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I made a slip float by inserting a WD-40 straw through a small piece of cork. I glued it in place and then painted it bright orange. It will easily hold up a bb sized split shot.

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That'll do the job.
Small but stout.
You like David? One of the ends of the little float crumbled so I trimmed both ends. I was worried it wouldn't hold any weight. Wrong!
Beautiful little float.
I like the slender quills and such, but the brim here in the South (you're in TN) seem not to be so persnickety as to require them all the time. It's an observation Jeff Abney has also made. It's my experience that a reasonably sized gill will take a float like these without any trouble.
I do balance them so they are just buoyant enough to remain upright, to reduce felt resistance. Beyond that, though, little else is needed.
This sort of bullet float is my favorite when using telescoping poles.

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