Gone Outdoors

How to Set Up a Bobber Fishing Rig

by Eric Cedric

Bobber fishing is a technique that young and beginning anglers often learn first. A bobber is a floating bulb attached to your fishing line. You keep the bobber adjusted so the hook and bait gets close to -- but not on -- the bottom of the body of water. The bobber is adjustable, so, once you have determined the water's depth, you can slide the bobber up or down on the line to maintain proper hook distance from the bottom.

Tie a 4/O size barbed hook to the end of the fishing line with a Palomar knot. Pull about 3 to 4 feet of line out from the tip of the fishing rod.

Push the button on the bottom of the bobber to get the wire loop to pop up from the bobber top. Slide the fishing line under this wire loop and release the button so the bobber is snug on the fishing line. Push the bobber up from the hook at the end of the line about 12 to 16 inches.

Slide two to three split shot sinkers 2 to 3 inches above the hook. The sinkers help drop the hook directly underneath the bobber and help keep it near the bottom of the water.

Thread a worm onto the barbed hook and cast out the bobber-hook-sinker combo. Feel for the hook hitting the bottom. If it does, reel in the rig and push the bobber down the line toward the barbed hook a few inches. Cast out again and feel whether the hook hits the bottom. Leave the rig at the proper setting once the hook no longer hits the bottom.

Watch the bobber intently. Jerk the rod and line up and back when the bobber goes under the water, which indicates a fish is striking the hook. Pull up and back to set the hook into the fish's mouth. Turn the reel handle clockwise as you fight the fish to bring it in.

Items you will need
  • Bait cast reel and rod
  • 4/O barbed hook
  • Worms
  • Bobber
  • Split shot sinkers

About the Author

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

Photo Credits

  • boy fishing on lake image by Hicster from Fotolia.com