Rod Guides

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Fishing Question: What are float stoppers, and how do they work?

Here in the UK we generally use assorted size float rubbers and split shot to secure the float to the fishing line, so how do float stoppers which are used in countries such as Australia work?

Here in the states we use what we call slip bobbers. These are very handy. They slip up and down the line rather than attaching to a single place on the line, and this allows you to dangle bait or lures down into deep water without affecting your cast. A conventional bobber is attached to the line at some point, with the hook or lure dangling beneath. The length of line beneath the bobber is limited because placing too much line beneath the bobber will making casing difficult. A slip bobber eliminates that problem.

So, rigging a slip bobber is as follows: (1) hook/bait/lure, (2) weight (if needed), (3) the slip bobber, and (4) the bobber stopper. Sometimes you need a plastic or glass bead between the bobber and stopper. The bobber stopper is usually just a small knot of fine cord around the fishing line. This knot is very unobtrusive and can move easily through the reel and rod guides. The one thing that the bobber stopper cannot do is move through the bobber -- so, if you place the bobber stopper at 18 feet, the bobber will start a cast down by the lure or hook, float sideways in the water as the weight or lure pulls the hook down through the bobber and into the water, and then it will turn upright when the bobber stopper knot reaches the bobber. The lure or bait will be dangling straight down into the water at a depth of 18 feet (give or take). When you reel up for another cast, the bobber will end up down by the hook again, which gives you casting weight, the bobber stopper knot will be reeled up in your line, and you can cast again.

Here's a crudely built website that explains it all with photos:

http://www.hloutdoors.com/swami.htm

I chose this website because it's the website of my favorite slip bobber, the Everlasting Slip Bobber, or ESB. For those of you who use slip bobbers, I've tried the rest and the ESB is the best. I bought a gaggle of them years and years ago and they're still in service. Here's another site that shows things a little more clearly:

http://www.catchingcrappie.com/slipbobber.html

There was a time in my fishing days when I was very into realistic jigs and swimbaits, and a slip bobber allows you to place a jig down into deep water without having to retrieve so often. The slip bobber holds the lure over the fish, mitigating the lure's tendency to drift back toward the rod.

Hope this helps. Tight lines to you!

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