Stick floats are only used on flowing waters generally at short range. The stick float is suitable for all but the fastest flowing waters. The diagram shows the usual set up. More of the shot can be positioned closer to the hook if you are fishing slightly faster water. To prevent tangles at the cast it is a good idea to use your fingers to check the line and slow it to a gradual stop as it peels off the reel just before it hits the water (not as easy as it sounds).
This should cause the rig to string out in a straight line. As a stick float is attached both top and bottom by float rubbers it is possible to slow or even stop the float all together by holding back on the reel line. This gives a greater control over the bait than is achieved by fishing with a waggler it also keeps the line between the rod and the float tight making the bite easier to strike into. Do not allow the line to bow as this will cause you to hit less bites and there fore not catch as many fish.