By Jeremy Anderson, 

Using a spin rod and bobber to float fish for rainbow trout can be one of the deadliest methods for targeting fish in moving water.  The advantages of a spin rod and reel setup include easy casting, extended drifts, and simplicity when fighting a big fish.  There are many ways to setup a spin rod with a bobber but the information below will put you at a distinct advantage over your fishing buddy unless they have a similar setup.  Below we are going to go thru step by step on how to have the perfect setup for trout fishing on the Kenai River OR any rivers in Western Alaska that have large trout.

In terms of the rod and reel itself there are a few key things you want to know.  You are going to want a 10-11 foot spin rod with a medium weight (8-12lb) with a medium to fast action.   These specs are important for casting, drifting, and fighting the trout.  As for a reel you are going to want a medium to high-end reel that has at least 4-6 ball bearings and can hold about 125-150 yards of line.  With a setup similar to this you will be able to efficiently be able to fish and catch fish while keeping frustrations of “the wrong gear” occurring.

As for line selection you do have some options.  You can go with a supple co polymer line that is easy to cast as an option.  You can go with braided line for a smaller diameter mainline that has no memory.  Braided line can also float if you put wax on it.  My personal preference is the P Line Hydro float 30lb for the mainline of my rainbow trout float rod setup.  This is because it floats, it is durable, it has a small amount of memory and its color (yellow) is easy to see.  I can get about 130 yards of Hydro float on my spin reel so there is always room to cut some line and not worrying about respooling your reel too often.

When it is time to setup the rod and reel combo you are going to want to use a Beaumac Torpedo Float and swivel weight.  The bobbers come with bobber stops and 6mm beads and the weights are sold separate. If the bobber is ½ oz. then the swivel weight should be as well.

The first step for getting the slip bobber setup working to slide your bobber stop onto the line and tighten it just enough so the knot stays together but loose enough so you can slide it freely.  Next put one 6mm bead, then the bobber, and then the 2nd 6mm bead.  Finally you are now ready to tie your swivel weight to the mainline.  I use a polymer knot so there is zero chance of that knot failing.  If anything breaks it will be below the bobber so your retie will be easy.

After your swivel weight is tied on then you can tighten your bobber stop about one and a half feet above the weight.  Tighten it enough so it is hard to move it but does not damage the mainline.  Next you want to tie on about 5-10 feet of 15 or20lb fluorocarbon leader onto the open side of the swivel weight.  I tend to use heavier leader so I retie less as long as it won’t negatively impact my catching results.  At the end of your leader you need the appropriate split shot, on the Kenai it is about two 3/0-split shot.  I will tie and double overhand knot so I can change out my bead or fly quickly as well as holding the split shot in place.  Some people will attach a small swivel, which hold the same concepts of the overhand knot.  Finally you put your favorite fly, bead, or jig on the end with some fluorocarbon tip it and you are ready to fish!