Types of Fishing Bobbers

Fishing may seem easy, but trust us when we say it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Even if you’ve got all the right fishing equipment, there’s absolutely no guarantee that you will catch fish. Fishing is a hobby for some and a profession for others. Whatever reason you fish for, there’s no denial in the fact that fishing is therapeutic, and everyone should give it a shot.

If you plan on trying your hands at fishing, you’ll need to get the basic fishing kit. One of the most important pieces of equipment, apart from a fishing rod, is a fishing bobber. It’s the ball-like equipment that you often see fishermen using. 

A fishing bobber serves as a floater that ensures that your bait remains visible to the fish under the surface of the water while it itself floats over the surface. Fishing bobbers aren’t new. They’ve been used by fishermen for many years – for as long as people have been catching fish.

Fishing bobbers were first used by the Norwegians in the 1840s. Back then, fishing bobbers were small egg-sized floats made of glass that were tied to the fishing lines just above the hook with some bait. As fishing increased in popularity, bigger floats were made to hold up the fishing nets. Soon, the Europeans followed and started using glass floats with trademarks of the manufacturers. 

In 1910, the production of glass floats from recycled glass started in Japan. They were made into various sizes to meet the varying fishing needs. The glass floats that the Japanese made ranged from small floats having a diameter of 2 inches to larger floats with a diameter of 2 inches. 

Cork fishing bobbers and aluminum fishing bobbers were first introduced in the 1920s. They soon replaced the glass floaters because they were more durable and could be made into designs that could be attached to the net rather easily. It was after World War II, plastic fishing bobbers were introduced, and they soon took the market by storm. Even today, plastic fishing bobbers are leading the market. The red and white plastic bobbers are the most commonly used fishing bobbers at present. 

How to Choose a Fishing Bobber

Fishing bobbers are available in a massive variety of shapes, colors, and weights. The use of the right fishing bobber can really make a difference. They can enhance your fishing experience and help you catch some fish during your fishing expedition. There are some factors that should be considered when choosing the right fishing bobbers. We’ve listed them for you below to help you make the right choice.


Many people may assume that color is just for the sake of appearance, but that isn’t true. The color of the fishing bobber really matters. The efficiency of a fishing bobber depends entirely on its visibility, and the visibility depends on the color. Bobbers are strike indicators, and if you want your bobber to indicate even the slightest of movement, you’ve got to make sure you’re choosing the right color. Bright-colored fishing bobbers ensure that they’re visible at all times. However, in some situations, bright-colored fishing bobbers may not be the most visible.

For example, a yellow or white-colored bobber may be visible against stained water or in an area that’s lined with trees but if the weather is cloudy. They may not be visible at all. It’s best to buy dual-colored fishing bobbers, like the most popular red and white.

Shape and Size

Fishing bobbers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not all shapes and sizes are right for all types of fishing. Each has a different casting distance. Ideal water depth for each varies, and most importantly, each shape and size of bobber is suitable for different fish varieties.

For example, a pencil fishing bobber is best suited for targeting Trout and Panfish that are found less than 6 feet deep. An in-line slider is best for Bass and Walleye that’s found at a depth of about 6 to 15 feet. There are numerous other shapes such as oval, cigar slider, bubble, and waggler, each having a different set of characteristics. 

Fish Strikes

Another very important factor that many people often overlook is how the fish that you’re planning to catch strikes. Some fishes feed upwards while some feed downwards. For example, crappie feeds upwards, and such a strike is best indicated with a small pencil bobber. So, it’s very important that you know how the fish you wish to catch strikes for you to be able to choose the right fishing bobber.


The diameter of a fishing bobber is also an important factor to consider. Bibbers with wider diameters tend to be more stable in water. They’re more stable, and the chances that you confuse their movement with a fish strike are pretty low. If you’re planning to fish in a rough current, a fishing bobber having a wider diameter would be the most suitable. 


Since the bobbers have to stay at the surface of the water to serve as strike indicators, considering how buoyant a fishing bobber is also very important. Only the bobber having the right buoyancy will offer the most effective indication of a fish strike. 

Types of Fishing Bobbers

There are many types of fishing bobbers, each suitable for targeting different fish varieties situated in varying water depths. If you’re planning to get yourself the best fishing bobbers, you should first familiarize yourself with the types of fishing bobbers.


Types of Fishing Bobbers: Bubbles

Bubbles fishing bobbers, like the Rainbow Plastics Tough Bubbles fishing bobbers, are made of plastic, but they look nothing like traditional bobbers. They feature a hollow plastic body that is either filled with air or left empty. When the fish takes the bait, the bubbles fishing bobber will pop upwards. These bobbers are quite versatile and inexpensive, which is why they’re among the most favorite fishing bobbers among fishermen. They’re available in many colors, the most common being white and red.

