Drake floats.

dicky123

Well-known member
I was thinking about making some floats this winter, then I found Drake floats.

They are new to me, but been around for ages I gather. I brought some nice bodied wagglers for the roach in one stillwater. Then some nice big Crow-quill Avons 5 AAA for the Trent with bread punch. All the Drake floats seem to be handmade and unique, very nice to find them. The Avons look amazing, trying them before the season ends too
I hope?

Looking froward to the Acolyte coming next week.

Richard.
 

ian g

Well-known member
I'm not sure if they are home made but my fishing mate loves them , loaded wagglers , domed stick floats ans all sorts of other types . They do look the part .
 

tigger

Well-known member
They do look very nice, i've had some on watch for ages now. The tips on the avons just don't look quite long enough for me though.
 

The bad one

Well-known member
Something in the back of my head says they are made in Rochdale. I know one of my mates from years ago, 25 or more, who was a very good float match angler loved them and wouldn't use anything else on the rivers.
 

rob48

Well-known member
The stepped waggler works really well on the rivers. I don't understand what differentiates it from the rest but it just does the job nicely.
 

dicky123

Well-known member
Tigger. The Avons I've just brought are very long, crow quill however? Called Toppers for some reason?
 

tigger

Well-known member
Tigger. The Avons I've just brought are very long, crow quill however? Called Toppers for some reason?

I think that's what they call the crow quill avons. No doubt they're lovely looking.
If i'm honest I like the Steve Mahers carbo stemmed avon bolos best, I also like woodys wire stemmed bolos, some map bolo floats and some Dave Harrel floats. They all have excellent sight tips and are good for long trotting.
 

rob48

Well-known member
They're called Toppers after Topper Haskins who designed the float for fishing on the Bristol Avon.
 

tigger

Well-known member
They're called Toppers after Topper Haskins who designed the float for fishing on the Bristol Avon.

Billy Lane mentions them in his books.

I prefer modern bolos which have a very slim stem, these don't catch the flow so much as a thicker stemmed float. This means it doesn't flatten out if holding back in fast water, especially if it's a alloy stem.
 
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rob48

Well-known member
I suppose the body on crowquill design has been around for years but I know Topper Haskins developed them with large shotting capacities which were bulk-shotted to pick up the gentle flow of the deep river to make it go through against the prevailing upstream wind. I'd guess that was in the 1960s.
 

rob48

Well-known member
Yes, i prefer the bolo types. Mine are all carbon stems which seem to cast better for me. I've also acquired some sliding bolo floats made by the "perfect" float company which i have in mind to try on the lower severn next season where it's 15' deep at normal summer level.
 

tigger

Well-known member
Yes, i prefer the bolo types. Mine are all carbon stems which seem to cast better for me. I've also acquired some sliding bolo floats made by the "perfect" float company which i have in mind to try on the lower severn next season where it's 15' deep at normal summer level.

I have some avony/bolo types slider floats a friend of mine gave me. He got a load of various ones from a seller somewhere in europe. He used them a lot on the mersey when roach fishing. I've not got round to using them yet but I imagine they would be great in deeper water.
 

rob48

Well-known member
That's what I'm hoping. There's some nice quality roach in the Upton area, along with bream and barbel.
 

Aknib

Well-known member
Give the Avon sliders a go, they work a treat in those deep river swims.

I made myself a set some time ago with the thinking... How many people actually trot a 14'+ river swim?

The results were very good after an initial and disappointing testing on an off form Winter's day but I could see then that they were going through nicely and would pick up fish under normal conditions.

As for the Drake floats I've always liked them, Chris kindly gave me a couple of Avons which I still have but none of the tackle shops around here ever seemed to stock them and availability was always an issue.

I remember seeing regular listings for them on the bay from someone, Mal Storey maybe?
 

tigger

Well-known member
I don't think you need to even think of buying any floats now you've honed your new skills.
 

dicky123

Well-known member
I have some avony/bolo types slider floats a friend of mine gave me. He got a load of various ones from a seller somewhere in europe. He used them a lot on the mersey when roach fishing. I've not got round to using them yet but I imagine they would be great in deeper water.
Tigger. Maybe it's my age but natural still does it for me. I must have well over 150 floats in all, but the natural ones hold a special place, don't you agree?IMGP0493.jpg
 

dicky123

Well-known member
IMG_0570.jpg I'm not very good, but it was my first attempt a year or so ago. One of these is a gift from a good float maker, some have top that take a starlite for evening fishing late.
 

tigger

Well-known member
Tigger. Maybe it's my age but natural still does it for me. I must have well over 150 floats in all, but the natural ones hold a special place, don't you agree?View attachment 8324

Nice float Rich, and yes I have used them many times over the years. I do agree that they look nicer.
After saying that I find that floats made out of modern materials actually work better for me. The slimness of a carbon or alloy stem for example which cuts through the water much better and prevents the float from flattening out so easy when holding back in faster flows. The wire stemmed float also keeps the floats more upright and keeps the sight tip more visible in chop or riffling water. Some of the modern one can look decent also.....Ste Bink's look superb!
 
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