In this section, you can learn about the equipment used to catch fish; from jigs and poppers to doughballs and stinkbait.
Though fishing can become complicated with fancy lures, expensive reels, shiny boats, water-depth finders, and all sorts of other gadgets, all you really need to fish is a pole, some line, a sinker, a bobber, a hook, and some bait (all refered to as tackle).
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They can be kept outside or in the refrigerator if it is especially warm. If you place worms in the refrigerator, be sure to put a waxed paper over the top, fasten it with an elastic and poke a few small holes in the paper to ensure the worms have oxygen. If possible, allow your child to help catch the worms. That is part of the fun.
So, let's organize what we need for a simple and successful fishing trip to your local pond.
Your line should be as light and inconspicuous as possible so that it does not frighten fish from your bait.
However, it must be strong enough to hold the fish you want to catch!
a small tackle box, some split shots, a couple of bass sinkers and
supply of small hooks and your in business.
Fishing tackle is used to get your bait or lure to the fish. You don't need a lot of equipment to begin fishing. In fact, it's a good idea to begin with basic, simple tackle. You can try more difficult tackle after you've mastered some basic skills.
The simplest fishing tackle is a pole; however, for some types of fishing, even a stick with fishing line wrapped around it can be used!
The pole can be made of cane, bamboo or a straight piece of tree branch. You do not use a reel with a pole.
Cut a piece of fishing line as long as the pole. Tie the line to the tip of the pole and a hook to the other end of the line. A small sinker, called a "split shot", is squeezed onto the line above the hook. The sinker makes it easier to swing the bait out into the water and keeps the bait under the surface. You may also want to use a bobber or float. By moving the bobber up or down the line, you can change the depth of your bait in the water.
With a pole and line you can fish the area near the bank, where many fish often live.
types of fishing tackle use reels to store large amounts of line.
They let you cast a bait or lure
farther. They also help you retrieve lures correctly, fish in deeper
water, and battle larger fish more easily.
any type will work. The basic fishing rod is 6 feet long and has a
medium "weight" (which means it's a good all-purpose rod).
A fishing rod is a long, straight, flexible pole that an angler uses to cast bait or lures into the water. Fishing rods can be made of bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite. Bamboo rods range from inexpensive cane poles without reels to finely handcrafted fly-fishing rods. Fiberglass rods are the most popular rods with beginners. They are relatively inexpensive, not easily broken, and require little maintenance. Graphite has become a popular rod material for experienced anglers because it is extremely light yet strong.
Rod length depends upon the fishing an angler intends to do-not only the type of game fish sought after, but also the type of water and the surrounding landscape. Short, flexible rods are often used in locations where overhanging tree limbs and branches limit an angler's casting area. Long, wispy rods up to 4 m (12 ft) in length may be used for long casts in moderate winds. Shorter, sturdier rods are used for pulling heavy game fish from the depths of large lakes or the ocean. The diameter of the rod determines its flexibility, which is the measure of how far it can bend without breaking when a fish is fighting hard. Thicker and stronger rods are used for bigger, more aggressive fish that would break medium and small rods.
The rod has a grip or handle made of high-quality cork or foam. Several small metal rings called ferrules are attached to the rod from the handle to the tip, including one on the very tip of the rod. These ferrules serve as guides for the fishing line. They help the line flow smoothly when the angler casts and retrieves, and the last guide helps control the direction of casts. Most rods also have a reel seat that secures the reel onto the rod near the grip.
What the rod does
The rod's job is to take tension off the line. When fighting a fish, you want the rod to partially bend, so it'll take some of the tension off the line. This is good, because if there was no transfer of tension, the line would break.
If you use a rod that isn't stiff enough, the rod will bend, but too much. When a rod bends as far as it can, the rod can't handle any more tension from the line. Something has to give, either the fish, rod or line.
If you use too heavy of a rod, the tension isn't transferred because there isn't enough force being applied by the fish. This puts all the tension on just the line. Once again something has to give; in this case it's either the fish or the line.
Using the right rod is important because it enables the rod to bend but not too much, absorbing the tension from the line, allowing you to fight the fish and win.
Shopping for a rod and understanding it how it works will be vital to your success as a fisherman. As you can see, it's not difficult at all.
