Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Handmade Swan Quill Waggler. Step 3

At last I have sourced the paint for the float tips - Humbrol's Fire Orange - procured from the local model shop. Now I can get along with the completion of these experimental floats of mine, maybe even get one in the drink where it belongs.

I've no clue how the tips should be painted to make them fit for purpose but I do know that commercial wagglers come in a severely limited range of tip options that are not always the best choice for the conditions found. Canal water surfaces and reflections, and that is the work what I want them for this coming winter, is ever changing. One minute you are against the sky, against ruffled water, against foliage, in the shade and in the bright, the light is failing, et al, and no single tip is always right. I intend to make, and have procured for the purpose, a whole vase full of over one hundred swan and goose feather in many sizes from the shores of a certain Midlands reservoir (and loads more where they came from) just so that I can experiment madly and create hitherto unthought of combinations of body size, insert thickness and length, and tip colouration.

My plan is to make loads of trial floats, isolate the best for purpose and have them as patterns, and then choose quills and inserts from my stocks of stuff to make more that are close as possible. Then, when a load are made, paint the tips in the proven colourations for different conditions so that I can chop and change as the fishing day progresses.

Then I will sell them into the thrusting world of canal angling as 'the answer', and make my fortune!

Don't laugh...

Dipping the tip in Fire Orange...

A few of probably billions of possible combinations of tip colouration

A waggler adapter thingy...

...Adapter attached

one completed float...

...of many

You may notice that I have signed them? Not that they are that tidy or anything, but,

They'll be in the National Museum of Fishing Paraphernalia one day, mark my words...


  1. they certainly deserve the signature of their creator - a true work of art Jeff - well done!

  2. I think I could rustle up a quid and you could buy one that's straight Jeff! ;)

  3. I like bandy tapered floats, more hydrodynamically efficient !

    I mean peacocks - beautiful plumage - but they ain't built for swimming and flying are they?

    But swans are, and geese fly for thousands of miles at high speeds. Stands to reason that nature would make their primary flight feathers slip through both air and water with little friction. Surely?

    You can still buy me a float though!

  4. Replies
    1. Yes they are. Just like any other waggler but not quite straight! I still use the ones I made years ago when necessary.

  5. Have taken up after 47 year abstinence.used some Canada goose quills. First time effort. Caught first carp last week on unpublished lake. Jungle telegraph access. 6lb 4 oz. Very happy. Tight lines brother.

  6. Used 4 of my stragglers today. Accounted for 11 carp. Smallest 7lbs. Not bad hey