Wintertime perfect to go ‘bobber fishin’ for smallmouths

Published 4:30pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Although there are several ways to attach the bobber to your line, I like to put the bobber on by extending the wire line catch out, and wrapping my line around it three or 4 times. This gives the float a lot of freedom to roll over , revealing subtle bites or whether the jig is resting on the bottom or an unseen piece of cover.
The jig is usually a synthetic hair or natural hair jig tied with a variety of colors. The most common colors are a silverish gray body with a hint of pink, chartreuse or darker gray in the belly. The jig heads can weigh from 1/64 – ¼ oz, but a 1/16 or 1/8 oz. jig is the norm.
David Preston, a resident of Tryon, showed me several years ago another jig presentation that works well. David, or Dee as he is known, who currently holds the S.C. state record for spotted bass at 8 lb. 5 oz., takes a 1/8 jig head and adds a 2” Fin-S or Zoom Teeny Fluke. He adds a drop of brush on crazy glue before he threads the shad Body on the jig head. He makes sure it is straight and then lets it dry for a few seconds and is ready to fish.
Casting the float and fly rig can be somewhat of a challenge unless you are familiar with casting a fly rod. You really need a rod designed to fish this rig. There are several rods out there designed just for this. The right steel head rod can work well too. Rods vary in length from 8 feet 6 inches up to more than 13 feet. I still use a 9 foot browning noodle rod. I started with a 9 foot rod and have gotten very comfortable with it.
To cast, I start with the float in the water in front of me, I then do a long pull or sweep of my rod up and back to get the line out of the water quickly and to have enough momentum on the back swing to stretch out. This to me is the biggest key in casting the rig, letting your line stretch all the way out on your back swing. I stop my rod at about a 10 o’clock position with my arm held high, and wait till I feel the weight of the jig on the line start loading the rod. I then start my cast forward and release. When done correctly, the float will hit the water and the jig will pass by it and land with the line straight from the float to the jig, not a piled up coil.

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