you have missed one other good reason not to dot down too much----- weakening eyesight as you get older!-- I just love my avon floats more n more (would use em anyway) Oh-- and a choppy river then suddenly it becomes fine to have lots of tip showing.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    I'm making haste to the nearest air raid shelter right now Jeff!

    Well at least I can't accuse well known anglers of promoting this rubbish for commercial gain, as they might do for braided lines, various Carp gear etc.

    Now, I'd better break into a trot

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    Ah! the physics and mechanics of floats! I tend to agree with you Ric but as Jeff says there are a few who may want to respond. Some may not as this broad subject sometimes provokes personal argument between a few rather than good debate. Lets hope the good debate option wins.

    For me, it's also allied to confidence. I'll be much more comfortable when using the finest of fine tips well shotted down. Whether that actually means I'm more likely to recognise bites and catch is another thing. If I think it will, then that's what I'll do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    A sleepy pool in deepest Surrey

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?


    It's a bit more than just bouyancy. There is also the matter of hydrodynamics.

    Which is why you don't fish a perch bobber for crucians or roach.

    You might just trick a fish into self-hooking itself occasionaly , but you'll miss a hundred fish for every one that you do hook.

    You might submerge that bulbous body with plenty of shot, but it will drag through the water because of its shape and a dithering fish will feel it, and turn away or a quick fish like a roach will feel it, and eject the bait while you are still reaching for the rod.....

    However a greedy persistent fish like a perch will self hook itself before it gorges the bait too deep...hopefully.

    If you are fishing for carp a dotted down float will drive you'll strike at every line bite and tail-wash that happens. Far better to have plenty showing to show you when they really have taken the bait.
    The Indifferent Crucian.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    I agree with that, a fat or bulbous float provides more resistance than a slim one, perhaps because it has to displace more water in able for it to move?

    But with a straight float 1 inch showing versus 1/4 hydrodynamics don't come into play, right?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    When i were a lad, perch bobbers were all the rage in bright red or yellow
    with black stripes ,all the kids had one,
    ive not seen one in years

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Elwin View Post
    Any thoughts?
    Yes, these - Question for all you floatfishers...


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Rotherham South Yorkshire
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Dotted down, rubbish?

    Have you looked at good old Archimedes?

    I don't want to bore everyone by stating his principles on the bouyancy or otherwise of floating or sunken bodies as you can look it up on Google. What I will say is that the resistance to a biting fish by a floating body as in a float is also caused by inertia and the greater the mass of the float the greater the inertia.

    Inertia by the way is the resistance a body has to change its present state of movement, or none movement.

    The streamlining of a float also comes into it.

    There is some evidence that a large, very bouyant float, may have a "bolt rig" effect on a biting fish. This can be seen when using a controller float on a floating bait meant for carp.

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