When it comes to bobber tactics for walleye, there’s more detail and componentry than you might expect.
It’s nice to use a rod that’s extra long like the 8’6″ medium-light extra fast St. Croix Legend Tournament rod. That’s about the right length, power and action you should be looking for in the ideal rod for bobber tactics.
If you’re away from your float at all, not only do you need to pick up the slack between you and the bobber, but you also need cover the angle of what’s going on from the bobber down to the bottom where the fish is hook up. Having a rod that is long will allow you to have larger, sweeping hookset that takes a lot of line up really fast.
When it comes to line, a good low-stretch monofilament is great, and some guys will run braid. Just experiment and figure out what works best for you. The Sufix Advanced Monofilament is one of my favorites thanks to it’s low-stretch characteristic.
You can choose your leader length based on the amount of fall you’re looking for. I like to run 10lb fluorocarbon because it’s a little bit stiffer, which keeps it away from the main line on the cast. That means less foul ups and less wasted casts.
When I setup my bobber stop, I like to leave the curly, twisty ends on the line. People ask me all the time why I do that. I like it for visibility. The extra tag-end helps you see your stop as it’s working it’s way out to the end of the float and going down.
I’ll put a bead between the bobber stop and the bobber itself.
I use a standard slip bobber, but you need to make sure it’s big enough to support some extra weight. I will run two systems on the “business end” of the rig.
First, a simple leader with a plain hook and a weight above the swivel that connects the main line and the fluorocarbon leader. The weight will help the entire unit to get down quickly and stand my bobber up correctly. The reason I’ll run a plain hook is when I want that bait to fall enticingly slowly. I want the entire package to get down to the fish quickly, but I want the bait to fall ever so slowly into a walleyes face.
When the bite is on or things are going fairly well and the fish are fairly aggressive, you don’t need that amount of enticement. In these situations, I’ll just run direct-tie to jigs of varying weight. If I’m using an 1/8oz slip sinker, I’ll use an 1/8oz jig.
If walleyes are finicky, The slow fall rate of a plain hook is awesome when the walleyes are finicky. If the fish are aggressive and you’re trying to get through a lot of fish quickly, just run a straight jig head. It’s a super effective way to put bait into a fish’s face. If they don’t bite right away, it’s time to move on to more active fish.