I consider myself a pretty good float fisherman and was looking forward to the opportunity to field test the new Stealth Floats. When I opened the package I thought there must have been a mistake, these didn’t look like steelhead floats, but rather salmon floats.
Now I know the website advertises the float in two sizes, 23 and 28 grams, but not being from Canada and a few years, OK several years removed from school, I didn’t know how that computed into ounces. I’m used to a 3/8 oz float and these were quite a bit bigger.
So I called up Steve Kaye to ask a little more about these floats. The phone conversation as it turned out just pointed out how much more I really need to broaden my horizons and look to our friendly neighbors to the North when it comes to advice on fishing different waters for steelhead.
These floats were designed with the Canadian waters in mind, particularly the Vedder and Stamp Rivers. Although not large rivers, the flows are big and the holes quite deep compared to those of the Pacific Northwest and much greater than those back in the Great Lakes areas. That being the case, Steve just asked me how the heck I was going to get my presentation down into the hole, if at all. With the strong currents they fish in, and the most import thing is to be able to get your presentation down in front of the fishes face, “how the heck you going to do that with your light little setups?” Steve asked.
This is where the idea behind the Stealth Floats originated. They’re extremely light, extremely tough, and extremely sensitive. With all this in mind, they also take much more weight to get the float to the perfect floating point, which is marked on each float. Matching the perfect weight and balance the floats track true and sink below the surface at the lightest touch.
So off to the river to see how these compare to my “normal” floats.
Rigging instructions are very simple and available on-line. Basically put your main line through some surgical tubing on the top, plastic tubing on the bottom and the float in between. This also allows for quick changes between the two sizes of floats.
First of all, I very much underestimated how much pencil lead to use. I was using the 23g model and had about an inch of 3/16″ pencil lead. I ended up using about 1 ½” of ¼ inch pencil lead to make the float ride at the indicator level. This actually had it’s advantages. First of all, making long casts are a breeze and mostly a “lob” would get the float to it’s targeted area. Second and most importantly, the presentation got down quick and the float settled almost instantly. Great for fishing pocket water where you might only have a foot or two of fishable water.
I also noticed the float had terrific tracking ability and flowed very natural down the river. While mending the line the float hardly moved as the weight kept it steady. Upon retrieval was another design feature that stood out as a plus. The shape of the top of the float allows the water to flow around the float with very little resistance.
When my float went down the first time, it was actually either a rock or a stick, but it went down quick and I attempted to set the hook. Although nearly invisible in the water, when it comes flying back at you it’s not hard to miss. I ducked and it hit the rocks behind me. Hmmm… these things are tough. Being plastic I was wondering if it would shatter. Nope, just a little nick but nothing that would hinder the performance.
My fishing partner uses a Center Pin setup so I set him up with the new Stealth Float. Loved it! Casting became much easier than his previous setup and watching him hook up with a nice steelhead with the Center Pin rod/reel combo was a thing of beauty.
Although these floats were designed with the Canadian waters in mind, don’t hesitate to use them in the waters of Washington and Oregon. Getting that presentation down quick has obvious benefits and the natural flow these floats provide is outstanding. And when salmon season is back upon us just think how great they’ll be then!
We’ve already learned how effective the Pink Worm can be from our friends up north, more and more people are using Center Pins south of the border, this is just another great product that’s about to get introduced into the States and make a splash.
Although not available yet in the United States, email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org