How To Put A Bobber On A Fishing Line

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Different Types of Fishing Bobber Designs

How To Put A Bobber On A Fishing Line – Detailed Guide For Beginners

In almost any fishing article, you will find information on how important it is to attach the bobber to the line before going fishing. But almost no one gives you a clear answer on how to do this properly. Bobbers are very different and can be attached in dozens of ways. And for a beginner, this can become a very severe headache when at the initial stage you are faced with the problem of how to properly attach the bobber to your equipment.

In this article, we will give you a detailed answer and tell you how to securely attach a bobber to a fishing line, consider the simplest ways for beginners, and discuss why bobbers are needed at all and what they are.

Universal Fishing Float for the Beginning Angler

Important: My recommendation is a float design for any beginning angler. Complete: 6 meters of fishing line, a small fishing hook, sinkers, float with a replaceable antenna for night fishing, a long body underwater, which does not let you get tangled when throwing the tackle.

Bobber Design

Fishing Bobber Body

Before we put our bobber on the line, let’s figure out how it works. So, almost every bobber has the following elements:

  • Body or middle. This is the thickest part of the structure, from which all other elements stick out.
  • Antenna, or upper part, or tail sticking out of the body. A very flexible element that can dangle.
  • The fin or lower rod sticking out of the body.

But some bobber models do not have these elements. There are many examples of this. For example, a plastic surface carp bobber does not have an antenna or a rod. Or there are models in the form of a tube, where all the elements are similar to each other. I just described the general bobber design that you will encounter most often.

Mount Types

Mount Types Fishing Bobbers

All the ways to tie a bobber to a line can be divided into two broad categories:

  • Stable bobber. The bobber holds at one point during the entire fishing process; it can only be moved by applying force.
  • Slip bobber. The bobber moves along the line between the locking elements. The depth of the fishing spot is determined by the location of the upper stopper.

The stable bobber is used in a wide variety of conditions, for almost all types of fishing. Fixation can be carried out at one, two, or three points.

A slip bobber is used when fishing for a predator with live bait or when the depth of the place does not allow using a stable fixation option.

Stable Bobber

All stable attachments of bobbers can in turn be divided into three groups: attachment with cambricks, attachment with a ring, attachment with a stop of the line passed through the body.

If your bobber’s antenna and rod are thin enough and there is no ring, then attaching it is very simple. It is enough to put the required number of cambricks on the line, and then pull them on the antenna, lower rod, or both here and there.

Stable Fishing Bobber Designs With Cambricks

If the bobber’s lower rod is very long, sometimes two attachment points are made on it: the upper cambric should be placed directly under the body, and the lower one – at the very end with a descent to the fishing line. This is done to avoid line tangling.

For models that have a short thick antenna, a ring is glued or screwed into the body. Then the fastening is carried out differently. The fishing line is passed through this ring and fixed with cambrics at the bottom. Their number depends on the length of the lower rod.

Stable Fishing Bobber Designs With Cambricks and Ring

Slip Bobber Mount

Slip mounting allows the bobbers to move freely over the line from stopper to stopper. The fishing line is passed, depending on the model, through a ring or a hole in the body of the bobber.

Slip-mount stoppers come in a variety of materials:

  • Rubber. Silicone rubber beads are the best at absorbing shocks and protecting bobbers. It is better to put silicone tips in several pieces in a row to prevent shifts.
  • Plastic beads. They are easy to put on the line, they move freely along it. The bead attachment is fixed with knots. To soften the blows, cambric is placed in front of the beads.
  • A thread. Special thread stoppers with beads are on sale. Such stoppers often relax, they have to be constantly tightened.
  • Lead pellets. In case of urgent need and no other stoppers, you can use sinker pellets by clamping them above and below the bobber. In this case, it will be correct to use shims to soften the impact of the pellets on the fastening elements of the structure.

When using this or that stopper, you need to pay attention to how it will pass when casting through the rings of your rod.

