Mike Frisch: rediscover the slip bobber – Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA – The slip-bobber method of presenting bait to fish has been around for several decades.

Over time, this simple, yet often effective method has been pushed aside by much of the die-hard angler crowd (myself included) in favor of what are considered more complex and challenging fishing presentations. higher-order who often garner terms such as “forward-thinking” and “game changer” as descriptors.

All the while the simple slip-bobber has worked in relative obscurity, still among the best rig setups to use with kids and beginners, but “too simple” to be used by at least some of the die-hard fishing enthusiasts. .

Well, that has changed lately, as many high-priced walleye derbies have been won by anglers using slip-bobbers in at least some of their tournament angling arsenals. Tournament victories and the fishing methods used to win them are turning heads and recent results seem to have given the simple slip-bobber something of a renaissance among today’s hardcore anglers!

This is an overview of the basics of the slip-bobber rig for use by children and other beginners. In fact, the basics presented below form the backbone of the rod rigging curriculum featured in ZEBCO School of Fish classes taught to thousands of children in the upper Midwest by myself and other educators. fishing over the past 10+ years. These basics can also serve as useful refreshers for others with much more fishing experience who may need a refresher on slip-bobbers 101 to rejuvenate their fishing success.

A slip bobber rig begins with the bobber stopper (often made of string or rubber), which threads onto the line to start the rig. The stopper is designed to be able to be slid up and down the line, with this adjustability at the heart of the whole rig. More on that later.

Following the bobber stop, a small drawstring is added and then a slip-bobber. The heel acts as a cushion between the toe piece and the bobber to prevent the bobber from sliding on the toe piece. The bobber itself can be made of different designs, some allowing the line to slide the full length of the bobber while others have “split” ends that allow the bobber to slide.

Guide to fitting a slip-bobber.

The line under the bobber optionally has a hook or jig attached, usually baited with a leech, minnow, or part of a nightcrawler. Often one or two split cast weights are pinched on the line about a foot above the hook or jig. Split shots add weight for easier casting and also keep the bobber low in the water column to prevent it from being easily blown away. A low float also increases fish catches because a barely buoyant float glides easily underwater without scaring even the most wary fish!

Now that we’re rigged, let’s look at some slip-bobber benefits.

First, the fishing depth at which the hook/jig is fishing can be simply adjusted by sliding the bobber stopper. Moving the stopper up the line/away from the jig or hook allows the rig to fish deeper, while moving the stopper closer to the hook/jig allows shallower fishing. These adjustments can be made simply by the angler using their fingers to move the stopper, so no line cutting or re-attaching is required.

Second, because the small bobber stopper can be spooled directly onto the rod in the reel and the bobber itself slides to the split weights or jig, a very short amount of line can exit the tip of the rod when throwing. A short line when casting makes casting safer when children are involved and is also very advantageous when deep water is fished.

Finally, the slip-bobber rig excels at landing fish. Again, because the bobber stopper can easily be retrieved through the rod guides on the reel, the fish can be reeled in close to the tip of the rod to allow for easier and more successful landing of the fish.

More than one trophy fish has escaped the dip net when a traditional “pinched on” bobber kept the trophy of a lifetime just out of reach during the landing process. With a slip-bobber the fish can be brought close to the tip of the rod and landed.

Regardless of your fishing experience, a slip-bobber rig may need to be introduced or reintroduced into your angling arsenal. By following the tips just presented, you may be able to land the fish of your life this season, and on a slip-bobber!

As always, don’t forget to include a youngster in your next outdoor adventure.

mike frisch

mike frisch

Mike Frisch hosts the popular television series Fishing the Midwest and is a co-founder of the ZEBCO School of Fish. Visit


to see all things fishing in the Midwest.

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