There's nothing as emotive, or personal, to an angler than a float... its body shape, the length of its stem, the bristles diameter length and type, all raise differing opinions and preferences amongst us. Even so, to many thoughtful match anglers they become almost... sensual... objects of desire, which are viewed with an element of fantasy! How else do you explain the many hours of pleasure we get from gazing at the countless array of floats displayed in our tackle shops.

Perhaps we are mystically drawn to them because they seemingly represent that transition from our world, into that of our quarry... fish! After all, it's through the float that we sense how a rig behaves underwater... detecting when fish are moving into our swim... reading how the fish are picking our bait up and, of course, watching it as it slips under the surface, where it's (hopefully) fish on!!!There are more float styles available in catalogues and shops across Europe than any other piece of fishing tackle, and just as many anglers willing to part with their hard earned cash to buy them! is fortunate to have come across a relatively new manufacturer in the English float-market, but not a new one in terms of the European scene.

Hungary has long been associated with quality floats... KC Carpa and Cralusso in particular. Their products are well-known to tens of thousands throughout the UK, but many may not be aware of another great Hungarian float maker... Dino! Dino, or to give him his real name Denes Lorincz, has been making floats for over 10 years and has great international pedigree, both as an angler and float maker. His last appearance for his national side was at Merida, during England’s stunning gold medal victory, where Dino was his countries second highest points scorer.

Some of Dino's floats ready for painting and varnishing. Top: Carpodream's awaiting their coat of paint. Above: Sulla's drying out before a good coat of varnish is applied.Some of Dino's floats ready for painting and varnishing. Top: Carpodream's awaiting their coat of paint. Above: Sulla's drying out before a good coat of varnish is applied.
His manufacturing base is in the city of Szekesfehervar, close to Lake Valence, the host to so many Euro and World class events. His main market in Europe is Italy, which should be recommendation enough as the Italians are very particular about their floats! His other customers can be found in Belgium, Scandinavia and Hungary with the UK now beginning to grow. Judging by the quality we've already seen, I suspect it will not be long before Dino floats become as well-known as those other Hungarian producers!

But the main root of our feature centres around three different patterns, all for roach. This was unusual, as far as the normal reviews go, because we dealt with all three different patterns at the same time... using three anglers... on the same venue... for the same species! This was not to compare one against the other... floats that is, but to see how each individual angler coped with, what he believed was, the most suitable pattern for the target species. They would then comment on how their particular floats performed, both from a technical and personal viewpoint.

Most reviews of this nature are all too quick to make 'snap' assessments, based around inconclusive environments. Our test was specific to roach, on a known roach water and under (almost) identical weather conditions. I say almost, as our inside angler had marginally less wind than those to his right. Nevertheless, depth, species and tow were undeniably the same for all. But where to find such a consistent venue, offering us that 'Utopian' level playing field?
The view of Holme Grange along the Pump bank, where our testing took place... not the most scenic venue in the country, but one which offered a consistent and specific target species for our review!The view of Holme Grange along the Pump bank, where our testing took place... not the most scenic venue in the country, but one which offered a consistent and specific target species for our review!Enter Holme Grange, a venue in Berkshire well known for some mega carp weights and stunning winter roach fishing. It's a venue we covered several years ago when carp-head Perry Stone banked in excess of 200lb of carp on the floating pole method. The water's little more than 5 acres, on the edge of a fruit farm, but loaded with carp and roach, and the odd tench. Based between Crowthorne and Wokingham, the fishery is now under the management of Crowthorne Angling Centre, part owned by Colin Dance and is accessible to day tickets and club bookings.

Our intrepid trio consisted of Dave Ewing, Ian Dixon and myself... Dave Johnson. Each of us had selected a particular pattern we liked. DE chose the Roach Royal, Ian the Dralion and myself the Roach Cesar. Here is what each of us made of our chosen roach patterns. We hope you find our conclusions both informative and useful.

Our first reviewer is Dave Ewing, well known for his in-depth analysis and technical curiosity!

When Dave Johnson asked me to have a look at Hungarian float maker Dino's catalogue and pick out a pattern for roach fishing that I liked, I was naturally very excited. I normally don’t need asking twice to look at a new range of floats! I had heard of Dino floats in the past, but never actually looked at his range until now, and I must say I was pretty impressed with the scope of his products. He seemed to cover the commonplace carpodrome floats, but had a great section of silverfish floats that looked spot on in their design and appearance for the UK commercial scene.

