There are two primary types of floats. The first is a fixed float. A fixed bobber is attached to your line by a spring or clip and can be adjusted by releasing the clip or spring and sliding the float to the appropriate depth.
Fixed bobbers shine and preform best in shallow water. I will often employ this type of fixed bobber in the early spring, because those panfish are in the shallows searching for warmer water and for their spawning areas. I’ve fished a fixed bobber in less than two feet of water with great success.
I would say the cut off depth wise for a fixed float is about seven feet or so. Once you get deeper than that it gets hard to cast.
After the spawn once the panfish move deeper, that is when I will switch over to a slip float. When fishing deep weed lines or fishing suspended fish the slip bobber is going to be the best option.
Setting up a slip bobber is fairly simple. First you put on the bobber stop. Then slide on a bead, followed by the bobber itself. Then I like to put a split shot about twelve inches above my hook and then I will tie on a small hook or small jig.
The nice thing about the slip float is how deep you can fish it. If I’m fishing a deep weed line in fourteen feet of water I can adjust the bobber to that depth. If it is later in the year and I find a school of suspended panfish in twenty five feet of water I can adjust the float for that depth.
A slip bobber really also you to float fish effectively in deep water.
Whether you decided to fish a fixed or a slip float, make sure to use depth as the major consideration as to which float you should be using.