A rod and reel aren’t as useful if you don’t have the proper line for float fishing. While standard monofilament can be used for float fishing, line designed specifically for the application performs much better. Most anglers usually select a line that floats and has a high visibility.
Due to the large spool capacity of centerpin reels, standard fly line backing is used as filler before the main line is spooled. Most standard sized centerpin reels will hold 100-150 yards of 20-pound Dacron fly line backing as well as 300 yards of 8-10 pound monofilament. It is best to fill the spool to approximately 1/4″ from the rim of the spool. Less line and the reel will be more difficult to cast. More line can cause tangles. Mainline testing at least two pounds heavier than the average leader size is recommended. This allows the leader to break first, saving the float, swivel and split shot. This also decreases the amount of line and leader left in the water, which is better for the environment of our favorite aquatic species.
Leaders for float fishing are usually the same as tippet material used by fly fisherman. Many anglers prefer fluorocarbon leaders such as Seaguar Grand Max or RIO Fluoroflex. These leaders have a similar refractive index to water making them nearly invisible when submerged. When the water is stained or fast, an abrasion resistant mono leader such as Maxima or RIO PowerFlex provides an inexpensive alternative.