Author Topic: Time on my hands, so.....  (Read 2771 times)

Online ctom

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Time on my hands, so.....
« on: 03/27/21 13:45 UTC »
I glued up some balsa and dug out the dremel tool Using 1/8" diameter screws as arbors I mounted balsa blocks to the dremel and fired it up. I rough shaped the float bodies using sheetrock sanding screen then used 320 grit sandpaper to smooth things down. I was going to make a rigid template but figured what the heck, eyeball it. These are ready for the finish colors on the bodies. They've been seal three times with thinned dipping lacquer. Next a white coat, then yellow chartreuse, then a partial dip in flame red, all colors the CS Vinyl Jig paint that's been thinned real well.



I couldn't find any 5/8" square balsa stock so I laminated two 1/4" sheets together with 1/8" X 1/4"  balsa spacers to get the hollow for the stems. The open pocket at the tops got 1/8" square balsa to fill them. The stem on the factory float has two black silicone rubber bands on it that are used to secure the float as a fixed float. I'll be adding some red silicone tubing I have on hand for that purpose.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way these have turned out. Since Thill has discontinued the Mini-Stealth float that's shown and its about the world's best float for crappies I'll just make them for my own use. I have enough materials yet to do about thirty more floats. Everything material-wise was available locally and cost under $18.00. The eight floats I have in the picture will have cost me $2.25 each. The single commercial float shown is a $2.50 item When I have the other floats all finished up they will have cost me about $.38 apiece. I can afford that and the time spent working with these was spare time anyway so.....
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline alwrenn

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #1 on: 03/27/21 14:54 UTC »
All in all I am pretty happy with the way these have turned out.

Heck.....me too!!!!!!! Awesome!

Offline WALLEYE WACKER

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #2 on: 03/27/21 16:50 UTC »
Sweet floats there Tom it’s fun once an a while make something that you don’t normally do. A day well spent.
May your days be filled with sun shine and you always have a tight line. AMEN

Offline Shaunm81

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #3 on: 03/27/21 17:01 UTC »
Oh man those are really cool.  I  need something like  those
because  these bobbers I use don't cut it for the Crappies.

Online ctom

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #4 on: 03/27/21 20:27 UTC »
I have the color on them now but they need to hang and dry until morning, then the seal coat goes on and finito. Pics by noon of the finished product.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Online ctom

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #5 on: 03/28/21 08:45 UTC »
And here they are....ready to do battle. Very happy with the results.

There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Online DF

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #6 on: 03/28/21 16:35 UTC »
 Wow! those turned out great.

Offline Les Young

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #7 on: 03/28/21 16:37 UTC »
Wow! those turned out great.
Yes they did.  ;D

Offline Shaunm81

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #8 on: 03/28/21 20:43 UTC »
Wow love those and good job.  Wish we could find something around here like those.

Online ctom

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #9 on: 03/30/21 22:28 UTC »
They fish just like the factory ones. Upward hits of the slightest lay the float on its side, easily seen.

I had a mess of materials from this original batch left over so I glued up a bunch of 5/8" square stock and had at it again today with the dremel. I made 22 more before I got tired of the dust. I still have stock enough to do about 15 more but I think I have enough for the immediate future. Those done today are drying now and tomorrow will get the seal coat and the silicone bands.
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline Fatman

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #10 on: 04/01/21 18:38 UTC »
Very Nice!!

Online ctom

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #11 on: 04/01/21 19:11 UTC »
I finished up the 22 yesterday and they've been hanging in the sun and breeze since. I brought them in tonight and split them up some. 6 are going to a good friend and the other two bags of 8 are all mine. Each one has been tank tested for the weight it'll carry and each has a mark indicating what that weight is. Some will carry a 1/32 to 1/24 head, #6 hook, with a 1.5" Thump-It. The others will support a 1/24 to 1/16 head with a #6 hook and the Thump-It.

