Gold Medal Floats

Handmade Floats By Clive Branson

Balsa waggler

THE BALSA WAGGLER

The balsa waggler is another one of those old floats that have stood the test of time, and is still used in to-days modern angling.  Although balsa was used more for body shaping which added extra weight and buoyancy, combined with other materials, it also shaped other floats, namely for running water.

Shaping balsa by sanding down and making long antenna type floats, were conceived in the early 1950s by the shortage of crow quills nationwide. The concept was perceived by anglers looking for an alternative, balsa being readily available was easy to turn and shape, hence the evolution of the balsa waggler The float has a gentle taper from tip to base, the later being thicker for locking and bulking split shots, (see diagram) for the ease of casting.

The fine tip was very sensitive for shy bite’s and could be coloured in various shades of band’s to detect on the drop bites Because of the nature of the tapered balsa shotting this waggler float could be finely tuned. So that the presentation would be more natural, perhaps than any other waggler float could pro- duce. The shotting could be reduced drastically at the hook length end; because of the taper of the float smaller shots could be used creating a very slow drop, consequently a more natural presentation.

This balsa waggler is best used on still or slow moving waters, in fast water it would probably not cock in time, before reaching the end of the swim. The balsa waggler is ideal on canals and can be used in conjunction with the whip.I was fishing a team match on the Kennet and Avon canal in Wiltshire, on one occasion and I remember catching reasonably well on a tapered balsa waggler using a rod and line, but I felt I could increase my catch rate by using a whip to hand, so quickly I cut the length from my rod to the top of my whip and attached. I ended up with 141b of small blades (skimmers) winning my section and coming third in the match. I certainly use a balsa waggler for slow presentation. This balsa waggler is best used on still or slow moving water infant water it would not cock in time, before reaching the end of the swim.

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