In the last 40 years, more steelhead and salmon have
probably been caught in rivers around the country on drift bobbers
than any other lure. And, the most widely used and productive drift
bobbers over the years have been Worden's Lil' Corky, Spin-N-Glo,
Wobble Glo and the new Winners. What many anglers don't realize
however, is that these drift lures can also be used to catch many
other types of fish as well.
Available in a variety of sizes and some 70 different
colors, including several different metallic and fluorescent colors,
there is just the right Worden's drift bobber for any fishing situation.
Rigged correctly, many times with bait, they can be used to catch
trout, walleye, perch, crappie and other gamefish.
RIGGING FOR DRIFT FISHING IN RIVERS
When fished in the rivers for steelhead and salmon the Worden's
drift bobbers can be fished alone, with a piece of yarn or with
It is very simple to rig a bobber for drift fishing;
Based on the river you are fishing, the type of fish you are after
and how much water flow the river has, you will want to use a quality
mono-filament main line of 8 to 15 or even 20 pound test. The main
line should be tied to a barrel swivel and at the other end of the
swivel add a leader of 12 to 48 inches. The leader should also be
of a quality mono-filament and can be a lighter pound test than
the main line. The drift bobber is strung on the leader ahead of
the hook before the leader is tied to the barrel swivel.
It is important that the rig float naturally as it
drifts downstream. The right sized drift bobber will help do this.
A bobber that is too big will float the hook and bait too high over
the fish. A bobber that is too small will not float the hook and
bait high enough resulting in snags and hang-ups. The object is
to rig the correct size drift bobber to create a "neutral bouyancy"
situation, where it floats naturally, just up off the bottom of
the river as it drifts. Leader length and size of drift bobber is
normally determined by water condition, size of the hook and size
of the bait. In water that is high and milky or off-colored, a shorter
leader of 12 to 24 inches is all that is required. In low, clear
water a longer leader of 24 to 48 inches is recommended and a smaller
drift bobber is normally all that is needed.
Good holding water for steelhead or salmon, known
as a drift, is water that is usually above or below some rapids
or swift water. The fish like to hold in this water and rest before
continuing their journey upstream. This holding water is generally
4 to 10 or 12 feet deep.
WHERE TO CAST
Good holding water for steelhead or salmon, known as a drift, is
water that is usually above or below some rapids or swift water.
The fish like to hold in this water and rest before continuing their
journey upstream. This holding water is generally 4 to 10 or 12
When you first cast into a drift work the closest
water first and then cast progressively farther out. This may require
you to go from a lighter weight to a heavier weight as you go from
shallower, slower water to deeper, swifter water.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT WEIGHT
When drift fishing with a Lil' Corky, Spin-N-Glo, Wobble Glo or
Winners in rivers for salmon or steelhead it is extremely important
that you use the right amount of weight. The proper weight makes
it possible to cast where you need to and it is vital in keeping
your rig down near the bottom where the fish are holding.
Here are a variety of different kinds of weights that
are available to use but the most popular has to be pencil lead.
Pencil lead comes in both solid and hollow core. Both are fairly
inexpensive and they are easy to use.
Solid pencil lead is best rigged with a piece of latex
surgical tubing (see drift fishing rigs on the back) which can be
attached to the line in several different ways.
Hollow core lead can be crimped directly to a dropper
line, also shown on the back.
Both methods allow the lead weights to pull off easily
if they get hung up on the bottom while drifting, allowing you to
save your leader, hook, bobber and bait. And, both the lead weights
can be cut to various lengths giving you just the right amount of
weight for different water conditions.
Another popular drifting weight is a piece of parachute
cord with BB-shot inside. These "Slinky" drift weights, as they
are known, can be purchased, ready-to-fish from the tackle shops
or they can be made at home. They can be made or purchased in various
lengths and weights to match the fishing conditions.
Many fishermen have found that these parachute cord
weights get hung up less and they give a better feel of the bottom
making it easier to detect a bite.
No matter what type of weight you prefer it is important
to use the right amount. It is extremely important to keep a straight
line from the rod tip to the water and weight so that even the lightest
bites can be detected. The proper weight will help do this.
Too much weight and you constantly will be hanging
up on the bottom of the river. Too little weight and your outfit
will be floating over the fish. The right amount of weight will
give you a good drift with a continual tap, tap, tap of the bottom
as the weight, drift bobber and bait moves along.
KEEP THOSE HOOKS SHARP
One thing that every guide and experienced fisherman will tell you
is the secret to success is to have a sharp hook. Especially when
drift fishing, a hook rubs against rocks, snags and other bottom
debris and can become dull in just a matter of minutes. To get a
good, deep hook set, a hook should be checked for sharpness and
touched up with a hook file or sharpening stone every few minutes.
WORDEN'S DRIFT BOBBERS FOR OTHER FISH
Worden's drift bobbers can also be used for walleye, trout and other
fish that feed on bait.
Lil' Corkies and Winners add color and floatation
to night crawlers, leaches, minnows and grubs when used for walleye.
And the smallest sized Lil' Corky (Size 14) in egg
fluorescent or rocket red colors match almost exactly an individual
red or orange salmon egg that bait fishermen like to use for trout.
When used in tandem with a salmon egg or two the small Lil' Corky
helps float the eggs up off the bottom of the lake making it easy
for trout to see and pick up.
The smallest Lil' Corkies (size 12 and 14) also make
an excellent strike indicator for panfish fishermen and fly fishermen.
Strung on the leader ahead of a small piece of bait or fly, the
bright, small Lil' Corkies are easy to see as they float on the
water and they offer little resistance when being pulled under by
a fish. To secure the Lil' Corky into position, slide it up the
leader to the desired fishing depth then stick the tip of a toothpick
into the hole that the leader is running through. The tip of the
toothpick will act as a wedge and keep the Lil' Corky in place.
Break the toothpick off with enough of the pick remaining so that
it can be pulled out when the Corky needs to be moved or removed.
For crappie, bream, kokanee and perch, the larger
sized Lil' Corky makes a great slip bobber. To rig the Lil' Corky
for this kind of fishing put a 4 mm bead on the line ahead of a
size 6 or 4 Lil' Corky. Tie a rubber band bobber stop at the depth
you want to fish and add weight between the Corky and hook and bait.
Normally a small split shot is all that is needed to pull the line
through the Lil' Corky to the stop. When trolled alone or ahead
of bait, Worden's Spin-N-Glo and Wobble Glo make excellent lures
for trout, kokanee, walleye and even bass. And bass fishermen are
now using the Spin-N-Glo ahead of a plastic worm as a very effective
top water lure. The Spin-N-Glo's wings turning up the water as it
moves across the surface really attracts attention. Rigged Texas
style the lure is virtually weedless too!
SIZE AND COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS CHART
LIL' CORKEY SIZE
WOBBLE GLO SIZE
LOW / CLEAR
10, 12, 14
10, 12, 14
MED. / SLIGHTLY COLORED
6, 8, 10
6, 8, 10
HEAVY / OFF-COLORED
2, 4, 6
2, 4, 6