Slip Fishing Bobber Mount from Stopper to Stopper

The Bobber With A Ring At The End

Nowadays, bobbers with one ring on the lower rod are very common. These bobbers are the most popular on the market. But not all anglers switching from old bobbers to modern ones can understand the intricacies of installing such bobbers. I will give you some tips for installing such bobbers.

Here are some other ways to blindly secure bobber models with a ring:

  • The loop is inserted into the ring and thrown over the body. Does not require additional elements for installation. But to move the bobber, you need to loosen the resulting loop every time.
  • The fishing line is threaded into the bobber ring, and silicone or rubber stoppers are placed on both sides of it. This method allows you to change a stable mount to a slip mount, you just need to move the stoppers apart.
  • If the ring turns out to be larger than your stoppers, you can first attach a small carabiner with a swivel to it, and then pass the fishing line through the swivel ring. This design will allow you to quickly change the bobber if necessary.
  • A small metal or plastic bracket is inserted into the ring, the ends of which are placed in the cambric pieces. They must first be put on the fishing line.
  • A wire is inserted into the ring, a twist is made, which is then placed in a silicone rubber tube, put on a monofilament or braided line.

There are various silicone adapters on the market that fit over the bottom of the bobber, thereby simplifying its attachment. Such designs, as well as the built-in ring, allow for a stable installation at one point.

Some models are installed bypassing the line through the body. Thus, for example, bobbers for winter fishing are often placed. Although this method is also used when fishing in open water. The stopper in such models is long, which can combine the functions of both antennas and a rod.

Bobber With A Ring At The End

How To Use And Tie Stopper Knots

Instead of buying stoppers from a store and installing them on your line, you can simply tie your stoppers from monofilament or other materials and they will work the same way. When installing the bobber, you can knit locking knots on it. Especially for a slip bobber. The main task of the stop knots is to limit the free sliding of the bobber along the line.

Why are These Knots Needed?

You can buy a stopper, but it is easier and more reliable to learn how to knit stopper knots from monofilament, or better from woolen threads.

Homemade movable stoppers can successfully replace store stoppers, but at the same time they have several advantages that store stoppers do not have:

  • Shock absorption with a heavy bobber.
  • The ability to bind the stopper to the mainline with full rigging of your fishing rod.
  • Independence from additional rigging materials.
  • Besides, homemade stopper knots can also be successfully used to restrict the free movement of swivels during spinning fishing, to restrict the movement of the feeder, or for stopping weights and sinkers.
  • For better indication, stop knots are best made of colored material.
  • Three Kinds of Stop Knots, Simple and Reliable.

There are three types of easy-to-tie stop knots: clinch, double clinch, and uni. They do not deform the mainline and regularly perform their main function of a reliable stopper.

Using Bobbers For Various Types Of Fishing

Various types of bobbers and methods of their attachment exist for a reason. Depending on the fishing conditions, you can use and customize your bobbers in different ways for the most efficient fishing. Below I have listed the main ways to use bobbers in fishing.

Fly fishing. This is a classic, well-known method of fishing. A small bobber with a medium rod and thick antenna will work best. There are mainly two attachment points here: one for the ring sticking out of the body, the second for the cambric in the lower part.

Plug fishing. The difference from fly fishing is only in the length of the upper part of the bobber for better visualization.

Fishing with a telescopic rod. It involves casting at different distances. It is better to equip such a rod with a model with long antennas. Attachment at three points: to the apex or through a ring in the body and two cambric below.

Fishing with live bait. Slip the bobber bypassing a line through the bobber’s body. This design will give the bait more freedom of movement, and also less alert the predator when biting.

Spinning rods and reels. Here, models are used with a single point attachment, per ring. It can be both stable, with a shallow fishing depth, and a slip with sufficient depth.

Winter fishing. Stable attachments with a stopper on the antenna are used when the fishing line is passed through the body, or by fastening at one point for the ring or pin of the bobber’s rod.

About Spare Bobbers

Let’s be honest. The bobber is not the most durable thing in the world. Your line can easily catch on a snag in water or a bush and break. This means that on almost any fishing you run the risk of losing a piece of the line along with the bobber, stoppers, and cambric.

Therefore, I recommend that you bring at least one spare bobber, two cambric, and two stoppers. You can take more and stuff it in your tackle box. This will make you feel confident and will not ruin your fishing at the most inopportune moment.

How To Put A Bobber On A Fishing Line – Video

To make it as clear as possible, I am attaching a helpful video on how you can quickly and efficiently install a bobber on your line. After all, it is much clearer when you see the whole process with your own eyes.

FAQ About Fishing Bobbers

In addition to the basic guide on using bobbers, I have compiled several answers to the most common questions that beginner fishermen have when using bobbers. You will find them below.

What is a bobber for?
The bobber is a completely simple device that allows you to hold the hook at the required depth while fishing. The choice of the type of bobber depends on what kind of fish you plan to fish.
What kind of fish is caught with a bobber?
Anyone that bobbers to your bait. But mostly it is a small fish, as usually the bobber is used when fishing 15 m from the shore (if you do not have a boat) like trout, bream, and perch.
What bait can the bobbers be used with?
Bobbers can be used with any baits, alive or artificial.

My Tips When Using Bobbers

If you want to change the position of a stable bobber on your line, you just need to disconnect only one end of the bobber from the fishing line. At the same time, the second end will still be attached and you can move the bobber up and down. When you find the desired bobber position, you can simply fix the end of the bobber back.

Do not forget about the fishing hook on and be careful with it when installing the bobber.

Practice tying knots to get the exact length you want when setting the bobber.

Do not use too heavy rods and reels at the beginning.

The fishing knot will be stronger if you dampen it before tying it.

Wrapping Up

Going fishing without basic knowledge about how to properly attach bobbers – not a very good idea. But if you read up to this point, then you already know how to install the bobber and understand when the fish pecks, and you can safely go fishing!

I hope my guide helped you improve your knowledge and skills in the field of fishing. So do not wait anymore and start learning more about the right use of bobbers and fishing equipment. Have a nice fishing!

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

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About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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2 months ago

I have always been a fan of using a bobber when fishing for certain species. It’s just another tool in your tackle box that can help indicate a strike when you might not be able to detect one otherwise. The hook and bobber technique is widely used because it’s easy and effective, especially for catching small fish like bluegill and sunfish.

However, if you’re up for a challenge, you might want to consider losing the bobber and fishing with artificial bait. I usually opt for this method as I find it more rewarding to bob my bait across the bottom of the lake, trying to mimic the natural movements of prey.

At the end of the day, the choice of using a bobber or not ultimately depends on the type of fish you’re targeting and the bait you’re using. But regardless of your preference, it’s always important to enjoy the experience of being out on the water and appreciates the beauty of nature.

2 months ago

As a fishing enthusiast, I understand that there is a certain stigma attached to using bobbers, and many seasoned anglers avoid them altogether. However, there are a couple of reasons why bobbers are still relevant and effective in certain situations.

Firstly, fly fishermen, who are often considered the most snobbish of all anglers, frequently use bobbers when fishing wet flies in mountain streams, although they refer to them as “strike indicators.” This just goes to show that bobbers can be a useful tool even for the most discerning anglers.

Secondly, when fishing with live bait, bobbers can be an excellent option. Personally, I love using them when targeting large saltwater pelagics like mackerel or cobia. By sending a small pinfish out about 6 feet under a bobber, I’m able to position the bait right in front of any passing fish, including sharks.

If you’re looking to use bobbers while still looking like a seasoned angler, I would suggest setting up a chugging cork rig. These corks are designed to be slowly jerked across the surface of the water, creating a commotion that mimics the sound of something falling into the water. This can attract predators and increase your chances of getting a bite.

Finally, one of the biggest advantages of using bobbers is that they allow you to adjust the depth of your bait in the water. By experimenting with different depths throughout the day, you can increase your chances of finding the “sweet spot” where the fish are biting.

