Now that I am retired from teaching, I produce most of my own floats. This not only saves money but is also a hobby within a hobby. Personally, I get a lot of satisfaction out of making my own floats and catching fish using them.
The pole float that I am going to make this month works very well, fishing in close for carp on large baits like paste.
The starting materials could not be simpler; a length of 5/16th inch diameter balsa dowel and a wooden cocktail stick. That certainly will not break the bank.
1. Push the cocktail stick into the balsa wood. Take it out and then glue in position with epoxy glue.
2. Starting off with coarse glass paper, start to shape the body. Put a point on the tip and taper the body into the cocktail stick stem. Finish off with fine flour grade glass paper for a smooth finish.
3. Apply two coats of cellulose sanding sealer and allow it to dry.
4. Flatten with flour grade glass paper.
5. Paint the stem and the lower part of the body black and allow it to dry.
6. Use matt white emulsion paint as an undercoat for the tip.
7. When the undercoat is dry, paint the tip the colour you want.
8. I like to stipple the black paint with a green paint to produce a nice camouflaged body.
Note: You can make this float with a plastic pole top insert to improve visibility and sensitivity.
As I stated earlier, these are good for margin fishing for carp but they are also useful on moving water venues like the lower Thames. Generally in this role, I use a slightly larger float than for still water fishing.
On the Thames, these floats are used with a small tungsten olivette placed near the hook to be fished over-depth and held back. These floats have a good shoulder so they do not rise up too much when held back.
In the past, I have used these floats on the Thames in Summer with a tare hook bait and hemp loose feed to catch good bags of roach and dace. Under the right conditions these tactics have produced bags of over thirty pounds in a short after work session.