Slip bobbers are used to target fish that are deeper than you would normally be able to reach with a normal bobber. They are also known as a slip floats, and are nothing more than a buoyant tube used to keep your bait at a predetermined depth in the water column. This allows the line to slip freely through the tube until it hits a line-stopping device known as a "bobber stop." It can be moved up and down the line depending on how deep the angler would like it to sit.
They come in all shapes and sizes and are used to suspend everything from 10-inch long suckers all the way down to tiny wax worms. I am always asked what size is right for you. I tell them to use the smallest bobber that they can cast. The you are going to want to weight it down as much as you can.
There are times when nothing will catch fish as well as a these rigs will. At those times, you will be thankful that you took the time to learn how to use one of these most useful rigs. Here are instruction about how to use them.Credit: eagleclaw.com
Instructions for using a slip bobber rig:
1) Insert your line through the tube that holds your pre-tied bobber stop.
2) Slide the tube up the line, and then slide the it off ensuring it moves up the line toward the rod tip and the tube slides toward the end. Remove the tube from the line and discard it.
3) Hold one of the ends of the it in each hand and grip it firmly. Tighten it onto the line by pulling the ends. Make sure that the stop is tight enough that so that it will slide up and down the line when a little force is applied to it. Do not overtighten the knot because it will not move if you do.
4) Cut the ends of the threads using a small pair of scissors. The ends will interfer with casting if you do not snip them off close enough to the line.
5) Place a small bead onto the end and slide up.
6) Thread the bobber onto the end and slide up.
7) Tie on a hook.
8) Attach a split shot type sinker 6 inches above the hook.
9) Move the bobber stop up the line. If you want to fish 5 feet down, then move the bobber stop up by five feet.
Now you have a rig that consists of a bobber stop, a bead, the bobber, a sinker and finally your hook. What will happen now is that you will set your bobber stop to the depth that you would like your bait to sit. If you are confused about that depth to use, a general rule of thumb is to set your bait one-half of the water depth. If your water is 6 feet deep, set your bait at 3. Then you will cast the rig out to where you would like to fish and the line will slip through your bobber until it hits the bobber stop.
If you cant your bobber out, it will take a moment or two for the sinker to pull your bait all the way down. Once the sinker descends as deep as it is going to go, the weight of it will cause your bobber to stand straight up. If it doesn't stand up, your sinker is lying on the bottom of the lake, you will need to set it a bit shallower. If it sinks immediately, your sinker is too heavy and you will need to find a lighter one.
Float fishing is not a difficult presentation to learn. With a minimum of equipment you can get started. Now you can set your live bait rig to any depth that you want to target. You will find that using one of these will give you freedom that you never had with a traditional clip on bobber. Once you have used these, you will never want to go back to those other bobbers.