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History Of Float And Fly

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The Float and Fly - A Historical and Sporting View

There has been a LOT of talk about the Float and Fly lately in magazines and on regional TV shows. The “Newest” tactic to catch big fish!
Reality is that the “Float and Fly” has been around for years. It was originally a way to catch crappie in the winter. Fishermen used the rig to fish small jigs and minnows for crappie. The problem was that in East Tennessee crappie and smallmouth seem to like to inhabit the same areas of the lake during winter. Winter Crappie fishermen were breaking off a LOT of small jigs thanks too smallmouth bass, and not just any smallmouth bass, but BIG smallmouth.

Many anglers have used the Float and Fly and many have used some form of it over the years. However
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You have to use a long rod made for this kind of fishing. A Noodle Rod will work, but as Bob likes to say, I never have caught a Noodle on one of those Noodle Rods. Bob prefers to use the Float and Fly rods made by All Pro. Rods come in 8 foot to 11 foot lengths. My personal favorite is a 9’ 6” Rod given to me by Bob. It works well for me, because I am tall and have a slightly longer reach that allows me to use leaders up to 15 feet in length. Longer rods are for both longer leaders and shorter people. The 8 foot rods are tournament legal. An important aspect when winter fishing for bass during a tournament, as many tournaments have an 8’ Rod Length limit.

The trolling motor that you use plays a big part in fishing the Float and Fly. On windy days you need to be able to concentrate on the cast not on the boat position. Bob swears by one of the newer trolling motors put out by Motor Guide. It is called the Pinpoint. This motor will sense the distance from the bank, or control your boat based on a specific depth or hold you over a channel. If you want to fish 50 feet from the bank you set it and “Forget IT” and the motor does the work of keeping you parallel to the bank without you taking time away from
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Spinning reels are the only way to go. It is almost impossible to throw a 32nd or 16th ounce jig with a baitcaster, and the best spinning reels have a trigger. It is much easier to get all that line behind you if you can just pick it all up and back cast it behind you, and then pull the trigger to make the forward
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