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FLOATMAN

DIY FRESHWATER TACKLE

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As a keen COARSE/FRESHWATER angler I find I can't get some of my prefered tackle in Australia so I have to buy it online from the UK or make it myself, so as promised I will share some of my favourites over time in this set of posts...

FLOATS... I am addicted to making floats, I love giving them away to people who fish like I do and HATE losing them. 

Most of my floats are wagglers, straight or bodied, as you can see from the photo they are all slightly different depending on what they are for, or where I am fishing, some can be used in saltwater for Gar and Tommies etc as well as in freshwater. The bodies are made from balsa wood which I turn on a small lathe, but you can also easily whittle then to shape with a sharp knife or stick them in a drill chuck, I always finish with fine sandpaper and fine wire wool. Carefully one end needs to be drilled to accept the stem, which I make from peacock quill or even better native reed stem (I always use the type of reeds that have the fluffy top and the stems are like mini bamboo, there's masses on most river banks (must be dry and brown not green) Always cut at a node so the tube is buoyant.   I superglue this into the balsa body. At the other end I glue in a short piece of bamboo skewer ready to have a safety pin eye whipped on and the whipping superglued.

To strengthen the main shaft, as you can see from the photo I do some decorative whipping nearly to the top, this does strengthen it considerably, we are now ready to  apply a base white top (cheapest way is to get some flat white acrylic paint, a sample pot from Bunnings is ideal) The florescent top is just a can of that Hi Vis stuff they spray on the road to mark where they are going to dig holes etc. I shake it well and spray some on a bit of paper or the like a use a small brush and paint over the flat white base down to almost the end of the white.. it dries very quickly!

Now all you need to do is varnish the whole thing, any varnish will do as they are not exposed to the weather much, I use a stain varnish (walnut) as this gives me an attractive brown effect.

As you can see all the floats are different, it's good to experiment and see what suits the type of fishing you want to do, they are so cheap to make and work much better than bought ones.

Hope you like that.... have a go, it's great to catch a fish on home crafted gear as I did today a 17+lb carp... any questions please don't hesitate to ask, and if you ever meet me on the bank please ask for a FREE float I will be only too willing to let you have one.

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They look great Floatman - I see where you get your name from now :D 

Quite an art to make your own float not to mention the time you put into them - all with passion for sure.

So the line goes through the bottom 'hoop' but can't see a top one - is there one?  (might be the angle) or a rubber ring supports the top attachment.

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Hi DOOBIE

What you do is put a split shot either side of the ring to stop it sliding and set the depth (just touching bottom) and then load line with more split shot below ring to cock float so only the red is showing.... sounds complicated but when you've been doing it for as long as me it isn't... I have tried teaching non-float anglers and it takes a bit of time to twig-it.... but when you do, under the right circumstances, it will out fish most other methods. Hope that explains it a bit.... by the way where do you get your Fish and Chips , they look great!

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11 hours ago, FLOATMAN said:

Hi DOOBIE

What you do is put a split shot either side of the ring to stop it sliding and set the depth (just touching bottom) and then load line with more split shot below ring to cock float so only the red is showing.... sounds complicated but when you've been doing it for as long as me it isn't... I have tried teaching non-float anglers and it takes a bit of time to twig-it.... but when you do, under the right circumstances, it will out fish most other methods. 

That makes sense Floatman and with different sizes and slightly different lightness in each float (weight), they can be used for a variety of fish I'm sure.

I have a different type of homemade float that uses some dowel (as a pencil float) and a champagne corked (carved to a small ball) that becomes an 'indicator'.  This best for Gar, as with any slight movement on the 'indicator' then you know the Gar are there - other fish (eg Tommies) will just take the floats under like any other float.

Although lately, after re-spooling the reel with lighter line, I am getting a few tangles - so got to sort that out :( 

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12 hours ago, FLOATMAN said:

by the way where do you get your Fish and Chips , they look great!

Courteous of Google :D 

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Hi again DOOBIE,

As you say lighter line can cause tangles, with my floats if I DON'T keep the shot bunched under the float, instead of going out like a dart it will cartwheel, then you get the tangles. So you need the bits of that rig spaced as is, otherwise it won't work, maybe you will have to work on a different cast, something gentler, under arm cast or sideways or let the tide/flow take it away from the boat. I have caught lots of Gar but I'm not an expert by any means... like your set up, you've obviously put a lot of thought into that, I hope you can cure the problem?

Regards...

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Looking at it again... maybe swap the burley cage to the base of the float and have the lighter cork ball down the line a bit,  once the burley has dispersed, the small ball will still be an initial indicator after disappearing for a few seconds, I think that will stop the tangles!

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4 hours ago, FLOATMAN said:

Hi again DOOBIE,

As you say lighter line can cause tangles, with my floats if I DON'T keep the shot bunched under the float, instead of going out like a dart it will cartwheel, then you get the tangles. So you need the bits of that rig spaced as is, otherwise it won't work, maybe you will have to work on a different cast, something gentler, under arm cast or sideways or let the tide/flow take it away from the boat. I have caught lots of Gar but I'm not an expert by any means... like your set up, you've obviously put a lot of thought into that, I hope you can cure the problem?

Regards...

Good thoughts Floatman.

