single bobber
single bobber

Best Fishing Bobbers for Every Application

Best Fishing Bobbers

I have caught coolers of fish using a simple red-and-white fishing bobber. I toss my worms, hooks, and worms into the shallow bluegill spawning water. Crappie have been enslaved by the minnows that thrash beneath my slip floats.

I’m assuming you have had similar experiences if you’re reading this.

There are still anglers that view the bobber as amateurish. This is a holdover from simpler fishing methods in childhood.

They are not to be believed!

A fishing bobber is able to catch everything from pike to catfish to largemouth to walleye. If used correctly, a fishing bobber can be used to suspend live bait or a deep jig to catch fish.

If you are at a loss or unsure what fishing bobbers to choose, read on.

Here are reviews of the top fishing bobbers.

  • Fishing Float 1 inch Push Button Snap-on White and Red Bobbers
  • Thill Fish’N Foam Cigars Floats
  • Little Joe Pole Float
  • ThkFish Glow in the Dark Slip Floats
  • Precision Tackle Cajun Thunder Popping Cork
  • Thill Pro Series Slip-Float
  • Polaris No. 17 Pike Waggler

The Best Fishing Bobbers – Reviewed

Fishing Float 1 inch Push Button Snap-on White and Red Bobbers

Syhood Fishing Float 1 Inch Fishing Float Push Button Floats Red and White Bobber Fishing Tackle, 20 Packs

This original design, which was once a classic in red and white, has not aged well.

These bobbers can be activated by pressing a spring-loaded butt to reveal the clip at the top or bottom. They are easy to use and see. They are easy to rig and stay put.

They are ideal for young anglers looking to learn the sport.

What’s not to love?

These bobbers are strong and hold the line in place. To cast with one attached, set the distance that the hook should ride below the bobber. Then reel the rod to the rod’s end and cast with the line.

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This doesn’t necessarily make for the most accurate castings, and it isn’t the longest.

These bobbers are on our list because they’re so easy to use.

One part nostalgia, one part ubiquity. These little guys can be found in any tackle shop or gas station that sells livebait. And if you’re able to handle some awkwardness, they’ll work well for anything from bluegills to crappie.

Any more than the lightest jigs or a hook with a fatworm on it will make them sink in the water.

Pros

  • Nostalgia
  • It’s affordable
  • All available
  • This works well for panfish and worms

Cons

  • Casting that is awkward
  • Not too buoyant

Thill Fish’N Foam Cigars Floats

Thill Floats Fish'N Foam Cigar Floats with Weighted Clip, 2 1/2-Inch, Red

Thill’s cigar flotillas are great for when you need more buoyancy that a red-and-white bobber can offer, whether it’s when you’re fishing big minnows for catfish or walleyes or making a floating fish finder system.

You want your float to stay put, especially in this case. The spring-loaded clamps of the Thill are ideal. They will keep your hook suspended in water, not buried in sand.

These cigar floats are great for casting from a pier. Precision is not usually an issue.

Pros

  • It’s affordable
  • All available
  • Ideal for saltwater rigs such as the fish finder
  • For larger jigs or bigger live baits, this is the right buoyant material

Cons

  • Casting that is awkward

Thill Gold Medal Supreme Mini StealthFloats

Thill Gold Medal Ice 'N Fly Special Float - Red/Yellow - 1 1/2 in

Soft plastics and micro-mini jigs are very popular in ice fishing. Matching hatch size, color and action is always a good idea. A good bobber is needed to hang those micro options. It should be light enough to match perfectly with small jigs and soft plastics.

Thill has the Mini Stealth floating float that is the perfect companion for ice fishing. This float comes in a 7/8-inch size, which is ideal for small lures. It’s easy to use and buoyant enough that it doesn’t hinder your terminal tackle.

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Pros

  • Perfect for ice fishing using micro jigs
  • Won’t deaden your jigging

Cons

  • ?? ??

ThkFish Glow in the Dark Slip Floats

QualyQualy 5Pcs Lighted Fishing Bobbers EVA Foam Fishing Floats and Bobbers + 10Pcs Fishing Glow Sticks, Night Fishing Light Up Bobbers 10g

Night fishing for panfish such as bluegill and crappie can be extremely productive. However, it is difficult to detect a bite.

Many manufacturers offer glow in the dark slip floats. These slip floats combine proven casting enhancements and easy-to-see luminescence. These slip floats of 1/3 ounce from ThkFish are my favorite.

These floats can be rigged and cast easily using a silicone stopper and a simple beads. The glow sticks can last all night.

Slip floats can be sensitive and rock wildly with a small nibble. This is great for night panfish and will eliminate the need to worry about missed strikes.

Some people complain about the stickiness of those sticks. They either won’t let go or they get too loose. A little bit of electrician’s tape will keep any loose sticks in place. Your fishing pliers can also be used to free stubborn ones.

Pros

  • Perfect for night fishing for panfish
  • Extremely sensitive
  • It is easy to rig the silicone stopper and bead.
  • All night glow!

Cons

  • ?? ??

Precision Tackle Cajun Thunder Popping Cork

Precision Tackle 15405 Cajun Thunder Oval, 2.5-Inch, Weighted Sunglo

Cajun Thunder popping corks are great for fishing in salt marshes and throwing crabs, shrimps, or other baits.

It’s as easy as that.

These corks are a great combination of buoyancy and deadly noise. I have used them extensively. Simply pop them gently by pulling on the tip with your rod. The vibrations will send you racing to the reds.

These corks are easy to see against the greens and grays of the inshore water.

This big popper is great for flatheads and blues, who like to hunt live prey. They will be attracted to the big popper and heavy mono rigged with a large minnow.

There is no reason to believe that popping cork will not cause murder on pike, walleye, and muskies for the same reason.

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Overall, I think this is one my favourite options.

Pros

  • Ideal for redfish and other inshore species
  • It’s great for pike, catfish, walleye, pike and musky.
  • Popped with great vibration
  • It’s easy to see
  • It’s easy to rig

Cons

  • ?? ??

Thill Pro Series Slip-Float

Thill Floats Pro Series Slip Floats, 1/2-Inch/Small

The Thill Pro Series is my best choice for fishing crappie or working a Maribou jig on a stump field.

Skip the 1/2-inch size as they don’t have enough buoyancy to hold a hook or worm. The 2-inch model works well for panfish of any kind. With some split shot and hook, whether you are armed with a minnow, worm or a minnow, it’s all you need.

These floats are great for light jigs. You’ll be impressed by details such as the brass insert that protects your line and the included knot stops.

Pros

  • Perfect for panfish
  • It’s easy to see
  • It’s easy to rig
  • Very good quality

Cons

  • The smallest size doesn’t have enough buoyancy to support jigs and split shots

Polaris No. 17 Pike Waggler

The Polaris No. 1 float is the best for big fish such as pike, walleye and catfish who love large minnows. 17.

This pencil float is an invention from the U.K. It protects your pencil line from nicks and abrasion. It has 1.23 ounces buoyancy which allows big minnows to swim freely beneath it. It’s easy for you to see what happens when it bites.

This is the best!

Pros

  • Ideal for large fish such as pike, walleye, or catfish
  • It’s easy to see
  • It’s easy to rig
  • Very good quality

Cons

  • ?? ??

Last Thoughts

There is no single bobber that will cover all your fishing needs. If you match the bobber to the species you are after, it can make all the difference.

We hope this article helped you to choose the right float for you.

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Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.