Let's talk about the differences between casting and spinning rods.
Notice the reel sits on the underside of the rod.
The guides point to the ground
The size of the eyelets start large and become smaller closer to the tip.
The guides sit
on top of the rod (point
to the sky)
Many types of casting rods have a style of grip called
a Trigger Grip.
Both rods come in a variety of sizes and actions.
Lets look at some of the major parts when it comes to shopping for a rod.
The 3 main parts are:
The line is fed from the reel through the all the guides and then to the bait. Typically, they're attached using either thread, or tape. One more thing about guides, check them periodically to make sure they aren't chipped or cracked. Guides that are damaged can ruin your line.
Grip/Handle This is where you hold the rod. Typically, grips come in either cork or foam. Try them both and choose the one that is most comfortable. Handles come in various lengths. Be sure to consider the length of the handle and find one you like and is also comfortable.
Reel seat- This is where the reel is attached.
Be sure not to over tighten!
Manufactures make various kinds of fishing rods. Some of them are a single piece, others are made up of two or more pieces that have to be assembled. To assemble the rod, connect the male and female ends together making sure the guides are lined up. This male- female connection is called a ferrule. With two piece rods, the ferrule is typically located in the middle of the rod and is covered by a piece of tape. Regardless of where the ferrule is, the connection is very simple. The pieces just slide together. You should be able to assemble the rod in under a minute.
You shouldn't need any type of lubricant. But, occasionally it may be necessary.
As you shop for a rod, I encourage you to hold and even slightly bend it. Get the feel of it. Notice how the rod feels in your hand. Does it feel comfortable? How does it feel when you cast? Be sure to find a rod you like and is comfortable. Remember, you'll be using it for a long time. One of the things you'll notice pretty quick is the rods' flexibility. This flexibility is called action. You'll know what type of action the rod has by looking at the information listed on the rod by the handle. Actions are typically defined as:
The more flexible the rod is, the more action it has. For example, there is more action (flexibility) in an Ultra light rod than there is in a Heavy action one. If you had to choose one action to use general, I'd suggest the Medium action because of it's overall versatility.
One more note about shopping for a rod, stick to the major manufactures such as Berkley, Shakespeare, Daiwa, Shimano, just to name a few. These companies have been around for a number of years and can be trusted. You won't go wrong buying from a major manufacture.
The easiest ones to use are called spin-cast reels. Spinning reels are popular, but they are a bit harder to use.
If you use a cane pole or a stick, just tie the line to the end.
There are four kinds of reels:
Fishing reels store line on a spool. An adjustable
friction device inside the reel (known as a drag) helps the angler
fight a fish. The drag creates tension on the line as it is pulled
off the reel spool. When the fish pulls line off the reel, the
constant tension tires it and keeps the line in order. Without a drag
system, the fish would take out too much line, causing the line to
tangle. The opposite situation-not releasing any line from the
reel-would cause the line to snap. Most reels have adjustable drag
settings depending upon the fish an angler wants to catch. Anglers
can also disengage the drag to cast or do anything else that requires
the line to release easily.
Bait casting reels have a covered frame and a revolving, horizontal spool that winds in line when the handle is turned. One turn revolves the spool four or five times, bringing in several feet of line quickly.
Spinning reels have a stationary spool set on the underside of the rod. A curved bar, or bail, acts as a guide on the outer lip of the spool. As the reel handle is turned, the bail also turns, winding line neatly onto the spool.
Spincasting tackle is ideal for beginning anglers because it works well and is easy to use. A spincasting rod has small line guides and a straight handle. Spincasting tackle is often used while fishing for bluegill, crappie and other panfish. The spincasting reel mounts on top of the rod's handle. The fishing line comes out of a small hole in a cover on the front of the reel.
A variation of the spinning reel is the spin casting, or closed-face, reel. The spin casting reel has a cover over the spool and a hole through which line passes. This construction keeps the line clean and out of the angler's way. There is no bail inside of a spin casting reel. Instead, metal teeth attached to the spool gather the line in neatly.
Fly reels, which have few moving parts, are the most basic form of fishing reels. Most consist of a frame that holds a narrow revolving spool. The handle attaches directly to the spool and turns the spool one rotation at a time.