Cigar Fishing Bobbers

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Cigar Fishing Bobbers

Foam cigar snap-on fishing bobbers are cigar-shaped and made of foam. They’re ideal for situations where you’re using a larger bait to catch larger fish varieties. A cigar fishing bobber floats vertically and has a weight attached to one end that keeps them upright. Since these foam fishing bobbers are vertical, most part of these fishing bobbers stays above the surface of the water, which makes them easy to see at all times. Being weighted fishing bobbers, they’re quite stable in water. 

Spring Slip

Types of Fishing Bobbers: : Spring Slip

Spring bobbers are quite popular for all the right reasons. These fishing bobbers have two modes; sliding and fixed. The sliding fishing bobbers are best for fishing in deep water, whereas the fixed mode is best suited to shallow waters. Since you can use a spring slip fishing bobber in both deep and shallow waters, these bobbers come a bit pricier than others. 

Slip Bobbers

Slip fishing bobbers are a great option when you wish to cast a bobber further away. A slip bobber can slip up or down the fishing line, depending on how far or close the fish is. These bobbers are usually made of high-quality material; therefore, they come at a higher price. You can catch fish that’s as far as 8 feet from your boat with a slip bobber. If you go fishing often, you should invest in at least one high-end slip bobber.

Round Fixed Bobbers

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Round Fixed Bobbers

Round fixed fishing bobbers are the best for beginners. They come in different sizes, each suitable for different fish varieties. Choosing the right size of the round fixed bobber is very important. These bobbers can be used for live and artificial baits. The problem with these bobbers is that the bait hangs down deep down, further away from the bobber. When the fish strikes and you cast it out, it might get a bit tricky to keep the fish hooked. You’ll need to work on your skill to be able to use these bobbers efficiently. 

Popping Cork

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Popping Cork

If you want to catch redfish or bass, these cork fishing bobbers are what you should get. These fishing bobbers are very easy to cast close to the boat or far away. The reason they’re called popping cork bobbers is that when a fish bites on it, it produces a clear popping sound. The bobber will sink under the water and then pop back to the surface, and that’s when you need to start reeling in.


Types of Fishing Bobbers: Ballon

If you’re someone who likes to control the depth on which they want to do fishing, a balloon fishing bobber, like the Balloon Fisher King Balloons fishing bobber, is what you should invest in. There’s no way you can’t see balloon fishing bobbers from far away as they stay well over the surface of the water. They’re suitable for bigger fish as it takes a lot of force to pull the balloon down, and it’s just not possible for smaller fish. They can be used both at night and during the day. Some glow-in-the-dark fishing bobbers are also available that make these balloons visible at night as well.

Eagle Claw

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Eagle Claw

Eagle Claw fishing bobbers are the best fishing bobbers for catching smaller fish. They’re highly sensitive, and you will know instantly when you need to start reeling. They resemble an eagle’s claw, as you tell by the name. The best of these fishing bobbers are the Eagle Claw Balsa-style fishing bobbers. These wooden fishing bobbers are made of lightweight balsa wood. They’re also great for deep-water fish.  The Eagle Claw snap-ons are super easy to use and highly efficient at what they do!

Waggler Fishing Bobbers

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Waggler Fishing Bobbers

Waggler floats fishing bobbers are dart-shaped, so casting them at far-off distances isn’t an issue. They fly through the air quite easily. Just like Eagle Claw fishing bobbers, the wagglers are highly sensitive, too, making them great for catching smaller fish. 

Dink Float

Types of Fishing Bobbers: Dink Float

Dink floats are another type of fishing bobber that’s suitable for both large and small fish. The thing with dink floats is that you’ve got to keep an eye on them for movement. They aren’t as sensitive as wagglers or Eagle Claw fishing bobbers. 

Lighted Fishing Bobbers

Lighted fishing bobbers are the best type of fishing bobbers to go fishing at night or when the weather is cloudy and dark, making it difficult to see the bobbers. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are fishing bobbers made of?

Fishing bobbers are available in different materials, including plastic, cork, wood, and foam.

What is the difference between floats and bobbers?

Bobbers are usually brightly colored, round in shape, and highly visible, whereas floats are slim, long, and less visible.

What lures to use with a bobber?

You can use a simple rig to attach live or artificial bait to the bobber.

Why is my bobber sideways?

If your bobber is tilting to the side, it means that the sinker has been set to go too deep and that the sinker has gone to the bottom.

Additional Tips on Types of Fishing Bobbers

Fishing bobbers are essential fishing tools. There’s a massive variety of fishing bobbers for you to choose from. From wooden fishing bobbers to ice fishing bobbers, from colored to clear fishing bobbers, there’s so much to choose from. Now that you know about all types of fishing bobbers, choosing the best one won’t be too difficult.


Photo of author
He is an avid outdoorsman and fishing enthusiast who loves to get out on the water and catch fish. With over 10 years of experience, Jay has become a master of the art of angling and has mastered techniques such as fly fishing, ice fishing, trolling, casting, and more.
Photo of author
He is an avid outdoorsman and fishing enthusiast who loves to get out on the water and catch fish. With over 10 years of experience, Jay has become a master of the art of angling and has mastered techniques such as fly fishing, ice fishing, trolling, casting, and more.