Black & Whites Bobbins
Our first foray into the world of bobbins had been a big success with the Stow indicator system, so it was a natural progression to bring out a slightly different and more traditional style of bobbin for those who prefer this type.
Having been heavily involved in bringing the Stows to the market, Damian Clarke also wanted to bring out a bobbin that more resembled some home-made ones that he and his friends had made themselves over 20 years before, and which stayed on the line when you got a take, plus lent themselves to being fished on slack lines on the ground as well as in the conventional way next to the buzzer with a tighter line.
Not only did they have to be functional, but they also needed to look the part, and this is where the two-part design came in, with either a solid white or black part to the bobbin along with a crystal clear segment at the front, where the isotope fits, to give the impression that it is floating in the middle of the bobbin – a design that Damian had seen being used on monkey climber bodies at Layer Pit a decade before his attempts at making his own home-made bobbins in a similar style.
Those classic looks, along with all of the features built into them, make these the ultimate bobbins when it comes to bite indication, for all types of carp fishing, whether you’re fishing under your rod tips or are boating baits out to the horizon.
The Black&Whites are based on the original bobbins that Damian made, but designed in a way such that they can be commercially produced, and utilising all of technology that Korda had available to it, in terms of the computer aided design, samples, and the eventual finished product once he was happy with every aspect of them.
Rather than just producing a white bobbin, there was also a black version, and hence the name Black&Whites, and depending on your personal preference. Both colours really look the part, when combined with the black coloured chains, hockey sticks, weights and line clips, and whilst a lot of the focus should be on functionality, most anglers want their set-up to look the part as well, given how many hours they spend sat on the bank looking at it and waiting for some action!
Usually line clips have been attached to the top of the bobbin body and stick out a long way, but to make these a lot neater and more compact, the line clip has been integrated into the inside of the bobbin body. Getting this just right, and making it so that the tension of the clip could be easily adjusted – simply by screwing the chain attachment at the base of the bobbin further into it to add bring the two sides of the line-friendly clip closer together – was more complicated than you might think, especially as the same clip had to be suitable for all four sizes of bobbin, and take into account that some anglers would use them on braided main line fished bow string tight at long range, and with the addition of extra weight on the bobbin.
The fact that the four bobbins are all different sizes also potentially caused problems when it came to producing the extra weights that could be added to the base of bobbins, without needing different attachments for each size. That was solved by producing a weight with two different diameter bores, such that it could be slid onto the attachment at the end of the chain, and neatly fitted over the part where the chain joined to that, giving a seamless finish.
Each weight – two are supplied with each bobbin, with the weight of those being suited to the size of bobbin – is laser-etched with the weight and the size of bobbin that it can be used with. The small sized bobbins come with 5g and 8g weights; 10g and 15g for the medium and large sizes; and 20g and 30g on the X-Large size.
These different sizes of bobbins and weights means that the Black&Whites are suitable for any angling situation, whether you are using the small size bobbins to fish with slack lines under your rod tips; or are rowing baits out to the horizon on a large European lake where you need the X-Large size bobbins along with the largest, 30g weights.
This style of bobbin is particularly good at emphasising drop backs, due to the fact that it runs on the line, rather than being attached in one place like a Stow, but is also effective whatever type of bite you are getting, and a lot depends on what style of bobbin you personally prefer to use – many still favour a traditional bobbin on a long chain like these ones.
Two different length chains are supplied with each bobbin – 6in. and 9in. on the small size, as this one lends itself to being fished on the ground, and 3in. and 6in. for the other sizes.
One of the aims in their design was to make them compatible with the existing Stow range, in terms of the hockey stick attachments, so that if you needed/wished to switch between the two different types of bobbin, then you could do very quickly and easily.
The Black&Whites hockey stick attachment is also cleverer than it looks at first glance, and a lot of thought has gone into it, in order to make it as easy as possible to attach and detach the indicator chains, but at the same time being secure so they can’t accidentally fall off. This was achieved by using a bayonet style attachment but with the added addition of magnets, and maybe counter-intuitively, two magnets of the same type so that rather than sticking together, they actually repel and hold the bayonet in place in the grooves inside the hockey stick.
This also meant that the magnetic attachment at the end of the Stow chains could be connected straight to these hockey sticks – using the fact that they are magnetised in the opposite way, although that means that only magnetic force, rather than the bayonet, holds them in place.
An isotope is easily fitted by unscrewing the plastic plug – using the screwdriver supplied with each bobbin – removing the fluorescent green plastic insert and replacing it with the correct size of Stow Lite isotope. The standard Stow-Lite fits the medium, large and X-Large Black&Whites, and the small size will take a Mini Stow-Lite, with a choice of green, yellow, red, blue, purple, orange and white isotopes available in each size.