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Materials and Production

Lots of thought, care and attention goes into Malman Floats. Here is some insight into the production and materials that go into our floats.

Bodies

Our pole float bodies are produced on a small custom built lathe designed and built by Gaz himself. We now only use synthetic foams in the production of floats as consistent quality balsa is becoming hard to obtain, in any case the foams we use are stronger and much more consistent. Two types of foam are used, both are used in high spec military and aerospace industry, both have the highest strength to weight ratio of any foamed polymer on the planet, not to be confused with the cheap polyurethane or dyvinicell h160 foam bodies found on 'handmades' available on popular auction sites (our foam is 3 to 4 times stronger at the same density). There is nothing better

SL (super light) foam is slightly lighter than the lightest balsa around at 71kg m3 meaning small body size and less resistance in the water. However it is as strong as a hard balsa meaning it lacks the very low strength of very light balsa.

B-Foam has the same density as a light balsa at 110kg m3 yet has extreme strength in comparison, approximately 3 times harder. This means floats can be made to work the same way a balsa float would but with big improvements in side eye strength and damage resistance.


Tips

We use a combination of hollow plastic and solid glass tips on our floats. Hollow tips are useful for a wide variety of situations and are especially good for 'dotting down'. However there are times when hollows just will not cut it in terms of sensitivity, this is when glass comes into play. Glass is narrower meaning less of the 'Archimedes' effect and it is also denser than water meaning once a fish has moved the float there is some downward inertia which 'amplifies' the bite, its also very bright for its diameter.


Stems

We use glass and wire in all our floats. Glass is great when strength is needed and is virtually indestructible, it also allows for through body construction of floats greatly adding strength and allowing the use of 'Perfect Power' eyes. Wire is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly it can be used to make a float cock quickly, great for dibbers and f1 floats. Secondly it can be used to reduce the amount of shot needed down the line, really useful for hard fished carp that need to see a bait fall naturally and can feel bigger shot when they pick up the bait, a float taking 4x10 shot down the line can be used in 6ft of water in good conditions.


Eyes

All our eyes are made in house to ensure correct specification. Most other float makers buy eyes in but we have found that the hard grade of stainless steel used in mass produced side eyes contributes to eyes being prone to pulling, there's no 'give' in them. Most eye pulls are caused by sudden realise of pressure, a hard material only amplifies this effect. We use a softer grade of stainless to give some flex in the stem of the eye, it means we have to spend extra time pre-drilling the hole for the eye but its worth it.

On slim floats that have little body material to hold the eye in place we secure the eye further with silk thread, as far as we're aware we are the only ones doing this. Nothing holds an eye better on light floats.

'Perfect Power' eyes are a completely new form of eye, exclusive to us and with a patent application in place (be warned imitators). The stem of the eye is placed in the opposite side of the float and then the wire wraps around the stem underneath the tip. Put simply they are the same weight as a normal side eye, so no effect on balance, they twist into a loop as a normal side eye so no line damage but they are stronger than a spring eye.

WE DO NOT USE SPRING EYES, they are a miserable compromise that damage line, including the new type figure 8s as they can stretch out squeeze in, and unbalance floats. Open up a copy of your favourite magazine and try and find a top match angler using floats with springs.

 

Finish

We have spent years developing what we believe to be the perfect finish. Hard shell like acrylic and celulose paints found on many commercial floats seem to be prone to failure but they have to use them to protect soft balsa. Due to the hard nature of our foams we have no need to use rock hard paints to protect soft low quality balsa so we can use flexible polyurethane and polyvinyl paints and varnishes which don't crack and are much more resistant to the odd knock. All floats are dip painted, brush coating doesn't cut it, it leaves too much paint on the body effecting weight.

 

 

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