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Cheap clear floatline

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 3, 2002
i figured a way to make a cheap clear floatline. i went to the local hardware store and bought 60ft of clear vinyl tubing, 5/16" OD, 3/16" ID ($7.20). and a brass snap ($2.00) to connect to my float. and 65ft of 1/8" poly rope ($3.50) to use as a core for reinforcement. i just looped the rope ends and sealed the tubing by squirting a good bit of clear silicone. i now have a sealed floatline for about $13.00 after Uncle Sam gets his share, and an hour or so of my time. either way, i saw a 60ft clear vinyl floatline at the dive shop, but without the rope core, for $45.00.
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You should try hot glue for the seals at the end - works even better than silicone! Or try some silicone for flexibility, stoppered with some hot glue .....
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Hey there SA,

I have also tried and swear by 5200 marine adhesive by 3M. That stuff does not let go. I like it cause it is flexible and has a hell of a grip. I used silicone and one of my floatlines leaked cause of it. The only prob with this stuff is that it is not as cheap as the silicone, but it is well worth the extra dough.
Hope this helps.

Originally posted by Aquiles
I like it cause it is flexible and has a hell of a grip.


:blackeye I'm not even going to go there. :D
5200 is the boating worlds equivelent to duct tape...you can fix anything with it! Never thought about using it on a flaotline though...:cool:
Yeah, 5200 is pretty sweet. :D Just messier than a sonofabeeyotch. :t

The things about homemade floatlines is that you have to remember when you're fighting a fish, you're primarily holding on to the tubing and not the line. When this happens, the entire load of the fish is put on that one point at the end of the floatline. If that connection (5200, silicon or whatever) can't handle that stress, it'll pop right out. You must have some sort of strain relief so that there's a better connection with your plug and the tube. Most plugs will have a recess in the middle of them so that a crimp or string tie or whatever can be wrenched down on it to keep it from moving.

We use a brass lock washer. Slip it over your swivel/plug and hammer the snot out of it til it crimps into the pvc and swivel. Throw some shrink wrap over it and you are good to go.

Originally posted by Mattedhead
We use a brass lock washer. Slip it over your swivel/plug and hammer the snot out of it til it crimps into the pvc and swivel. Throw some shrink wrap over it and you are good to go.


Matt, can you tell us more about these washers? What do they look like and where do you get them? I've always been wanting to buy something off-the-shelf instead of having to grind down a piece of stock.

Sure, you can get lock washers at your local hardware store. It is a washer that is not fully closed. The brass ones are the best. Just find the washer that has the an inner diameter that is equal to or slightly larger than that of the outer diameter of the vinyl tubing. I use barrel swivels to plug the ends. I put a ss split ring on either side of the swivel, this gives you a spot for the lock washer to bite into. The area between the split ring and the swivel is the perfect spot to crimp the washer onto. Just set the floatline on the concrete and use a hammer to crimp the washer just behind the swivel. Then put a little piece of heat shrink tubing over it.

Our floatlines are pvc with a 4-700# blue mono core. Plugged by large sampo barrel swivels with split rings attached to both ends of each swivel. One end of the float line has a tuna clip attached to the split ring by the coil at the back end of the clip. The split ring on the other end of the floatline is attached to a 1" diameter ss ring. This gives a quick/easy point of attachment for a tuna clip. On my floats I have tuna clips permanently mounted so I can switch lines easily. I also use a few inches of clear silicone at each end.
I don't have any pics but this should help.



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Ah okay, I employ a similar setup, but tie it off with a few clove hitches or constrictor knots with some waxed thread in lieu of the washers...

Either way, works great :)
Smooth points MHead! Nice drawing and explanation.

I hadn't thought about using a big barrel swivel, but that'd work!

I was yakking with Jay Riffe the other day and he won't sell his plug/swivel/snap combo, citing that "everyone wants to make there own lines..."

Coming from the "sultan" himself, your smooth points are not taken lightly. The barrel swivels work awesome. They fit really well and I haven't seen one slip with that setup. They are relatively cheap as well, around $5 for the two(maybe 4...can't remember) of them. The split rings are around $1-2 for a half dozen or so. Any tackle shop will have all of that.

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Gee...................... why the hell did I buy a 100 feet & 50 feet Riffle float line for.............:head :head. Never even get to use it till today..... :confused: :confused:

Great info Matt.............Thanks
No prob, Mhead.
PM me with the address so I can send you some ducats for some swivels and rings. That kind of hardware isn't readily available hereabouts and I can see the upside to it.

I will PM you my address, but if you want to cut out the middle man, there are a couple of options:

You can purchase what is called an aussie swivel: This is essentially the exact same swivel that I used. I incorrectly called this swivel a barrel swivel. It is a torpedo swivel. I just found a company that sells them with welded rings on both ends. These would be a stronger connection as opposed to the split ring. I have used a set-up similar to this, and all you have to do is use a hammer or pliers to change the ring that will go into the float line into an oval shape so that it will fit inside. Here is a picture of this swivel:

It is available at www.meltontackle.com I would go for the heavier set...I think that they are #600lb test.


To be continued....


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The other option is to get a similar torpedo swivel that is made of brass. It is available in more sizes and the actual diameter is listed, so that it would be easier to mate a swivel with the diameter tubing you wish to use. They do not have a ring attached, but split rings are available on the same website.
Either option would serve you well.

I hope this helps.


You can get theses at www.campbellsprotackle.com


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