The slip bobber rig also known as the float rig has been around for what seems to be decades, most of us are introduced to the simple but effective technique early on when grandpa or dad teaches us how to rig for panfish. Aside from being extremely effective, it is also very easy to use. What makes it special you might ask? The idea behind the slip bobber rig is that you make one rig that can adjust to various depths with the quick adjustment of a bobber stop. It also is very sensitive in the fact that you can feel fish before they can feel you in many instances. Slip bobbers are very popular among both saltwater and freshwater anglers. Freshwater anglers use the float religiously when targeting panfish and catfish where saltwater fisherman use the rig to target pelagic such as mackerel, tarpon and inshore species such as snook, redfish and trout.
The Slip Bobber Advantages
A quick recap, the main advantages include:
- Sensitivity to feel the fish
- Ease of use
- Great casting distance
- The ability to quickly adjust your fishing dept on command
- Can be used in deep or shallow water
- Can be rigged in less than two minutes
What Do You Need to Make the Perfect Slip Float Rig?
- A premium slip float of your choice
- Plastic beads
- 1/8-ounce egg sinker
- Bobber stops
- Leader and hook
The style, size of your cork is dependent on your fishing application and targeted species. Typically, a freshwater cork will be much smaller than a saltwater float. They also come in different shapes which are mostly a preference. For example, when targeting Spanish mackerel, I like to use a Comal Tackle popping cork, it has a tube in which I can put the line through to make it the perfect, visible float rig. They are also very inexpensive and can be acquired at most tackle stores, Walmart’s or on Amazon.
The Bobber Stop – What Makes It All Work
The bobber stop is very important, without one the line would slide through the float and it would not hold your bait near the surface like it’s intended to do. Your cork would never be pulled below the surface without a bobber stop. They are crucial for a successful rig, old-timers used to use rubber bands but now they make tiny little rubber beads that can quickly be added to monofilament or braid. The good news is that they are very inexpensive, on Amazon you can purchase 1200 Outus stops for $8.00. The bobber stop is also the very first thing that is placed onto the line before anything else, you can reel them onto your reel spool and they typically have no issues sliding through the guides of your rod.
How to Rig the Slip Bobber
- Slide the bobber stop onto the main line.
- Add your small round plastic bead. (Beads aren’t always necessary, but they look good and help protect the knot)
- Place the main line through the center of your cork.
- If necessary, add your egg sinker. (Size depends on cork and bait)
- Place another plastic bead below the egg sinker.
- Attach your swivel with a strong fishing knot of your choice, I like the blood knot.
- Tie a leader of 18 to 24 inches and attach the hook to match your bait size.
The amount of weight that you use will be dependent on your cork size, you only need enough weight to help make your cork stand up right. That is all there is to the rig, simple and sweet. I have also added an info graphic to help all of you visual learners and if you really want to see how they are made, here is a YouTube video Joshua did a while back demonstrating how to rig a slip bobber for saltwater fishing.