Hillbilly Floats - Part One

Sat 09 April 11


Neil Powel AKA hillbilly has been a keen match angler for many years most of his angling was done on the tough midlands canal circuit before making the change to the commercial scene. During his time served on the canal he learned the importance of finesse in bait presentation and find this same degree of finesse is often now needed on commercial fisheries. He quickly realised that most floats that had these qualities were simply not strong enough to cope with the rigours of big fish venues

At this point I would like to point out that I have known ‘Hillbilly’ for some time now and would like to point out that float making is not his only talent. He is without question one of the finest Boat Angler I have ever had the privilege to meet. During one of the many sailing regatta’s regularly held at Drayton Reservoir, I witnessed this Boat angling legend play a foul hooked sailing boats for over 10 minutes, stopping it dead in its track on a Barbel Rod and10lb line, a skill many wish they could master.

During his years on the canal, ‘Hillbilly’ made many of his own pole floats and decided to do the same for his commercial fishery work. He looked at, used and still use some excellent models made by master float maker Mick Wilkinson and decided to market a small range of floats using my own designs whilst trying to emulate Mick’s floats legendary build quality. This has resulted in the birth of the Hillbilly “redneck technology” purpose built range of floats.

Read on as UKMA introduce you to part of the Hillbilly Floats Range and give you an insight into their build quality and general all round performance.


Available in – 0.1g, 0.2g & 0.3g
Uses- All Margin and Paste approaches.
RRP – £2.20

HB AK47 image

New for 2010, this pattern was designed in conjunction with Andy Kinder (of Barnsley Blacks fame). He was looking for a very strong margin float with a long tip to allow distinction between line bites and proper bites at his local Hallcroft fishery. The AK47 is built on a strong 1mm diameter flexible glass stem which passes right through the body and is securely glued into a 35mm long x 1.7mm diameter high visibility hollow tip which greatly increases the floats strength.

The floats body is made from a form of foam that has a similar density and buoyancy very similar to a hard balsa wood. The other advantages of using this new body material are that it is extremely strong (virtually unbreakable) and extremely water resistant due to its fine closed cell structure.
To give the float even more strength no side eyes have been used in the floats construction, instead the HB-AK-47 come as standard with a stainless steel spring eye, that are incredibly reliable and robust.


Available in – 0.1g, 0.2g & 0.3g
Uses- All Big fish with big bait Margin approaches.
RRP – £2.20

HB Grizzly's

This is one of those “must have” floats if fishing down the edge for real big chunks during the warmer months. The float is built on a 1mm diameter flexible fibreglass stem which passes through the floats body and into the 2.5 diameter high visibility hollow tip. The Grizzly’s rugby ball shaped body is made from a medium grade top quality balsa and as with all of Hillbilly’s margin float range, a stainless steel spring eye is fitted to the base of the floats tip is fitted to increase the overall strength.

To increase this bomb proof floats strength, the tip being attached to the stem by means of a hard plastic collar which is glued to both the tip and the stem. As this float is aimed squarely at catching big fish with big baits it is best fished with a simple bulk of shot.

The Grizzly’s have got the two main characteristics you would demand from a float designed to do this type of work, durability and reliability, which in my opinion is all you can ask for.

Final Thoughts

These first offerings from the Hillbilly range of hand made pole floats are the mutts nuts. Yes you will have to wait for your order to be manufactured but I have found the service to be top quality and I have very rarely had to wait more than four to five weeks. Well built, versatile and readily available, which is a total blessing for the masses of match anglers out there who are looking for pole floats that will last and perform its designated tasks superbly.

Foot note – If it shows that your required products are in stock on the Hillbilly shop, your orders will be dispatched within 4 working days, if you require a product and it is showing as unavailable, then on your next visit and that product is in stock, simply order that product separately


Visit the Website: http://www.hillbillyfloats.co.uk/