Crow Quill Floats
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  1. #1
    Talk Angling User Done a Ton Bob Fott's Avatar
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    Default Crow Quill Floats

    Anyone make their own quill floats?Just wondering what the procedure is.What type of lacquer whipping etc,
    Ill be using them for very shy bitting tench,Any advice would be appreciated.
    Cheers in advance.
    Bob.

  2. #2
    Talk Angling User PHD in Angling BIG COL's Avatar
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    Bob
    Years ago way back in Prehistoric times the 30s to 60s my Granddad used to make every conceivable type of Quill Float !
    He must have Supplied most of the Anglers in Birmingham lol .
    Quills from any Bird to Porkies
    The only Thing he ever did to them was rotate them over the Flame of the Gas to Burn the feather stubble
    & make the Quill Smooth ,he then painted the tip with enamel paint (50/60s) & that was it, other than whipping a twisted wire loop to the base
    Most Quills are water tight , Granddad always had a small tin of grease with him ,to smear on his favourite float if it started to take on water.
    Quills are very sensitive Floats & i know i am not the only Angler with them still in their Box
    If i make any now, hardly anything has changed i still burn the stubble off ,i then apply 1 coat of cellulose dope give it a quick rub down with super smooth womens nail polishing board & then apply a thin coat of hard as nails.
    No rings this allows you to fish either way up depending on conditions, with rubbers
    The only thing i always do is colour approx 3/8" each end Black, orange or green
    Colin

  3. #3
    Talk Angling User Done a Ton Bob Fott's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Col.Im thinking of leaving them without rings also,just connecting them with tail rubbers,the nail varnish is a good one,Ill just have to raid her
    stash as Ive ran out lol.

  4. #4
    Talk Angling User Talk Angling Whale martin56's Avatar
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    Good advice (as always) from Col, the only thing I'd add is to paint the tips with a Matt white enamel paint before painting the final top colour of your choice.

    The white undercoat makes the top colour more vibrant.

    Also to dip the final colour rather than brush & hang upside down (the float, not you lol) till dry.
    Last edited by martin56; 15th June 2018 at 06:06 PM.
    [B]Fishin' Best Fun Ya' Can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On!![/B] And Can't do with sycophants!!.

  5. #5
    Talk Angling User Done a Ton Bob Fott's Avatar
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    Cheers Martin.

  6. #6
    Talk Angling User PHD in Angling lambrettasx200's Avatar
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    Bob, I was very lucky in my match fishing days to have loads of mates all over the country including a certain Mr Haskins in the South West who was better known as Topper Haskins who created the topper float for the Bristol Avon. These were crow quills with a balsa body and I still use them today and he always used white emulsion as the base coat.
    John

  7. #7
    Talk Angling User Talk Angling Behemoth
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    Me to John I got him to make me the very very last set of toppers before he retired

  8. #8
    Talk Angling User PHD in Angling lambrettasx200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trojan2000 View Post
    Me to John I got him to make me the very very last set of toppers before he retired
    Steve, his nephew Mark Haskins now produces the same floats to Toppers specification but uses other materials for the body and not balsa now. Always remember traveling down the M4 collecting crow quills at Membury services for Mervyn to use. Good old days mate
    John

  9. #9
    Talk Angling User Talk Angling Whale martin56's Avatar
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    In the past, I've made my own balsa bodies holding 1/2" balsa dowel using a pistol drill as a lathe, (holding the drill grip in a vice) forming the required shape with a model/stanley knife & sandpaper. Can use bigger dowel of course if drill chuck will take it.

    Just leave enough waste to cut off re chuck jaw marks. I used to try all sorts of stuff after work to keep occupied when i was younger & money was tight what with kiddies & mortgage!!
    [B]Fishin' Best Fun Ya' Can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On!![/B] And Can't do with sycophants!!.

  10. #10
    Talk Angling User Talk Angling Whale martin56's Avatar
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    Overall, bird quills aren't the best float material, being hollow & subject to letting in water.

    Stick to Porcupine quills, as they have a semi solid, buoyant filament & an impenetrable, almost self varnished outer, hence, no surface treatment is needed other than paining the tip.

    I once bought some Goose quill floats with no end of varnish coats & decorative whippings - they still let in water & unusable after an hour or so!!
    Last edited by martin56; 15th June 2018 at 11:41 PM.
    [B]Fishin' Best Fun Ya' Can 'ave wi' Ya' Clothes On!![/B] And Can't do with sycophants!!.

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