As you stroll down the fishing aisles, there are many different types of line to choose from, and it can be very confusing to say the least. Hopefully after reading this, you'll have a good understanding of fishing line.
fishing line is made of nylon and is called "monofilament,"
or mono for short. It comes on spools of various lengths that are
called "tests." Usually, a four-pound test line will hold
up a fish weighing four pounds without breaking. The larger the test
of the line, the thicker the diameter it is and the more it will
hold. For your basic rig, try to find a piece of four-pound or
six-pound test line that is eight to ten feet long.
line can be a complicated subject, but it doesn't have to be.
Let's start with a basic rule in mind:
When you're buying line or any equipment, match the gear to the conditions your fishing. With that said, you'll need to find out a few things before purchasing line.
kind of fish are you after?
is the body of water like?
By answering these questions you start matching equipment to the conditions. For example, if the body of water you want to fish on has lots of weeds, you will need a stronger line to get your bait through the weeds because a weaker line may break.
I tried to break them down into three basic categories. These are my own categories, some purists might argue with us, but we like to keep things simple.
A short introduction to the types of line
It's the most common type of line, and typically it comes in either clear or green. If you buy a pre-spooled reel, chances are it was spooled with this type of line. One thing to keep in mind is memory. When line is uncoiled (by casting) it tries to maintain the shape of the spool. This coiling after the cast is Memory. It will wreak havoc on you in the form of not being able to cast, tangles, pure frustration etc. To avoid this, be sure to re-spool your line at least once a year. Monofilament is a great all purpose fishing line that can be used anywhere..
Monofilament is listed on the package, by terms such as mono or monofilament.
These include Fusion and Braided type lines. Some of the more common ones are:
In this case, the materials are either braided or fused together to make a single strand of line. What's produced by the process, is a super strong line with a much smaller diameter than it's monofilament competitor. For example, if you were to purchase a 12 lb test monofilament line, the diameter would be listed. With super lines, the package might list 24 lb test line with 12 lb diameter. These lines tend to be more sensitive and have little or no stretch to them. we suggest using this type of line when you're going to be fishing heavy cover, or going after fish with big teeth. What's the downside you ask? You'll have to try it and see. We will say don't wrap it around your finger or hand while pulling on it. It'll cut into you. Take it from experience!
Listed on the box, you'll see such terms as "fusion", "braided", "ultra sensitive", or "minimal stretch".
These lines look like monofilament but, are virtually invisible underwater. They have very little stretch which can lead to better hooksets. This type of line is best suited for the same conditions as monofilament.
Vanish is an example of a Fluorocarbon line.
When it comes to comparing Monofilament to Fluorocarbon line:
Fluorocarbon has less stretch
Now that you know a little about the different types of line, the fishing conditions and what you're after, it's time to tackle the label. Listed below are several of the more common features that show up on the boxes of fishing line.
Understanding what the terms mean
Is the thickness of the line. It affects the running depth of your lure. Remember, as you work your lure, you're also moving water at the same time. The larger the diameter, the more water is being moved. A thicker line moves more water than a thinner line. This means that your bait will actually run deeper with thinner line!
Diameter also relates to how much of a particular line
your reel can hold. To learn about reels, click
Stretch is primarily meant for monofilament. If the line doesn't stretch, it will break. Super lines have minimal or no stretch, but typically don't break when fighting fish. They're so strong fish will break before the line does
The label will include terms like "Low Stretch", "Controlled Stretch" or "Minimal Stretch".
How tough is it? Can it withstand being dragged over
rocks, stumps, bitten by fish and not break?
Knots weaken the line, because the line is wrapped
back on itself and tightened down. Certain knots can decrease line strength.
Advertising on the package will include terms such as "Superior Knot Strength"
Last but not least, stick to
the major brands.
As you can see, there are many types of line on the market to choose from. Ultimately, you have to decide what is important for your type of fishing, is it test strength, stretch or another factor? We've said it before, and we'll say it again. When you're buying line or any equipment, match the gear to the conditions your fishing. No one line is the "right" line for all types of fishing. You may have to experiment with several lines to find the one you like best.
