7 Best Fishing Bobbers (and yes, it makes a difference!)


Fishing bobbers are essential in many types of fishing. They act as a clear tell-tale of when a fish is biting on the hook or bait. Different bobbers do different things, and some work better in some locations, while others are nearly not able to function in other situations.

So, what are the 7 best fishing bobbers? Here’s a list:

  1. Eagle Claw Balsa Style
  2. Waggler Floats
  3. Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubbles
  4. Foam Cigar Snap-Ons
  5. Thill Fish n’ Foam Series – Sliding Bobbers
  6. BalloonFisherKing Balloons
  7. Eagle Claw Snap-Ons

To learn more about each of these bobbers and why they’re the best, read on! You can also learn about the purposes and advantages of bobbers, and see why you need them.

7. Eagle Claw Snap-Ons

Amazon link to Eagle Claw Bobbers

These are classic bobbers that most older fishermen grew up using. Their charm to the sport has not diminished at all, even with the rise of different types of bobbers. The classic red and white coloring has always worked for fishing.

They are highly visible when in the water, making them good choices when teaching children to fish. Despite being extremely visible, the fish do not seem to mind their existence. I have caught most fish with an Eagle Claw.

They get their name from the two clips on both the top and bottom of the bobbers. Spring-loaded, the bobbers can be attached to the line by simply pressing down on the red tab on the top of the bobber.

Eagle Claw Snap-Ons are highly visible in the water, making them a good choice when you’re teaching children to fish.

These are a classic bobber type, and most things will be quite similar to this type of bobber, as it is the original bobber. It is pretty basic; a floating device is attached to the line, keeping the hook above the bottom of the river or lake.

The clips do not slide on the line but are loose enough that they will not break the line. Monofilament line will sometimes change its shape to match the bend because of its high memory.

The price of these is usually very cheap. You can probably find a packet of 7-10 for around $6.00. Overall, these bobbers are a good goto for fishermen that are just getting into the sport. They are effective, but there are better options.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
5/106/1010/102/10Rivers, Lakes$5.90

6. Balloon FisherKing Balloons

This is a unique type of bobber. A balloon is exactly what a large fish bobber should be. It keeps the line at a specific depth, and can easily be seen at a distance. A balloon will only go down if something is pulling it down with enough force, and that is usually a prey big fish.

The balloons can be bought from their online store, but any latex balloon can be used. The clips have to be bought online or from one of their physical stores.

There is also the option to attach a glowstick to the balloon for night fishing. This will make the balloon glow and be visible during the nighttime.

The company was started by fishing enthusiasts who saw that there could be a market in selling balloons meant for fishing. This was not an idea specific to them, but they did perfect the art. Their company is based on the east coast and has expanded across the entire east coast and a strong presence in the fishing community online.

These are a great choice for ocean or lake fishing, but they work better at a large diameter. Because of this, they are lower on the list. They aren’t very sensitive and they have a tendency to bounce around int he water with the current a little more than other bobbers do.

But once they go down into the water, you know that you have a fish on the line.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
2/106/1010/1010/10Ocean, large lakes12.99

5. Thill Fish n’ Foam Series – Sliding Bobbers

Amazon link to Fish n’ Foam Sliding Bobbers

Thill has a series of foam sliding bobbers that are durable and very functional. The colors on top are very visible, while the white or black colorings on the bottom keep them hidden in plain sight from the fish.

Just like the sliding bobbers above, these can be adjusted to let down the line to any length. While not the most sensitive bobber on this list, they do have the advantage of being one of the most durable.

Overall, these are a good choice for river and lake fishing. Especially for the newer generations of fishermen, these will be good trainers for some of the more advanced vertical bobbers further down the list.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
5/106/107/1010/10Rivers, Lakes$1.50

4. Foam Cigar Snap-ons

Amazon link to Foam Cigar Snap-ons

Just like the Eagle Claws, these are places on the line by pressing on the tabs on the top and bottom of the bobber. A small spring-loaded clip will appear and be able to attach to the line without hurting it.

It is easier to tell when the bobber is dropping with these, as they are straight up and down, and move very little with the current. These come in many different colors, and can especially be utilized as bobbers in river fishing. They will not submerge unless there is downward pressure applied to the line.

Buy a foam cigar bobber that is already weighted, else you will have to weight it down yourself. The weight will help keep one part lower than the other side. This will stabilize the bobber as it floats in the water. It makes it more sensitive as well.

These are great for most people to use. They are very sensitive bobbers, and they are good for casting. Their high durability makes them a bobber that will get you the most out of your money.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
9/108/109/1010/10Rivers $5.76

3. Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubble

Amazon Link to Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubble

The Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubble is a unique line of bobbers designed by Terminal Tackle. They come in many different colors to match the perfect color for the water you fish in.

The Tough Bubbles live up to their name. The durability of these bobbers is on the higher part of the scale. And because of this, and their extreme invisibility, it puts them third on the list of best bobbers. These will last for a long time and will go unnoticed in the water.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
6/1011/1010/1011/10Rivers, Lakes$3.69

2. Waggler Floats

Cabelas link to the Thill Gold Medal Waggler Float

The shape of this bobber gives it many special advantages specific to itself. Because of its dart-like form, it is able to be cast out further than larger shaped bobbers.

There are many types of Waggler floats, each a master in its own field. The three main types are mini-wagglers, insert wagglers, and straight wagglers.

Wagglers are only attached to the line on one side, meaning that the line is lower in the water as the other side is extended in the air a few inches. This allows the wagglers to be incredibly sensitive to any movement around it. When the top bobs down, it is a guarantee that the hook is being pulled down by something.

Waggler floats are the most used bobbers in the fishing community because of their sensitivity in the water. They have extreme success in fishing but are somewhat tricky to use. You’ll have to get used to looking for the telltale signs of a fish on before having the mentioned success. It won’t take long, so you might want to try these out.

SensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage
Price
11/1011/1010/105/10Rivers$2.99

1. Eagle Claw Balsa Style

Amazon Link to Eagle Claw Balsa Style 

These are a great choice for those catching smaller fish. The sensitivity levels of these bobbers are among the highest on this list and can be used for nearly all types of river and lake fishing.

Balsa Wood has very high levels of buoyancy and is very light. This is a great combination for a bobber. They are painted to be very visible from the topside, but not so from the bottom.

The bobbers slide along the line freely until they reach a set distance limit that you decide. This allows for a bobber to be placed at, say, the top of 40 feet of the line under the water. A bobber stopper is tied to the line and does not allow the bobber to go past that point.

This is very good for fishing because different fish live in different levels of water. Walleye usually live a few inches off the bottom of the lake, bottom-dwelling fish live on the bottom, and other fish like bass and trout live in much shallower levels of water.

The bobber can be adjusted to stop the line at any distance down into the water. The stopper is small enough that it can safely be reeled onto the reel and be cast out again. Very useful for lake fishing or boat fishing in deep rivers.

SensitivityInvisibility (to fish)Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage Price
11/1011/1010/108/10Rivers$4.99

Purposes and Advantages of Bobbers

The purpose of the bobbers are many and vary with the many types of bobbers. The main uses of a bobber are to keep the hook off the bottom of the river or lake. There are a lot of plants and other things down at the bottom of the lakes that can catch the hook.

There is always the danger and fear of losing a good hook, so by keeping it away with a bobber is a huge advantage.

Another great advantage of a bobber keeping your hook off the ground is the simple fact that most fish are not bottom feeders, and swim frequently in the middle levels of bodies of water. This keeps your bait up and passes it by more fish.

Bobbers also can keep the hook moving around, either with the current of the water or with the wind above the surface of the water. This again allows the bait or hook to be seen by more fish than if it was simply standing still in the water.

The main use of a bobber is to keep the hook off the bottom of the river or lake.

Bobbers sometimes make it difficult to be accurate with casting, but the advantages of certain bobbers are just too good to pass up.

There are a few different types of bobbers that work for different situations. There are a few different bobbers that we’ve looked at.

A few of the floats, as bobbers are sometimes called, are spring-loaded with ‘claws’ that clamp down on to the line. This keeps the bobber in one place on the line. The bobbers and are very sensitive to the movement of the hook so you know when to start reeling your prize in.

It gets hard to cast with an attached bobber if it’s further up the line than a foot or more, so companies designed a new type of bobber that can effectively get a hook down to deeper levels while still having a bobber be responsive.

The next type of bobber is called a sliding bobber. The float is not attached to the line at all. Instead, it slides up and down on the line. Once the end of the line is at the wanted depth, the bobber is stopped by a float-stopper that is attached directly to the line.

It is small enough that it is able to be reeled and cast out from the reel without it messing anything up.

A float stopper is just a small string or tiny bauble that is attached to the string and can be adjusted up or down the line. The lack of knots close to the hook means that there is less for the fish to notice.

The last type of bobber is called a waggler. The waggler floats are only attached to one side of the bobber and it does not slide around. These are set to one depth and can only be adjusted on shore. The waggler floats are super sensitive and are very good when casting out far distances.

Tables Above

Just for your ease, here is a compilation of the many tables above.

Bobber NameSensitivityInvisibility
(to fish)
Visibility
(to fisherman)
DurabilityWhere to useAverage Price
Eagle Claw Balsa Style 11/1011/1010/108/10Rivers$5.90
Waggler Floats11/1011/1010/105/10Rivers$12.99
Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubble6/1011/1010/1011/10Rivers, Lakes$1.50
Foam Cigar Snap-ons9/108/109/1010/10Rivers, Lakes$5.76
Thill Fish n’ Foam Series –
Sliding Bobbers
5/106/107/1010/10Rivers, Lakes$3.69
Balloon Fisher King2/106/1010/1010/10Oceans , Lakes$2.99
Eagle Claw Sap-ons5/106/1010/102/10Rivers, Lakes$4.99

The bobbers spoken of in this article are all listed here starting from the best and going down to the last on the list. The prices are listed with their corresponding bobber, but the cheapest is the Rainbow Plastic Tough Bubble.

Each bobber is graded based on my personal opinion on how they perform in the following categories.

Conclusion

There are many types of bobbers that have a lot of different uses. If you are lake fishing, I recommend one of the waggler because of their extreme sensitivity as well as their ability to be cast out a lot further than other bobbers.

For a nearly invisible bobber, I would recommend the tough bubble, which fills partly with water and cannot be seen from under the water but is still visible to the fisherman.

For ocean fishing, the Balloons are the way to go. Their size makes them just the right amount of sensitive to bigger fish while still being effective on lakes.

With concerns on visibility, I recommend the Eagle Claw Balsa style sliders. The yellow paint on the top of the bobber gives it a large level of visibility, even in the later hours of the evening as the sun starts to fall.

Overall, the one I recommend is the Foam Cigar Snap-on’s. They are durable, visible, sensitive, and easy to attach to the line. In terms of money, they are reletively cheap. They will last for a while, too, so you’ll be able to get your money’s worth.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Stripped Bass.

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