I was particularly interested to find a float that looked just like the sort used by many of the top northern French anglers on their local canals. Now these canals range from 1 metre, to 3.5 metres deep, with locks also control most of their movements and one thing they do on these waters is fish with short wire stemmed floats. Not the pencil float type as such, but ones with a more elongated and streamlined body, that settled quickly and proved very stable in wind and during lock movements. Needless to say they are also very sensitive! Known patterns like the Sensas Fred and Jim will give you some idea. I was therefore instantly drawn to the majestically named Roach Royal!

I had asked DJ for a selection of floats between 0.3gr to 1gr. Unfortunately when they arrived the largest floats Dino had available were 0.8gr, but the range looked spot on for me. The floats were slightly more streamlined than their Sensas counterparts, and slightly heavier in the top of the body. but I liked the Dino design a lot. He seemed to have got the right balance between a short and strong wire stem balanced against a body streamlined for sensitivity and it looked less resistant to drift than the classic pencil shape. The fibre bristle was a big improvement for me, over the plastic ones used on the Sensas floats.

The float looked right. A mat black finish with a white sight band on the upper shoulder looked perfect for spotting any lifts. But how would the float perform on a rig on our venue? I took up my given position at the end of our 'test-line up' with DJ in the middle, for a relatively breezy winter float trial session on this small reservoir.

Not a problem which particularly affected the performance, but an annoying one which, judging by the other guys test floats, seemed to be an isolated occurrence.Not a problem which particularly affected the performance, but an annoying one which, judging by the other guys test floats, seemed to be an isolated occurrence.I was curious when it came to setting the floats up for the trial, knowing that this particular pattern of float was not commonly used in the UK. However, I found one problem when setting up the rigs. The eyes on a couple of the floats were blocked with varnish! Now this is not something I like to see on a shop bought pole float and although the eyes were easily cleared with an old wire stemmed float, I was mildly disappointed. These days, I think pole floats need to be perfect to warrant the near £2 price tag we pay! As a comparison I had bought a load of floats from a Bulgarian maker ridiculously cheap, and the eyes on each of these floats were free from varnish!

But with 0.5 and 0.8 floats set on winders, four sections in length, I was ready to go and take on the Home Grange roach. The first thing that struck me when I saw the venue was how clear the water was. The bank slopes steeply away and is covered in large pebbles and you could see quite far down the shelf. What was obvious was that this was a deep venue! On plumbing up, I found about 3.3 metres at 11 metres out, with the bottom still sloping away. With the breeze blowing from left to right, this would prove a great test of the floats stability and sensitivity.

Now there is one thing you should always do when fishing a venue for the first time... listen to the locals! So when fishery manager, canal angling 'ace' and local tackle dealer Colin Dance told me not to feed pinkies, because I would get plagued with small roach. Having paid close attention to this advice, I then went and fed them in my groundbait! Why? I don’t know... perhaps I was in a 'northern French' frame of mind, where pinkies usually is a top bait for sorting out bigger roach. But here they proved to be problematic as, true to form, I caught loads of small roach and couldn't get the bigger fish feeding. DJ came and watched me catch fish after fish for a while and asked whether I was fishing in the 'roach-nursery'! I had also quite stubbornly refused to fish shorter, as Ian and DJ were doing, simply because I wanted to fish in deeper water to see how the floats performed. This was as close as I could get, in southern England, to the sort of conditions encountered on canals like the St Quentin or the Canal du Nord where fishing top 4’s in clear water for small roach was the 'norm'.

Despite the pinkie and not fishing off the top 4 (which would have been much faster, of course), I did catch lots of fish, one-a-chuck virtually all day long. And this gave me plenty of time to test the floats and put them through their paces. So let’s look at how these Roach Royal's performed.

