Several years ago mass produced pole floats from some of the main fishing tackle companies were really terrible. Often falling apart even before they sat in the water. The choice on offer wasn’t good either with only a few basic options generally available.
Many serious anglers turned to handmade or hand assembled float makers such as Mick Wilkinson and Nick Gilbert to name a couple. Their pole floats were and still are exceptional with plenty of choices and sizes available. I started using Nick Gilbert’s XL hand assembled ones for several years and I had no issues, very strong and well made and easily available from his website.
Around 2 years ago Preston released their mark I version of their Commercial pole float range and later the Des Ship Commercial Slims followed with the new super strong side eyes. Guru saw this and basically did a deal bringing Mick Wilkinson on board to design and build their versions of his pole floats.
My attention to these new pole floats came via their social media posts. I brought some to try and was impressed despite fellow anglers knocking mass produced pole floats.
Once something has a bad name, it sticks. Yes they had a bad name but now the quality and options available is 1st class. But one of the biggest plus’s with the Preston floats it that they are colour coded and named for their use, Yellow Carp Pellet for Carp, Red F1 Maggot for maggots or slow sinking baits fished on the drop. Blue F1 Pellet for pellets on the bottom, F1 fine for winter fishing etc, Simple!
Then from the Commercial range, Mark II there are purple F1 Shallows for F1’s Shallow and Carp Shallow for fishing shallow for carp, then the Edge for fishing in the Edge. This was a big draw for me. I can now easily select the right pole float from my seatbox with ease. I like to be organised and now I have all these options and their different sizes stored in my rig trays.
So are mass produced pole floats making a come back? Tell me what you think, leave me a comment below.