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Slip Bobber VS Fixed Bobber (What’s The Difference?)

Like it or not, sometimes the fish we’re targeting can be so finicky and picky, that the best way to trigger a strike from them is to use a bobber. But what type of bobber should you use?

Yes, there are quite a few bobbers available that look different from each other, but for the most part they can all be classified into two different types:

  • Fixed Bobber
  • Slip Bobber

But what are the differences between slip bobbers and fixed bobbers? In this article, we’ll take a quick look at the similarities and differences between these two types of bobbers.

Related: What Kind of Fish Can You Catch With a Bobber?

Slip Bobber vs Fixed Bobber

Slip Bobber: A slip bobber moves along your line and allows you to suspend bait in deep water.

Fixed Bobber: A fixed bobber clips to your line and is immobile making it excellent for fishing shallow water.

Fixed Bobber

The first type of float is a fixed bobber. A fixed bobber is attached to your line with a spring or clip, and it can be adjusted by releasing the clip or spring and sliding the float along the fishing line to any desired depth.

In shallow water, fixed bobbers are by far your best option. As a matter of fact, fixed bobbers are almost always my first go-to bobber in nearly every situation.

In the early spring, when many species of fish hang you in the shallows looking for warmer water and prime spawning areas, I go to the fixed bobber first. I’ve had great success fishing with a fixed bobber in many different depths of water, but shallow water is where fixed bobbers have performed the best.

I’d say the cutoff depth for a fixed float is between 8 to 10 feet. Once the water gets any deeper than that it becomes increasingly difficult to cast and control your entire setup.

Related: Can You Catch Bass With a Bobber?

Slip Bobber

Later on after the spawn, when the fish move to deeper water, that’s when I’ll typically switch to a slip float. When fishing deep weed lines or for suspended fish, a slip bobber is the best option.

It’s not difficult to set up a slip bobber. You begin by attaching the bobber stop. Then slide on a bead, then the bobber itself. Then I’ll put a split shot about twelve inches above my hook and tie on a small hook or small jig.

The slip float has the advantage of being able to be fished at great depths. You can adjust the bobber to really any depth that you’re fishing whether it’s a deep weed line in fourteen feet of water or even deeper. If you find a school of fish at twenty-five feet in the water column, you can adjust the slip float to that depth too.

A slip bobber allows you to effectively float fish in deep water.

Whether you decide to fish with a fixed or a slip float, remember that depth is the most important factor in determining which float to use.

fixed bobber vs slip bobber

Related: What Kind of Fish Can You Catch With a Bobber?

How To Attach a Fixed Bobber

  1. Determine the proper depth you’d like to target fish at and pull that much line from your reel through the rod tip.
  2. The majority of fixed bobbers have a plastic button on one side that you can press to lower and raise the short wire hook. Press that button on the edge to release one side’s hook and slip the fishing line under the wire hook. Then release the button, so it applies pressure to the line.
  3. Next, run that line down the side of the bobber and fully press the button, so the other side’s hook presents itself. Secure the line to that side of the bobber and release the button. Now the line is held in place at two points between the top and bottom of the round bobber, and you are ready to attach your hook, shot, and bait.

How To Attach a Slip Bobber

Setting up a slip bobber may seem a bit more complicated, but after doing it a few times it shouldn’t give you any trouble. Any fishing line will do, but I find a 6-pound filament works best for assembling the slip float rig together.

  1. Begin by threading the line through a bobber stopper up to the desired depth you are targeting (1-3 feet is most common, any more than that makes casting a bit awkward)
  2. Next, slide a bead up the line. The purpose of that bead is to prevent the bobber stopped from sliding through the bobber. Snug that up to the bobber stopper.
  3. Then slide your fishing bobber up the line.
  4. Next slide a little barrel swivel followed by a leader (I use fluorocarbon line for the leader)
  5. Lastly, fasten your hook, and a couple shot sinkers to give it weight about 2 inches above the hook.

How To Attach A Bobber Stopper (For Slip Bobbers)

  1. Push your fishing line through the small metal hole in the bobber stopper
  2. Take the line you just pulled through the hole and pull it tight so you now have two sides forming a small loop
  3. Slide the bobber stopper onto the line roughly an inch up
  4. Take the access line and pull it back through the bobber stopper
  5. Slide the bobber stopper to the desired location or depth

Written by Don

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure.

I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!

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