Jacobs “ Big Boy Bobbins”  Custom Bobbins —   

  • We bought out some threads and needles for making Bobkins from stores that went under.  It seems that today's women, I  have been noticing, have lost  the homemaker skills like cooking and seen exchanging their sewing machines for credit cards to be used at he mall.

  •  Lots of thread, not fishing brands which are thinner for smaller fly trout fishing ( No one told the trout) but great for teaching, salty and streamer environment.  They work just fine.  And UV hardheads last well.

  • Lots of cotton and synthetic bobbins in all colors and sizes, brands and weights. Many were larger than the standard fly patterns in mini spools that cost a fair amount of money.   We got them cheap.  Bigger spools, a dollar a spool, many, many colors.

  • My next thought was I work very fast and hate changing bobbins.  Off to the ACE hardware DIY section  pile came home with a bag  and a bunch of angle irons, small two incher's and straight iron's, good quality from ACE hardware.

  • For Small Size Bobbins I Use 1/4 x 20 threaded screws in two sizes  which allow truly flexible tools for any size bobbin thread holder just change the screw length.  You can make these for next to nothing and most of these parts are value packed four up at ACE hardware for more savings.

  • Also I used some plastic drinking straw material over the screw inside the bobbin and it made the fit perfect.

  • I made a partial dozen in no time and with better quality from ACE and all nuts and bolts are 1/4 x 20 to standardize all I build.  You will probably have to ream out the holes in the brackets as they are tight, with a 1/4 inch drill bit, that insures this rig is stiff and permanent, no plastic.
  • The thing that holds the thread.  Since the Heavy Duty threads in large spools were available at Michaels, and  donations from garage sales we score,  we have mixed size spools mostly larger of good quality cotton, many new unused.  

  • Salt water kills lures and especially streamers fast and I wanted a cheap way to make streamers and a break-off is just part of the game.  I harden the head with UV and my UV super dryer can do ten at a time.

  • UV on Saltwater Streamers  — They work great on bigger streamers and are sealed with UV after assembly I had no problem using this heavy stuff on the tube in any size to 4/0 -6/0 and bigger for offshore trolling.  The white shrink wrap is temporary anti-unwinder but I have a better solution in the next picture.   Yellow wire caps wok perfect. Just light twist.

  • Tube Flies  are great and pretty indestructible after building with coats of any of the fine products I found at Sally’s Beauty Supply, the giant makeup and personal grooming store which was right next door to Michaels Craft Shop which had great chenilles, yarns and synthetic furs, God know what you can use for streamers.  All you need to use is your immagination.
    My Disguise did not work  —  The manager of Sally’s greeted me, she asked point blank… she asked are you a hairstylist or fisherman, another fisherman?   I almost fell over…   “ Most men don’t shop here and the last one was here two days ago”.  
    I asked her what he bought and if she got his name…  I had on my list almost everything he had on his.   Pure Acetone, final super Hard GEL Coats, that are incredible, Glow-in-the-dark stuff,  and head colors from Hard as nails in a million colors, nail polish with built in sparkle in all colors which took some really old spoons and made them new with a clear coat on top and I got a small discount as a new customer. 

  • But larger streamers for salties are easier to build if you have large hands.  BUT, no one makes a bobbin really big enough for the bigger spools.  So I made a quick 3/4 dozen just for this project.  Nuts and bolts from Ace Hardware.  And fully adjustable for size and tension and about two dollars work of parts.   The needles are 36-gauge from Amazon, a hundred for 6.99 plus bicycle spokes cut and shaped to fit.

  • The picture shows the sizes standard fly spools, larger fly spools and giant spools and these bobbins can adjust for all those sizes by a simple nut adjustment or changing the bolt, the brass tube can be moved inside or outside to center the tube.  So you have tension adjustment, size adjustment, and with Nylon  plastic washers, and cheaper than anything else.  Plus they are indestructible.  In the next issue:  Im waiting for some ceramic parts and teflon we will bulletproof the rigs) 

  • I am in the process of making the “ Big Bobbin 2.0 version”   with a few tricks because thats what I do and nothing in this world can’t be improved.  Even stuff I already improved.  As soon as I find the time and build the new one , I will post it here.

Parts List  - Best Bet Ace Hardware  —  ( Better quality, selection,  than big box stores)

  • 1 inch “ L” Bracket just about covers all size spools,  1-1/2 covers really big spools 
  •  2 inch Straight Bracket ( also called a mending plate) (Any size may be subbed)
  • 1/2 inch 1/4 x 20 short Zinc Bolts 
  •  21/2 inch 1/4 x 20 Zinc Bolts
  •  2 of 1/4 x 20 Regular Nuts
  • 1/4x20 Nylock Lock Nuts
  • 1/8 small washer ( I used rivet backing plate)
  • 1/8 inch brass pipe thread tubes ( easier to solder) 
  • Washers — Nylon white 1/4 inch as a smooth transition for the spool and do not bind - Better tension control. Works smoother than the metal washers.  IMPORTANT TO PREVENT CUTOFFS
  • Also many spools need a piece of tubing or shrink tube on the shaft inside the spool so no binding.
  •  I am working on a giant size holder and will post even larger than shown. If keeping on a boat Stainless nuts and bolts work better from rusting.
  • Connect L bracket to Straight bracket using short Bolt  and one of the lock nuts...
  • Those two and a half inch Zinc Bolts you want them magnetic, not stainless so they will stack on magnets.
    go through the base of the straight bracket and secured with second on the inside and tighten...  
  • The thread tubes are 1/8 inch round tubes, brass cut to about three inches.  I used an awl and flared the ends and polished them.  
  • OPTIONS :  I soldered some or you can use UV resin glue and then glue to horizontal end of  the plates . The UV glues are strong.
  • The 1/8 brass tubes fit in the 1/8 small washers, I ever so slightly crimp the tube for gripe where the ring sits
  • The white shrink tubing caps or yellow wire caps if you have them hold the end of the line, I heat pinch the end of the white tubing. The caps are great, slight twist and voila.
  • As soon as my ceramic tubes and some other parts get here I will be once again upgrading the tips.  They work just fine the way here and are indestructible and cost about two dollars in parts, I had lots of these parts.  
  • But ceramics might work on some of these weird threads… we’ll see, I am never one to stop improving.  And you can see this little gizmo, is flexible and you can tailor it to your needs.

06/04/2021   aljacobsladder.com 

08/21/2021   aljacobsladder.com