Thursday 13 December 2018

Warwickshire Avon – Bombs, Bobbins and Bottle Tops

A perfect Zed bobbin or bite indicator I wonder, is there one out there? Barry Mconnell’s rollover indicator from Zandavan Productions came close as I also used them for Perch and Eels but to be honest as someone who travels as light as they can for their fishing, it became a bit of a faff setting them up if I’m honest, especially come sundown when I’d be using them the most.

A big version of the old skool washing up liquid bottle tops would have been perfect with a chemical light stuck up its jacksie, but no such thing exists as far as I’m aware.

Then again the Enterprise ET46 specialist bobbin, was more what I was after….

The Enterprise offering came with a plastic connector that could be removed and replaced with one of three sizes of stainless steel weights, and two hangers. 

White for daytime and luminous green for night use. A UV torch is used to quick charge the bobbin and it could also accommodate Isotopes or chemical lights inside the tubing. A special clip holds the bobbin when casting, playing fish, or simply when roving from swim to swim. The clip can be either whipped permanently to the rod or fixed with insulating tape.

Still a bit of a faff, especially when using it on a variety of different rods potentially….

‘So Mick design your own then’, so that’s exactly what I did….

A few sketches later and half an hour on CAD whilst multitasking as I was also scoffing a beef, onion and horseradish sandwich, here you go, jobs a good’un !!!!

With some spare neodymium magnets to replace the male and female locking detail of the bottle tops. They were to be printed from Phosphorescent TPU, which would mean not only would they be lightweight, but the whole body would glow in dark after being charged up with light and a decent size which is exactly what I wanted.

Baked in to the design were two additional glow stick fitting locations, one at the top, one at the bottom if additional light source was needed or I’d left them in my car and arrived for fishing in the dark.

The style, well I'm an engineer, so basic, a mini underwater naval mine, was a simple Catia pattern took less than it takes to write this to generate. 

Zander don’t mind a little resistance and these weighed around 20 grams even when assembled with the magnets which is about as heavy as a large Nash slaphead. I purposely made them a decent size as well as they would be easier to see moving under the cover of darkness.

My eyes adjust quite well fishing in the dark but I wanted something bigger and easier to see in ones peripheral vision.

Now if you haven’t used phosphorescent material before they need ‘charging’ by a light source. With infinite variations in both applications and glow materials, each situation can have different charging requirements. A good general rule of thumb is that a full charge can be achieved fairly easily using commonly available light sources, once you understand the basics of recharging.

The three most important things to consider when charging glow materials are: recharging strength or light intensity (LUX), the amount of time the glow materials are exposed to a specific light source, and most importantly, the type of light source itself.

The 'Zed Bomb Bobbin'
Light intensity or LUX is a comparable measurement of the strength of individual light sources. The higher the LUX number, the stronger the light output and therefore, the more effective it will be at charging glow material.

To put this another way, a lower LUX rating would require an increase in charging time and if the LUX number is too low the light source would likely not succeed.

Proper exposure time to the light source will also make a difference in your results. The strongest light sources can recharge in less than five minutes.  Dim light sources will take longer.

The quickest results can be obtained from natural daylight or from black lights. Distance from the light source should also be considered. Attempting to recharge materials using a weak light that is too far away will not be effective.

14grams without magnets - very light for the size.
Now Sunlight offers the quickest and most effective recharging method because sunlight includes a larger and stronger UV wavelength spectrum. This gives glow materials their quickest, most effective charge.

Even partial sunlight (such as the more diffused light of a cloudy day) or before the sun goes down at dusk still provides enough light to adequately charge most photo luminescent materials.

So arrive for a session an hour before dusk this should be sufficient enough charge time.

To give the glow effect a boost, or more of a kick though ‘black light’ is another highly effective method for charging glow materials. Black light lamps are the only known source that can both charge and simultaneously enhance viewing of the glow.

This is because it uniquely emits long wave UV illumination with very little visible bright light interference. Black lights highlight glow colours and have been successfully used to enhance the glow during product performance.

A £5 quid black light / UV torch off of Ebay is all you really need to be honest, nothing complicated, nothing technical.

So I need to try them in service so to speak as they have only just arrived after being printed a couple of weeks ago, with some rain on the way and weather going milder, hopefully have another Zander session with Nic to try and at least catch something this time.

Mk2, who knows but they came out better than I expected them to do....


  1. All those eBay washing up bottle top hoarders preying on the Werthers sucking old skoolers will be running for the hills.

  2. lol, they do pop up on Ebay from time to time, errr how much :)


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