Bernard Venables' Floats

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DaceAce
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by DaceAce » Mon May 06, 2019 7:00 am

In my research for 'Big Roach' I found an article, possibly in Fishing magazine, where Walker has a picture of the float he uses on the Beane and it isn't like the one above!
This is what I wrote in my book: 'Dick designed a special float to fool the shy-biting roach. It was a special antenna
float with a 10” fine cane tip (extracted from a tablemat!). It had a piece of
peacock quill at the bottom end to provide buoyancy. Despite this, it was
inherently unstable and difficult to use in all but the slightest of currents. He fished
it with 2BB shot that were heavy enough to take the float under and when these
shot rested on the bottom about 1” of the tip showed. This is a variation of the
traditional Lea ‘float shot-leger’. We now know it better as the ‘lift’ method.'

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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by Tengisgol » Mon May 06, 2019 8:39 am

DaceAce wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 7:00 am
In my research for 'Big Roach' I found an article, possibly in Fishing magazine, where Walker has a picture of the float he uses on the Beane and it isn't like the one above!
This is what I wrote in my book: 'Dick designed a special float to fool the shy-biting roach. It was a special antenna
float with a 10” fine cane tip (extracted from a tablemat!). It had a piece of
peacock quill at the bottom end to provide buoyancy. Despite this, it was
inherently unstable and difficult to use in all but the slightest of currents. He fished
it with 2BB shot that were heavy enough to take the float under and when these
shot rested on the bottom about 1” of the tip showed. This is a variation of the
traditional Lea ‘float shot-leger’. We now know it better as the ‘lift’ method.'
Ah, fascinating! I know it’s a big ask unless you have them catalogued but are you able to copy it here?

The idea that this was the Beane float came from someone else who had one (Walker-made with provenance I was told) which was very similar save for a small sight bob on top painted orange.

The question then arises, what would be the genesis/intention of these floats?
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DaceAce
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by DaceAce » Mon May 06, 2019 10:16 am

After an hour of wading through a box of crumbling Angling Times cuttings that date back to 1955 to 65 i found the Walker article from 1963.
IMG_4055.JPG
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by Tengisgol » Mon May 06, 2019 11:47 am

Thanks Mark, really appreciated. I wonder what Mr Goldstraw’s float was like?

If the provenance of the other float I mentioned is correct, and I’ve no reason to doubt that, then I think this original float is very likely to have been made with the same hand. It has the same green laquer-type finish and thread and the same elder pith body.

So, I wonder what this float was for? For me it is so similar to the concept in the article I’d wager a hunch it was the same purpose and either an earlier or later incarnation (probably later).

But we’ll never know! I’m not hung up too much on who’s hand it was, it came from BV’s tackle box and that’s a nice enough thought.

But if anyone else has any ideas I’d love to hear them.

And thank-you so much again.

Phil
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DaceAce
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by DaceAce » Mon May 06, 2019 1:57 pm

Goldstraw's float (as you'd expect this was the last cutting at the bottom of the box!).
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by Tengisgol » Tue May 07, 2019 6:40 am

Thanks again Mark.

As well as the float article, the Sportex Turbo road and reel looks interesting. They made some great rods but looks like this idea didn’t catch on!
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by Troydog » Mon May 13, 2019 9:29 pm

Wonderful photos Tengisgol, thank you
Trouble is, the fish just don't read the books......
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Re: Bernard Venables' Floats

Post by Vole » Tue May 14, 2019 8:27 am

Those white-tipped sliders are a proper puzzle, aren't they? They've already changed the way I make my favourite floats, yet I still don't understand what they're for!
One bit of the jigsaw dropped into place after a day trying to fish a big, carrot-shaped two-ring slider, after heavy rains meant the Lea was trying to look like the Tay, but browner. Even overshotted, when I tried to slow the float down, it popped up and laid flat. As soon as I saw these floats, I tore the upper rings off some of mine and re-positioned them lower down the float, and was able to hold back much more firmly without the float flipping up.
Of course, if you overdo this, you end up with a funny-shaped waggler that sinks when held back, so it's a matter of limiting one's expectations, but it certainly delays the point of needing to ledger. (YAY!)
I'm pretty sure, then, that Tengisgol's floats were meant to be held back.

(As an aside, I'm sure I've seen, somewhere, a picture of a Nottingham-style cork-on-quill slider or "Travelling" float with the upper ring halfway down the body; but I've seen dozens with the upper ring at the top of the body, where it's much easier to attach it. If I can find the book with the former in it, I'll have a new angling Hero; the others are by mere hacks.)

But why the long, white tips?
Any subtle bite would be missed, so the target wasn't crucians, but roach, too, are notorious as masters of the "Fine" bite, where the fish takes the bait and remains still while it tests it, chomps it, sucks the juices out/paste off/bites most of the worm off and ejects the nasty bit with only the faintest tremble of the float, if that. Either the designer wasn't after roach, or he rejected the idea that the fine bite was caused by anything other than a reaction to crude tackle (See Jeff Hatt's exploits in the "Idler's Quest" blog). A long lift-bite caused by moving a small shot would appear to be what was sought, then, no?

And why white? The two occaisions that I can think of when white would be ideal are fishing a small water with high trees or buildings on the other bank giving dark reflections, or at night, in the beam of a torch. Perfect for tench or bream at night, in a slow river or a lake or canal prone to a bit of drift... but I'm sure there's more to it than that, otherwise it's rather over-engineered, a slim bit of peacock would be fine.

Why a slider? Certainly not for distance, those floats can't carry much shot, and probably not for great depth, for the same reason... it must (?) be to swing the rig into holes so tight that the full-depth rig would snag. Lily pads? Boats? Overhanging branches? More questions than answers, as usual, I'm afraid. :Brickwall:
"Write drunk, edit sober" - Hemingway.
Hemingway didn't have to worry about accidentally hitting "submit" before he edited.

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