Float-maker Dave’s experiments

I have been chatting to one of angling’s more interesting and colourful characters, Dave Offler, a Sheffield float-maker.

Dave’s always inventing, experimenting, trying something new - or a different approach, he has a very inquiring mind, open to thoughts and ideas.

Not all of his experiments are successful, some of his creations are just for fun; the ‘duck float’ that entertains and delights young children, springs to mind here.

Some of his creations don’t always work, but he’s not deterred and soon finds alternative ideas to pursue, but one thing’s for sure, he’s got the patience, inventiveness and skill to create some lovely, top-quality innovative floats.

He’s just made me some more hardwood controllers, that don’t spook wary surface-feeding carp.

I suppose we should call these controllers mark two, the next stage from the original, but that’s typical of Dave, always improving on previous designs.

These latest controllers are made of beech hardwood, 50mm long and 22mm wide cylinders with a hole drilled through the length to accommodate a rig tube for the line.

The front end of the controller is hollowed out, scooping water to act as a brake when a fish takes the bait. The pure white colour is perhaps unusual for fishing floats, but a colour we’ve found that doesn’t spook fish when they are slurping floating bread.

To fish this controller, I use a ‘cigar rig’ of white bread, although white marshmallows are a good alternative.

To make a cigar rig, take a fresh white slice of bread, tear it into quarters and take off the crusts.

Lay the hooklength across the short side of the bread and roll the bread around the line. This creates a small cigar shaped roll of bread.

Pull the hook, a size ten, into the end of the ‘cigar’ but leave plenty of point exposed, then crimp the ends of the bread to the hook shank and line to secure.

You should end up with a cylinder of bread that stops on well when carefully ‘lobbed’ out in front of patrolling carp, it matches the new controller perfectly.

The idea was to create a self-hooking bolt-rig controller that casts further than a bubble float and doesn’t frighten carp. I reckon we’ve just about there, or until Dave decides to improve the design even further!