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WbranchSeptember 29th, 2016, 11:41 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Up until last year I and many other steelheaders, and fly fishers in general, were using the Thing-A-Ma-Bobber type indicator. You know the round bobber with a little ear coming off of it with a rubber grommet through which you doubled your the butt section of your leader and passed the loop over the bobber and pulled it tight to position it on the leader. Well over the course of a day when fishing different depths you had to frequently re-position the bobber and in doing so your leader got all messed up with kinks and curls.

Well you may of already seen this fix some place (even though I thought it is my original idea) else on this forum or other FFing sites.

Go to Dicks or Gander Mountain and buy a pack of Eagle Claw"Bobber Stops". There are ten in a package, five red and five black. I have no idea why there are two colors. They are attached to a little yellow disc and running out of the disc are ten tiny looped wires. Each bobber stop is on one of the little loops.

When you go to set up your rod for the day (BTW this doesn't work with knotted leaders) insert the end of your tippet through one of the wire loops about 2", then slide the little rubber stop off of the wire loop and onto your leader. Slide it up the butt as far as you want. Then slip the Thing-A-Ma-Bobber onto the end of the leader, then attach another Bobber Stop and slide it up to the first one you installed. Your bobber (indicator) with be between the two rubber stoppers. You can re-position the stoppers all day long and at the end of the day your leader will be as perfectly straight as when you first put it on.

The bobber stops come with different sized holes in the rubber for lighter, or heavier, monofilament lines. I always try and get the 4-8 lb size as the holes are small enough that they stay securely in place even with robust roll casting and you can still slide them down to a lighter (thinner) section of tippet if necessary.

Now with the advent of the Air-Lock indicators you will never have to worry about kinked leaders again. For those of you unfamiliar with the Air-Lock indicator it is still basically the same shape, and available in the same diameters, as the TAMB but the difference in attaching to the leader is huge.

Instead of having the ear with the rubber grommet there is a little threaded post coming off the ball. That post is slit right down the middle. There is a tiny rubber washer on the bottom and a little round threaded nut that screws onto the post.

You remove the little black plastic nut (don't do it over the water) and insert the leader anywhere on the diameter, even as thin as 5X, then screw the little black nut back on and tighten. You don't need to over tighten either. They come in 1/2", 3/4", and 1 1/4" diameters. Maybe they come in 1" but I have not seen them. They also come in clear plastic which is neat if you think the colored indicators might spook the fish. I use the clear for steelhead as clear looks much like the bubbles on the streams.

Brevity is not my strong suit! Someone else could probably of explained this in one or two paragraphs. I still have over a dozen TAMB in various colors and sizes and put them on backup rods when I go chasing chrome.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
PaulRobertsOctober 3rd, 2016, 10:55 am

Posts: 1776
Thanks, Matt!

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