Bobber Fishing: The Slip Bobber Rig

bobber fishing

Slip Bobber Fishing

What Is The Slip Bobber

Bobber fishing is the most fun you can have. At least in an angler’s mind. I remember one type of bobber as a kid and that was the spring with the slit in the top that held your line. I still use these for the ease of removal when fishing different depths and techniques. The bobber is not just for bluegill and other panfish. I remember when I was introduced to the slip bobber. It opened up so many more options when fishing with a bobber.

A slip bobber rig is a bobber that can be fished at any depth you desire. The shaft has a hole through it and the main line is fed through the shaft. There is a bobber stop and a bead placed on the main line. In that order so that the bead slides down the line with the slip bobber. This bobber rig is the best way to keep your bait or lure at a certain depth. With a bobber stop that will reel through the rod guides you can place the stop at any depth. Locate the school of fish at 30 feet and you can place your bobber stop at 30 feet deep and fish at just the right depth. I have personally fished for walleye in deep water suspending the bait just above the bottom.

Slip Bobber Techniques

I have found several techniques that are made possible with the slip bobber rig. I use the slip bobber to catch crappie in thick cover. With a minnow or jig the slip bobber allows you to lower your presentation into small holes in thick brush where crappie live. Crappie will oftentimes bury themselves deep inside thick cover, usually during a cold front. When this happens your bait needs to be presented right in front of their nose. The slip bobber lets you do this with precision. It allows you to quickly and easily change the depth of your presentation as you go.

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When the water is 3 foot deep you might not need a slip bobber rig for crappie but with the bobber near the hook it makes it easier to place your bait in a tight spot and let the bait sink straight down under the bobber. Then when you get to a brush pile in 12 foot of water you can slide the stop up the line. This is a great way to cover water to either locate the depth the crappie are in or when the crappie are at different depths and allows you to fish efficiently and put more crappie in the livewell.

Fishing Structure And Cover Using A Slip Bobber

Another technique is when fishing structure or cover in deep water but need the bait to be up in the water column. An example of this is rock piles or brush piles that have fish suspended around it. You don’t want your hook in the cover or structure because it will get hung. With a slip bobber you can set your bait at just the right depth. This allows you to fish just above the fish and stay clear of hang ups. This works for any species of fish. I have used it for crappie, bluegills, walleye and bass. The slip bobber worked great on Lake Michigan. I used the slip bobber to drift wacky rigged worms over huge rock piles to catch some nice smallmouth bass.

Float And Fly Technique With Slip Bobber

The float and fly technique is a well known technique to fish bluffs in the winter for smallmouth bass. A slip bobber, rigged on light line, presents a small jig also referred to as a fly to subtly entice a big smallmouth from the depths to engulf the bait. The reason that the slip bobber is so effective in the float and fly technique is that it gets the bait at the proper depth where the baitfish are hanging and keeps the bait suspended at that depth. The subtle twitch or often just the movement of the ripples on the water’s surface, working the bobber.

Making Your Own Slip Bobber

There are so many slip bobbers on the market today that it becomes difficult to choose. Over the years I have probably used every one of them. Recently I have started to make my own slip bobber. The reason was pure accidental. I needed a slip bobber one day and didn’t have one in my boat, however; I did have some of those red/white bobbers we used as kids before all of the fancy bobbers started hitting the market. I wasn’t sure how it would work but I made a slip bobber out of one of these old-school bobbers by removing the parts. First, I removed the parts, the spring and the wire hook used to attach it to the line. This leaves a hole through the bobber where you can use it as a slip bobber.

The reason that I still use this homemade slip bobber is the ability of the line to slide through the bobber easily. I have used so many slip bobbers where the line catches and don’t slip through the bobber. This can get frustrating when you are fishing deep water. You cast out and don’t notice that the line didn’t slip through completely and you sit for way too long with your bait just a couple feet beneath the bobber when you need it to be down where the fish are in 15 foot of water. With this bobber the plastic is so slick that the line easily slides through even with a small sinker. It is a slick slip bobber and if you want to make your own follow this link to instructions. 

Video explaining the slip bobber rig

Check Out What Is The Waggler Rigged Bobber

About Ken McBroom 307 Articles
Ken McBroom is an accomplished outdoor writer and photographer. Growing up in Lynchburg Tennessee allowed him many opportunities afield as a boy and young man. Later in life, after Desert Storm, Ken’s wanderlust took him to Alaska to live and work and experience the last frontier. Married now with two beautiful children, Ken now calls Kentucky home where he continues to communicate our American outdoor traditions and the lifestyle it offers.

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