We can talk about which is the world’s best fishing reel, and hard-core anglers like you and me will start salivating. Or we can discuss which is the world’s best fishing rod and have a monster debate over this imperative angling item. But bobbers? These are the lowest common denominator in fishing gear. The vast majority of them are simple plastic bubbles, and just about the only thing that sets one apart from another is color and size, right? Even the simple balsa-wood quill seems fairly extravagant in the world of bobbers.

That was only true until now, dear angling friends, only until now. Check this out:


Is it a shotgun shell, or a fishing bobber? Yes.

Where the heck did I find this uber-cool fishing goodie? My daughter was watching Shark Tank one night, when I heard a flurry of sudden screaming.

“Dad, get over here right now! You’ve gotta see this! OMG!!!

There, on the TV screen before us, were a couple of guys pitching one of the niftiest items we’d ever seen—the Shell Bobber, a fishing bobber made out of shotgun shells. What angler wouldn’t love to whip one of these out of the tacklebox, with a sly grin on his or her face? Who wouldn’t want to keep one propped up on their desk at work, or sitting on the man-cave shelf? The novelty value is clear off the charts, sure, but one question remained: would these things actually work?

The answer is yes. The cylindrical shape puts them somewhere between the standard bubble and common the quill, functionally speaking. And you have to remind yourself to push the spring down towards the shell body, not away from it, to get your line to sit in the groove properly. Beyond that, it works every bit as well as any bobber on the market (unlike some novelty bobbers which come in bizarre shapes, like mermaids, ducks, or SpongeBob SquarePants).

The total investment for a three-pack of Shell Bobbers is a whopping $6.50, which if you ask me, is a rockin’ good deal for a functional bobber that’s guaranteed to produce guffaws. And yes, they are available in popping cork models. I know that I’ll be (ahem) loading up on them for the holiday season.

Written by: Lenny Rudow
With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, Lenny Rudow has contributed to publications including YachtWorld, boats.com, Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design, and he has won numerous BWI and OWAA writing awards.