Types of Fishing Floats

Types of Fishing Floats
Fishing floats, or bobbers, often are seen at the end of a child's line. Anxiously waiting for a fish, the young angler watches for the bobber to move. Floats vary in size, from marble-size up to softball-size. Today's floats aren't just for children; they attract fish, and help casters use light artificial lures and flies.


The standard ball-shaped fishing floats we used as children still get the job done. They don't just alert the angler to a bite, they also keep the bait high in the water where the fish are. Fishing floats also act as the weight needed to cast tiny baits out to waiting fish. Use the smallest size bobber that will keep your bait suspended and remain visible when in the water. Small bobbers are difficult to see when there are waves.

Bobbers are attached to the line by two spring-loaded clips, one at the top and a second at the bottom of the float.

Worm Floats

Worm floats are torpedo-shaped and designed for use with a sinker. That sounds like a typo, but it's not. Often, anglers want to keep their bait suspended just above the bottom. In this case, a worm float is tied on the leader, a few inches above the hook. The sinker is tied above the float and hook, so while the float is pulled below the surface, it floats up enough to suspend your bait above the crabs, where the fish can find it.

Worm floats come with a peg and a hole through the center. Your leader goes through the hole, and the peg is used to keep the float in place. You can adjust the distance between the hook and the float without retying.

Cork Poppers

Cork poppers are used by casters who want to present flies to fish without a fly rod. The cork popper is tied eighteen inches above the fly and acts as the weight needed for a cast. As the popper is retrieved, the splashing attracts fish. When the fish spot the fly, they eat it.

A cork popper has a hole through the center for your running line. Pass the line through the cork before you tie a swivel on, and your popping cork will stay in place while your fly or lure trails behind.


Fishing floats are great for young children who often are impatient. The float keeps their attention focused on fishing, and even if they don't catch fish they will see every bite. The fact that a fish is biting is enough to keep a child's attention.

Floats are great for adults who want to present flies to fish but don't want to learn to use a fly rod.

Worm floats often increase your level of success when bait fishing. Keeping your bait off the bottom and away from crabs means more time for the fish to find it.

Where to Buy

Nearly every bait shop carries some type of fishing float. If your local shop doesn't keep them in stock or doesn't have the style float you are looking for, Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops offer a wide selections of fishing floats online.

Article Written By Stephen Byrne

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.

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