Bait & Lures
Bait- Bait is what you put on the end of your line to attract the fish, something a fish would love to eat. Just like people, all fish are not attracted to the same foods. Some baits work better than others for certain types of fish.
Bait can be broken down into two major types:
live or natural bait,
Live and Natural Bait
Earthworms are one of the most widely used forms of real bait. They can be used to catch almost any type of fish.
can be an issue with minnows but, you have a couple of options.
First, if you plan on fishing for an entire day, keep them stored in
a minnow bucket.
Fill the bucket with lake water. Be sure to change the water at least every hour to keep the fish alive.
you plan on fishing for a few days, you may want to bring along one
or several minnow traps.
Efficient, durable and easy to operate. Black vinyl coating blends in with underwater colors, providing superb camouflage. 1/4" mesh.
traps are designed to be submerged, and be attached to the dock or
some other form of structure. The purpose of the trap is to
catch minnows. We've found, if you cover the ends of the trap
and put your minnows in the trap, they store just fine. Each
morning, simply raise the trap, take the amount of minnows you'll
need and put them in the minnow bucket (be sure to put water in the
bucket first), secure the minnow trap, and put it back in the water.
also like crickets, grasshoppers, and cray-fish. All of these baits
can be gathered for free. Worms can be dug in your garden,
grasshoppers collected in grassy fields, crickets found in dark
corners in the basement, crayfish found under rocks in small creeks,
and minnows seined or caught in a minnow trap at a local pond.
Waxworms work well for sunfish. To catch carp, try a kernel of canned corn. Catfish are partial to a piece of turkey liver.
Minnows are great fish-getters. Try tiny (1-inch-long) minnows for crappies and larger (2-to 6-inch-long) sucker and fathead minnows for walleyes and northern pike.
If you don't know what type of minnow to use, just ask the person selling the bait.
Take along a needle-nosed pliers to remove the hook from the mouth of any fish you catch.
Note: Worms, minnows, and nightcrawlers die easily, and when dead they will no longer attract fish.
Keep worms and nightcrawlers in a cool, moist place, out of the sun. Put minnows in a bucket with a few small holes punched in the sides and keep it in shaded water nearby. To keep water from spilling out, transport the bait bucket in a larger bucket.
Other Natural Baits
Other natural baits include corn kernels, pieces of hot dog, rnarshmallows, salmon eggs, cheese, and dough balls. Most of these can be found in your pantry or made from ingredients you have there. Salmon eggs can be purchased at a bait and tackle store. Not too many marshmallows grow in nature, but for some reason certain types of fish like them!
All of these natural baits can be used with your homemade fishing pole. Choose your bait based on the type of fish you are trying to catch (see the fish food charts here). Put the bait on your hook, toss it into the water, and wait for the fish to bite. If you just can't decide which bait to use, a worm is always a good bet for most types of fish.
Artificial Bait and Lures
In fishing lingo, artificial bait is usually called a lure.
If you've ever wandered down the fishing aisles, you'll know there are literally hundreds to choose from. I just want to give you just the basics. These are ones that should be in every tackle box. We think this will give you a good starting point.
Some lures closely Imitate living creatures such as worms, flies, frogs, and minnows. Other lures attract fish by their movement and their sound or by tempting the fish's curiosity.
Artificial lures are designed to look and move like something a fish would eat, namely worms, minnows, grasshoppers, flies and other tasty morsels.
is no doubt you'll be dazzled by the variety!
restraint or soon you'll need a tackle box bigger than your boat!
Plugs are designed to look something like a small fish. Some are made to float and some are made to dive down into the water. They shimmy, shake, gurgle, and splash in various ways to imitate something a hungry fish would like to eat.
Poppers imitate bugs floating on the surface of the water. When twitched along, they make a sort of "glub" sound that attracts certain kinds of fish.
Spoons look something like the eating end of a teaspoon. They are heavier than water, and imitate a speedy minnow flashing and darting under the surface as they are reeled in.
Spoons are mostly used for northern pike and muskies.
Of the hundreds of lures on the market, the most popular are spinners (such as Mepps or Rooster Tails), crankbaits (such as Rapalas), and jigs with feathers or rubber bodies (such as Mister Twisters).
Spinners have small blades or propellers that rotate around a center shaft. When you drag a spinner through the water, the blade spins and flashes, attracting fish by the motion it makes and the vibrations it sends into the water.
