’s leader and chief trumpet-blower, Dave Johnson, just occasionally does something out of character. Dave is a Yorkshireman and well-known for his generosity of spirit, but not necessarily for distributing items of fishing tackle sent to him. Normally, any review product has “Property of DJ” stamped on it as soon as it gets to’s HQ.  Therefore, at the end of a match we were fishing last week, I was genuinely astonished when Dave chucked me some completely unopened packets of pole floats from DJK tackle to review. At once I checked for signs of small holes where he might have squeezed some of the floats out, but I can honestly say I think DJ gave me the packets unopened and complete!

Let me start by saying that I was aware of DJK floats already. It’s a company set up by Dick Clegg  (the D) along with Jim Leach (the J) and his son Kevin Leach (the K), maker of the best Dutch-style distance feeders in the UK. I had previously ordered some of these feeders for fishing the big French reservoirs and with these feeders came a couple of their Power Pencil pole floats. My first thought was that these looked a very well-made and versatile modern float, assembled with the now ubiquitous 1mm glass stem running through a pencil style foam body to a 1.5mm hollow bristle. There were a couple of things I particularly liked about these floats:

The Finesse style ultimate double looped spring eye, so much better than the cheaper eyes where a strand of the spring was simply pulled out to create those terrible oval loops that damaged any line finer than 0.16mm.

The matt finish, which was a classy and refreshing change to the glossy finish you see on so many hand-made floats.

I was therefore quite happy to receive this small bag of floats. Dick Clegg has been making floats for a long time. I remember buying floats from him to sell in France in the late 1980’s when his lignum and wire sticks were all the rage. The company has clearly an established float making pedigree with a good online range of classic wagglers and sliders.

But let’s return to the contents of the packet DJ slipped me. Inside was a set of Diamond Deep’s, a couple of the Silvers 1 and 2 and a few Margin Cone floats. All I had to do was review them. So what did I make of the floats? Let’s go through them one at a time.

Diamond Deep’s
These were finished in a great looking matt green, similar to the matt blue finish of the Power Pencil. The 1.00mm glass stem went straight through the foam body. Nothing unusual here. But what I liked about the build of the Diamond Deeps was the way the fibreglass stem had 9mm sticking out at the top of the body to secure the bristle and the eye. Too many of today’s hand-made floats have the bristle glued onto a short stump of stem, only a couple of millimetres long, which does not give enough strength to the bristle and reduces its sensitivity as the bristle becomes too buoyant. The 1.5mm hollow bristle was secured onto this 0.9mm fibre glass peg with a 1.6mm finesse spring eye, which was glued onto the bristle.

In particular I liked the stem, which seemed the correct length for the float. When put into a float tube, the stem was long and heavy enough to cock the float immediately, which is something to look for in any pole float, because if it doesn’t do this you will end up having to jiggling the float up and down in order to get it to settle properly!

DE’s note: Unfortunately on the Power Pencils the stem is too short and the floats don’t sit right straight away. They need to be about 2cm longer for them to sit correctly, given the length of their body, which is a shame because everything else is great. But the Diamond Deep’s are the perfect length and prove extremely stable as a result.


Having given these floats a couple of outings now and they are exactly as expected, stable for their size and you can hold them back without the float leaning over too much. They have been used with both chopped worm and pellet, fishing for tench and crucians and they proved excellent. As with all good foam bodied floats, the cells are so compact that they cannot take on water in anyway, so once shotted they retain the correct buoyancy throughout their use.

The diamond shape is not really designed to stand up to big carp bashing with heavy lines. I think if you used red Hydro and 0.18mm line for lumps, you would cut into the body, but as previously stated, it would make little impact on the floats buoyancy. I found the matt finish to be quite tough and for general lighter elastics and lines, possibly up to black Hydro, these floats are ideal. For open water pellet work or fishing slightly bigger baits, like worm or corn, these floats again are ideal. But, to be fair, they are not advertised as carp crunching floats on DJK’s website.

I think with diamond-style floats, you always get the impression that the body is going to take more shot than it actually does. But the Diamond Deeps are, in fact, spot on and the weight of the long stem has been correctly compensated for, within the body size. The shotting stated sinks the float to the base of the bristle where you can then add a dropper and/or backshot as required.

My verdict: Great for those windy days when you need to just hold back on the float to beat surface tow. A good stable pattern, that can be used on deeper venues in the larger sizes.

Silvers 1 and 2
These floats are classic long wire stem floats, suitable for deeper canals, lakes and rivers. The Silvers 1 is a slimmer rugby ball shape, more suited to lakes and slow rivers, whilst the Silvers 2 has a rounder body, better suited to holding back on windy lakes or medium paced rivers. Both Silvers 1 and 2 range from 0.2g to 1.75g in size.

Both Silvers are made with foam bodies and on the larger sizes that I received for testing, they included a 0.6mm wire stem and a 1.2mm hollow bristle, glued onto a 0.8mm clear fibre spigot. I’m assuming the smaller models have a 0.5mm wire stem but personally I prefer 0.6mm as they are just that little bit more stable and harder to bend.

The stem is glued into the body by a good 1.2cm then inserted into the fibre bristle, which in turn is embedded by a further 1.7cm within the body. This procedure ensures the overall construction remains solid, unlike many of it's contemporaries which have stems glued into a body by just 5mm, and their bristles glued in the same. This is not enough to stand up to constant usage on rivers.

Next we come to the eye. Here, DJK have chosen to break with the traditional wire eye and go for one of the new plastic figure of 8 ring eyes. These are effectively two plastic rings moulded side by side. One is glued onto the bristle – or fibre glass spigot in this case – and the line goes through the other. This eliminates the chance of an eye getting pulled out of a balsa body as the eye is glued onto the bristle. Once again the design is geared to making floats that are more durable than other similar patterns.