Stability: this proved exactly as expected – perfect! I believe that you need a wire stem on a roach float to settle it quickly and stop the float riding the surface ripples. The wire stem doesn't need to be long, but reasonably thick and fairly heavy. Several years ago I tested numerous floats in a big drift and proved that the shorter wire stem pencil floats, like the Sensas Auchy, were better at sitting in a big drift than longer carbon stems, or wire stems with longer and thinner wires. This was right at the start of the pencil float craze and I still believe that a short, but strong wire stem, helps quick settling, anchors a float in a surface ripple and tangles far less than long wire or carbon stems.

The next thing I believe helps stability is a streamlined body. I've been using pencil floats of different shapes and sizes for many years and I have seen the development of slightly chunkier pencil bodies like the Rive 4 or the Sensas Mantova. These floats are fine when you have a bit of flow but they seem to catch a drift more than the slimmer and more streamlined bodied pencil floats. Some of the very best technical pencil style bodies are made by French float maker Eric Baire, who works on streamlining and shaping the basic pencil form, to reduce resistance to drift.

The Roach Royals I was testing did the same thing. The long body is streamlined and does not pick up surface drift in the same way as a straighter pencil shape does. DJ, to my left, started fishing with a slightly thicker carbon stemmed pencil float and couldn't get the bait to sit still in the drift. He was cursing the wind and moaning about drift, whilst my Roach Royal's were barely moving. Proof to me that for stability two things are essential... a short thick wire stem and a slender streamlined body!

Bite indication: When it comes to this part of a floats use, I think Dino has really produced the 'goods'. Why? Well, the white band at the top of the shoulder is an advantage on a commercial float. I've seen plenty of home-made floats with a white sight band, but Dino's design was perfect. The band help spots little lifts and hold ups in a chop and is much easier to read than the white bodied floats that were all the rage several years ago. I like, in particular, the fact that the white band is between black. This makes reading lifts much easier as you still see the black shoulder rise, followed by the white. This is much clearer than having a white band straight under the bristle because you can’t see the white in open water when the float rises. The orange and yellow fibre bristles were also excellent and very visible, even in poor light conditions. I did blacken the yellow tip after an hour or so, but I was still able to pick up the orange tip, even against the open water and poor light. Had it been a bit brighter I would not have needed to use the black marker at all!

Float shotting: I found the Roach Royals to take exactly what it said on the float. I personally shot floats by calculating the weight of the shot, leaving a little under for any trimming shot. For the 0.8g floats, I used a 0.5g olivette, two No.8 (0.14g), one No.9 (0.055g) and three No.11 (0.09g) shot. Sure enough, the floats settled at the base of the bristle and needed just a No.12 trimming shot to dot it down correctly. The shotting on both 0.8 gram floats proved identical! So from my perspective the shotting on these floats was as marked and consistent.

Float finish: This is something that's greatly impressed me about Dinos floats. During our test at Holme Grange, the floats I used didn't move up and down during the day. With fibre bristles dotted down, some floats gradually take on a little water and need the trimming shot taken off, in order to keep them visible. But not Dinos! Once shotted, they stayed at a constant level throughout the session. This was good but what was even better was when I took one of them off a winder a week later and tried it. Still sock on! The finish on these floats not only looks good, it works! The floats are well sealed and stay sealed during use.

Final thoughts:
On the plus side: Great floats, well made that don’t take on water. I liked the body shape of the Roach Royal, it's sensitive, stable and the wire stem is just the right length and thickness.

On the negative side: There was varnish in a float eye which was annoying. I don’t like having to dig it out myself in case I damage the paintwork. This apart, they're perfect floats, it's just shame they are not available in more tackle shops around my area... perhaps that will change soon!

Reviewed by Dave Ewing

I'm not usually given to over-excitement when it comes to general tackle bits, but something stirred when I picked up a supply of Dralion floats that DJ asked me to try out. Having been weaned onto other more established Hungarian brands over the past decade, I was very impressed with the finish of these particular Dino products, as well as those that Dave Ewing and DJ where going to use.

To me, and many experienced match guys, we first look at build quality, pattern types, usages and last but not least, supply (which I'll explain about later)!

Ian looks none to pleased with the first fish coming out of Holme Grange... but it did improve greatly as the day wore on!Ian looks none to pleased with the first fish coming out of Holme Grange... but it did improve greatly as the day wore on!On immediate inspection I found the first two requirements fully satisfied... it was hard to fault them. The third requirement, usage, would be at Holme Grange, a venue which Dave Ewing has already described.

