Silver Session – The “ Sneaky Lifters Coming Of Age “

With a spare couple of hours and the rivers out of sorts in Manchester I opted for a
“  Smash & Grab “ session on a small pondto give my Sneaky Lifter " floats a sterner test.
I originally called them Tinca Stick MKIII 's but they are that thin and sensitive you cannot suspend large baits with them. So, they are a different float really. They are perfect for fishing suspended partical baits or fishing on the bottom. So I came up with the name

" Sneaky Lifters "

as they are perfect for catching shy bitting fish using a variation of the lift method.

Here are the originals........

 I have recently been told about this pond and its all a bit " Secret Squirral " and its not to far from my home so, thanks for the info pal.

( Many thanks Mr Anonymous)  

The weather was not inspiring me but as you all know I don’t get out to fish very often so with very little preparation I threw my kit in the mighty Megan & gave it a blast down the motorway eager to have a pop at the resident roach shoals from this little pond.
 (Not really expecting much)

I found it, no problem and managed to find the recommended peg which was     surrounded by trees even at this time of year.  
“This is going to be a tricksy session on rod and line due to the low lying and encroaching trees “
I thought,  but,  the reason behind this trip was to try out my “ Sneaky Lifter  Floats “ on roach in the winter time, which can be as impossible to hit as Crucian Carp sometimes.
I had a red  & green “ Sneaky Lifter “ already rigged up on a shallow line. The rig consisted of 2 lb Drennan Float Fish line and Drennan Red Maggot Hooks, all the bulk shot was around the Sneaky Lifter apart from 5 no 8’s, buched together 3/4 of the way down the line and two 1.5 inches from the hook to register any finicky lift bites from the roach. I had a small bag of crumb, red maggots and   fluorescent red pinkies from Elton Tackle. I also took some bread as an alternative hook bait.
Rigged up , ready to rock  n

I approached the swim similarly to a match on a canal, two inside swims on either side and one swim two rod lengths out. The idea behind this method is once a few fish have been caught,  rest that swim and move on to the next one, rotating between swims but feeding them all. This way the fish build up more confidence due to less disturbance.
The important part when using these floats is to get your depth spot on. Using a flat plummet I found the exact depth and mentally marked them against my rod rings.
 I started off at dead depth, on maggot on the swim in front of me at two rod lengths out. I observed the floats actions as it settled with  most of the bristle sticking out for a few seconds before the last two no 8’s settled the float to its “ Dotted “ pink tip. I was thinking whether or not my float was dotted down sufficiently when the little tip disappeared and I was into my first fish of the session. A small….ish perch of around 4 oz was swung in, quickly un- hooked and popped into the waiting keep net. 
“Good start for December “ I thought to myself and quickly re-baited and cast straight back to the outer swim, fired in some pinkies and retrieved my float over my loose feed. ( Basic waggler fishing really ) The float didn’t even settle properly this time. I waited four seconds, the float should settle in three as I mentioned before so I stuck and was into another fish …………….
A perch…………….

Identical to the previous fish. I had a little smile to myself……………

although these were not my target species I am very happy to catch anything this time of year from a wild water such as this and I had a feeling there was a large …. ish shoal of perch in front of me that had quickly settled om my feed. I fired a further pult of pinkies (About 5 grubs ) in my swims but moved to my attack to the inner right swim. I cast feed, retrieved, my float settled to the pink dot for about three seconds and then, once again disappeared from view and yep ……….
You guessed it ……………… another four oz perch came swinging in. They were like peas in a pod.
( I would have begged for a swim like this on the Bridgewater canal 20 years ago ……… lol)
Nice little weight builders these fish and this carried on for approximately one and a quarter hours when it started to slow a little , so, double fluoro pinkie was placed on the hook and cast out to my furthest swim. The float buried instantly. No settling just straight under…..

“ Roach “ I thought ……………….. with a smile. 

Roach , like most fish gain more confidence when loose feed is delivered in small doses over a period of about 20 minuets minimum. My time scale was almost an hour and a half so these fish were super confident. I cast in again. This this the float settled to the pink dotted tip, bobbed ….. and rose up in the water exposing the green band of the " Sneaky Lifter "......…I struck instantly and the first roach of the session was on. A nice fish of around 5 oz. I did have the odd perch now and again but most of the fish coming from my three swims were roach around 5 or 6 oz but these backed off after about 30 minutes and the bites dried up.
Time for the bread .............

My last line of attack was good old bread flake. This can really catch you some stamp fish in the winter if fished correctly. As I had come hopping for some big roach I put a decent piece of flake on and once again cast to the swim in front of me. 
(Funny how you get in a rhythm. I tried all my new tactics first on this swim and moved around the peg clockwise )
I had a bite instantly . The float just rose from the dotted pink tip up to expose the green band once more, 
( I am sure the float rises as soon as the fish suck up the bait )
I struck and was into 10 oz fish. . I would be happy catching these all day. This carried on for a further 30 minutses . I must have about 6 fish from 9.- 12 oz. Good fishing indeed for a willd water in January but I had really come for a big un that are supposed to live here. So , I tried the swim to my right, just next to a large sprawalling over hanging tree. A quick underarm flick was all that was needed, the float settled and trap set. I was just about to retrieve the float when it popped up and did a little dance. with a carfull side strike from right to left ai was in again.

" Feels like a tench this "

I muttered to know one in particular as I stopped its break for freedom with a little side strain. It was then that it s tail swirled in front of me and glimpsed a silvery flash............OMG ..........Its a roach.........easy a pound and a half my be two ........  my hart rate doubled........ I stated being extra carfull ( as you do ) while playing it !!!!!!!!.........This, unfortunately proved to be my down fall I think. After a good little battle i was just slidding her over my waiting langing net, she was litrally an inch away from the lip of my net ........when.......

the goddam hook pulled..........

 The " Sneaky Lifter " was catapulted up into the tree and fomed a lovely birds nest with the line........My pb roach just flipped over gave me a wink and slid off home......... I was FUMMING !!!!!!!!!
I couldn' t believe the fishing gods had deseted me at the last moment.  After all those shinannergins any self respecting fish was long gone, it was getting dark and I had to climb a bloody tree to reteive my line and float !!!!!!!!!!!!
Once the line and float where collected from their lofty perch I weighed my catch on my cheepoo digital scales..........

just over 9 lb jn 2.5 hours................

not bad at all.......but that big roach would have capped it off......BUMMER.....!!!!!!!!

The float performed fantastically. 

It delivered everything I asked of it. Sensitive nibbles off roach and it burried. Finicky little suck / blow bites when the fish just suck up the bait and it rose up perfectly to show the second coloured band. 

I was well chuffed with it.

I took a few snapps to show off my catch & headed off home for a brew and a warm.

A good day but lets hope this rain stops so we can get back on the rivers.

If you would like to look at all of the hand crafted floats I make please click on the link below and it will take you to my float page.


Join Salford Friendly Anglers for free and help us fight pollution on the River Irwell &
 Mersey Basin


Popular Posts


Reversible Pike Sliders - A New Colour Combination & Modification.

A Custom Build Barbel Twin Tip Rod By Andrew Boyne