Over the years of ice fishing, many anglers can attest to problems with spring bobbers in cold environments. From icing up to losing sensitivity, ice fishermen had to go back to their shanty to warm up their spring bobbers to get the desired action back. Many companies have tried to combat this issue with different materials and tensile strengths, only to satisfy ice anglers partly.
This issue with spring bobbers opened the door to many companies designing “noodle rods”, to take place of the spring bobber due to a more flexible tip. The drawbacks to that idea is you still have to use a heavier jig to see the action of the tip, which makes it harder for a finicky fish to suck in the lure. 6 of 1, half dozen of the other, right? Not any more!
13 Fishing came up with a rod called the Tickle Stick to tackle this dilemma. Tossing out the general practices of rod builders everywhere, they came to the conclusion that round is more rigid, and developed a rectangular rod that would allow more flexibility in areas that needed it, preferably the last couple inches of the tip. The rectangular rod slowly tapers down to a thin and very nimble tip, so nimble that it almost bends upon its own weight from the eyelets! To exaggerate even more on how flexible this tip is, it can ALMOST be tied into a knot….
The biggest advantage of this new found flexibility in the tip is not icing up in the elements as often as you would with a spring bobber. Chasing yellow bass or perch is a great example, where you drill many holes and follow the fish to catch your limits. Doing so means that you have to remain very mobile, so packing and unpacking an ice shack is usually out of the question. Without the heat retention of an ice shack, water from your line tends to gather everywhere you don’t want it to, such as the spring bobber, making it ineffective.
So the advantage of having such a light tip with out icing up so fast is being able to use tiny lures effectively, such as 1/64-oz moon ticks. The moon ticks have always been a favorite among ice fishing, but adding weight to them takes away from the rocking action of the lure. Also, adding weight makes it harder to be sucked in by various fish, so you miss out on many opportunities. And when you fish a tiny moon tick without a spring bobber or very flexible tip, you cannot see the neutral or negative bites.
The only thing 13 Fishing didn’t think of with their new Tickle Stick is what are we supposed to do with our spring bobbers now….