One of the most common issues with regards to line performance when float fishing is dealing with line twist. Line twist can be caused a few different ways, depending on your situation.
Line twist does not come from a line manufacturer or from the fishing line itself. All fishing line from every line company is mechanically wound under tension in a uniform direction as it is fed from bulk hanks or skeins of line.
Line twist occurs either during the end user spooling process onto the fishing reel, or by the end user while actually fishing, and in many cases because of the float.
No fishing line on the planet can escape end user caused line twist, it is what it is. So, let's cover the basics.
Your line must be spooled onto your fishing reel the correct way. If you are a baitcaster, the line must come off the top of the fishing line spool and onto the top of the baitcaster reel.
If you are spooling a spinning reel, the line must come off the spool and onto the spinning reel in the same direction. So, if your spinning reel bale rotates clockwise when you turn the handle, the line must come off the spool also in a clockwise direction. Pay attention to the line direction coming off the spool if you are laying it on the floor. Line direction means as if the spool were pegged with a screwdriver and actually rotating freely either clockwise or counter clockwise.
If you are spooling a centerpin reel, the line must come off the bottom of the spool and onto the bottom of the centerpin reel.
The second most common issue causing line twist, with centerpin reels, is side casting. If you side cast, line twist will occur eventually. Regardless of whether you put swivels into your setup, line twist will still occur. No swivel or amount of swivels will release all of the line twist entirely, as it is created from sidecasting. The only true method to untwist line from side casting, is to float all of your line out on the water, and bring it back onto the reel while pinching between your first finger and thumb. This pinch will push your twist back out to your swivels to allow them to release the twist. Expect line twist to happen with any variation of side casting (less with spinning side casting), it is just the way it is. 99% of all centerpin float fishermen these days seem to be either side casting or using the spinning side cast. Both are easy to master, and can produce some of the farthest casting distances of any centerpin cast. We use both ourselves almost exclusively when we need 30+ feet casting distance. Just be aware that even after pushing out some line twist periodically as described above, at some point you are going to have to strip and re-spool. Factor this as one of the best practices throughout your float fishing season and expect to do it several times.
The third most common issue causing line twist while float fishing is by not using a swivel in your setup. You must use a good quality swivel such as Blood Run Power Swivels between your mainline and leader. If not, the twist caused from your fixed float spinning through the air over time will not be released. The quality swivel is critical. Even quality swivels can get locked up by water intrusion and freezing. If your line guides on your rods are freezing up, your swivels are too if left out of the water for a period of time in sub freezing temps. Thaw them out and keep checking them for complete rotation.
The fourth most common issue causing line twist is using butterfly shot. Butterfly shots that have "wings" on them which allow you to pinch them to open the shot and slide or remove from your line. Those butterfly wings twist the line immensely during your float, and again, even with a quality ball bearing swivel can and will produce line twist going back up and through the float.
The most overlooked and rarely noticed factor in contributing to line twist is from the float itself, or float tubing positioning. Custom made floats are irregular, both in shape, size and finish. While custom floats may look perfectly symmetrical to the naked eye, in most cases they are not. Non symmetrical and offset floats due to either poor lathing, or too much buildup of paint/clearcoat will cause the float to rotate or spin. This rotation causes line twist over and over again as the irregular float is continued to be used. The only way custom floats should be fished is with a micro swivel both above and below the float, to help alleviate the effects of this rotation.
On machine production floats, such as Blood Run Tackle Balsa Floats, the material is perfectly symmetrical with light finishing, which creates a zero rotation scenario while fishing. Proper float tube placement and size is also critical in keeping the float from rotating during this process. Using both larger pieces of tubing on the bottom and top stems, slightly exceeding the tips of both stems, will greatly minimize float and shot rotation. By using too small a section of float tubing and not exceeding the tips, the mainline will hang on the exposed tips of the stem and begin to cause the float to rotate.
Extending the clear tubing past the bottom stem of a fixed float is always good practice, as it protects this smaller stem piece from being shattered when packing shot patterns up close to the bottom of the float.