Although I am anything but a tackle tart with most fishing tackle, when it comes to floats I know what I like and there are a handful of patterns that really get my juices flowing. One in particular is the Preston Chianti. I can’t explain why I love it so much any better than to just say it works.
It has an almost limitless number of applications; from fishing hemp on a river, to squats on a canal, to casters on a drain, or even maggots on a commercial for roach. It is by far the best pattern that I have ever used for fishing through the water because it allows you to read the fall of your bait, from the moment that your float settles to when your bait is settled on the bottom.
It is equally at home fishing bulked-down rigs for fish like F1s and skimmers, whether that be on the bottom in lakes up to eight feet deep, or up to islands and down the edge fishing on the shelf. Unless I am trying to catch on the drop (on hempseed for example), I don’t tend to use the bait in deep water because I prefer a wire-stemmed, round-bodied pattern for this kind of work. Nevertheless, for 90 per cent of other applications, I will have a Chianti set up in some form or guise.
This float pattern has just one weakness and that’s its durability. It simply doesn’t have the strength to stand up to the rigours of catching big carp on heavy elastics and thick lines. Then again, this isn’t what it is made for. This is a classic case of an idiotic angler (me in this case) trying to make a float do a job that it isn’t designed to do.
I got my old mate Mick Wilkinson on the case and he soon came up with a solution – the MW F1 Carbon. This is what I would describe as a beefed-up Chianti. It features a foam body, thin plastic tip and, of course, a carbon stem.
When bigger fish are the target, these are now my number-one choice. I have landed fish up to 15lb on them, on main lines as high as 0.17mm Reflo Power, and elastics as beefy as black Hydro, and I have yet to have one break on me.
Although they work well with any bait, when fishing with casters, pellets or small bits of meat on the drop for F1s, they really come into their own. Like a Chianti, they allow you to read how your bait is falling through the water and register bites on the drop brilliantly.
It is very well documented how clever a lot of the bigger residents of our commercial fisheries are becoming. These floats are a lot more sensitive than your average commercial pattern, which means seeing more bites and more fish ending up in the net.
Tech Spec: Preston Chianti
Sizes available: 3x8 to 4x16
Tech Spec: MW F1 Carbons
Sizes available: 4x10 to 4x16