How to Use a Fishing Bobber

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Many fishermen like to fish with a bobber especially when the lake or stream conditions call for it. Bobbers, also known as floats, serve as indicators of fish striking your hook but probably more important they keep your bait from touching the bottom where there may be snags, rotted logs, weeds, moss or rocks. A bobber also gets your bait right at eye level with the hungry fish. If your bobber quivers, bobs or jerks on the water...reel in because a fish has taken your bait.

Items you will need

  • Basic fishing equipment including:

  • Rod

  • Reel

  • Line

  • Leader line

  • Weights

  • Bait

  • Hooks

  • Variety of types and sizes of bobbers

How To Use a Fishing Bobber

Select your bobber and learn how to properly attach it to your line. There are basically three types of bobbers–ball bobbers, slip bobbers and pencil bobbers. Each attaches a little differently and has different advantages. Check out the back of the package your bobber comes in for simple instructions. If you are new to bobbers, buy a simple old-fashioned red and white ball bobber because they are extremely simple to attach to your line.

Use a bobber just large enough to float your bait and a weight. The smaller a bobber is the more sensitive it is and the less chance a fish can feel or see it. If your float sinks when you first throw it out then you have too much weight on it. If this happens use less weight or a bigger bobber.

Make your leader long enough under the bobber and light enough to not spook the fish. Adjust the bait below the bobber so it is close to the bottom of the pond or lake but not on the bottom. You will be able to tell after you cast and reel in several times by the feel. If your bait or hook is snagging or bumping along the bottom or picking up moss, you need to shorten the leader a little.

Allow your line to remain slack when you cast, until your bobber settles a bit. Then tighten up the line slightly.

Watch your bobber. If it moves any direction or disappears completely then you have a strike. Quickly set the hook by pulling up with speed and gusto. If you wait too long the fish will strip your bait and move on.


  • Bobbers are inexpensive and fun to buy and look at. There are many colors and varieties and even ones that light up for night fishing.
  • Always use a sharp hook but be careful because they can really hurt and are hard to remove.


  • Bobber fishing is really simple and with a little experimenting you will get a feel for the
  • type of float you like and how to attach it properly.
  • Bobbers are excellent ways to introduce young children to fishing.