Pole float making, finishing

Andy1989

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
6
I have decided to have a crack at making my own pole floats. Happy with assembling the floats, but I'm struggling to find a good method to finish/paint them.

My latest test uses three coats of non shrinking celulose dope, but the foam float body is still very soft, and I can really easily dig my finger nail into it. I was planning on adding varnish to but I'm surprised how soft the dope is, so not sure if I have done something wrong.

How long does dope take to dry and harder? Should it be harder than what it is now?
 

Andy1989

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
6
The bodies are from finess floats, which I have read are on the soft side. Wish I knew this before buying a bunch of them.

I also have some green H160 bodies from the-float-company which are noticeably harder. Not tried making anything these yet tho.

Nice to know you would expect them to be harder tho.
 

Peter

'Mugger'
Staff member
Site Supporter
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
21,506
I have decided to have a crack at making my own pole floats. Happy with assembling the floats, but I'm struggling to find a good method to finish/paint them.

My latest test uses three coats of non shrinking celulose dope, but the foam float body is still very soft, and I can really easily dig my finger nail into it. I was planning on adding varnish to but I'm surprised how soft the dope is, so not sure if I have done something wrong.

How long does dope take to dry and harder? Should it be harder than what it is now?

Andy, there's a thread HERE (50 odd pages) that might be worth you're while taking a look at. ;)
 

carphauler

Barbel Tickler
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
5,344
I used to paint with 3 coats of water based acrylic then 2 coats floor varnish, they were pretty hard but not indestructible.
 

acart8426

Regular member
Joined
Dec 23, 2005
Messages
149
Ronseal diamond hard floor varnish - 2 coats or G8 which is expensive . The longer you leave between coats the better and the varnish will be much harder . You can dip the float in G8 without thinning , put the tip on after if using hollow tips .
 

parkes

Regular member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
203
I dip mine twice in watered down acrylic paint then dip once in Ronseal varnish.
Yes, they seem to be on the softer side than say a shop bought float, but in everyday use (regular matchman) I have yet to destroy one. If a float was to suffer some damage to varnish coat or even body, it wouldn't really matter as you can literally build a float then coat with nothing and just fish it! The beauty of Rohacell foam.
Incidentally, when I have in the past used 2 coats of varnish and dried for a couple of weeks it went hard as nails more like a shop purchased glossy float.
 

Capt Birdseye

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
1,211
Keep at Andy. I started making pole floats during Lockdown 1 and now my workshop ( spare room) looks like a spring garden with a multitude of floats at various stages of assembly. I’ve sold some on to some friends and fellow anglers for a non-profit price but helps cover the cost of materials which mostly have to be bought in bulk quantities.
 

Andy1989

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
6
Thanks for the advice. I have tested the same finish (3 coats of dope + 3 coats of water based ronseal varnish) on the h160 foam bodies, and they feel so much better, even with a weeks less drying time. Just going to stick with these for now.

What's the general consensus on when you install eyes? Before or after painting?
I think before would result in a stronger eye as the dope and varnish will help hold it together, but on my tests it just got full of varnish and now looks a bit of a mess after digging it out. I'm using the new dura eyes by the way, the ones where the tip goes through the eye.
 
Top