IGFA (International Game Fishing Association) Rules Explained

Removing A Float Or Obstacle From The Line


Removing a float or obstacle from the line

I’m fishing with a float attached to my main line with a break-away connection. Usually this releases, but occasionally it get tangles or the fish does not break it free. In these situations, the float will need to be removed during the fight so that I can bring the hooked fish all the way to the boat. Can a crew member remove the float or cut it free for me?


One of the IGFA’s most fundamental rules is that from the time a fish is hooked until it is landed, no-one other than the angler may touch the rod, reel or line. If there is an obstacle preventing the line from passing through the guides (in your case, a float), then the obstacle itself may be held and cut free, as long as the line is not touched by anyone other than the angler. Conceivably, this could be done if the float was attached to the line with a rubber band or piece of rigging floss that allowed the crew member to only hold the float and then cut the connection to the angler’s line. 

IGFA Rule Book: Rules Explained:

Removing A Float Or Obstacle From The Line

Answer supplied by: Jason Schratwieser
Position: IGFA World Records Coordinator

This question ran in ISSUE 89 of BlueWater magazine: JAN / FEB 2012

For the complete feature, including all photos and information captions, you can purchase back-issues here

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