Hi Kingfishi.... Soundz like you have a Great weekend planned.... All the Best mate. When it comes to using floats fishing off the rocks... I have had a lot of success..... one trip down to Tairua I was constantly getting snagged and loosing gear stray-lining.... so had a look around the rocks to see what I could use as a float..... found the top of an old polystyrene chilly bin, cut a piece off almost the size of a beer can, attached it to my surfcaster rig (set it about two meters above the bouncing bait) and wholla!!! Straight into them..... it was a very cool, practicle, cost effective, efficient thing to do as I came home that day with 12 Kawhai, 2 nice snapper.... and no bait... after fishing for about 1 1/2 hours. The thing with using that float is that I could tell as soon as something took a bite as the float would bob under the water and I was always in controll of where I was fishing......
I generally use a float when surfcasting over rough ground as it prevents you from getting snagged, and the bait drifts over a wide area... meaning that you cover more ground. You can set the float with the lenght trace that you want and therefore fish any depth you desire (within reason). Effective for Kawhai, snapper and Kingies...... or atleast that is what I have found. Generally anything can be used as a float from a piece of driftwood, poly styrene, any old little plastic container... the Berroca bottles which I keep my round sinkers in are also an ideal float.....
You can make smaller floats from quills (plenty of seagull feathers lying around) and wine bottle corks. Strip the feathers from the quill and give it a coat or two of varnish. Cut your corks to size (makes your eyes water, eh) and drill a hole down the length. You can streamline the cork with a craft knife and a bit of sandpaper if you want to cut down the resistance.
A good float for small livies can be a length of flax stalk. pull your line into one end of the flax, and then into the other end. When the line goes taught, the flax should pull out.
I always use baloons for live-bait, but you are welcome to use the above advice.....
yeah i like where your coming from to nzkingfisher be great for Squid and jack macs but i think any big livie would pull it down, but if used to keep your bait suspended above the weeds then it would be fine only thing would be can it handle being cast and not fly off......
My problem with casting floats is the stopper knot. The knot catches on the tip guide. I've put a bigger hard chrome tip guide on, and it helps a bit. The situation is: you're casting + you want your bait to sit a few metres deep, a fixed float cannot be used. So you use a float that slides up the line until it hits a stopper knot or small section of soft tubing that the line has been looped through. I like the tubing becos it's nice + easy, but with heavy baits it is not strong enough and slips up the line. Any suggestions?
One bad thing is the number of live bait (?) balloons washing up on the coast.
I have found putting a small bead above the float helps overcome this problem. You can usually get a bead with an eye small enough that it will slide on the line but not over the stopper knot. You do need to check it after a retrieve because a solid bite will often jam the bead against the knot. If you are in Auckland, try Spotlight stores or the $2 shops for cheap beads.
Here you go guys have a look at some of the stuff in here, you might even buy some of it to try, but most of all this guy is a thinker like you........
i have tried having a very small sliding hook, keeper hook style, and using one that has an eye size just big enough to slide on the line. it will stop at any knot or bit of shrink tubing you put on. the thing i like about this is you always have a few different sizes of hook in the tackle box and can find one to fit the diameter of line you need. then i hook the rim of the balloon onto the sliding hook. it usually breaks off when you get a bite and i am too feeble fingered to mess around tying cotton.
another guy i watched fished for kingies off the rocks put a dozen or so kernels of corn inside his balloon. i asked what for and he said the noise attracts the fish. i looked skeptical so he rolled the balloon side to side for me and it is quite loud. never tried it though. might do.