Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Floats & Reels.

Having stopped coarse fishing many years ago for one reason and another and selling all my equipment, I find myself moving back into coarse fishing for the simple reason that my grandson is now becoming of an age where we can go and spend some time together. An easy introduction to the outdoor life, also I remember that time spent by the bank is so relaxing and the cares of the world disappear for a few hours. So my long road to equipping my self has started. I have purchased a second hand seat box from ebay that needs a bit of work before I'm able to use it. I remember that I had a selection of handmade floats in the past as well, so after trawling the internet I came across the following site:  Fenlands Fine Floats After dropping Stuart Broughton the gentleman who runs the handmade float buisness an email for more details (he responded very quickly) I decided to order a nine float set.

I ordered the following floats as seen in the picture above from Left to Right, Fenland Straight Reed Wagglers, Fenland Reed Carp Stalker Margin Floats and Inserted Reed Wagglers. The order was placed Stuart informed me that they would take about three weeks to make as they are made to order.

Fenland Straight Reed Wagglers
Buying online can sometimes be problamatic at best and at times you do not always get what you see in the advertisement of goods. In this case the handmade floats from Stuart met and exceeded my expectations, they are well made and wonderful floats to behold.

Fenland Reed Carp Stalker Margin Floats
You can order the floats with various colour tips, in the picture above I decided to have the smallest float white tipped for close in work. It will be some time before I actually use the floats but I have no doubt that they will perfom as well as they look.

Inserted Reed Wagglers
As someone who likes to make individual handmade items himself I can appreciate the amount of effort that Stuart puts into his floats. The quality of the workmanship is fantastic I would not hesitate to recommend Stuarts handmade floats to other anglers and the price in my humble opinion is value for money.

Hand Line
On a similar theme I decided that I would like to do some handline fishing when I go abroad next year as I intend to live of the land for a week or so. Trying to source a decent hand line reel in the UK is nigh on impossible.

However, in New Zealand and Austraila its an everyday thing to use a hand reel, although my father says its for kids over in NZ while the adults use a rod and line!!! Anyway I asked my father if he would kindly source a hand reel for me and he sent me the yellow peril above, thank you dad.

It came with line hook and lead attached not sure if I will change things around a bit we will have to see. I just need to get some casting practice in before next year. But what it is, is very light for packing in the sack on my travels, sure there are lighter things like the old pop can etc, but this is purpose made.

That's it, thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Hook or by Crook.

I have got quite a lot of walking stick shafts seasoning in the shed, some of which have been there for over 3 years. A project that I started in the summer and put away as I got distracted by other things I've decided to finish. The wood is a one piece hazel shaft with enough wood on one end for a type of crook. The first thing to do is determine where the head of the stick will be and start taking away the excess wood. I used a hand saw for this task.

After removing the excess its far easier to work out the exact shape that you want I tend to go with the flow of the wood to determine the finished shape.

So that's the hazel basically roughed out with the top and sides cut back, then I draw on an overall shape I want to produce. After a few hours of hard work that includes the use of the hand axe, mora knives, all different grades of files from flat to round the shape appears from the wood.

I have used various grades of Abronet sanders from 80 - 600 to try and achieve a really polished finish.

So, nearly finished just got to take a bit of the bottom of the stick and apply a finishing coat which may well be beeswax, mineral oil, or polyurethane not made my mind up yet.

Hope you like the stick, not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

More Spoons

Cherry (left) &  Spalted Birch

Been busy just carving spoons lately from different woods but trying to standardise the bowl shape a bit. I have been using cherry, lime and a lump of spalted birch which I found at the bottom of the wood pile. I remember that I chucked it away as too wet and forgot all about it, its dried out and looks lovely. I had forgot how tough birch can be.

Lime wood
Simple handle
Its the first time I have carved into Lime wood its easy going and really light when dried. I can never do the same handle, it just seems that I go with what ever way the wood wants to.

Cherry a different handle
Spalted Birch

Having been working with a Dremmel a lot lately making pendants, its been rather nice to just get back to the axe and three knives. I'm really enjoying carving again. Next up some large serving spoons probably.

Thanks for reading.