Making Balsa Fishing Floats. My way with pictures

Making Balsa Fishing Floats. My way with pictures

If you have read some of my fishing journal post, I mention my setups normally have one of my handmade Balsa floats included.

A friend asked how I made these so here is how I do it with pictures and I know you will get some value from it.


making balsa floats first stageStarting with raw 6mm balsa rods I buy locally and cut them into lengths of between 4 and 7″.

I have found that I do not need anything smaller or bigger at the moment to cope with the fishing situations I have found myself in, but have an open mind on this if later my needs change.

I hand drill a 2mm hole to accept the nylon float eye which fits snugly and glue this in place.

The raw floats are now left for the glue to go off fully, about 2 hours


making balsa floats second stageA set feature of my floats is a consistent look in the way I apply the Black and High Viz colours.

I like to show the wood off that I use and on the Balsa floats, I make a 3/4″ black base and in these ones, a 3/4″ high viz orange tip.

At this point I hand write the make and size in fine pen approximately in the middle of the float.



making balsa floats third stageThis is the longest part of the process. Applying 3 coats of tough, waterproof lacquer to each float.

Now I brush the lacquer on thinly and evenly.

Between each coat I have to wait at least 8 hours before I can de-nibb the floats with fine sandpaper before applying the next coat.

You can see why this section can take about 2 days to achieve a nice final finish.


making balsa floats fourth stageFinally the floats are finished and ready to go fishing.

The cocking weights required are from 2AAA to 3SSG to make the floats sit up to the bottom of the tip and then a shoting pattern relevant for the days fishing session to the hook length.

Normally leave about 12mm (1/2″) showing but on no wind days, I shot down so the tip is barley above water for a very sensitive bite indication.

So eagle eyed readers may of notice a few missing from the finished line up. These have already gone to customers for them to enjoy fishing with these great all round balsa floats

In another post I will show how I make my “Windy” and Avon floats you can see in the background .

Wishing you tight lines

DC x

Added 8th of May 2017:

Added this short video of me hand painting the Balsa floats




Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: