Thinamabobbers kind of suck. What's better?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by JesseC, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Well I like the thingambobber's. I fished with a balloon one time and the damn fish hit the Balloon. It was a small RB on the Madison. I also have several different types of things that are used as bobbers, but I always come back to the round plastic ones.
  2. tkww

    tkww Member

    I'd like to share a couple opinions. If you're down near the bottom, the current is slower than up top. The closer you are to the bottom, the more true this becomes. IMO, you shouldn't be straight up and down because you'd be pulling the fly through the slower water. In fact that's how I know I'm actually getting down--you can see the moment your indicator suddenly starts subtlety dragging. If it's too far into the the drift, I add more weight, or lengthen. If it's too soon in the drift, I usually fear there's too much weight or too long a line, meaning there's a good chance I'll be hanging up all the time. If you're wondering about your drift, fish EXACTLY like a dry fly. Never let it drag downstream (upstream is alright, see above), and never let your line get down beneath the indicator. Mending is an integral part of nymphing.

    The reason I don't like using big dries is because the contrast of the indicator is much better against the water. And that's important for being able to pick out the subtleties. If it's all close work and short distances the dry can work for me, but when I'm casting a ways out I find the dry just blends in too much. Also, you get strikes on it, but if it's big enough to be useful, it's too big IMO. I guess I'm thinking of smaller fish and smaller water here. Big fish can take down the flies and I'd consider it on those rivers. But if a fish strikes and misses, I find it's hard to catch them on anything else, which is to say, the nymph you're using. And hanging a two lines of the hook increases the missed takes, regardless of the fly size.

    And if you're thinking 'where I fish, they can take down a...size 12 stimi, let's say--I would suggest that you're not using enough weight to get down quickly enough and/or deep enough. Which once you do, the size 12 won't be enough either, or it will sog out and stop floating too quickly. I'm referring to real nymphing here, not this pansy hanging a size 16 dropper down on foot and half of 5x tippet because I commit to being a real nympher stuff.

    Obviously there are a lot of varied situations. If the water is a consistent depth and not too deep, you can do a lot more things and be effective. Riffles on big rivers come to mind. Fishing holding shallower, back eddies, etc. But if it's conflicting currents, roiling water and hydrodynamics at play, deep water, etc., a lot of that stuff just doesn't cut it.

    Lastly, I think a straight-down hang very good for stillwater fishing. Where there is no current to near-instantly agitate the indicator on a strike, the slack from the curving corner on an inline indicator gives the fish a lot of time to spit the fly out. I can't count the number of times I've set the hook and it's already too late. If the indicator is on fine tippet it's less of a problem but if you're hanging it down a ways and the indicator is on the thicker butt section, that stuff just doesn't bend sharply enough to be optimum--unless there's more weight on it than what I prefer to stillwater fish with. If you're boat fishing and/or don't have to cast much, a leader of thinner line is very useful for stillwater--sinks quicker, straightens out easier, and gives you a better idea of what's going on down below.
  3. Brazda

    Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    As with all indicators they take a learning curve to READ, I too found the Thingamaboobs tougher to use until I learned to read them correctly, Nothing is failsafe or automatic, I do have some CUSTOM additions to my indicator use and still use some yarn or cork combinations at times when they are situationally best. Basically they either take a learning curve in the cast or the read. Each one has its best use. Finally sometimes its not the boobers fault its the rigging below:)
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Does everyone use the thingamabobbers with your leader looped through like the instructions, or do you prefer to tie them on with a tag end? I've seen a few folks that spend a lot of time on the river that use them tied on. I inquired with one gent, he said they never slip that way, ride true in the water, track better and seem to fish better. I've not tried this yet, but I do hate that they slip and kink the crap out of the leader. Mostly now I use the newer ones with the attached peg to pin the leader in place. Improves the slippage, but not the kinks.
  5. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

    I like thingamabobbers for a few applications, but they are pretty crude for others. They absolutely rule in big moving water and for long-distance work.

    Ed, for your rigging question, here is an alternate method - I use a leader with a heavy, short butt section (25#, 2ft) handshake-looped to the loop on the end of the flyline. I make sure that my butt loop is about 3" deep, so that when I put my bobber on (regular way, looped over in lark's-head fashion), it is wholly on the doubled portion of the loop, bumped up tight to the flyline junction. This accomplishes a few things - 1) there is no mono in between the flyline and the indicator, making it easy to mend all the way to the indi and also preventing "false reads", as sunk mono is liable to turn the indi unnaturally and make you believe your rig is doing things that it really isn't. 2) the flyline butted up to the indi gives yet another "tell" as to what is going on underneath the surface - which side is your flyline on, and where is it pointing? 3) When properly butted to the flyline over a loop, the thingyboober NEVER slides, and I mean never. Basically, after you pull the knot of the loop thru that teeny hole in the indi, you practically have to cut the leader to get it off.
  6. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    I follow your rigging strategy for the indicator but that 2' of heavy mono hanging under your bobber seems like a liabilty for not only your drift but telegraphing eats. It'll act like a sail in the water unless your rig is weighted enough.

