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.