Your Guide to Buying Coarse Fishing Floats

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Your Guide to Buying Coarse Fishing Floats

Coarse fishing is one of the most popular types of angling in British waters. There are over a million fishermen in the UK who take part in coarse fishing and as a result there is a large industry surrounding the sale of bait and tackle for the sport. A good angler is always looking for better ways to catch fish and having a good selection of floats in order to construct the perfect rig for any fishing conditions is essential. This guide explains the different types of float that are used in coarse fishing and will also provide some useful tips on how to find and purchase these floats using eBay.

What is Coarse Fishing

The term coarse fishing was first introduced in the 19th century and described the practice of fishing for pleasure amongst the general population. Until this point, only the gentry took part in sport fishing and would commonly target salmon and trout. As these two fish were reserved for the privileged few, coarse fishing, where anglers would target species such as barbell, carp, chub, pike, roach and tench, became popular. To this day coarse fishing is extremely popular in the United Kingdom and there is now a huge commercial market for coarse fishing. Anglers will find that there is now a wide variety of float choice available to them when coarse fishing.

What Floats are Best for Coarse Fishing?

There is no one individual float design that is categorically the best coarse fishing float. As with other kinds of fishing, it is often a case of finding the best tool for the job. Listed below are some of the types of float that are commonly used during coarse fishing as well as a brief description of how an angler can best implement them:

Avon Float

This kind of float is characterised by its bulbous body which gives the float an extra degree of buoyancy compared to other, slimmer designs. These floats require a fair amount of shotting, as they are supposed to sit low in the water, almost submerged. They award anglers with a great deal of stability, which is especially useful when fishing in waters with a strong current. Every angler needs some Avon floats in their tackle box.

Quill Float

Quill Floats were devised in the 1800’s and were originally made from porcupine quills. Now constructed from either wood or plastic, a quill float is a great tool for coarse fishermen. Firstly, the slender nature of the design means it is incredibly sensitive to movement and the float is capable of alerting an angler of even the smallest bites. Quill floats are often used for the “lift method”, a popular technique which is often used during coarse fishing.

Chubber Float

The chubber float is an extremely heavy float which is designed for angling in waters with a fast current. This float can support a shot of up to 5 SSG so it is likely to be one of the more robust pieces of tackle in an angler’s kit. The chubber also has the capability of slowing down the bait, letting it drift in the water in an attractive manner for fish and will encourage them to bite.

Waggler Float

Defined as a float that is only attached to the line by its bottom, waggler floats are particularly useful to an angler who is fishing in calm waters. The best time to implement a waggler float is in good weather conditions with low winds and high visibility. This float is another variety which has a very lightweight design and has a sensitive quality, which will allow you to recognise even a small bite immediately.

Stick Float

A stick float is a great float to use for coarse fishing in many types of water from still to tranquil waters and is perfect for targeting barbell, chub dace or roach. These floats are characterised by having thin stems with a more bulbous body to provide some stability to your rig. Tactically, it’s best to use stick floats in a similar way to chubbers by letting the line drift, which will tempt the fish to bite.

Which Fish To Target with Specific Rigs

When planning to target specific fish, it is important to get the correct rig setup beforehand to avoid disappointment; individual rig setups are likely to target specific species based on their behaviours. Below is a table of six commonly targeted coarse fishing species along with some general rig advice:





Stick Float



Quill Float



Avon Float



Chubber Float



Waggler Float



Waggler Float

Gilt-tail Worms

These are all suggestions and it is best to change to a different type of bait or float if there are no fish being attracted to the rig. One other thing to bear in mind is that some fisheries strictly prohibit the use of freshwater fish as pike bait as it encourages pike to eat the other fish in their lake or river. If the fishery you are visiting will not allow you to use freshwater bait, a saltwater fish such as sardine or mackerel is a great alternative.

Buying Coarse Fishing Floats on eBay

Many anglers have found that eBay is the perfect place to buy coarse fishing floats due to the exceptional value and wide selection of floats available. So, what exactly can eBay offer:

  • At any one time, eBay usually have thousands of listings for fishing floats. Finding the ideal floats has never been easier with eBay’s search categories, which allow shoppers to narrow their options down until they have found exactly what they are looking for.
  • Whilst looking for floats, eBay users are able to browse floats by brand, colour, condition, size and by float subtype. This allows shoppers to find exactly what they’re looking for in less time.
  • The vast majority of floats which are listed on eBay are brand new, meaning you will be receiving exactly the sort of product that would be bought in the local angling shop.
  • eBay listings are generally more affordable than tackle purchased from a specialist angling shop also.

Essential Coarse Fishing Safety

Whilst it’s important to know what different kinds of floats are available and it’s useful to learn about the fantastic fishing tackle deals available on eBay, nothing is more paramount that safety whilst angling and there are a few points that all fishermen, especially novices should remember:

  • Never fish above power lines; it isn’t difficult for an angler to catch a power line with his or her fishing line during a cast if they have not moved a safe distance away.
  • Anglers who cannot swim should avoid wading into the water for any reason, especially if they are fishing alone.
  • Even experienced swimmers should avoid wading in fast following waters as it is extremely easy to get dragged away by the current.
  • Anglers should wear suitable clothing in winter, as they are often at risk of hypothermia at this time of year. Wear a hat as this is a good way of maintaining body temperature.
  • Anglers are also at risk of contracting Weil’s Disease, an infection carried in rat’s urine. It is easy to prevent simply by covering all cuts or open skin and keeping any food covered.
  • Be considerate of other people who may be nearby, a good angler will always check behind themselves before they cast off, so that they can be sure no one will be hit by their rod.
  • Be wary and respectful of the other wildlife in the area; do not approach cows and bulls without good reason as they may turn aggressive, especially if they have young nearby.
  • A courteous angler will always clean up after he or she has finished fishing for the day, this ensures that they are doing no damage to the local wildlife.


Coarse fishing is a fantastic pastime and all anglers who partake in coarse fishing will require a wide array of floats in their tackle box for targeting different species of fish. When building a tackle box for coarse fishing, having at least one avon, quill, chubber, waggler and stick float is essential.

Finding coarse fishing floats on eBay is simple; shoppers are able to search by keywords, for example, “waggler float” or for those who are unsure as to exactly which float they require, it is possible to browse through search categories such as brand, colour, condition, size and by float subtype. Many anglers find that using eBay for their fish tackle needs is the most cost effective and convenient way of finding equipment.

Finally, any fisherman, whether experienced or a beginner should always have safety at the forefront of their minds. Never set up to fish near overhead power lines to neutralise the risk of electric shocks, never wade into fast flowing water and keep all food hygienic by leaving it in sealed containers to protect against waterborne disease.

Finally, show respect to fellow anglers, other members of the public and the local wildlife and your coarse fishing with the floats you purchased from eBay is likely to be an enjoyable experience.

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