The key to success when using river floats is to rig them "top and bottom". This allows the line to be held above or on the surface of the water, ensuring that the float can be properly controlled. Rigging floats "top and bottom" requires a small but essential piece of tackle called a float cap. A float cap is silicone tubing that is available in various diameters and colours, either pre-cut or in longer lengths to be cut to size as required. The float cap should have a slightly smaller diameter opening than the stem of the float, so that it holds the float firmly in place.
Before adding split shot to the line, thread two float caps onto the line, see picture.
Then pull one float cap over each end of the float stem, one on top and one on the bottom. This holds the float on the line and allows the float to be slid up or down to the required depth.
Positioning the bottom float cap so that it extends just beyond the end of the float helps avoid tangle-ups, as the line is less likely to snag the stem of the float when casting. When the float needs to be changed, the float caps are simply pulled off the ends of the float and onto the new one.
Some anglers recommend placing a small split shot at the base of the float and running the float cap over it. This acts like a keel on a boat, adding stability to the float. Another tip is to use an extra float cap on the bottom stem of the float to help secure the float tightly in place. This third float cap can also act as a spare making it is easy to replace one of the other caps (if damaged) without having to cut the line and re-rig everything.
To rig a peg style float, remove the stem and feed the line through the centre of float before replacing the stem. Pegged floats generally grip the line tighter than a float held with float caps. However, they can be considered less convenient since the line must be cut every time the float needs to be exchanged. Float caps should still be used with pegged floats to help reduce tangle-ups, particularly on the bottom of the float.
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