Drinking Straws


When my lads were five-years-old I wanted to get them into fishing before taking them out there. In my experience, it’s best to get kids hands-on if you want them to get interested in something new. Making their own fishing floats did the trick.

There’s not much reason to make your own fishing float with the price of fishing tackle these days but my goal with the exercise was to get them interested in fishing, and it worked. All you need is a stack of plastic straws, a lighter or matches and a pair of scissors. I knew a bit of fire would really get their attention – another lesson in itself.


First, you need to cut off a small piece of the straw, only around 3mm long, at a slanted angle. Because of the slant, the piece will be larger than the straw’s diameter and the straw can be threaded through it to be fastened to the line.

When you have threaded the straw through your small offcut, clamp one end of the straw and use a lighter or some matches to melt the end and seal it shut. Do the same on the other end so your straw is totally sealed.

Now you need to attach it to your line. Make a loop in the line where you want to attach your float and thread the loop through the plastic ring which you made earlier and threaded the straw though. If you are struggling to thread the line through the gap, slide the plastic to the end of the straw, where the slight slope created by melting the end will give you a wider gap to thread the line through.

When your line loop has passed through the plastic ring, slide it back to the middle, exposing the whole loop of line. Pull the loop over the end of the straw, then over the opposite end, to create a hitch once you have pulled it tight. Slide the ring to around 1 inch away from the front of the straw. This will give you the best results, a pencil float which stands vertically in the water.

Use a bright coloured straw for increased visibility. We made bright pink ones which you couldn’t miss. Okay, so making these floats didn’t match the wow factor of unwrapping their combos at Christmas, but I know it was a great little warm up even if they didn’t.

This video makes it look easy before you add kids into the mix but it’s worth a look:


What do you think? Have you made any other fishing gear with your kids? How did you get them into fishing? Share your tips through the comments section below.

John Steele
John Steele

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.