Homemade Fishing Floats

Updated November 21, 2016

Fishing floats are used to suspend a bait or lure at a desired depth in the water and also act as an indicator when a fish strikes. Floats are simple rigs that include a lead or weight and a hook with bait or a lure. Floats are commonly made from materials including balsa wood, plastic, cork and styrofoam. Making floats at home is a fun and easy project that most anglers can accomplish with ease.

Choose a styrofoam ball to be used for a fishing float. The size of the ball will be determined by personal preference, fishing environment and fish species. A good starting point is to consider a ball that is at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter.

Hold the styrofoam ball at the top and bottom with your thumb and index finger. Apply a strip of masking or painters tape in a straight line around the middle of the ball.

Dip a small paint brush into red craft paint–and paint the surface of the styrofoam above the tape line.

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly and apply a second coat of red paint for deeper coverage and colour. Allow the paint to dry once again before continuing the project.

Remove the tape from the styrofoam float. Determine the centre of the float running from top to bottom. The top half will be painted red and the bottom will be white. Drill a 1/4 inch hole completely through the float from top to bottom. Insert a wood or plastic plug at least 1/2 inch long into the hole at the top of the lure to be used as a peg for the line when fishing.


The fishing line is fed through the hole in the lure. Peg the line in place by inserting a wood or plastic plug into the hole so the line is wedged in place.

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam balls
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Red craft paint
  • Craft paint brush
  • Drill with 1/4 inch bit
  • Wood or plastic plug 1/2 inch long
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.