Setting up a winter steelhead rod for bobber doggin fishing!

Bobber ‘Doggin’

By Colton Bowers






Bobber doggin is a very productive way to steelhead fish, the rigging is drifted under a bobber and lightly dragging the bottom of the river.

Best spinning reel

Start with a 9.5 to 10.5 ft medium action spinning rod and a spinning reel. The mainline for your reel should be braid. Power Pro or Fireline are good choices in 30 pound test…this mainline color choice is important as you want to be able to see the line well and also you want it to float so the line can be mended during a drift with minimal disruption to the bobber and rig.

best braided line

Tie a 9 to 10 foot length of monofilament line “bumper” to the mainline (12 to 15 pound line seems to work best). This bumper serves two purposes…first it serves as a shock absorber when you set your hook and it also allows your high vis braided line to stay on the surface of the water away from the fish.  Your slip float set up will be on this bumper.

bobber doggin

Starting from the top and working your way down, tie a bobber stop to the bumper. You can slide this up and down the line to adjust the fishing depth. Slide on a small bead, then the bobber, and then another small bead.

Tie a 3 way swivel onto the bottom end of the bumper then attach a small dual lock snap to the opposing eye of the swivel and attach your sinker, (Dave’s tangle free sinkers work great) Sinker size should be ¼ to 1 ounce in weight.

bobber doggin

Leader is usually 8 to 12 pound fluorocarbon, depending on water conditions. Length is 3 to 5 feet in length. Tie leader to the 3 way swivel.

Bait (small nickel size ball of cured roe), Beads 8mm to 14mm are the most popular and productive, Plastic worms.

Bobber and lead sizes usually vary between 1/4 ounce to 1 ounce, keep in mind that the weight of your sinker should match your bobber size. Keep your hook size light, #4 octopus is a great starting point. The best knot is an egg loop for the obvious reason but also to keep a good angle from leader to hook.

Good luck and tight lines!

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