Float n Fly For Bass

Float-n-Fly Technique for Bass

By Jen Edgar

Spotted bass are known all too well for be finicky and tough to catch when suspended. The float-n-fly technique is specifically fished for those pesky suspended bass, which makes it great for spotted bass that are in a suspended state the majority of the time.

Characteristics for a successful float-n-fly outing are more commonly: Cumberland Lures Float n Fly
  • winter
  • Cold, clear water
  • Suspended fish

In the dead of winter, water temps dipping into low 40s fish are less active and therefore, not so much in the mood to chase bait. Being able to keep your bait in the strike zone the entire time is so vital this time of year. It is also subtler than all other baits you would attempt to throw at these fish.

The rod ranges from 8 ft to 11 ft spinning, granted in a tournament you are limited to the 8 ft option, but if your out having fun don’t hesitate to try out one of the longer rod options for a truly intense fight. The most important characteristic of float-n-fly rods is long and limber, much like a light steelhead rod or fly rod. For the spinning reel, a size 2000 with smooth drag is essential.

I can’t stress how much smoother your fishing experience will be with using braided line as your main line. Prevents twists in the line, stronger and has no stretch which is nice when using lighter gear. 8 to 10 pound braided line to a 15 foot 4 to 8 pound fluorocarbon are recommended. A longer leader is needed because braid floats and you need your jig to sink, and you may need it to get down to quite deeper depths.

Balance between your float and fly is crucial because we aren’t necessarily waiting for a bobber to “go down” in this technique. Sometimes fish will hit the jig and swim upward in which case your bobber would not get dragged down. You want a float that lays horizontal while your fly is settling down to the desired depth. When the fly reaches its holding depth the float will then straighten and sit vertically. It is so important to watch your float because if the fly doesn’t make it all the way down by the time it should have, the float does not go vertical you may already have a fish. So this also means getting a float that has two different colors for top and bottom. There are fixed and sliding type floats. There are positives and negatives to both, just have to find what works best for you Now the fly. Hair jigs, flies, and so many options… usually a hair jig in the 1/16oz size seems to have the best action and ease of fishing. As for colors and types of hair or brands of jigs is all personal preference. I like two flies in particular the Spro Phat Fly and the Cumberland Pro Lures Float n Fly

Casting is not to be over thought; just straight overhead casts work best. Don’t get in a rush, nice and easy will get your rig out where you want it. Don’t just cast out and let it sit. With short, quick pops, slowly work the bait back to you. Just like any other technique you have to find the fish and sometimes find how the fish want the fly presented. Bites will be hard thumps to a subtle pull down and even the lift bite discussed earlier. Reel down until you feel the tension then set the hook, and make sure to play out the fish as you are using light line and gear.


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