    Lindy ice-n-fly for long and light rigs exclusively. Love that bobber I wish they made a bigger version.
    Thingamabobbers creatively rigged when I'm running shorter heavier rigs. I agree they are harder to read but I've fished them long enough and have worked out the rig through a lot of trial and error. They can be trusted.
  7. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    For as much shit as I talked on the thingamabobbers in the first page, I've caught 90% of nymphed steelhead using them.
  8. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

    Or the trendy new "czech nymphing" thing, which is the same as just nymphing w/o a boober though czech nymphers get all wierd and detailed about their leader set up. Anyway, just skip the boober, cast a little shorter, watch your fly line tip and keep your line tight on the drift and you'll be in business. A side benefit of the no-boober technique is the ability to vary depth w/o needing to adjust the boober constantly, even though some might find fiddling with boobers fun.
  9. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    Nymphing without an indicator is nothing new I have been doing it for 30 years and others did it 100 years before i cam along.. it doesn't need some newbie to come along and take credit for developing it nymphing without an indicator is called nymhing
  10. Kaiserman

    Kaiserman content

    I had to laugh when I read it too Rob. Some folks don't realize that, that nymphing was most common "back-in-the-day" without, before bobbers came along (into the fly fishing world). I just got so use to not using one, that when I did...I sucked at it.
  11. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Thingamabobbers are the best thing since democracy. All those that say otherwise are comies!

    But seriously there are a lot of good alternatives in this thread that I may give a try. Thanks guys.
  12. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

    Yeah, I used to think that too, but .003- .005" doesn't really make that much of a difference either way, and the only places I nymph (read: bobber fish) anymore are places that are too short or deep to swing effectively, so heavy weights are pretty much de rigueur on my boober rigs. I think the relationship of where you land your fly (or bead) to where you land your boober makes more difference than what type of indicator you fish or how heavy your line is.
  13. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    G, I get that. So you cozy that big indi up to the fly line making the tip of your flyline a bulbous mass to float the nymph rig. I get that clearly. What do you use for indicators in other situations? You said they are crude for all but big water. Do you use some sort of yarn, the float putty, other types of indis? Thanks!
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    My 75 y/o father in law has only flyfished, done it his whole life. He fishes nymphs with no indicator, using his fly line tip. He is a single handed Jedi Master.
  15. Bob Shannon

    Bob Shannon Member

    I have used these a lot. They are called hothead indicators and I have found that they work great. Awesome visibility and stay high on the water. The only down side is they like to get a little twisted so adjustments can be tricky (sometimes). They do stay on place very well due to the rubber o-ring.
  16. Brian Miller

    Brian Miller Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout

    I was concerned about the Skru It balloon holding air. Too bad the trapped air type is not offered on the Depth Skru store. I use the Quick Release (Slip Strike) indicator (peg up) pre-tied above a tippet ring for long leaders on stillwater. I'm curious if anyone has tried the (new-style) TOSI Turn-On Strike Indicator? They supposedly vary from being able to slide for landing fish on a long leader without always being lost if a tippet breaks, to a secure placement without kinking the leader.

    BTW I did fairly well trying a 5 weight 3M Mastery Textured Series Nymph / Indicator line I won in a club raffle on the Yak in October. In depths to 4' I just varied short 10 - 20 foot casts between 10 & 2 oclock cross-stream on a 7.5' leader to vary the depth. The only downside being a special purpose line that I either need another reel for or have to spool on/off off to use another line.
  17. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    me too so I rarely use them, and when I do only for trout
  18. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

    i really like thingamabobbers. they are easy to use and are adjustable and easy to see and are light. luke commmies is spelt with 3 m's. thanks, mike w
  19. little rod

    little rod Member

    Google SKREW- IT
  20. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

    I just got a new supply of balloons from Skru It due to the original ones having problems holding air. Maybe this will solve the problem. I haven't fished with the new ones but tried a couple left with air for a couple days and they held fine. The concept is a really good one I think-no line kink, and you can easily add or subtract buoyancy at streamside. I hope this new batch works and I salute them for sending them out at NC! Rick