They are easy to use and will catch a wide variety of fish.
spinnerbaits with the lightest, brightest and shiniest blades on
Jig- This is simply small hooks with a lead ball near the eye of the hook. They are often decorated with feathers, artificial eyes, rubber legs, and tinsel. They are cast into the water and "jigged," or bounced up and down, to attract the fish. Retrieve a jig by bouncing it along the bottom of the lake or river.
Note: There are now alternatives to jigs. These alternatives are usually made of steel, ceramic or cement. If you loose your sinker, these alternatives are safer for water birds.
Crankbaits- More expensive than other lures, crankbaits are excellent for walleyes, pike, muskie, and bass.
These are lures that look like a small fish. They are cast into the water and retrieved by reeling (aka cranking) the line back in. There are 3 types: those that work the surface, medium divers (1-10 feet) and deep divers (10-20 feet)
Typically the face is pushed in to form a cup. The cup creates a popping noise when the line is pulled instead of cranked in.
Some have a propeller instead of a "cup" face. The propeller moves the water around the lure to get the fish's attention.
Minnow baits. They may rattle, but don't have any movement built into them unless it's done by the fisherman pulling the line in various ways. There is no lip attached.
Appear to look the deep divers. Generally, I look at the lip size and the specs on the box to determine how deep it'll go
These are going down no more than 20 feet.
Color is important, because fish may be biting on red lures one day and yellows the next. This is why you need so many lures.
In order to be most effective, almost all of the artificial lures should be used on certain kinds of store-bought fishing rods with reels attached. There are bait-casting rods for bait and plugs, fly rods for artificial flies and poppers, and spinning rods for spoons, jigs, and spinners. Different types of reels are made for each of these rods, but all of them hold a spool of line and allow the lure to be cast out into the water and reeled back in.
Hooks- Fishing hooks come in all shapes and sizes. They are probably the most important part of your fishing equipment, but luckily they are not very expensive. It's a good idea to have a small assortment of hooks for various fishing situations.
A basic fishing hook is shaped like the letter "j" and is made up of several parts. They are called the eye, the shank, the bend, the barb, and the point.
The eye is where you tie the hook onto your line. The point is what you use to put on the bait, and what penetrates the mouth of the fish when it eats the bait. The barb is shaped such that after the hook goes into the fish's mouth, it won't easily come back out. Many people who are fishing just for fun (not for the frying pan) make what is known as a barbless hook. With a pair of pliers, they mash down the barb. Though you don't always land as many fish, these hooks are a lot more "fish friendly," and they make it much easier to release what you catch.
Generally, large hooks are for large fish and small hooks are for small fish. You should choose a hook appropriate for the weight of fish you will be trying to catch. You might begin with a size 4 or 6, but if you are going for the big fish, you might need something larger. An experienced fisherman friend can give you some help with this.
The point of your hook should be sharp, for good reason: so you can hook the fish! If it gets dull or a little rusty, it won't catch as many fish. Get a file and re-sharpen it.
Any type of hook will work.
The smaller the number, the larger the hook. Look for hooks in sizes 4-10. Hooks with a long "shank" (the part between the eye and the barb) are easier to remove from fish with small mouths, such as sunfish.
Use a hook that fits the mouth of the fish you want to catch. Size 8 and 10 hooks are best for crappies, sunfish, and carp. Size 4 and 6 are good for walleyes, catfish, and northern pike.
are a productive and easy way to catch many different species of fish.
by attaching the Crappie Rig
Sinkers are lead weights used to cast light lures and to drop the bait quickly to the bottom of the lake or river bottom, where most fish swim.
in together with bobbers, they hold the line at a given point.
sinkers are usually made of lead and come in many different shapes,
sizes, and weights.
will have to experiment with the size to get the float to set right.
One easy sinker to use is called a split shot.
It is a small round piece of lead with a slit in it. To attach the sinker, just slide your line through the slit and squeeze the lead together.
Note: There are now alternatives to lead sinkers. These alternatives are usually made of steel, ceramic or cement. If you loose your sinker, these alternatives are safer for water birds.
