The Floatmakers Thread

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
Is the purpose of whipping up the stems of floats an aesthetic thing, a strengthening thing or something else? (I've been watching too many YouTube videos).
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
13,809
Depends on the eye used. I used to use the metal ones that needed whipping on, but to give the float a more decorative and pleasing on the eye effect, I carried the whipping a little further up. Having said that, if the whipping is varnished after, it does add a bit of strength.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
Depends on the eye used. I used to use the metal ones that needed whipping on, but to give the float a more decorative and pleasing on the eye effect, I carried the whipping a little further up. Having said that, if the whipping is varnished after, it does add a bit of strength.
Thanks.. The one video I saw, it was an crow quill Avon float, with a whipped eye, and the whipping (it was spaced if that makes sense) continued up to include part of the body.
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
13,809
Thanks.. The one video I saw, it was an crow quill Avon float, with a whipped eye, and the whipping (it was spaced if that makes sense) continued up to include part of the body.
Probably to make more pleasing on the eye then. But as said, if it's varnished it will give a little added strength, crow quill can at times be easy to get out of shape. I used to do it on bodied peacock quill floats. My dad used to do it with 2 strands of different colour whipping in a criss-crossed pattern up the base of the float to about a third of it's length.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
IMG_5265.jpeg

Killing time while locked up, I made these up for a mate who's into carp commercial fishing. Only the second time I've used reeds, pulled them out of the Warks Avon the day before seasons end. Still experimenting with techniques, learning loads along the way.
 

Bronsin

Active member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
57
What diameter of wire and how big should the pin be that you wrap it around to make the eye?
 

grey

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
4,519
Killing time while locked up, I made these up for a mate who's into carp commercial fishing. Only the second time I've used reeds, pulled them out of the Warks Avon the day before seasons end. Still experimenting with techniques, learning loads along the way.
They'll work!

The reason quills have whipping on them is they're fairly delicate and it helps strengthen them after varnishing and keep the varnish on; it also helps the rubbers grip without having to ram them on - and helps the fingers grip when moving or applying rubbers reducing the need to squeeze the float.

Some will whip with very fine copper wire instead of thread to introduce some weight to balance the float.

Once you've made a few, you'll tend to only put the whipping where it's needed as it is fairly time consuming: so concentrate the whipping on typical handling areas, joints and fragile lengths, or if you're using wire to provide weight/balance, the bottom half!

Yes it looks great, but there's usually a purpose on a well constructed float.
 

grey

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2012
Messages
4,519
What diameter of wire and how big should the pin be that you wrap it around to make the eye?
Depends on the purpose - really it needs to be only wide enough to accept your line: if it's for a slider float it needs to be considerably wider.

For general wagers I use 0.5 or 0.3 wrapped twice around a sewing needle, however, I nearly always now make mine to accept float adapters.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
What diameter of wire and how big should the pin be that you wrap it around to make the eye?
Similar to the comment above.. have you considered not having any eye, and using the silicon push on adaptors? I've bought them from eBay in a pack of 100, maybe not the quality of Drennan, but fit for purpose.

I use bamboo skewers (used for cooking), trimmed the ends with a pencil sharpener, and glued them in with epoxy. I then painted and liberally varnished so they are easy to slide on and off and reasonably resilient.

IMG_5283.jpg

These are a few wagglers and a prototype (work in progress) loaded windbeater made from reed where I've used the skewers. I've made my own wagglers from peacock quill for years and recently started experimenting with reeds and always do this as I prefer the adaptors when fishing. Only used reed once on my last river session of the season, and seems more buoyant than quill.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
They'll work!

The reason quills have whipping on them is they're fairly delicate and it helps strengthen them after varnishing and keep the varnish on; it also helps the rubbers grip without having to ram them on - and helps the fingers grip when moving or applying rubbers reducing the need to squeeze the float.

Some will whip with very fine copper wire instead of thread to introduce some weight to balance the float.

Once you've made a few, you'll tend to only put the whipping where it's needed as it is fairly time consuming: so concentrate the whipping on typical handling areas, joints and fragile lengths, or if you're using wire to provide weight/balance, the bottom half!

Yes it looks great, but there's usually a purpose on a well constructed float.
Thanks, useful pointers.. I've found that reed can be very fragile, although a few layers of varnish makes a difference. I'm now moving on from wagglers and experimenting with bodied floats and loading them with some fly tying lead wire.

Just bought some balsa and thinking about how I could make some sticks. The wheel spoke idea mentioned above is interesting.
 

Bronsin

Active member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
57
Similar to the comment above.. have you considered not having any eye, and using the silicon push on adaptors? I've bought them from eBay in a pack of 100, maybe not the quality of Drennan, but fit for purpose.

I use bamboo skewers (used for cooking), trimmed the ends with a pencil sharpener, and glued them in with epoxy. I then painted and liberally varnished so they are easy to slide on and off and reasonably resilient.

View attachment 29429

These are a few wagglers and a prototype (work in progress) loaded windbeater made from reed where I've used the skewers. I've made my own wagglers from peacock quill for years and recently started experimenting with reeds and always do this as I prefer the adaptors when fishing. Only used reed once on my last river session of the season, and seems more buoyant than quill.
I was planning on using them on the Avon's, but my first float will be mostly a bottom only so I was going to use a ring with a float stop on the top side and a shot under it.
 

Bronsin

Active member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
57
Depends on the purpose - really it needs to be only wide enough to accept your line: if it's for a slider float it needs to be considerably wider.

For general wagers I use 0.5 or 0.3 wrapped twice around a sewing needle, however, I nearly always now make mine to accept float adapters.
Thanks! I just didn't want to use too small of a wire that might cut the line, or too small of an opening and have it bind up or tangle.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
I was planning on using them on the Avon's, but my first float will be mostly a bottom only so I was going to use a ring with a float stop on the top side and a shot under it.
fair enough.. it's always down to personal preference. I never use the eye when I fish an avon float, I just use a piece of silicon like a regular stick float. I've just been repairing a few commercially made floats (touching up paint and so on), there is an (old) avon that I've just removed the eye, chamfered the end and just painted it. The eye actually looked like it was a straight eyed hook (quite heavy gauge and a big barb) which was pressed and glued into the stem.

And while I remember, have you seen the YouTube channel for the handmade fisherman? He has some great videos about making floats, and the tooling around them.
 

Bronsin

Active member
Joined
Mar 14, 2020
Messages
57
Thanks! I just looked it up. Will have to check it out after I get back from work.
 

ukzero1

Growing old disgracefully.
Site Supporter
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
13,809
Many years ago, I used to chop a small safety pin in half, the bottom of which was a perfectly made float eye.
 

Tinca Steve

Irregular member.
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
5,704
My very first rod made by my mum from a garden cane had safety pin rings held on with sellotape. That brings back memories.
 

squimp

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 28, 2006
Messages
828
Any suggestions please for a final varnish to use on foam bodied floats, as I’ve never used foam before. They will be sealed and painted first.

Thanks in advance.
 

adriang

Regular member
Site Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Messages
354
Any suggestions please for a final varnish to use on foam bodied floats, as I’ve never used foam before. They will be sealed and painted first.

Thanks in advance.
I have been using this stuff. Its the first time I've used a water based top coat and I"m pleased with it so far.

I've used it quill and reed floats I've made myself, and also as part of the repair of floats, including a foam bodied pole float.

It's a small squeeze bottle, so good for just dripping out a small amount, I brush finish, not dip and it gives a nice smooth finish.

Amazon product
 
Top