I intentionally put less of the flame red topper color on so the yellow is more apparent at the water line. Still mega visible. The balance on these floats is amazing and any hint of lift from an upward hit will lay the floats immediately over on their side. Love fishing these float. The red silicone bands are used to fix the floats as static but they allow the float to be slipped up or down the line to adjust the depth and they keep the float at that depth very nicely until you want to change it. The small hole in the end of the stem lets 4 and six pound line flow thru it in a slick way when used as a slip float. Right now we're fishing this style of float as a slip model.

As mentioned before, I still have balsa stock enough glued up for 15 more floats but I've had enough of the sanding dust for a bit. lol

There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline eriksat1

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #12 on: 04/27/21 11:34 UTC »
https://www.lurenet.com/thill-shy-bite-float
How exactly do those floats work?
My favorite crappie float was the thin pencil style  Thill Shy Bite BB2, but they also quit making those. They were great for shallow crappie right up to shore. The line went thru a small rubber O ring that you pegged to the bottom of the float to adjust your depth. If a fish breathed on it you saw movement. A 1/32 oz jig would almost take the bobber under. Set correctly the bobber would go under on a down bite or lay down on its side on a up bite. They also made a shy bite BB1 that you needed a 1/64 oz jig. They were hard to find now I guess they just quit making them.
« Last Edit: 04/27/21 11:49 UTC by eriksat1 »

Online ctom

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #13 on: 04/27/21 11:47 UTC »
Thill underwent any transfer of ownership and right now its very unclear whether any of the float will again be made. These work just as you describe except when I rig my floats as fixed floats I run the line thru the hole and then thru the sleeve, which gets pushed up the stem to the float body. Done this way they are hyper sensitive to up-ward hits down to 4-5 feet. You see the two sleeves here on these....I use two since the friction using just one doesn't quite hold the float at a fixed depth super well so I simply slip the two sleeves on after the float and run them both up on the stem with about 1/4" space between them. I leave the sleeves on when they're being fished as a slip float so I don't lose them.

Here's a picture showing how the float and sleeves are threaded threaded on the line.



The float on the right is rigged with the line laying up next to the float body and pointing up goes to the rod tip. The end going straight down goes to the jig.

I never cared for the way the Shy Bites got hung on the line even though they did a decent job on an upward hit. The Stealth style, using the hole at the bottom of the stem makes them a super hyper reactive float to upward hits, far better than the Shy Bites. The Mini Stealth floats are top heavy floats without the weight of a jig of sinker underneath them. The BB2 size was great for 1/32 and 1/24 jigs with a plastic in the 1 1/2" to 2" range, everything balanced really nice. BB3's are great for 1/16 heads.

With the line running thru that hole then being pinched along the stem, any breath of a lift whatever flips the float immediately on its side. Other floats have to rise high enough to become top heavy  before they'll lay over signaling an upward hit. Any other hit is indicated just like any other float. The mini Stealths are just the kingpins when it comes to an upward hit.

The ones I make are what I refer to as being "ambidextrious", they all, for the most part,  handle the 1/32, 1/24 and 1/16 heads fairly uniformly. Some have more balsa removed and play a bit better with the lighter heads and there are a couple here and there that might favor the 1/16. It really doesn't matter. The key is in the rigging with the line going thru the hole in the sten then being held tight against the underside of the float body. This is where hit recognition is instantaneous without having to have any significant rise in the float.
« Last Edit: 04/27/21 12:07 UTC by ctom »
There are good ships
and wood ships
ships that sail the sea
but the best ships are friendships
and may they
always be ......An Irish Toast

Offline eriksat1

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Re: Time on my hands, so.....
« Reply #14 on: 04/27/21 11:58 UTC »
I met the owner of Thill a long time ago in Hayward, WI. he was from England. Over there they had tournaments where the smallest fish won, that is why he made such ultra sensitive floats. They would actually catch fish the size of crappie minnows.