The Thingamabobber phenomenon has exploded over the last few years and is now, by far, our best selling strike indicator. Finally an indicator that was fully reusable, durable, visible and sensitive, and easy to put on, takeoff and adjust. I loved them not just because they were effective and cheap, but because finally there was a ‘strike-indicator’ that wasn’t afraid to call itself a bobber.
This year however, West Water Products changed their Thingamabobber recipe a little bit. I haven’t had any trouble with my Thingamabobbers, other than with the 1/2in. size, but I know other people had. So, I thought the addition of the Jam-Stop, to help peg the indicator on smaller tippets, was a stroke of genius when I first saw it. I was a little mistaken with their marketing though. I was under the impression that they were putting the Jam-Stop on the smallest, 1/2 in. sized Thingamabobber, which they did, but they also put them on the 3/4in. size. Now here’s the rub, those two sizes ONLY come with the Jam-Stops anymore. This wouldn’t be a problem, if they worked, but so far my experience with the Jam-Stop has been nothing but frustration.
First off, I can’t get the darn thing to stay in. I’m constantly having to pull in my rig and re-peg it. Secondly, I wont lie I get tangles just like everyone else, but the Jam-Stop makes tangles so much worse. Now they did try to please everyone. Supposedly if you do not want the Jam-Stop they say just cut it off. Simple fix right? Well first of all that cutoff Jam-Stop nine time out of ten is probably going straight into the river where it might do some damage when a fish or bird might eats it. Now here’s the big one. In the diagram on their website West Water recommends cutting the Jam-Stop off flush thus making a traditional Thingamabobber. Well on the one’s I’ve tried (I’ve talked to others who have the same problem) there’s a hollow at the base of the stem that opens up when you cut it flush. Congratulations, you have a Thingamabobber with a hole in it.
This blog or article, or whatever it is, has taken a much darker tone than I intended. Please don’t think I hate Thingamabobbers now, because I don’t. In fact I applaud West Water for trying to improve an already great product. Innovation is the way forward, and we could do with a lot more in this world. There are always bugs with the first generation of any new product. So, my wish is that they either fix the bugs with the Jam-Stop, which seem like easy fixes; or offer Thingamabobbers with and without Jam-Stops. On a last note, I have only had the opportunity to play with the 3/4in. sized Thingamabobbers with the Jam-Stop. The 1/2in. Thingamabobber’s Jam-Stop looks a little more slender, so it might work better. So, still want to try the 1/2in. ones with the Jam-Stop, because if they do indeed work better then that would be a great tool on spring creek and small stream fishing.
I would be interested in hearing your experience with the Jam-Stop: firstname.lastname@example.org