The Dralion is best described as a short Pencil-type float, with a short wire stem. The wire stem is particularly important as I require a float to settle immediately once lowered into the water... ready to read any indications as the bait sinks to the deck. Many similar models have an in-built failing, namely the thickness of the wire stem. Why this is so, I cannot say, but I find it inconceivable that this minor, yet crucial upgrade has not been carried out yet! Many other models have wire too thin for use and suffer terminal bends, not just during fishing, but sometimes during rig make up. The cost must be negligible to increase the wire size a fraction, and it would enhance both stability and reliability of these floats no end! The Dralion has no such issues.
Because of the fine plastic tip, sensitivity is assured The flouro-yellow tips are high-vis, which to me is paramount, as I struggle to focus on any other colour apart from black and I had no sight issues with either colour during the test. Shotting-wise, I don't generally check whether the weight is accurate as I tend to shot and check either on the bank, or in a shotting tube, each individual float as and when required. So I don't physically rely on what it says on the side, as I suspect nearly every other angler does!

Our target species, I was told, would be roach, and we'd be fishing in around 7-8 foot of water. The size I opted for was 0.6g, which I felt would be light, stable and sensitive enough for the fish I was targetting. Having said that, this model would not be out of place fishing bloodworm on any UK commercial or canal! Although our canals tend to be under-utilised these days, the Dralion would be an ideal setup for many of them, but at the time of our test, the pattern only went down to 0.2g and I felt this undersold the range. I have since been informed that since my recommendation for a 0.1g version, Dino has now added that size to the range and I'd be very surprised if this didn't become one of the best selling floats over the coming years... as the Dralion became more well-distributed.

Being given the first peg by DJ, I found the wind was a little less than those to my right, but there still was the odd increase in breeze to warrant a reasonable test. Once I'd set up the rig with a bulk of No.8s and four No.11 droppers I fed a small amount of GB and went over it with a caster. I didn't have to wait long for the tip to slowly move under and a roach of around 4ozs came to the surface. During the next few hours this was repeated many times with fish to 10ozs. Not big for the occasion, but this was not about fish, it was about how the float performed!

Even during breezy spells, the rig remained almost in a constant position, rarely wandering far from the feed area. What was noticeable was that after a long spell of catching and working the rig, it remained perfectly shotted, not a hint  of taking on water, so there was no need to remove any shot during the session.

All in all, the float was fit for purpose. If I had any misgivings, they would be minor. For instance, I've previously mentioned the lower size factor, which have now been addressed. But I would like to see a slightly longer wire in sizes 0.8g to 1gr. But even so, it’s hard to fault an already pretty accomplished product. In addition to the Dralion, I also had a brief spell using a Premier 1gr model, which I found equally satisfactory.

Just one after-thought. It occurred to me that the Dralion could benefit from an increase in its family tree... by using a hollow tip on all the sizes, a sort of bigger brother! This would increase its usability and make it an ideal float for fishing pellet in the UK! Something more for Dino to think about I suspect!

I mentioned supply earlier. For my part, and many others like me, supply of the most popular sizes has always seemed problematic (as it is with many products produced abroad). These sizes always seems to run out the quickest... of course... so why don't float suppliers produce more of these particular sizes, in proportion to the least popular selling sizes? For instance, the UK fishing scene is dominated by commercials. These venues do not generally require many sizes in excess of 1gr. If you look more closely at what sizes are used the most, you will see that between .2g and .8g sell far greater than any others. So my main concern would be that Dino has a good supply of these sizes in shops. It's not an issue of what a shop orders, but more one of the distributors supply stock. Not having to wait for several weeks while more stock is shipped from the continent would be an added bonus to any product, particularly floats. It's a simple issue which needs the simple solution of stock balance!

Reviewed by Ian Dixon

Unlike Dave Ewing, I have no personal feelings towards the northern French style floats, as I prefer a more elongated pattern like the Cesar. Unfortunately I'm in general agreement with Ian regarding wire stems, believing in the stability factor. That's not to say that a carbon stem float has no value, on the contrary. Having spotted this particular model on their website, I immediately took a shine to it, as it ticked nearly all of the boxes, as far as what a roach pattern should be. My one reservation being that carbon stem! However, this was a test and, to be fair and evaluative, I needed to fish with something that was perhaps not 100% kosher with me! After all, the choices we make are usually based on compromise anyway!

