Intro: Night Fishing Bobber Modifications (quick, Cheap, Easy)
I love night fishing, always have since I was a little kid. It's just not summer until it warms up enough for night fishing. Now over the years my gear has undergone some modification and updating. Let me tell you there just isn't much more that's exciting (in the world of fishing) then seeing a lighted bobber wiggle around, move two feet this way, then two feet that way, then disappear under the water.
So there's two basic ways of lighting a bobber. The easiest is to use cyalumes, those sticks that you bend in half then shake then they glow for hours! Well if you didn't know they make cyalumes small enough to put on the tip of a bobber. It just needs a little modification to work reliably in my mind.
The second way is with power, electrical power specifically. You can get LED lighted bobbers, which work great, but they too always need a little tweaking. Specificallly I like ultra bright blue or green LED's and most manufactured lighted bobbers don't come with them. Most also don't have a resistor so you chew through batteries quickly. Most are of a very NON-elegant design. I'm actually planning on either modifying an existing bobber, or making one from scratch. But that's another instructable.
Let's get back to the Cyalume method of a lighted bobber. In this Instructable I'll show you how I modified my bobber to take a cyalume that will stay on. A cyalume is one of those glow sticks that you snap and it gives off light for hours. They make mini-ones for attaching to the tip of your bobber for night fishing.
Oh and "I made this at TechShop", BTW!
heat shrink tubing
3" cyalume glow stick
Some glue (optional)
Step 1: Modifying Your Bobber for Night Fishing.
Now I love the wiggle of a good stick bobber. I like the cyalume kits, which are just a mini 3" cyalume with a piece of rubber tubing to attach it to the top of a stick bobber. The problem with these kits for is that they just don't fit my bobbers. And if they do fit, they don't stay on well at all.
So I modified my bobber by using a length of heat shrink tubing to keep the cyalume holder in place.
For those of you unfamiliar with heat shrink tubing, it's just rubber/plastic tubing that well shrinks when heated. It's used all the time with electronics as an insulator for exposed wires. I think the stuff is darn handy and I've used it for lots of projects.
I found clear heat shrink tubing on SneezeBay for a fair price. I can't find the stuff anywhere else locally. You don't have to use clear heat shrink tubing, but I would recommend it or white.
So I just selected a diameter of heat shrink tubing that was a bit wider then the tube that comes with the kit. I cut an appropriate length of it, slipped it on the bobber tip first then slipped the kit tube piece (with the cyalume in it) onto the tip. Then it's just a matter of shrinking the heat shrink tubing snug across the tip of the bobber and the tube. That's what the soldering iron is for. It gives you very localized heat so you only heat where you want it.
I put some glue (just the tiniest bit) on the tip of the bobber before heat shrinking to hold the holder and the heat shrink tubing on. Mostly in case I get a really big fish, I didn't want him ruining all the nice work I did. But this is completely optional, it's not really needed. The cyalume should hold snug, but be removable.
Now you've got a bobber that will hold a cyalume for night fishing that won't slip off. For as small they are and how many I use in the course of a fishing trip, the little buggers are pricey. Everyone that I've gone night fishing with has commented on what a good idea this was and have since done it to their own bobbers.
If you loose the tube holder piece that comes with the kit, you can just use some heat shrink tubing and a spare cyalume.