Tested by STEVE LOCKETT
Quite long and slim floats, more suited to deeper margins. These tasty floats seem great for meat and worm baits under overhanging branches. They come in three sizes: 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 gr, which is a good range for most edge pegs. Their short 20 mm bristle is made of 2 mm hollow fibre, giving good visibility and allowing the rig to settle fast. Attachment is by a sprung eye and the stem is the bagging specialist’s choice – glass.
The glass stem goes completely through the body and up to the top of the tip for extra strength. A smooth dipped finish extends onto the stem to stop water ingress.
Available from: www.benwick-sports.co.uk
Very similar to the Benwick Sports offering, but that is no surprise, since Ackoo makes both of these floats. Ackoo (Mark Haskins) is the cousin of famous float maker Topper Haskins, so he has years of experience to draw on in his choice of materials.
The 15 mm long bristle is of 2 mm cane, which is so much more sensitive than the other offerings here, but still good for fishing pellet and corn as well as lighter baits. The Cane Tipped Margin comes in 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 gr sizes, making it an excellent choice for F1s and skimmers in deeper margins. Attachment is by sprung eye, and the stem is sturdy 1 mm carbon.
Available from: www.freewebs.com/ackoos–floats
These floats really look bombproof, and maker Simon Foster is so confident of their toughness, he offers a full refund for anyone who buys his floats and doesn’t think they look up to the job. The three sizes – 4×10, 4×12 and 4×14 – and two different tip colours give excellent options for fishing shallow-to-medium depth swims. 5 cm glass stems and a diamond body keep things steady.
A sprung eye for attachment and ultra tough foam body instil confidence in their ability to take the strain. These look spot-on for fishing to far bank margins on snake lakes with pellet, corn and maggot.
Available from: www.floatsdirect.com
These neat little floats with short stems and very thick bristles will be great for very shallow water, big baits and massive fish. The hand-painted finish, which is constant throughout all of Nick Gilbert’s float range, is very smooth and allows smaller quantities to be made to order rather than waiting for a whole batch to be dipped. The Ghandi comes with a choice of 2 mm or 2.5 mm tips, in either red or yellow hi-viz hollow fibre finishes.
Sensible 4 cm-long glass stems aid stability, while the stubby body and short tip will not spook carp in very shallow swims. Old-style eyes are glued very solidly into the tough foam body.
Available from: www.float-store.co.uk
It is unusual to see a body-up float for use on stillwaters nowadays, but there is definitely a place for some. On snake lakes especially, the water can tow, and having a bit of a shoulder to hold back against the tow could make the difference between a bag-up and a blank. In common with Graham Snellin’s Power Margin, the matt-finished body looks very tough.
It is also a weighty float, adding to the stability that the larger 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 gr sizes offer. A 2.5 mm hollow tip is great for big baits. The 1 mm glass stem is short and unobtrusive, and the new style of sprung eye will not damage line.
Available from: www.gsfloats.co.uk
Having the main line running through the entire stem is a pretty good way of ensuring there are no protruding float bits to get snagged-up. Both body and stem look far and away the most robust of any on test. To fix these on the line, float stops or shot have to be positioned both top and bottom. This seems a little strange, but does allow the extra robust 2 mm hollow carbon stem to protect the main line.
The 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5 gr sizes allow good control in deeper swims and also balance well with these heavier floats. Tips are 2.5 mm hi-viz hollow fibre, and the short squat design gives a fast settling float.
Available from: www.gsfloats.co.uk
Very sought-after for his top quality floats, Mick Wilkinson’s latest ‘toughest of the tough’ is this line-through-the-body offering. Coming with a choice of thinner 2 mm tips or thicker 2.5 mm tips in yellow or orange finish, both look well capable of supporting a wide range of baits. The hollow bristles will show up well against bankside vegetation and will stand up to being dragged through rushes.
The 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 gr sizes are a very popular range for fishing shallow margin swims. The glass stems have proved to be very durable and this, combined with the line through attachment, makes a brilliant float for swims over 2 ft deep.
Available from: www.floatman.co.uk
Veteran float maker Mick Bassett really goes that extra mile for his customers, offering a choice of tip lengths to suit bigger or smaller hook baits and a standard eye, a sprung eye or no eye. The spare long 2 mm tips or medium-length 1.5 mm tips cost 75p, allowing one float body to suit several situations or baits.
The glass stem and hand-finished classic tear drop-shaped body appear to offer good stability. Hollow fibre tips will really glow against vegetation. Coming in one size only – 3×10 (or 0.1 gr) – they are great for shallow edge swims. A heavier model to suit deeper swims would really cover everything.
Available from: www.mbfloats.co.uk
NOTE: All products tested May 2011. All prices correct at the time of going to Press. Angler’s Mail do not take responsibility for price or product changes or current availability.
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