Tim Barefoot’s guide to making your own simple clicking float
The older I get, the more I like to fish inshore for all the usual suspects from the Northeast, down through the Carolinas all the way to the Keys. From stripers and specks, to drum and snook, every fish loves a shrimp or minnow imitation under a float. And this includes many freshwater predators.
I always keep a float rig tied on when fishing inside. Popping, cigar and oval floats all have their place, and an added “clicking” sound adds value, especially when fishing a soft plastic shrimp under the float. There are plenty of commercially available floats, but I want to share a simple and effective way to achieve the same end result… and one that will rarely foul or tangle. Whether the beads are external or internal, the clicking sound is perfectly married with the splashing sound that drives fish bananas.
To make the simple external-bead-style clicking float, view the video below. Allow 1/16- to 1/8-inch clearance (total, not both ends) between the beads and ends of the pegs to allow the beads to tap the plastic pegs.
Follow the instructions below to make the internal-bead-style clicking float.
Materials: 80-pound fluorocarbon; small plastic beads, like those found in sliding cork kits; small swivels; a commercially available foam slip cork with plastic pegs.
• Thread braided mainline through the plastic peg and one of the small beads.
• Feed the mainline through to the other side of the slip cork and then tie it to one side of the swivel.
• For the other side, thread a fluorocarbon leader through the other peg, thread on a small bead and tie it to the other end of the swivel.
• Press one peg securely into the slip cork, and then pull the bead and swivel into the float’s interior channel.
• Press the second peg into the cork, and your slip cork is now a clicking float. The tiny beads slide back and forth on the line to tap the plastic pegs inside the float.
• Tie a 3/8-ounce jig head and a soft plastic shrimp onto the leader, and… just add water.
There are a number of opinions on how deep to fish below the cork. I like between 18 and 24 inches of fluorocarbon, depending on water depth.
This same tackle works extremely well in freshwater for striped and hybrid bass in moving water. Just use a fluke-style soft plastic instead of a shrimp. The largest largemouth bass I caught this year was under cigar float with an internal clicker. I was fishing a Super Fluke for striped bass. Smallmouth bass in rocky rivers are complete idiots over this same rig.
Wherever you are, and whatever you’re fishing for, a float rig is something you should keep tied and ready on the deck.
by Tim Barefoot