However, much as I can see the benefits in terms of strength with these plastic eyes I personally don’t like them and I’m sure many other anglers will be put off by them as well. My reasons for not liking them are:

  • With the eye coming straight off the bristle line it seems to pull more on the float itself when held back, rather than balance the rig if the eye was placed on the shoulder of the body.
  • Rather like inline floats, line can come off in a bit of a loop when coming straight up through the bristle.
  • The plastic eyes used are very small, sometimes making them hard to set up, if your eyes are a bit dodgy like mine.
  • It’s PLASTIC!

Here, Dick Clegg has his own views on why they use plastic eyes. First is their strength. The plastic used on these figure of 8 eyes has a 6lb breaking strain and will stand up to the strains of repeated striking and playing bigger river fish better than any standard wire eye. Dick also points out that the weight of a plastic eye is a fraction of a wire eye and does not affect the balance of the float in any way and, as a consequence, keeps the overall body size down. My own opinion that this weight difference between plastic and wire, at this level, is so minimal it would have little, if any, effect on floats larger than 4 gram!

He is convinced that the benefits of plastic eyes outweigh any disadvantages and that people will come round to the benefits of plastic eyes once they give them a try.

If you want to secure an eye to a spigot for strength then surely a larger Finesse style spring eye would be much better. Better still, a proper wire eye embedded securely into that foam body would make a truly solid build piece of kit! Even so, I’m convinced anglers would prefer a wire eye rather than a plastic one!

I can understand Dick’s point of view. Complaining about plastic eyes may just be blind prejudice on my part, so I forced myself to go and use the floats and here are my opinions:

The plastic eye is thicker than a wire eye and this seems to accentuate the line coming straight up the side of the float. The line seems to become more funnelled vertically through the plastic, which is also smaller than a Finesse style wire eye. However, despite my instincts telling me this was making the float harder to hold back, it actually seemed to make it easier to lift and drop the bait. Just my personal impression, but one that I was genuinely surprised at, given my anti-plastic sentiments.  Perhaps Dick has a point after all?

The 1.2mm bristle is a bit thick for delicate bloodworm fishing, but absolutely perfect for fishing small bits of worm, maggots or double bloodworm, when the fish are really having it. The floats are stable and sit well, cocking straight away thanks to the 0.6mm wire stem. They are also slightly tougher than many other similar style wire stem floats and are ideal for targeting bigger fish with natural baits like worm, maggot or caster, where you need a bristle that can just hold the bait up when laying on.

The floats are shotted accurately. I tested two 0.8g models with just a 0.8g olivette and they dotted down to the bristle. I left one of the floats in water for a day and it hadn’t sunk at all. The bristle itself is long on this float and the fibre glass spigot is glued in to just under half way up the bristle, leaving a more buoyant hollow tip that will hold up a No.11 dropper quite well.

My verdict: Great floats for windy days and slightly deeper venues where you need a body shape that you can lean into a bit, in order to hold the bait still. Good bristle length and diameter for natural baits with the exception of ultra-delicate single bloodworm and joker fishing. I still think the eye should be a 0.9mm wire eye, glued onto the spigot. I’m sure that the floats would sell more without that plastic eye! Having said that, the plastic eye was not that bad to fish with and even helped, I think, to lift and drop the bait cleanly. But I am sure that many anglers across the country are like me and put off by plastic eyes for the same (possibly irrational) dislike of them.

Margin Cone
Now here is a float that instantly catches the eye. A stumpy little pattern with a Christmas tree-shaped cone body. There was no matt finish on these floats, just a harder epoxy varnish finish to cope with the stronger lines used for margin work. The build is clever as a 1.2mm glass stem goes straight through the body with a figure of 8 plastic eye glued just above the float body, then a 2mm hollow bristle is glued on top of that. By sandwiching the eye between the float and the bristle there is no chance of the eye slipping over the bristle as the bristle is held securely by about 1cm of glass stem.

What I found particularly good about these floats is the short body and weight of the 1.2mm glass stem, which means they ‘cock’ properly. This is such an advantage for a margin float. There is nothing worse than getting a bait tight against some rushes, then having to jiggle it to get it to sit properly. Margin fishing is without doubt one the most accurate types of fishing and you need a float that settles immediately once you put it in position!

Unfortunately, we are now in winter so I will not be fully testing these floats until the spring, but they do look fantastic… EXCEPT for that plastic eye debate again! Why couldn’t a 1.2mm Finesse eye be used in its place? This would be ultra-secure and anglers would no doubt trust it more. When you’ve made almost the perfect margin float, it seems such a shame to not finish it with a decent eye. I will be gluing some 2.2mm eyes over the bristle come the spring and using these floats, because everything else looks spot-on!

So there you have it, a quick look at three patterns from the DJK float range. Overall I think these are well-made floats built by anglers with a solid history in float making. Too many hand-made floats on sale at £2+, simply don’t sit right. Fibre glass is a great stem material for strength, but also because of its weight. Get the stem lengths right, in relation to your float body size, and you can have floats that settle in place quickly every time. I think the DJK float making team have got this dead right on the two glass stem patterns I tested, making both the Diamond Deep and the Margin Cone absolutely spot on, in terms of build quality and fishability. The Silver’s are well made and will be up to the task of catching nets of big bream, tench and crucians, without falling to bits.

Well made, well finished floats and the new plastic eye concept that certainly puts eliminates wire eyes getting wrenched from float bodies, but nevertheless challenges our standard perception of what the right eye should be on a pole float!

You can look at the range of DJK pole floats, wagglers and sliders alongside the best casting feeders this side of Germany It’s well worth a browse.