Posted 13 September 2014 - 03:45 PM
The slip-float won't auto- adjust for you. You still need to move the stop to regulate depth. The key, I find, is to get the split shot right...the goal is to have your bait moving along the bottom ahead of the rest of your terminal tackle. This does take some trial and error; there is no set fix. Rivers move differently, and you have to adjust float depth/ shot according to conditions.
From top to bottom I usually start out as follows:
1) Float stop>>plastic bead>>float>>plastic bead>>swivel (this gear is all on the main line ...usually 10 lb.)
2) Split shots arranged in groups of 2 or 3 on a 4 ft. ( approx.)"shot line". Use bigger shot near the float, and decrease the size as you move down the line. Total grams of shot should be very close to amt. specified on float. Shot line should be rated lighter than main line , but not as light as your leader. Put a second swivel at the end of this line.
3) Approx. 2 ft. Flourocarbon leader (4-5 lb.) with hook/fly etc. on the end.
You may have to use different size floats, and shorten/lengthen shot line depending on the water you are fishing. You fine tune on the water by moving float stop up and down, and sliding shots up or down. Sometimes, in fast, deep water, I'll put several bigger shots on the main line to cock the float.
The goal, as stated, is to have your bait ticking along close to bottom, and having your float weighted so it will drop at the slightest take from a fish. You should probably hook bottom occasionally so you know you are deep enough. Most successful float fishermen I've observed hold back on their reel a bit ( pinky drag) to ensure the bait is always the first thing the fish see. The float should cock back a bit as it travels downstream.
Experience, as always, is the best teacher. Start with a float that you think best matches conditions ( 4 g for clear, shallow conditions, 6-7g for mid- size rivers, and 10+ g for fast and deep... Niagara sometimes requires a 20g), set up a shot line which compliments the float, tie on your bait go out and fish!