For most shore fishing, pinch on one or two small weights the size of a BB, about 10 inches up from you hook. Use only enough to sink the bait. If the fish feels too much weight it will drop the bait before you can set the hook.
Another kind of weight is called an egg sinker.
It is made of lead, shaped like a chicken egg, and has a hole through the middle. To use an egg sinker, run your line through the hole and place a split shot below the sinker to hold it in place. An egg sinker will attach more weight to the line, but when the fish takes your bait it won't feel the weight because the line slips through the sinker.
More on SINKERS (weights)
It could be called a float, bobber, cork, etc.
Bobber fishing is one of the first methods we all learn when starting to fish.
sinker takes your bait to the desired depth in the water, and a
bobber holds it at that lev It will allow you to
adjust the depth of your hook wherever you want.
Bobbers let you know when you've got a nibble. Button, pencil and slip bobbers are a few of the types available. When you clamp the bobber on the line, remember that the distance from the sinker to the bobber should not be more than the depth of the water.
Bobbers come in various sizes to accommodate different sinkers and baits. They are usually made of red and white plastic and have a push-button spring attachment that makes moving them up and down your line easy.
Remember the smaller the better. Wind is your enemy in this case. If the float is too light, the wind will blow it back to you, too big and you will scare the fish off.
bobber has a second benefit.
Usually the smaller and thinner bobbers work best. But don't use one so small that the weight and bait sink it. When the bobber goes under the water surface, you know that a fish has taken your bait. A bobber also adds weight to the line to help you cast farther.
a bobber just big enough to float the bait and weight
A Good Set Up of a Float
A wooden float has a hole through the center so that it can slide up and down the line. Tie a piece of dental floss above the float so that the float will stop where you need it to. The float should set up straight with only the orange section out of the water.
From the hook to the weight is about 4 inches. From the weight to the knot is around 48 inches. You will want to experiment with this depth. Though it's set up to around 48 inches, it doesn't mean that you neccesarily fish that deep. Use that to see how deep that you are. Try using a long pole with a reel, and this rig will most of the time just under the end of the pole. When the float is in the water, the knot could be at any depth because the weight and hook are really hanging from the pole.
set up will allow you to wind the tip of the pole all the way up to
the hook when you get hung up under water. Once you have reeled
up all of the line, you can punch it and normally the hook will break free.
What is a slip bobber and what does it do?
A slip bobber is a float that slides freely along the angler's fishing line.
Sure, plastic conventional clip-on bobbers - the ones that attach directly to the line - are easy to use; anyone can easily clip them on and off.
Most youngsters start out fishing with a conventional bobber and a worm for bait. Ninety-nine percent of the kids I see fishing are using the old stand-by plastic bobber. Dad or Grandpa started them out that way; because that's the way they started fishing.
But are they the best way to introduce a youngster to angling? Considering the frustration many experience using them.
Conventional bobbers have 3 serious drawbacks:
Slip bobbers solve all 3 of these problems quite nicely. They can be fished at any depth, the line can be reeled all the way to the terminal tackle, and they do not damage line.
For any float to work there has to be some point at which the float is restrained from movement on the line. As I said, conventional bobbers do this by attaching directly to a fixed point on the line. The key to slip bobbers is that they are not attached directly to the line, but they are limited in moving by a part that is. This part is the line stop or stop knot. A stop knot is small enough to pass easily through rod guides and reel mechanisms, but too large to pass through the stop bead on the slip bobber. The stop knot is snugged tightly enough to resist movement under pressure from the bobber, but can still be moved along the line by the angler if he or she desires a different depth setting. Thus, the angler armed with a slip bobber can fish at any depth and is only limited by the depth of the lake or the amount of line on the spool.
It may sound all complicated but really it's not. And it's greatly effective.
Let's go on with how you actually set the Slip Bobber up.
are three main parts to a slip bobber rig. The first part
being the bobber stop.
The second part is the slip bobber. It is called a slip bobber because it is made to slip up and down the line and makes fishing any depth of water possible with a bobber.
The last part of the set up is your choice of bait rigs.
Slip bobber, bobber stop, and beads are available both in kits and separate packaging. Slip bobbers are available in pencil thin designs made from wood as well as foam; however, some of the originals were made from porcupine quills. Fatter floats are available, depending upon the bait and weight involved in your presentation. Ideally, you want the bobber to barely support your bait, so that when a fish takes the bait, it won't feel the resistance.
