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steelhead float fishing

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When I float fish I am using a bobber stop, bead, 1/2oz slip aero-float, bead, egg weights 1/2oz , bead, bobber stop, swivel, fluorocarbon leader, to a 1/8oz jig or egg hook.

1. Do I need a shot pattern on my leader line to get the hook or jig down?

2. how do you cast to prevent line tangle and knots on your leader ?

3. I was using a 2.5 foot leader, should I have a shot pattern? How far should the last shot be from the jig or hook ?

4. When should you drift vs float fish ? or does it matter
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When I float fish I am using a bobber stop, bead, 1/2oz slip aero-float, bead, egg weights 1/2oz , bead, bobber stop, swivel, fluorocarbon leader, to a 1/8oz jig or egg hook.

1. Do I need a shot pattern on my leader line to get the hook or jig down?

2. how do you cast to prevent line tangle and knots on your leader ?

3. I was using a 2.5 foot leader, should I have a shot pattern? How far should the last shot be from the jig or hook ?

4. When should you drift vs float fish ? or does it matter
You can use a shot pattern if you choose but with a weighted jig it's not necessary. It's especially not necessary when overloading your bobber a bit like it sounds you are doing. If you do choose to use shot, you will wanted to downsize your egg weight and make up the difference with the split shot.

For casting my recommendation is to start your cast slow and build up speed through the arc. Avoid flinging and/or whipping. Also, add a bright, contrasting corky under your bead but above your bobber. This corky is used to identify if your Terminal gear is fishing properly or not. If it's standing on your float, you should be fishing properly. If it's laying in the water then you are probably tangled and need to reel in and recast.

With drift fishing you need a decent amount of current that pushes or drifts your gear along the bottom. Drift fishing also allows for your gear to be presented to a fish slower since it is ticking along the bottom. A bobber with a suspended setup will be pushed through some of these areas too swiftly and it doesn't give the fish as much time to see or take your offering if they choose. Bobber and jig setups are typically better in slower water, deep water, snaggy bottoms or when the water is low and clear like in the summer or even last week.

There are always exceptions to the generalities so don't be afraid to experiment and try different stuff. That's how all these techniques were developed in the first place.
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If your using a 1/2oz float keep your weight under it at 1/2oz. Weight the float with the weight rated on the float. If you鈥檙e fishing an 1/8oz jig then use 3/8 of weight below the float to match the 1/2oz rating. Personally I prefer the inline weights with swivels in the mold to eliminate the swivel on the leader line. I only use weights under a float in deep water 7-12鈥. Anything less than say 6鈥 in depth I鈥檒l use a fixed float(stem and rubber bands) rated at 1/8oz and match the float with an 1/8oz jig. Nothing else on the line, easy and stealthy. I never use split shot but my leader off of my inline weight is only 18-20鈥. I always use a floating braided mainline for easy line mending then a top shot of mono spliced to it with my gear on the mono. Top shot usually 10鈥 or so.
Drift fishing is a different animal, completely different set up, mono line exclusively to a swivel with a mono leader. If you ask 50 guys you will get 50 different answers, if it works for you then roll with it, that鈥檚 what works for me. Hopefully this helps get you going. The post above is also good advice. Have fun and pay attention to the details and improvements and modifications to fit your style will come easy.
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When it comes to weighting your float use the floats rating as a starting point. Different floats with the same rating don't all support the rated weight. Take the 1/4 oz Beau Mac I used today. To get it to float and track correctly I use a 3/8 oz. in-line weight above my 1/8 oz. jig. That amount makes the float stand up and the water level is just above the orange band below the chartreuse top. Works well in both smooth and rough water. The West Coast Floats that I also use just seem to fish better with a tic more weight so I forego the bead below my float and just pinch on the appropriate sized split shot.
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