How to use a bombarda float

Learning how to use a bombarda float will mean you can fish flies or ultra light lures using your standard spinning gear.

How to use a bombarda float
Picture copyright © Fly&Lure
How to use a bombarda float
Picture copyright © Fly&Lure
How to use a bombarda float
Estimated reading time 4 - 6 minutes

What is a bombarda float?

A bombarda is a weighted "float" used for casting small flies or lures using a spinning rod. The bombarda float itself consists of a bulbous weighted end and a hollow plastic tube, through which the main line is threaded.

A swivel is tied to the main line below the bombarda float and a long length of nylon (at least four to six feet) is attached beneath, to which a fly or ultra light lure is tied.

The bombarda gives you extra weight and allows you to cast tiny lures a considerable distance, even on rods rated for much heavier lures.

Unweighted lures, such as flies, have completely different actions to weighted things like jigs, but can't be cast on a spinning rod as they're too light. A bombarda float lets you cast them out with ease. Basically, it's fly fishing with spinning gear. 

Are bombarda floats a new thing?

Nope, bombardas been around for decades. They were originally developed for fishing for brown trout and sea trout in Scandinavia, but are starting to catch on in the UK now. They're brilliant for sea trout fishing and for any saltwater predators normally targeted with the fly, including mackerel, pollock and bass.

What size leader should I use?

A long leader is preferable because it keeps your bombarda away from the fly (or flies). However, it's harder to fish a longer leader on a short spinning rod. The Scandinavians favour longer spinning rods as a result, with 10-12' being a good size.

A four to six foot leader is probably the shortest you should consider, but the longer the better. About 10' is ideal and gets you into the typical territory of most fly fishing leader lengths, but you'll really need a longer rod to land fish with a leader that long.

How many flies can you fish with a bombarda?

Most people fish a single fly, but you can fish two or three if you want. You can attach the other flies to your leader using a dropper knot such as the triple surgeon's knot or you can use tippet rings for a stronger connection.

Can you fish weighted flies or lures?

You can but you'll find that you experience a hinging effect when you have two weighted things. An unweighted, or lightly weighted fly is a better option. It's the bombarda which is supposed to act as the weight and the means of getting to the target depth, not the fly or lure.

Any fly pattern can be used with a bombarda set up.

Do all bombardas float?

No, the name bombarda float is a tad misleading. They actually come in three densities: floating, sinking and neutral density.

As the name suggests, the sinking one sinks, the neutral density one is a bit like an intermediate fly line and the floating one floats on the surface. The different bombarda float densities allow you to retrieve your fly or lure at the depth you want.

How do you fish a floating bombarda?

The floating bombarda floats don't cock like a regular coarse fishing float and they're translucent so you can't really see them very well for bite indication. They're really all just used for getting your fly or lure out to the fish and they will cast for miles.

Do they come in different sizes?

Yes, they come in all kinds of sizes. The little 10g ones are ideal for smaller, lighter spinning rods, but you can also buy big ones rated at 40g. These let you cast tiny flies for miles on larger, more powerful spinning rods.

How do you fish a sinking or intermediate bombarda float?

Fishing a sinking bombarda float or an intermediate couldn't be easier - just cast it out as far as you can, let it sink to your preferred depth using the countdown method and then retrieve as quickly or slowly as you like.

It's just like fishing flies with a fly rod, except that the bombarda performs the role of the fly line and you don't need the fancy gear.

Bombarda fishing is a brilliant way to fish for sea trout and for popular sea fish such as mackerel, pollock and bass. On a light spinning rod it's spectacular sport and great fun too.

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matt

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