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Discussion Starter #1
:?: I have spent a few hours doing a little research into the various floats that are commercially available as well as all the ones that are made by the hobbyist for fishing for Steelhead.......There are plenty available out there, that's for sure......Years ago,I used to use the same type of float for pretty much all types of fishing in the rivers, but over the years I learned this is not always the best thing to do. In order to be successful with the local sqare-tails, it is my opinion you had better have a small arsenal......
I am curious as to what types of floats you use and the conditions they are used under when fishing for steelhead in the local waters??.......Ortho
 

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Use either the Drennan Zeppler or Piker Floats in low and clear water. They Zepplers I use are size 11 gram which is for really slow water when your barely chucking any weight, 20 gram which is perfect for most conditions and will hold a medium, heavy piece of pencil lead or 3 large split shots, the 24 gram holds 4 large split shots very well. For the pikers any 20 or 28 gram will do. In any other conditions your average foam or balsa float will do the job fine.
 

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In gin clear/hint of green water a Drennan piker(green) in 11 or 20 gram depending on flow and depth.In clear/green or green water with a overcast sky,on fairly open water, a grey foam float .I will switch that over to a green foam float if trees are crowding/overhanging the run/pool.In dakgreen/dirty green it will be grey or green(or maybe I should use up all those black ones I've picked up over the years!)
 

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I use a 28 gram piker for all conditions.Sometimes I'll use the 35 gram Zeppler or 24 gram one.I wish they made a 28 gram Zeppler cause that would be perfect for me and my fishing.



hotrod
 

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I make my own floats out of grey, 3/4" diameter backer rod. Backer rod is a foam insulation (same as "dink" floats) available at building supply stores. Once I cut them to length, I seal the ends over an open flame. Then one end is undercoated white before top coating with flourescent red. I loop a piece of thread through the float with a big sewing needle. This thread is used to pull the main line through.

I make lengths from 6"-8" for various amounts of weight. I'm looking for a float that is about 2/3 under water. The 6" float will take 3-4 split shot and the 8" 4-5.

Dinsdale
 

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yeah my uncle does that trick. I am going to buy a drennan never tried them i usually use just a plain "dink" float.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The visuals at the river tell me the "dink" float and the drennan "piker" are probably the most commonly used. What I find interesting is that some fishers tend to overload the offering with a very large 1" dia. float that is 5 " long and likely could not show you the subtle take of any fish let alone a steelhead that is being picky........I find a bigger float works well in the heavy water, but once you get into the softer conditions it pays to lighten up the size of the float and have just enough float to keep the top visible. I recently bought some really nice "cork" floats that I thought I might try only to find out that they were made of foam with a wood veneer over them..........worked pretty good, but I could make them very easily myself as well as the balsa floats......(also easy to make)....Oh well I guess there is still room for the ultimate float that is good for all conditions...........I'm working on it...................Ortho
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thill?? .........Could you re-phrase?..........I have been playing around with a lot of materials over the years and feel there is still room for the "ultimate float".....flexible/durable/adjustable/ and CHEAP!....Ortho
 

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I've started fishing with the new DNE floats this year. Cigar shaped, like the balsas that I prefer but made of foam. Sensitive, easy to adjust with either bobber stops or toothpicks, 25 grams. The only thing I would prefer is that they paint the body a more neutral color rather than white. A tan/beige color would make this float perfect. This is what I plan to use during the steelie season this year instead of balsa. At $2 a pop, it's hard to beat.
 

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stealth

Tried out a stealth float on Fri. Loved the durability and the beautiful drift that I got from it, float standing perfectly vertical and the line in a perfect arc from rod tip to float seemed easier to achieve with this float than with the dinks. The only thing that I noticed with the stealth was that the plastic seemed to get a little cloudy instead of being crystal clear like the Drennan. Definitely liked the price compared to the Drennan and didn't break one all day. Will keep a couple of these in my box of goodies especially for these super clear days.
 

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I have been using the stealth floats for a few weeks now and have had two ending up drifting down the river after a strike. Very fustrating!! Also three snapped off on the top section. No rocks involved.
So the search also goes on for the ultimate float.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's an update on the floats.....I have an engineer working on a design at the present time....Slim easy to adjust,lightweight and cheap....Will have prototype in the New Year.
Ortho 8)
 

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looking forward to it ortho. I like the DNE, but I like the pink tops, and they only had the green and yellow at freds at the time. I use the 30gr and I like em. Im thinking of painting them brown for more of a stelth apperance.
 

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Sanderson said:
I like balsas in a cigar shape. Their natural apearance wont spook fish and they also have some weight to them making them easier to cast with a pin. I have seen drennens spook fish in very clear water. If you look from underwater up to the surface with a clear drennen it will glow blue when the sun shines on it and is very visable from under water.
I have heard of this too. Here is a PM I received from another site about a test done by someone with a scientific background regarding float color. Because of this I now use green drennans on overcast days in green tinged water and blue drennans in clear water on overcast days otherwise I use balsa or green dink floats.

First off the testing was done at his cottage by observung a variety of floats sitting in clear water in his lake from below the surface using a diving mask on sunny days. That is human observation from under the surface of a clear lake. I think fish see in similar style to humans with better underwater vision but without colour vision.
The results were as follows. Black bottomed floats like Blackbirds or Ravens were very visable from bellow. No suprise here as this is well know by lure makers when making topwater lures especially for nightime use. Second clear floats like clear plastic Drennans or Blackbird Phantoms were startlingly visible as the sunlight reflected off the clear plastic. It would be interesting to experiment with clear floats on overcast days. I know some Drennans are opake green plastic but they were not tested. Balsa floats with natural light brown wood colour and white bottoms were visible but barely so and generally unobtrusive. Finally some European floats that are painted sky blue on the bottom were virtually invisible. They were by far the most stealthy floats available (or mostly unavailable since i don't know where to get them here in Toronto but I will be looking for them lol) I'm not sure what the overall effect floats would have on spooking fish but as a confirmed Steelheader I would be one angler looking to minimize any possiblity of my float spooking Steelies and as such I will be looking to buy some blue bottomed floats OR finding some sky blue nailpolish or paint to modify my floats (I use Drennans and Thills currently). Hope this helps you out.
 

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Ya, I'm done with the clear plastic floats too. I also herd they glow like a holigram on the surface. I'm back to the old faithful foam floats. I prefer the white ones, cuz I always start my day at first light, and the white ones you'll see. Until they disapear! ;)
 
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