Has this ever happened to you?  You've worked hard all week and now it's finally your time. Time to hit the lake, kick back, and invite a few walleyes to dinner. You and your buddy know that the fish are feeding at 12 feet, so that's where you set your slip bobbers. You cast your bait upon the waters. And wait. And net a couple for your buddy. And wait. And watch the guy in the next boat leave with a limit. And wait. And change bait. And wait. And change depth. And wait. What's wrong with this picture?

Most likely, it's your slip bobber. I know, because, as far as the preceding scenario goes, I've been there and done that.

Basically, it's like this:  ordinary slip floats have a plastic line stop bead.  Because of differences in material densities and machining, an ordinary slip bobber always floats with the same side up.  Which means your line always travels the same path over the bead as your bait sinks.  In no time at all, your fishing line begins to cut a groove in the plastic line stop bead.  As the groove gets deeper, it results in increased friction, slowing the rate at which your bait sinks.  When the groove is deep enough, it pinches your line and stops your bait from getting to the fish at all.  This is rather counterproductive, seeing as the whole purpose of using a slip bobber is precise depth control.

The picture at right is a good example of what I mean.  This photo is an enlarged view of the plastic stop bead on an ordinary slip bobber that I really used - a different one from the one on the home page. Keep in mind that the image you're looking at is actually about 3mm in diameter.  I used 6 lb. test, high quality monofilament line.  Note the deep cut to the bottom of the center hole.  This bobber is useless; it will actually prevent you from catching fish.  Worst of all, you probably won't even know it!  A line stop is too small to see at any distance.  The cut in the stop bead is very difficult to see with the naked eye.  And, once it suspends the weight of the bait, the bobber will tip to vertical whether it's at the correct depth or simply snagged. In other words, you might think you're fishing at 12 feet, but your bait's actually at 2.


The solution to this problem is ESB!  Click "The skinny on ESB" for the rest of the story!

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