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Chode2235

Spring Bobber Rod: St. Croix legend, Thorne Bros., or others?

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Looking for a good spring bobber rod for fishing for crappies and bluegills. I want something with a little bit of backbone, and incredibly sensitive for those light bighters. I have been using the frabill add on, but want something a little better this winter.

I have been looking at the St. Croix legend rods with the built in spring bobber and am leaning that way. I like the built in reel seat, the changeable spring bobbers, and the way it is built around the rod. Things I am hesitant about are crooked eyes, made in china, and the other downfalls to mass produced rods.

I have also heard great things about Thorne Bros. rods, although the spring bobber seems a little less flexible/durable than the St. Croix option. Thoughts?

Should I even be looking for a spring bobber rod, and looking perhaps at a noodle rod? Also if I go the St. Croix route, which action of rod do you recommend for my application? UL, L, ML?

Thanks.

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In my opinion the TB power noodle is the best rod for light biting panfish that I have used. They are awesome.

Now that being said, the best spring bobber is on the St. Croix legends, but as you pointed out they have issues. I'd go with an UL, possibly a L, for panfish if you get the St. Croix. The ML is more of a light duty walleye rod.

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I have both the St Croix rods and TB rods. If money is not option, the TB are the way to go. Which ever you choose, the reel seats to me are not positioned correctly. I like to adjust the reel to fit my hand and balance of the rod. Sounds like a lot for a small ice rod, but when you are messing with little biters, a balanced rod helps to improve your sensation and hood sets.

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I like the TB. I have had the St Croix in the UL and it was way to light. The other thing I did not like about it was the St Croix had no back bone. I have since gone to using TB rods only. I have the spring bobber and it is very nice. I think the one thing that you will have problems with is the TB spring has problems with ice billed up but for me I think the trade off is the rod. The TB rod is way above as far in back bone and how well the rod is made I think you could also go with the power noddle. this is a very nice rod also. for me this works better outside on the ice and is a very nice dead stick for those light bite cats.

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Haven't tried the Thorne Bro rods or the JM. I have the UL & L St. Croix Legend and like them a lot. Excellent for detecting the lightest of bites. The rod itself is nothing special IMO, it is the spring bobber design that I like. Easy to use, and you can adjust the spring to the weight of the lure.

What ever you do, stay away from the coiled spring style (Frabill). They are okay if is warm, but if it is cold they ice up to the point that they are useless. The are also a pain to shread light fishing line (2-4#) through the spring.

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Do you think the folks at Thorne could add an eye for the St. Croix style spring bobber to a good old Panfish sweetheart?

That seems to be exactly what I am after.

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They can do just about anything to a rod if you ask them. All it would take is a larger diameter tip-top. Probably cost you 5-7 bucks to do it.

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St. Croix also sells spring bobbers separate, that way you could find with the action you like and still have the action of the St. Croix spring.

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All my rods are TB. For panfishing I use the Noodles. Love them..I've never used a spring bobber so I can't recommend a good one but I'm sure you can't go wrong with calling Thorne Bros.

Steve

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The best Spring Bobber I have used is the St. Croix. The best rod and spring bobber combo I have used is the Thorne Brothers.

The Jason Mitchel Meatstick is my new favorite ice rod because the tip is sensitive enough for me to see the lightest bites but still has the backbone to get in some bigger fish with it and I even use it as a deastick at times.

Take care of the tip and its a great rod. I always pack it by itself in a solid rod case and never try to tap it or shake it to get any ice built up out of the tip.

The Jason Mtchel Spring Bobber rod is also a nice unit but not as sensitive as the TB or St. Croix. Still a nice rod for the price.

I suggest hitting the ice show in St. Paul and checking out all the rods there and buy what you like best.

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Funny...I just posted this under the other spring bobber thread...

For my taste...the st. croix rods are way too stiff. Even the UL is way too stiff for average gills and average crappies. I sold mine off.

