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stormy

Home made Floats for Blackfishing.

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In response to a request from a few Raider members, I have written a short post on the methods I use to make my Blackfish floats.

Nowadays, it is becoming very difficult to buy large blackfish floats suitable for the oft times turbulent conditions of ocean blackfish and black drummer habitat.
The large floats you can buy at stores or tackle shops are just on the small side, so it has become necessary to roll your own. The old timers who used to make them for local tackle shops have gone by the wayside, or else the shops can now buy the Chinese produced versions for just a few cents each.
The floats you buy these days are also not weighted, so you need to add weight to the stem. I used to drill a hole through a ball or bean sinker, but if you have ever tried to drill lead you will know what a pain it can be. I have many bullet projectiles from my hunting and reloading days and they are a good option for use as a stem weight. I have since made a mould which makes a nice tube of lead with a 3mm hole in the centre of it. Just cut off what you need to balance the float and push it on the stem.

Champagne corks are the best for shaping the body of the float and if you can source them before they have been forced into a bottle, all the better. For large floats, I glue two corks together with 5 minute epoxy, prior to shaping.

It is also next to impossible to source split cane or bamboo stems, so I have been using 4mm and 3mm solid carbon road which can be bought from a kite shop or radio control model aircraft store. Dead straight and strong. I stress that this is what I use and there are many materials and designs which no doubt work just as well or better than mine. I also fish fixed floats, but eyes can be bound on to the stems and sealed with epoxy if you use running floats.

The below list is what I use, but other methods can be adapted, I’m sure.

: 4mm Tassie Oak dowel (from Bunnings), cane stems, carbon rods or even bamboo skewers.
: champagne corks (a mate has several thousand, new, unused, pristine corks) or find them laying around at pubs, clubs or after a party you might attend.
: electric drill (or ideally a lathe)
: black paint, clear marine varnish etc
: fluoro paint in your favourite colour - generally red or orange.(a white undercoat really helps) or iron on trim tape if you can source it.
: coarse and fine sand paper
: 5 minute epoxy

1. I place the glued together cork in the vise on the drill press and bore a 3mm hole neatly through the centre with a long drill bit.
2. I then run the cork onto a 3.5mm threaded rod and set it up on the bench drill. If using a drill, the highest speed is best and ensure you make up some kind of jig to support the end of the rod.
3. Using the coarse sandpaper first, turn on the drill and shape your cork ensuring you don't press too hard or the cork will spin on the rod.
4. Fine sandpaper lightly next to give a clean finish to your cork.
5. Cut your dowel to the required length. (46cm for ocean floats and 28cm for medium water floats. I use the 28cm floats for the ‘inside’ location where I often fish)
6. Keeping an old foam fruit box as a “booth” paint the top of your float in your fluoro colour then jam it into the foam to dry. A couple of coats is good. I epoxy the cork onto the stem at this time as well. Have some floats black at the top too as they are much easier to see on glary days
7. Jam the cork onto the stem and spray black and then stick the float upside down in the foam holes to dry.
8. Give the cork a couple of coats of varnish to seal, and that's all there is to it. A few hours and you can knock up a dozen floats.

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Edited by stormy

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nice shaped floats stormy not to thick at the top of the cork =less resistance on striking well done

peter

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Great post, works of art!

Now if I can place an order for six floats, 3 ocean and 3 estuary you know where to send them. Maybe arrange a swap for some of my stuff?

Have a great long weekend

Cheers

Paikea

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Baby steps, Haj. You need to go fishing first :) Always up for a swap. Did you keep that hitch for the front mounted towbar plate? I can't find a bar to fit inside the 'tube' you welded onto the plate.

Klaus

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Wow, I would need to take a TAFE course to do that.

Thanks for the generosity to explain in detail.

Andy

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Klaus, give me a call and come around so that I can show you the bar details. Mine is solid steel but very heavy, I want to change it for some lighter square steel tube which will be more than enough for my little boat in Ulladulla in which case you are welcome to have my solid one.

Alternatively I can pick up a solid bar from the local hardware store in Milton when I go down next time. your call.

Cheers

Paikea.

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Thanks old mate. I will do that soonish, and I get to Ulladulla fairly regularly to see mum, so that is a good recommendation. Might have to drop you in some luderick fillets :)

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What's with the "old", showing no respect at all!

Give me a call asap, the boss is away until next Wednesday so I have plenty of spare time, maybe even come across the river to watch you catch some fillets for me.

You might also like to have a look at some 4WD gear that I am getting rid of, might be of interest to you?

Cheers

Paikea

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Ok for those who have followed my posts with Stormy he called in today and we did the deal. He now owes me some floats and some fillets although I may be joining him on his favourite rock next week if my knees will make it in which case I will catch my own fillets. (there's confidence for you).

Stand by for a report from the "Master" next week.

Cheers

Paikea

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hellow stormy I read tonite with great interest your 2013 notes on "how to make blackfish floats" I am unsure if you still do this or where you are located but I would be very interested in learning more from you if this was possible?

I am located on the Sydney northern beaches and have been having a fair amount of success on the blackfish in recent months but as can happen I have lost a few quality floats in the process, anyway if you have time would love to chat, if you had time

Regards harry

 

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Very good tutorial.

Thanks

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