How To Tie A Long Stem Float Rig

by David Proudfoot

Long Stem Float Rig

The long stem float rig is suitable for pelagic species such as garfish and mackerel but it can also be used in a sliding format for bream, pollack etc. As far as I am aware the float was originally designed by Steve Ace from Veals Fishing Tackle and was picked up by Alderney anglers.

The design permits casting while maintaining a relatively tangle free set up particularly with the weight fitted at the bottom of the trace.

The long stem float itself is not commercially available in sizes to hold larger weights but fortunately they are easy to produce at home.

Long Stem Float Rig Components

Main Body

1 x 3mm Bead, a second bead is required if fishing as a sliding float

2 x Small Swivels, only one needed if fishing as a sliding float

1 x Weight

1 x Float; size depends upon the weight being supported including the bait

1 x 10 – 20lb BS leader material, length depends on depth to be fished

1 length of Powergum if fishing as a sliding float

Trace Body

1 x 1 to 2m length 10 – 20lb BS clear nylon or fluorocarbon

1 x Lead link

1 x Rig clip


2 x 300 to 450mm length 5 – 15lb BS clear nylon or fluorocarbon snood

2 x 2-way beads

1 x 6 to 2 hook; size of hook will depend upon target species and bait size

The Rig Body

Fixed Float
  1. Tie a swivel to one end of the rig body line.
  2. Thread the line through the float from the top down.
  3. Thread on a bead to the bottom of the rig body line and attach a swivel.
Sliding Version
  1. Tie on the leader onto the reel line using double uni knot or spider hitch to Albright knot if using braid for main line.
  2. Thread the following components onto the leader – Bead / Sliding Float / Bead then tie on a swivel.
  3. Tie a length of heavier nylon, 150mm to the swivel.
  4. Above the top bead tie a Powergum Stop Knot at a distance which allows the bait to fish at the appropriate depth.It may be counter intuitive but the stop knot will flow through the rod guides easier if the tag ends are left at around 25mm rather than being trimmed short.Remember to allow for the fact that the hook will be fishing below the weight.

Trace and Snoods

  1. Tie a lead link to one end of the trace body line.
  2. Secure two suitably spaced 2-way beads with glued stops.
  3. Tie a rig clip to opposite end of the trace body.
  4. Thread and knot the two snood lengths through the 2-way beads.
  5. Tie on selected hooks.

Click on image for larger version

long stem float rig

There are numerous sources of terminal tackle both locally and on-line, here are a few suggestions –

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