However...the st.croix bobbers are the best. I found a way to make a clip on attachment with the bobbers. I take out the spring bobber on those store bought clip on bobbers (the clip on part is red). Then I glue on the croix bobber and it works like a charm. I attach them to my other rods which have a lot better feel. Then you can put it on any rod you want.

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I picked up a power noodle last year after messing around with the spring bobber trials for many years. They are sensitive on the tips and have a solid back to pull up some decent pannies and perch on mille lacs. For me, i'm not going back to a spring bobber. Just picked up another one a few weeks ago from Matt for the wife to use.

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The soft tip loads lightly, but with an increasing tension that almost is self setting. Spring bobbers bend easily without increasing tension, then hit a stiffer rod. The transition from spring to rod is much more drastic. I use power noodles as deadsticks and often just need pull up the rod and start reeling in the catch.

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If you are using your spring bobber correctly, your jig should cause the spring mechanism to bend down at about 30 degrees downward from horizontal. This is important because for some bites the fish will suck in the bait and rise with it - if this happens you will see the spring bobber start to rise upward. As soon as you see this you must set the hook before it spits it. Most setups without spring bobbers would never detect this type of bite.

Haven't used a noodle rod (yet), but I would think very small/light jigs would not put enough weight on the tip to allow you detect this type of lift bite described above. That is one of the advantages to the St. Croix spring bobbers - you can adjust them for the weight of the bait (slide in/out of the grommet), or buy optional springs with different power ratings (interchangable).

If I am out fishing without a spring, I can often detect very light bites doing a gental lift if I see the fish ontop of my lure on the flasher - any slight weight I immediately set the hook. Not as fool-proof or easy if your newer to ice fishing - and requires a flasher to be effective.

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To be honest, i have never used a st. croix either. I have used regular rods and put the after market springs on them and never found one that wanted to stay on correctly etc. That is why i went out looking for something different.

I was using those tungston jigs for the perch and the panfish and they load the tip nicely. In my experience the noodle is pretty darn close to a spring bobber.

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I can tell you I wont waste another dime on a spring bobber. My next rod will be the Thorne Bros Power Noodle. That rod is absolutely amazing. A small jig will load it up enough to be able to detect an up bite. But like fishwater said the tip is super soft (fiberglass) and the transitions into the graphite lower portion of the rod with a great taper and combine to make one of the coolest rods on the market. I can't wait to get mine.

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Jason Mitchell, 24" Spring Bobber Rod. No question.

I tend to agree, the JM 24" SB rod is a great spring system rod, and spring bobber combo. It is the smartest spring bobber I have seen and used to date.

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I have used the STX Legends for the past three years and really think the spring bobber assembly is the best out there. You can interchange spring bobbers to handle different weighted lures/jigs. There are 3 spring bobbers

The light: is use primarily with very small jigs

medium: Is a great all around spring bobber that can be adjusted to handle small to larger jigs.

heavy: Is great for larger jigs and spoons.

Although the bobber assembly is the best, there are other rods I like. So what can you do? You can buy a custom ice rod that has a stx similar type system.

Scottys Custom rods.

Note from Admin, please read forum policy before posting again,thank you.

I have 2 L and UL legends that I rarely use. I have attached the STX assembly to my own ice rods. I like the TB rods and the JM rods however I like STX spring bobbers. If I had the money I would buy the JM meatstick and attach my own spring bobber.

I hope this helps.

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I have one St. Croix Legend UL, and one ML, and I think I have another one, an L or a M (too many rods lol).

All I can say is they are AWESOME! I love the UL for panfish, and I've never had a problem with the ML for walleye. The springbobbers are awesome, and interchangable. I've swapped out my SB on my medium-light rod for a heavy action one, and was able to use it on jigging spoons and salmos! You can also push the bobber back and forth to give it more give or take away from it. The rods are truely awesome, and I plan on getting one or two more this year.

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My go to spring bobber rod is the TB sweet thing plus. A smaller version of the panfish sweetheart. I love the rod because of the sensitivity and with the spring bobber it is hard to match. I also use a St. Croix UL with spring bobber and do not like it as much, still a great rod but the TB is #1.

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