If there’s one thing the Green Movement has right, it’s the mantra “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle.” But in some way or another, anglers have been living by this slogan long before it appeared on a bumper sticker.
Years ago I discovered a great way to repurpose old, spent braid and build my own bobber stops. For anglers who fish slip float rigs for catfish, panfish and walleyes, it’s a trick that can save time and a little bit of money.
Any angler who fishes slip floats is familiar with the various bobber stops sold at tackle shops. The small, spherical stops have the tendency to loose their grip when adjusted up and down the line a few times, requiring re-rigging—a time-consuming chore when you’re on the water.
The best bobber stops are those made of line wrapped around a small plastic tube. You simply pass your line through the tube, push the knot onto your main line and pull tight. And, that’s precisely the kind of bobber stop we’re going to create.
It’s ideal to make them ahead of time so you always have them available for quick rigging—or, in a pinch, fashion one on the water with nothing more than a small piece of braid tied directly to your main line.
What You’ll Need
-Small 5-inch cocktail straws
-A dozen 8- to 10-inch lengths of old braid
Making your own bobber stops out of discarded braid tag ends is easy and will save money. Follow these simple steps to tie your own “green” bobber stop knots.
1. Thread your line parallel to the straw and form a loop. Perform four to six wraps over the braid and straw and cinch the knot. Go with five or six more wraps with lighter braid; heavier braid may only require four.
2. Cut the tag ends to one inch per side.
3. Slide the completed bobber stop to the end of the straw, but do not slide it off.
Repeat steps 1-3 until the straw has several stops on it with approximately 1/16-inch between each. Cut the straw into as many sections as you have knots. Or leave all knots on the straw and simply slide a single stop onto the line as needed.
It’s essential to become confident in tying the uni knot, which is the basis for the DIY bobber stop. I suggest downloading the Knot Wars app to your smartphone as it is designed to demonstrate literally dozens of different fishing knots, including this one.
One caveat: Don’t forget to use a small bead to separate the top of the bobber from your stop. Otherwise, the knot could slide into the bobber shaft.