How do I Tie a Balloon on Fishing Line?

How do I Tie a Balloon on Fishing Line?
Tying an inflated balloon onto a length of string or line is commonly associated with a party or celebration. Aside from celebrating, inflated balloons can also be used effectively as a flotation device for fishing rigs. Often used as part of a live bait rig, balloons provide certain advantages that other floats do not. Balloons are also much less expensive than many floats available on the market today.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fishing line
  • Balloon
  • Sliding egg weight
  • Fluorocarbon leader (2 feet)
  • Circle bait holder hook
  • Minnow
  • Scissors
Step 1
Inflate an inexpensive balloon three-fourths full with air. Tie off the valve of the balloon with a simple over-hand knot and set the balloon to the side for now. Choose balloon colors that are high visibility, such as red, orange, yellow, bright green and white.
Step 2
Hold the free end of your fishing line and slide an egg weight onto the line. Choose the amount of weight based on personal preference and fishing conditions.
Step 3
Attach a barrel swivel to the end of the line below the egg weight using a uni knot. Tie the knot by feeding 5 to 6 inches of line through the eye of the swivel. Pull the free end of the line beside the main line and hold the doubled lines together 1 inch from the swivel eye. Turn the free end of the line back toward the swivel, forming a loop to one side, and wrap the free end of the line around the doubled line and through the loop three times. Moisten the knot and pull it down tightly against the eye of the swivel.
Step 4
Attach one end of a 2-foot length of leader to the opposite end of the barrel swivel with a uni knot. Tie a circle bait holder hook to the free end of the leader line with a palomar knot. Tie the palomar knot by pulling several inches of line through the eye of the circle bait holder hook. Turn the line back through the eye forming a loop and double line on opposite sides of the hook eye.
Step 5
Continue with the palomar knot by tying an over hand knot with the loop and doubled line above the hook. Pull the loop through the knot and down around the bend of the hook. Moisten the knot and pull down tightly.
Step 6
Determine the depth at which the hook and bait should be presented below the surface of the water. Select a location on the line above the barrel swivel to attach the balloon based on the desired depth of the hook and bait. Form a loop in the line where you want to attach the balloon. Pull the main line through the loop forming a slip loop. Place the valve of the balloon in the slip loop and pull the line down tight to secure the slip loop around the valve of the balloon.

Tips & Warnings

Place a live bait on the circle bait holder hook by inserting the point of the hook up through the back of the fish just in front of the dorsal fin. Do not clip or injure the spine of the fish when hooking, so the fish will continue to move naturally in the water.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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