Winter is time for Blackfish (Luderick) fishing for me. They can be fished all year round but winter is my favourite time for fishing because there are less people and my garden and worms have slowed down considerably.
The most common way of catching Blackfish is to use a float. Depending on where you fish, you will need a different type of fish. Where I usually go we use a long heavy wooden float so we can cast far if needed. I used to buy my floats from a local fisherman but sadly he passed away several years ago. I still have a few of his floats but I thought it would be fun to try replicate his design and make my own float.
On the photo above, the top float is the original one I bought and the bottom one is my own one. This is a project I wanted to do for few years now, I watched a lot of videos on how to turn wood but I didn't want to spend money in buying a lathe and was always worried about making my own but yesterday I just decided it was time for me to step up and just do it. So I took my power drill and fetched pieces of wood and foam and started improvising something that hopefully might work... Yeah, I don't do plans lol.
So after several measurements, cuts, glueing... I managed to get something that... well... can turn some wood.
My local hardware store does not stock wood turning chisels and they are expensive anyway so I used a rasp file instead to turn a square piece of wood to a round one.
It did take me a long while to get that piece of wood round but I got there in the end. I needed to adjust the speed of the drill and my pressure on the file but it did work and that's the main thing.
Once I got a long dowel shape, I started using regular wood chisels to create the bevel for the bottom and top of the float. They didn't work great and were a bit dangerous actually, several time I almost made the wood jump out but I was wearing protective glasses but tomorrow I will buy myself a face shield!
For my own safety, I slowed down the process and carved the float down bit by bit making sure I don't apply too much pressure when using the wood chisels. With some fine grit file and sanding paper I smoothen the surface of the wood.
After an hour, maybe two, I can't remember, I managed to get my float. It's not very efficient but this is my first time turning wood so I learned quite a bit and it was awesome fun seeing the piece of wood taking form progressively.
Below are some detail shots. First this is the bottom of the float. Where it gets narrow is the location of the bottom eyelet I made by cutting the eye of a fishing hook. It will be held in place with two part epoxy glue and wrapped with several turns of solder wire to pre-weight the float.
Some decoration was added to the float to break the monotony of the body.
And finally the top of the float. The first ident is to glue on the top eyelet and the mushroom head is to create a larger surface area for visibility.
After glueing the eyelets on, I wrapped them with black shrinking tubes for protection and colour contrast. I covered the tube and surrounding wood with epoxy for waterproofing those areas.
I then painted sealed the wood and painted the tip of the float with a high visibility red spray paint.
The end result is not bad at all but there is still a step missing: testing the float and catch some fish with it!