However, for today most commercial and sport fishing applications have been replaced by aluminum, plastic, natural cork, and Styrofoam. Corks, bombers, floats or whatever you call them still serve the same purpose for today’s anglers.
Not only could the bomber indicate a strike, but when popped on the surface it attracted otherwise uninterested fish. A relatively simple design it soon became the must-have a float in every anglers' arsenal, especially those targeting saltwater species like spotted sea trout and redfish.
This new method worked so well in fact, the cork soon took on a shape of its own and almost immediately began showing up in tackle shops everywhere. Each brightly colored oval or cigar-shaped cork had a stainless steel wire shaft threaded through round plastic and brass beads.
Now when popped it not only created a commotion on the surface but as the cork slid up and down the stainless steel shaft striking the beads it made a clicking sound. For years after the invention of popping corks, all was well in the fishing industry, and they sold like hot cakes on a cold winter’s morning.
Just think… now we had it all, a strike indicator, a fish at tractor and the small brass beads added weight which meant further cast. Sensing a need for new and cutting-edge product several tackle manufacturers revolutionized the popping cork market by creating a totally new design.
This completely new style of popping cork not only offered the standard oval and cigar shapes but one had a concave top designed specifically to move more water. Instead of using stainless steel shafts they used Titanium which enabled it to spring back to its original shape.
Tie fluorocarbon leader, under the cork to keep your bait about a foot off the bottom. Many of us got our first taste of fishing with a basic cane pole, a worm, and a round bomber.
Take a look in any experienced angler’s tackle box and you’ll find a wide variety of bomber types and sizes. In this post I’ll break down several bomber types, how and when to use them, and how to rig them properly.
2) The bottom of a lake, river, or stream is generally the easiest place for your bait to get snagged up. 4) Bombers increase your bait’s visibility which improves your strike detection ability significantly.
Even the tiniest movement is easy to spot on the surface, which makes bombers especially useful when targeting fish with subtle bites. While floats clearly have many advantages, standard round bombers have several drawbacks that can make them frustrating to work with.
Slip bombers solve all of these issues, offering greater versatility and performance than fixed floats. We’re all familiar with those little red and white plastic globe bombers with spring-loaded attachments.
An oversized bomber will result in too much resistance and cause fish to spit out your bait before you have a chance to set the hook. This style of fixed bomber works well for crappie, bluegill, and other pan fish.
You can also reel a slip bomber right up to the terminal tackle, which makes landing larger fish much easier. As they’re able to slide up and down your line freely, they require a slightly more complex setup than fixed bombers.
You’ll need a couple of beads, as well as a rubber or cloth bomber stopper to set the depth you want to fish at. Many slip bombers are made from Balsa wood, which makes them a bit pricier than other floats.
This twist-on design is a real bonus, as it won’t damage your line like other fixed bombers do. These bombers are popular for casting flies on a spinning rod, but can also be used when you’re fishing with bait, jigs, and other methods.
Slip bombers are great for quickly finding the correct depth where the crappie or bluegill are at. Because you can adjust the float depth by sliding the bomber stop in mere seconds, you can stay on the fish as they move around.
A small fixed bomber paired with a jig and minnow is one of the best ways to get these fish to bite when they’re in shallower open water. A slip bomber paired up with a spinning rod is one of the deadliest methods of catching trout in moving water.
Trout will hit a wide variety of baits, including nightcrawlers, crickets, and minnows as well as flies and jigs. The precision of casting with a slip float allows you to hit small pockets effectively, and fish further upstream than would normally be possible.
This is particularly useful when you’re fishing in shallower rivers and streams, as it helps you keep your bait off the bottom where it can get tangled up in vegetation and debris. A classic round bomber works well when fishing for bass with shiners and other bait fish.
A round bomber allows you to suspend your bait directly in front of the bass, which presents an irresistible target for these fish. If you use a float that’s too large, the fish will encounter too much resistance and will release your bait rather than swallowing it.
If you’re fishing in deeper water, then a slip bomber setup will work well. Rigging a bomber or float is fairly straightforward, but you’ll need the right gear to ensure you do it properly.
Fixed round bombers rigs are pretty easy to set up. All you need is your fishing line, a fixed round bomber, hook, bait, and split shot.
Figure out the depth you want to suspend your bait at, and then pull that much line from your rod tip. All work well, but I’d recommend sliding rubber stops for their ability to quickly adjust the stopper depth.
Make sure the beads are big enough to stop the slip bomber effectively. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Flanagan Valley in British Columbia.
Saltwater fishing rigs used by shore anglers usually consists of three basic components: bait, hook, and a weight. The type of each used and the arrangement varies with the location (beach, pier, rocks) and the conditions (current, tide, waves).
Here, it is the weight that is the terminal part of the rig, with the hook tied higher to suspend the bait just off the bottom. This works great for shorter casts when fishing off a pier or long jetty.
A small piece of string usually tied on the line will stop the bomber at the desired depth. Although it no longer serves to alert the angler of a bite, it aides in holding line at an angle that reduces nicks or snags of rocks and still lets bait be presented on the bottom.
Experiment with components and leader lengths until you discover the best saltwater shore fishing rigs for your scenario. Not only will they be happy to offer helpful rig suggestions, but they generally have the sizes and styles of tackle needed for the area.
Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, small mouth bass, and steel head in Pennsylvania.