In conclusion, while using bobbers may not be the most glamorous or sophisticated approach to fishing, they can still be an effective tool in certain situations. It’s all about using the right tool for the job, and sometimes, that tool happens to be a humble bobber.

Rance Cloudrock
Rance Cloudrock
2 months ago

When it comes to using bobbers, there are two main types that I like to use: the traditional bobber and the slip bobber. Here’s how I set up each of them.

For the traditional bobber, I tie the hook onto the end of my line and then attach a sinker about 6-10 inches above it. After that, I attach the bobber about 6 inches or more above the sinker. Once everything is set up, I bait my hook, cast my line out, and wait for a bite.

For the slip bobber, the setup is a bit different. First, I put a bobber stop on my line, followed by a bead. Next, I attach the slip bobber to the line. Then, I tie the hook onto the end of the line and add a sinker 6-10 inches above it, but below the slip bobber. Once everything is in place, I adjust the bobber stop to set the desired depth for my hook. After that, I bait my hook, cast my line out, and wait for a bite.

Both methods have their advantages, and the choice between them depends on the situation and personal preference. However, no matter which method you choose, using a bobber can be a simple yet effective way to catch fish.

Niqol Bloodwycke
Niqol Bloodwycke
2 months ago

Using a bobber setup can be very effective when fishing for panfish such as bluegill and crappie. My usual setup consists of a #6-#8 hook tied to the end of the line, a small 1/32 – 1/8 oz split shot 12-18″ above that, and a bobber usually 12-24″ above the split shot.

However, casting this setup can be a bit challenging due to the different weights on each section of the line. So, I prefer to use this setup when I’m fishing vertically right below the boat or when I’m casting only a short distance from the boat.

When I need to cast farther out or if I need to position the hook deeper in the water, I use bobber stops and a slip bobber. This allows me to cast without getting my line all tangled up. You can find a lot of great information on using slip bobbers by looking it up on YouTube.

Paius Willowrider
Paius Willowrider
2 months ago

Thanks for sharing your experience with using bobbers! It’s great to see others interested in this fishing technique. As you mentioned, the distance between the bobber and hook depends on the depth of the water you’re fishing. You want to make sure that your bait is at the right depth where the fish are feeding, so adjusting the distance as needed is important.

Adding a split-shot sinker about 6″ below the bobber is a great idea to ensure that your line hangs straight and to help with casting. This weight can also help your bait sink to the right depth more quickly. However, the exact distance may vary based on the depth and current of the water you’re fishing in.

Overall, using a bobber is a versatile and effective technique, and it’s great to experiment with different setups to find what works best for your specific situation. Don’t be afraid to try different depths, weights, and bait to see what the fish are biting on. 

Yeberon Fallcross
Yeberon Fallcross
2 months ago

One thing that can be frustrating about using a traditional bobber is that it’s always fixed at a certain point on your line. If you’re trying to set a specific depth, this can make casting difficult because you already have that much line hanging loose when you cast. Plus, if the fish are deeper than the depth you set your bobber, you’re out of luck.

Enter the slip bobber! Slip bobbers have a tube through them that allows you to set the depth at which the bobber will “stick” on your line. And the best part? It’s really easy to do. Slip bobbers usually come pre-rigged and ready to put on your line. All you need to do is tie a simple knot at the depth you want the bobber to stop.

When you cast, the bobber will slide all the way down to your rig or hook at the end of your line, making casting much easier. Once your rig starts to sink, the bobber will allow the line to go out to the depth you set the knot at and then stop at that point. Adjusting the depth is simple too – you can slide the knot up and down your line with your fingers. I’ve found that using slip bobbers is the best way to go for any depth when using bobbers.

Shaw Chaminox
Shaw Chaminox
2 months ago

When it comes to fishing, slip bobbers can be a real game changer. As a float that slides up and down your line, slip bobbers allow you to attach a stop at a certain length so the float doesn’t go any higher on the mainline. 

