|Matt Johnson Outdoors
Add a Little Spring to Your Ice Game
By: Matt Johnson
There are a lot of tools out
there that can increase an ice
angler’s productivity, but one
has to rank the spring bobber
high on their list of priorities. If
you seek out panfish—and by
panfish I mean bull bluegills,
slab crappies, and jumbo
perch—then the addition of a
spring bobber can make or
break a day on the ice.
A spring bobber serves several purposes. The most obvious
advantage of a spring bobber is for detecting light biting fish. As a
strike indicator, the spring bobber opens the angler’s eyes to a whole
new world of “sight.” You begin to see things that you never noticed
before and no longer do you have to “feel” for a bite. Even the
slightest movement from your jig, up or down, will trigger the spring
bobber to dance. A fish doesn’t even have the privilege of breathing
on your bait without you counting every breath. Plain and simple, the
spring bobber makes your job as an angler much easier.
Outside of the fact that a spring bobber allows you detect more bites,
it also equips the angler with more confidence and room for error
when working a jigging sequence or setting the hook. A spring bobber
absorbs some of the tension between your rod and the bait, which
causes the presentation to perform naturally instead of erratically.
Aggressive movements are slightly minimized, which aids in coaxing a
wary fish into striking. Essentially, the spring bobber acts as a buffer
between you and your presentation.
Besides the increase in jigging productivity, the spring bobber also
allows the angler more time to set the hook. The spring bobber can
load to a certain point before the fish feels a ton of resistance. So
instead of feeling the strike, only to have the fish spit out the bait
moments later, we can now see the strike in action, giving us a
definite answer for when the time is right to bring home the bacon.
Several companies have tailored spring bobbers after years of
experience on the ice:
Thorne Bros has designed a spring bobber that fits into the tip of their
line of panfish and perch rods. The advantage of the Thorne Bros
spring bobber is its ability to keep shape and still provide constant
sensitivity up through the rod. It’s a slightly stiffer, shorter spring
bobber, yet you don’t lose feel and control.
St. Croix has developed a spring bobber system that is built into the
rod called the Legend Ice. The Legend Ice Rod has a built-in spring
bobber that acts as the last guide of the rod. It’s equipped with a very
sensitive spring bobber that is specifically matched with the rod to
provide ultimate strike indication and performance. The springs come
in three different actions and are interchangeable.
Frabill has jumped aboard the spring bobber craze by adding a
universal spring bobber into their line-up. Initially intended for their
line of Panfish Popper ice rods, the Frabill spring bobber can fit just
about any ice rod, allowing the ice angler to incorporate the spring
bobber technique into their favorite ice fishing rod and reel combo.
These are only a few options that are available for spring bobbers, but
the important message I want to pass on is just the simple advantage
of using a spring bobber. It’s an effortless and easy tool to use, yet it’s
so effective when out on the ice chasing your favorite specie.
Companies are out there with the intentions of making the angler’s job
less frustrating and more productive, and spring bobbers do just that.