Creating a Cork Float

Graham Whatmore

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George, that is one of the best instructive articles that I have seen on this site on a subject that crops up time and time again on here, if that doesn't encourage a lot of readers to start making their own floats then nothing will. No doubt you will get lots of queries as a result but that is only natural because it would need a book to explain everything in detail but I loved your floats that you linked us too before and now I love this article as well, great stuff George.
 

Skoda

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Smashing article George, many thanks. I've made a few floats in the past and there is nothing like catching fish on one you've made yourself. Could you put a name to the brand of laquer you use, I've used varnish left over from household use and it's not very good after it's been in the water a few times.

Andy
 

George387

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Thanks for the words Graham, as I said was a bit apprehensive at 1st but after a few FM members wanted more information decided best to write it and get some peace & quiet...lol
Andy, The article has been out on the forums for a while now it was only because my server went down that Jeff and Graham volunteered to move it onto the site server, all the info regarding lacquers etc can be found on the rod building topic on the forum....quick link
http://www.fishingmagic.com/forums/rod-building/40985-float-making-insight.html
Thanks again
George
 

Mark Hewitt

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Great artical!

Hope Mr morespiders read it - he makes his own, but you can't really call them floats........... 'sinks' would be more accurate........:)
 

Alan Tyler

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I think we have crossed wires, George - I was referring to the reference to Morespider's "sinks", tongue firmly in cheek; but remembering the tragic day my Dad took me up to the Whitestone pond to try out the sailing trimaran he'd made from solid oak... well, wood's supposed to float, innit???

I did submit an article on the use of peeled bramble stem* for fluted float bodies, but it never appeared - the chaos of the "move", I think.

The elder pith I used was liberated from microbiology stores when they realised they'd probably never hand-cut another tissue section, since when I've not been able to find any more - every bit of elder I try has about a quarter of an inch of pith immoveably welded to uncleaveable bark!
Any hints on what to look for in an Elder shoot? (Before you cut it, I mean!)
The stuff Watkins& Doncaster used to sell for microbiology was about half an inch diameter, gorgeous stuff.

* the really ferocious 5/8" stuff - you peel the thorns and outer bark off, and the inner bark dries to a hard coating. It will bear experimenting, I think.
 

George387

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I apologise Alan, I thought your were taking the Pith on the subject of floatmaking. :)

The Pith that I am currently using I collected over 12 months ago as I was taught that it had to be left to dry out for 12 months before even attempting to remove the bark.

When collecting the pieces I want from the bush I tend to go for them in the autumn just as the bush is starting to draw down as there is less fluids secreted by it and go for the stems which are around 1 - 2 inches in diameter.

The Pith is easily removed once totally dried out with a scalpel and in some cases you can peel it with your fingers, it now has the texture of balsa but is slightly more brittle and I use fine sandpaper to shape it and then coat it with lacquer before drilling that way it has a skin to stop it falling apart...trial and error....with a lot of error to start with but very satisying when you master it.

I may have to experiment with Bramble and collect some and dry it out, always looking for new ideas to make floats, thats what keeps me going.
Best regards
George
 
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Neneman Nick

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On the road to rack & ruin !!!
George.....
out of intrest,what made you take up float making???
Were you taught how to craft these traditional type patterns or did you just decide to have a bash and just picked it up through trial and error???
 

George387

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George.....
out of intrest,what made you take up float making???
Were you taught how to craft these traditional type patterns or did you just decide to have a bash and just picked it up through trial and error???
Blinking heck Nick where do I start...lol

I was brought up in a fishing family in scotland, and when knee high to a grasshopper I often went with an old man Called Peter Skelly who was our neighbour..now deceased and he was the type of angler who could turn his hand to anything, he made all his own tackle, from split cane & greenheart rods all the way down to devon minnows,made out of leather. He knew everything there was to know...you can picture the sort, flat cap smoked woodbines and never out of his shed unless he was either fishing or bird breeding which was his other passion.

Thats where I learned it, been making floats for years but only for myself until I kept getting pestered by friends then things went from there.

That was my life.....lol
 
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