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Updated: 03/14/2014 08:06:13AM

Just bobbing along

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Photo illustration by Josh Olive

Floats can be very effective tools to help you catch fish, and should be a part of every angler's arsenal.

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Let’s get one big misconception cleared up right now: A float has more uses than simply telling you when your bait gets eaten. It’s true that watching a bobber disappear beneath the water is a great way for kids to know when they have a fish. But that’s not the only use for these indispensable bits of tackle — they keep your bait out of the grass and oysters on the flats, let you put a bait right in front of fish that are suspended in the water column, help you cast farther, allow you to use wind or current to send a bait much farther than you could ever cast it, and can even help attract fish to your bait.

The simplest float is just a chunk of cork with a slit cut in it. This works, at least sort of, but the cork tends to fall off when you get a bite. Sometimes, that can be advantageous. Most floats today are made of plastic or foam, although there are still wooden models on the market.

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