The floodgate (as it pertains to RS forks) controls how much force is required to compress the fork when locked out. They call it blow-off threshold or something like that. If you turn it toward the + direction, and you've locked the fork out, it limits movement of the fork and it takes a bigger hit to compress it.
Leave it open (-) and then turn the compression fully on (lock the fork out), what happens? Probably not much difference right?
Now turn the floodgate knob to the fully on (+) position and then lock the fork out. Notice the difference? The fork should feel locked out.
Now turn the floodgate a few turns or so towards the + and then lock the fork out - you will notice that with enough force it will move even though it's locked out.
Now from what I understand the point of having floodgate is that it acts like a bit of a threshold. You can tune how locked out you want the fork to be and how much force it requires to work again. So if you want the fork not to bob while you're pedalling out of the saddle up a hill for example, you might have a few turns of floodgate towards the plus and the compression on. Then when you go back down that hill the fork is firm with smaller bumps but works on the bigger ones. Or if you have to ride along the raod to get to the trails you might have floodgate and compression fully on so that the fork is virtually locked out and firm for the road ride.
Well that's my understanding anyway from when I had the pike, but I didn't use that feature a great deal.
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