Creating floats for Fishsim II
J.C.Spooner 2002

Float ( or bobber ) fishing is extremely common, and a lot of people believe there is no better sight when fishing to see the float start to twitch and bob on the surface of the water. The mechanics of float fishing are difficult to re-create on a computer screen, and Fishsim II gets quite close to the real thing.

Version one, had a basic float fishing model, where the amount of shot to cock a float was placed on the line for the angler, and could not be adjusted. On top of this, there was only one style of float, the "eyed" float. Fishsim II enables up to four different types of floats to created, which are all classified by the way they connect to the line.

- Standard float with a bottom eye
- Float with no eye which can be connected to the line with float rubbers
- Controller float, which in FS2 has a top eye, and a rubber is used to connect the line to the bottom
- Slider float, which in FS2, has an eye at the top and an eye at the bottom.

The creator / designer of the float decides on this connection type, which the angler has to use. In real life fishing, it is possible to connect a standard bottom eyed float with float rubbers, unfortunately in Fishsim II, this isn't possible, floats have to be used the way the creator intended them.


Eyed floats are connected to the line by placing two shot on the line each side of the bottom eye on the float. Further shot can be placed on the "hook" side to weight the float, but any shot placed on the rod side are ignored by FS2.


Rubber connected floats are held in position on the line by float rubbers, with the weight to cock them being placed on the hook side. Any weight placed on the rod side in FS2 is ignored.


Controller floats in FS2, have a single eye at the top of the float. Weight can be placed on the hook side. In FS2, they are normally self-cocking, with no weight required. Shot or cork can be placed on the hook side, but this is not usually the case. The controller float isn't normally used as a bite detector, but a way of of fishing floating baits at distance.


Slider style floats in FS2, have an eye at both the top and bottom of the float. They are normally self-cocking, with a "stop knot" tied into the line to catch the top eye as the bait sinks to deep depths.

Within these four categories, there are a number of other factors which affect the behaviour in Fishsim II.

Tools and knowledge required
The following briefly describes what you will need to create a fish species in Fishsim II

- A knowledge of files and folders in Microsoft Windows operating systems.
- A copy of Fishing Simulator II.
- A simple text editor, Microsoft Notepad, that comes with Windows is ideal.
- A paint editing package, capable of resizing and editing JPG and PCX images - Paint Shop Pro is a good choice

Storage of float files
The TACKLE folder in the Fishsim II float contains a folder called FLOATS. Inside this folder, there will be various files with a .tkl extension. Each of these files contains details on a single float that will appear in the float box, on the tackle screen in Fishsim II.

The .tkl files are stored in text file format, and can be edited and created with a simple text editor such as Windows Notepad. When Fishing Simulator II loads, it inspects all the files in this folder with a .tkl extension, to decide how many and what floats are installed.

Format of float files
The float .tkl files are stored in the same way as other Fishsim II tackle files, with sections, variables, and values that define the behaviour of each float.

There are two sections in the float .tkl files ; [HEADER] and [FLOAT].

The HEADER section has four variables, Name, Ref, Desc, and Type.

The Name variable, specifies the name of the float that appears on the tackle screen. It can be as long as you like, and contain spaces, however, it is better to keep float names short, as long names will overwrite parts of the display on the tackle screen.

The Ref variable, must be set to a unique reference name for the float and can contain upto 12 characters, with no spaces.

The Desc variable contains the relative path and file name of an .fsb help file associated with the float. One doesn't have to be included, and if not, set this variable to [None].

The Type variable must be set to 7, if not the float will not be recognised in the tackle screen. The reason it is included, is to prevent the .tkl file being recognised as another piece of tackle if it is incorrectly placed in the wrong folder.

The FLOAT section contains variables and values which define the specific usage and behaviour of the float.

The Graphic variable value should contain the relative path and filename of the PCX image file of the small float that appears on the line in the tackle screen. This should be a 256 colour PCX with colour palette index 0 being used as the transparent background colour that is not displayed. The image width in pixels should be divisible by 2, for example, 2, 4, 6 pixels wide etc.. An image with a pixel width which isn't divisible by two will not display correctly on the tackle screen.

If an eyed float is being created, the float image should be created to be displayed vertically, with the tip of the float at the bottom.

Rubber connected floats, should be created with an horizontal image of the float, with the tip of the float towards the right side of the image.

Controller float images, like rubber connected float images, should be horizontal, but with the tip of the float on the left hand side.

Slider float images, again should be created to display horizontally, with the tip of the float on the right of the image.

