The antenna float with a bulbous body and a long narrow stem will be ideal for most Stillwater applications. Pass the line through the small ring in beginner who is going to use maggots as bait choose a size 16 hook which you should have already tied to a length of nylon cast and attach this to the reel line. Stick the hook point into the end of the cork handle in front of the reel and turn the reel handle to gently tighten the line. Prop the rod against a rod rest or tackle box and slide the float along the line until it is level with the rod ring marking the depth of your swim. Take a couple of large split shot and nip one either side of the float ring leaving a slight gap between them so that the float is not held too tightly. The size of the split shot depends on the amount of weight your float will carry. Ideally the bulk of the shot should be directly beneath the float.
Before placing the rest of the shot on the line quietly move the tackle to the edge of the chosen swim. Try and arrange your seat and all your tackle so that you can reach everything without having to stand up. Unless you have chosen a very inaccessible bank you should be able to play, land, unhook and place your fish in the keepnet without having to walk about. Position your rod at your side on two rod rests so that the handle is within easy grasping distance. The front rest should be lower than the back one so that the rod is tilted towards the water and the rod tip is submerged.
Complete the shotting of your float, keeping the shot in groups and reducing the size of the shot towards the hook. Place a small ‘tell-tale’ shot about 4 cm away from the hook (the reason for this will be clear a little later). If you have set the depth of your float correctly this shot should be resting on the lake bed with all the other shot well up the line. In windy weather when the surface of the lake becomes ruffled with small waves, the float can be undershotted so that more of the antenna will be showing above the surface. In really choppy conditions or when fishing at long range use a windbeater float which is a large antenna with an enlarged brightly coloured bob built into the tip for easy visibility. The length of antenna float you use depends a great deal on the effect of the weather on the lake surface. Wind blowing along an exposed area of the lake can cause the surface layer of water on a nearby, sheltered area of the lake to drift. This surface drift is frequently in the opposite direction to the wind. The idea of using a long antenna float which has all its buoyancy built into the bottom of the float is to sink your line below this surface movement. As a general rule the windier the weather then the longer the antenna float you should use. In calm conditions a shorter antenna float can be used and shotted clown so that just the tip is visible above the surface.
The colour of the float tip can also be important. Choose a colour which is clearly visible against the reflected light on the water surface. On dark, cloudy days a bright orange or yellow float tip will show up best, and on clear calm days a float with a black or dark tip may be more visible.