I've only used the light line for last 2 sessions ... one of Sullies rocks (so overhead casting) and second, out on a boat with lofty64 (mainly side casting or just dropping the float and letting the current take it).

Both O/head or side casting received the "odd" tangle.

I'm yet to get out on the jetty (this Monday hopefully) so see how it goes and will all be under arm casting.

 

4 hours ago, FLOATMAN said:

Looking at it again... maybe swap the burley cage to the base of the float and have the lighter cork ball down the line a bit,  once the burley has dispersed, the small ball will still be an initial indicator after disappearing for a few seconds, I think that will stop the tangles!

Food for thought. 

However, having the indicator further down (past the length of the float), can also cause a tangle, so could cause more headache lol.

Hopefully a jetty session might be ok as that is the main place I use a float - fingers crossed.

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They work.

Old mate got 26 carp in total fishing right place at right time on waggler.

Also must mention his groundbait which does help tip the odds in his favour.

Learning about the floats. Learning about groundbaits too. You Poms might be corrupting me mate.

Sent from my SM-J120ZN using Tapatalk

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You don't need corrupting...     us poms were brought up MATCH FISHING.... sometimes hundreds of anglers in a match, light lines, small hooks, burley/ground bait essential and small hooks. when we all invaded here, we kept to the same methods but because the fish had never been caught before you could go heavier with line , bigger with hooks and simpler ground bait, I remember my first match on the Torrens I fished 2lb line  14 hook and small straight wagglers... I got smashed up about 10 times, didn't take me long to wise up, I can tell you.

At intervals I will let the guys know how to make bank sticks, keep nets, plummets, cage feeders, bite indicators for use with bite alarms, disgorgers, bread punches, sit on tackle boxes, tackle box carrier, rod tube holder and what ever else I find in my tackle box that I have made!

All the best mate...

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Hi Guys, it's a bit quiet out there so I thought I would post the second instalment of my DIY tackle.... as you've heard me say before I get a lot of success with using Bread Punch on the hook, all my bread punches cost me nothing so here's how you can make some for your own tackle box.   Firstly obtain some empty bullet casings of different sizes and cut the open ends off with a fine blade hacksaw, get some wooden dowel or any suitable solid tube and make the ends fit the bullet casings snugly. I glue mine in with Araldite but make sure the glue doesn't comeup past  the flat face of the dowel (it will taint the bread as it is a 2 part chemical) also VERY IMPORTANT have the flat face-off the wood  a 5-7mm  shy of the end of the brass tube ( see bottom punch.) This is because when you push this (and it is only a mini biscuit cutter after all) into the bread it will automatically compress the bread and that will stay on the hook for longer.  You can put two different diameter casings on each end which gives you options for punch size... the size variants are endless (I have used a leather punch on occasions too!)... Lastly as an optional finish, varnish the handle and you're ready to go.

Last week Mr. Crabtree and myself wanted to get some carp for crab bait and we are also going to try and catch some small sharks with them too, so we thought if we could catch 10 - 15 carp around the 1/2-3/4kg size and freeze them, next time we go to "Yorks" we can play around. So we fished exclusively with bread punch on 12 hooks and got 15 fish quite quickly. I always buy the cheapest, freshest white, thick sliced bread, I get two or three slices and flatten it between fingers and thumb ( you can use a rolling pin) and discard the crusts... 10 seconds in the microwave also makes the flattened bread a bit rubbery ... just what you want. Then like a biscuit cutter, 'punch' the flattened bread and put the hook into the middle of the bread whilst still in the punch and lever it out. If you have never fished punch before ( it does work best with a float) you will be surprised how well compressed bread will stay on a hook, once you have a bite though, you will have to check to make sure you still have bait on.

I reckon one day, I caught about 40 fish on two slices of bread, can't get any cheaper than that.... any questions please don't hesitate to ask!

 

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Those little round pieces of bread I call cookies.

Old mate makes a breadcrumb groundbaid with molasses and scents up his cookies by putting them in the same çontainer.

Must say cookies do work better under a float than running sinker set up.

Sent from my SM-J120ZN using Tapatalk

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Hi Tinker, yep they do work better under a float but if you can't do that, you can, as I said before, use bigger "cookies" on a sinker, the leather punch sets give you a good range of bigger sizes. I have heard of anglers flavouring their bread with custard powder, curry powder, cumin.... but I always use mine 'natural' especially near to where people feed the ducks.... is that cheating?

My ground bait mix is...90% white or brown bread (stale is best as it whizzes up better in a blender) then I add a small amount of chook pellets and cracked oats/wheat to the blender to give it a bit of body. In the summer I add a bit of that proprietary ground bait for sea fishing that is orange... can't remember what it is called but it has very strong tuna scent. The secret to ground baiting in WINTER, little and often (half golf ball size), don't feed them off, SUMMER three big cricket ball lumps in then smaller balls regularly. I was at Walker Flat the other week Kayaking in the lagoon and had 2 hours in front of the service station with a rod, while my partner supplied me with a hot pie and coffee. lobbed in lots of ground bait and no bites for 3/4hour then they turned up and it was a bite a cast, biggest just over 10lb, great little session. Costs nothing and DEFINTELY makes a difference to catch rates.

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