The concept is simple. Starting with a bare line, you slide on the "bobber stop" first.
There are several types of stops. Rubber stops look like a grain of rice. They don't need to be tied but can be a challenge if your eyesight is poor like mine. Gizzmo and Dogbone stops are two other popular styles.
Another method utilizes a simple knot.
If you elect to use the traditional "knot stop", remove the knot from the straw by sliding the straw off of the line. Pull the knot tight and snip off the tag ends so that it will not become tangled when wound up all the way through the rod eyes to the reel. Once you've got the knot secure, thread a small bead and the bobber onto the line. The bead serves to keep the knot from being drawn down into the bobber when a fish takes it down. Once you've completed this process, tie on your choice of hook and add the appropriate weight to reach the depth you are working. The weight and bait should hold the bobber upright, just above the surface.
The final product should look something like this.
Another way to make your own stop knot is out of a piece of scrap mono. Tie the scrap line on your main line above your slip bobber in 3 overhand knots. Make it tight enough to stay in place but still be able to slide when you want to move it. Repeat the process on the opposite side of the main line. Trim the tag ends to 1/16 inch. The big advantage of this method is that you don't have to tear down your rig to apply it. It's a very useful technique, especially if you find yourself out of stop knots or in the middle of a feeding frenzy.
Ok, the hard part's over. Thread your line through the slip float - this means entering through the glass bead and exiting through the brass tube guard - and tie on your terminal tackle (hook, jig, etc.). It's a good idea to attach a small split shot about a foot above your bait - this will keep the float from sliding off if Big Wally snaps your line at the bait. Now, slide the stop knot to set the depth at which you want to fish.
You now have a fully functional slip bobber rig.
When you want to fish at a depth of 10 feet, just slide the knot further up the line to the desired depth and cast it out. When the bobber hits the water, the line will slide through the bobber tube and come to rest at your preset depth where the knot is tied. When you have a fish on, you can reel the fish all the way up to the dock or boat without having to deal with a bobber that is clipped at 10 feet. If you do much fishing at night, you might want to check out the illuminated bobbers that glow brightly and are easy to spot without any ambient light.
If you want to switch to a different presentation, just snip the line at the hook and slide the bobber and bead off. You can leave the stop on your line and be ready to switch back at a moments notice.
Not only will slip bobbers work better for youngsters and Grandpa as well, they will eliminate a lot of frustration for you, and make a more pleasant day for all concerned. More importantly, the more time you spend with your bait in the water (instead of untangling junior's line) the more fish you will catch.
Some techniques used for specific species.
Another piece of tackle called a swivel comes in handy if you are using bait (like a minnow) or a lure (like a spinner) that has a twisting or turning action that tends to get your line twisted. Tie a swivel between your bait and your line. This will allow the bait or lure to spin without getting the line all tangled up. Swivels are inexpensive and come in various sizes to match the hooks and lures you might be using.
Rigging Your Pole
All that's left now is to put your pieces of tackle together, put on your bait and go fishing! After you've tied your line onto the end of your pole, ther are several ways to rig the other end. One way is to tie the hook onto the end of the line, come up several inches and sgueeze on your sinker, and put your bobber on above that.
Another method, called a fish-finder rig, puts the weight at the bottom of the line with the hook tied off to the side on an extra piece of line. This kind of rig lets the bait float freely and naturally in the water (a better way to fool the fish) while the sinker holds it at the correct depth.
your pole is rigged, you'll need to decide
Now we need something to keep all this fish gear in . . .
a Tacklebox - Most any durable box with a tight lid and a handle will do the job! It could be an old toolbox or sewing box.
Most sporting stores and department stores sell tackle baoxes in a variety of styles and sizes.
Here's a Tackle Bag I purchased from Amazon.com.
there's the broad category of other stuff:
you DO NOT want to keep in your tackle box -
me, the next time you go fishing,
Be sure to visit The FUNdamentals of Fishing Store at Amazon.com
If you havie
any hints, suggestions, techniques or anything that you would like to share
have me put onto this web page,
Jon's Images, Inc.
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