There is no exact size for float graphic images, but an apropriate size should be used for the display on the tackle screen, in accordance with the length of the float.

The Biggraphic variable should contain a relative path and filename of a JPG or PCX image file that will be displayed in the large box on the tackle screen, when the float is selected by the angler. To fit perfectly in the box, this image should be 200 pixels wide by 100 pixels high. Smaller images can be used, but larger images may disrupt the display. JPG images are preferred, because of thier small file size and image quality.

The PX and PY value are used to position the Graphic image of the float exactly on the line. If the graphic image does not appear in the right place these values will need to be changed, and represent pixel additions or subtractions in both the X ( horizontal ) and Y ( vertical ) directions. A negative value for PX will move the float left on the display, a positive value will move the float right. A negative PY value moves the float image up, with a positive PY value moving the float down, by however many pixels are specified.

The Topeye and Boteye indicate how many "eyes" for the line to pass through the float has, as well as there position on the float. Fishsim II doesn't know of the float types listed in the introduction, and uses these values to determine the exact usage of the float. The table below can be used to find the settings of the type of float you are creating.

Type of float Topeye Boteye
Eyed 0 1
Rubber Connected 0 0
Controller 1 0
Slider 1 1

The Right and Left variables specify the closest distance away ( on both left and right sides ) that shot or other objects can be placed on the line. The values are specified in inches, and all tackle on the tackle screen is placed within, 1/4" ( 0.25" ) deviations.

The SX and SY values are size values in pixels of the float. Ideally, these will be the same as the image dimensions specified in the Graphic variable. They are used to indicate the "bounded box" area around the float on the line, so when the mouse cursor passes into this box, the float can be moved or selected by the angler. By increasing these values, it will make it slightly easier for the angler to adjust the tackle on the line, but if increase too much, it may interfere with other tackle on the line, by selecting the float when the cursor is positioned over a close by shot.

The Recweight can be set to anything you like, it's included to specify the recommended weight for the float in a text string. This value can contain spaces, and is displayed on the tackle screen float selector box. It should be kept small, because of the width on the tackle screen. This is only used for display purposes to aid the user setting up the float.

The variables so far have all dealt with the way the float is displayed on the tackle screen, not while fishing on a peg. The remaining variables deal with the fishing behaviour of the float.

The Width variable value indicates how wide the float should appear in pixels. It's important to note, that this is specified in pixels not inches, because the width of the float is not affected by distance, in order to retain some visibility when fishing a long way. Thin floats should be set to 1, while fat floats should be set to a higher value ( 2, 3, 4, or 5 ).

The Length variable is the length of the float in inches. This is not the ideal visible length, but the total length of the float. This value is affected by distance, and the float will appear to be smaller when fishing long distances.

The Tiplen value, specifies the length of the float tip in inches. It should be less than the length variable above, for obvious reasons.

The Cocklen and Cockweight variables are currently not used.

The Inchpergr variable stands for "Inches per gram", and is used to specify how many inches the float will sink with 1 gram of weight or force is applied. A high value results in a only a few small shot being added, to sink the float, with a low value meaning, a lot of heavy shot will need to be added to sink the float. This is not a measure of float bouyancy.

The Weight variable can be used to set a weight to a float without it affecting the float height in the water. Self-weighted ( cocking ) floats have weight in-built in to the float. Slider and controller floats should have a weight value in order to enable them to be casted further.

The TC, MC, and BC values are used to set the colour of the various parts of the float when fishing.

BC = Bottom colour ( main body of the float )
MC = Middle colour ( area between main body and tip of the float )
TC = Tip colour ( Top tip colour of the float )

These values specify colour three colour mix portions ( Red, Green and Blue ). Each colour can be mixed by adding different quantities of these three primary colours ( 0 -> 255 ). Zero is no colour, 255 lots of colour. For example a deep red could be created with the following :

R080 G000 B000 : 80 red portions, 0 green and no blue to make the colour.

The format of the colour strings has to be exact with each containing Rxxx Gxxx Bxxx , where x is a three digit number, and there is one space between the colour components. Black and white can be specified by using the colour strings below.

Black R000 G000 B000
White R255 G255 B255

This page describes how new floats can be created or how the current ones can be edited. The current floats, as with all the tackle with FS2 so far have not been set up properley. They've just been given values for testing purposes. There are still a lot of float factors and variables to go in yet to exactly define the behaviour of floats and this page will be added to over time.

(c) J.C.Spooner