This means you can set the maximum depth of the hook, while also having the flexibility to fish in more shallow water than the max depth. Overall, slip bobbers offer a great level of control and versatility to your fishing technique.

Aswold Nailsong
Aswold Nailsong
2 months ago

Based on my limited experience with river fishing, I would suggest adjusting the depth of your bobber until you start catching fish or reach the bottom. 

Keep in mind that if the river is moving quickly, your bobber will move downstream faster than your lure, so the depth of your lure will be less than the distance between the bobber and the lure. 

If you notice your bobber occasionally bumping against rocks on the bottom and not catching any fish, it’s likely your lure is also hitting the bottom.

Nakoa Nailsong
Nakoa Nailsong
2 months ago

When I go bobber fishing, I like to make sure I’m using the right equipment for the job. It’s important to choose a bobber that can handle the weight of your hook and bait, and not exceed the max weight or it’ll sink instead of float.

Depending on the fish species and water depth, the hook should be adjusted to the appropriate level. Watching the bobber is key to catching fish – if it starts popping up and down quickly, that’s a good sign. Don’t pull up too early, though, as it can scare the fish away. Wait for a few nibbles and then a good pull-down before setting the hook.

Holding the rod is important, too – it allows you to feel the fish biting and adjust your technique accordingly. Some fish nibble a lot, so threading the hook through the worm can be helpful. Speaking of worms, make sure to put more on the hook than you think you need – it’ll increase movement and attract more fish.

Overall, bobber fishing is an effective and easy method for catching fish. Just be patient, pay attention to the bobber, and enjoy the experience.

Ayer Meadpyke
Ayer Meadpyke
2 months ago

I agree that many people underestimate the power of bobber fishing. I have personally used bobbers to catch some amazing fish, including catfish. In fact, I have a specific catfish rig that utilizes bobbers and it has proven to be incredibly effective. I think those who believe bobbers are only for beginners are missing out on the finesse and versatility that can come with this technique.

Of course, bobber fishing is also a great way for beginners to get started. It can help to prevent frustration from snagging and provides a simple way to gauge if fish are biting. So, whether you are a beginner or an experienced angler, don’t overlook the potential of bobber fishing. It can truly be a game-changer in your fishing adventures.

ADago Gloriana
ADago Gloriana
2 months ago

Using premade looper knots for bobber stoppers is a great way to make the setup process easier. Once the looper knot is on your line, you can slide the plastic tube off and add a slip bobber, and a bead, and then tie on whatever rig you prefer.

When it comes to adjusting the depth of your rig, simply slide the looper knot up or down your line depending on which part of the water you want to check for fish. Reeling in slow will keep the bait low while reeling in fast will cause the bobber to slide towards the bait, making it swim higher in the water.

Setting the bobber stopper high up on the line shouldn’t be an issue when casting since it’ll reel into the eyelets smoothly. You can also try using a neon green/black float stick to hold your bait/rig up in choppy water. 

Pair it with a vertical jig, small spoon, or smaller maps tipped with a rosey red minnow, and set the bobber 2.5 to 5 feet from the jig. Don’t be afraid to experiment with depth, sunlight penetration, water temperature, barometric pressure, and other variables to increase your chances of success.

Antonius Bridgerwire
Antonius Bridgerwire
2 months ago

Using a bobber stop and a bead is the best way to set up your fishing rig with a slip bobber. You can easily tie a bobber and stop using a mono line by following a tutorial on YouTube. After that, just thread the bead and slip the bobber onto your line in that order, with the bead preventing the bobber from passing over the knot.

I prefer the slip bobber setup over clip-on bobbers because of its versatility. However, if you need to remove the bobber quickly, clip-on bobbers are a good option. For instance, if you’re using a micro jig for trout or crappie, you can easily remove the clip-on bobber and continue fishing without it.

One great tip is to use clear slip bobbers that can be filled with water, also known as bubble floats. These floats have a peg in the middle that can be opened, allowing you to fill the float with water. With this setup, you can launch your rig into deep waters from the bank.