I'd received a selection of 0.4, 0.5 and 0.8g floats for trial and set up two rigs of both the 0.5 and 0.8 grams, as I knew Holme Grange was quite deep by commercial standards and the weather forecast for the day was for a breezy wind from the south-west. Having allowed my associates the benefit of end pegs, I proceeded to set up as 'pig-in-the-middle' and use the 0.8g rigs. I'd set a bulk of No.9 shot, two foot from the hook loop and, as my hooklengths are all tied to 6", it meant I would have five No.10 droppers spaced out below, over a 30" length. This would offer enough permutations to experiment with the 'drop'. Bait would be either caster or red maggot, much the same as Ian and Dave.

The first thing I noticed was the lack of visibility from the orange plastic bristle, which was purely down to the shade and ripple on the water. A quick paint-up with the black marker and things became much clearer, but the rig was travelling too fast across the feed area for my liking. I had to slow it down and this is were the old faithful trick of back-shotting came into play! A No.8 shot, 2" from the float, did the trick and I could now place and keep the rig over my feed area. I suspected that a wire stem would have created a much more stable rig, just like Dave's Royals.

Bite recognition was precise, due to the fine tip, which created little or no resistance in the breeze and few fish where bumped. This pattern would prove ideal with bloodworm. Unlike Dave Ewing, my belief is that when there are adverse winds, a longer float definitely proves the more stable option. However, changing that carbon stem to a wire one would make the pattern almost perfect in my opinion (and be even more compatible with using bloodworm or joker). I'll probably do some further testing with this option and see for myself. Although Holme Grange saw a side breeze and force me to add a backshot, I used the same carbon-stemmed model several weeks later at Gold Valley without one and 'knocked out' 30lb of prime winter roach!

One key factor which I've noticed, along with both Ian and Dave, is that Dino's floats are well glued, something other brands fall down on sometimes! I plan to remove a couple of carbon stems from my remaining Cesars, and replace them with some of the 0.06mm steel wires I've just received, then see how they perform under similar Holme Grange conditions. It's an interesting excercise and something I tend to do with many of my floats, as I believe you should never be satisfied with your tackle and always experiment to get the most out of it!

Note: I've been using another Dino pattern for meat, sweetcorn and pellet fishing, the Merus, and I have tried taking the carbon stem out to replace with a wire. It was the most difficult thing that I've ever tried to do with ANY float! It did eventually come out, but it required a great amount of pulling, with the stem held in a vice! It goes to show just how solid the build is on Dino's floats!

From a point of view regarding shotting accuracy, I'm with Ian on this as well. I shot my floats at home using a shotting tube and don't take much notice of how many No.8, 9, 10 or 11 shot I need, to make up the weight as marked on the side... I just add the shot required until the float sits perfect, its purely personal! The weight marked is simply a guide for me.

There not much more to add. The Cesar perform admirably and I have no real critisms, except that carbon stem. But I'm sure we'll convince Dino to add one later on. The body is the perfect pattern for roach in my opinion and, if you are like me, once you have this component in place, changing either the stem or sight bristle becomes a simple process, increasing and adding to your tackles' adaptability.
Three happy anglers who all found that their particular floats exceeded expectations.Three happy anglers who all found that their particular floats exceeded expectations.
Finally, what you probably also want to know... how did we all get on regards catching? Well, unsurprisingly Ian banked around 12-14lb, Dave Ewing took perhaps 5-6lb, courtesy of those pinkies! I, on the other hand, managed a respectable 8-9lb. Nevertheless, each of us found our respective models ideal, or almost ideal, and agree that Dino's overall build quality and patterns seem to be more than a match for his competitors.

Reviewed by Dave Johnson

Score? I think we all agreed that Dino's floats recorded a commendable 9 out of 10.

Dino's floats are available to the tackle trade, Bona Fida clubs and wholesalers via his sole distributor, Attila Adam at

If you've seen or fancy some of the floats, have a word with your local shop and get them to stock Dino's floats... they won't be disappointed!

Watch out for more comments from our panel, as we look further into Dino's extensive range over the coming months.