Lil’ Corkies

Drift Fishing with Worden’s Lures

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In the last 40 years, more steelhead and salmon have probably been caught in rivers around the country on drift bobbers than any other lure. And, the most widely used and productive drift bobbers over the years have been Worden’s Lil’ Corky, Spin-N-Glo, Wobble Glo and the new Winners. What many anglers don’t realize however, is that these drift lures can also be used to catch many other types of fish as well.

Available in a variety of sizes and some 70 different colors, including several different metallic and fluorescent colors, there is just the right Worden’s drift bobber for any fishing situation. Rigged correctly, many times with bait, they can be used to catch trout, walleye, perch, crappie and other gamefish.

When fished in the rivers for steelhead and salmon the Worden’s drift bobbers can be fished alone, with a piece of yarn or with bait.

It is very simple to rig a bobber for drift fishing; Based on the river you are fishing, the type of fish you are after and how much water flow the river has, you will want to use a quality mono-filament main line of 8 to 15 or even 20 pound test. The main line should be tied to a barrel swivel and at the other end of the swivel add a leader of 12 to 48 inches. The leader should also be of a quality mono-filament and can be a lighter pound test than the main line. The drift bobber is strung on the leader ahead of the hook before the leader is tied to the barrel swivel.

It is important that the rig float naturally as it drifts downstream. The right sized drift bobber will help do this. A bobber that is too big will float the hook and bait too high over the fish. A bobber that is too small will not float the hook and bait high enough resulting in snags and hang-ups. The object is to rig the correct size drift bobber to create a “neutral bouyancy” situation, where it floats naturally, just up off the bottom of the river as it drifts. Leader length and size of drift bobber is normally determined by water condition, size of the hook and size of the bait. In water that is high and milky or off-colored, a shorter leader of 12 to 24 inches is all that is required. In low, clear water a longer leader of 24 to 48 inches is recommended and a smaller drift bobber is normally all that is needed.

Good holding water for steelhead or salmon, known as a drift, is water that is usually above or below some rapids or swift water. The fish like to hold in this water and rest before continuing their journey upstream. This holding water is generally 4 to 10 or 12 feet deep.

Good holding water for steelhead or salmon, known as a drift, is water that is usually above or below some rapids or swift water. The fish like to hold in this water and rest before continuing their journey upstream. This holding water is generally 4 to 10 or 12 feet deep.

When you first cast into a drift work the closest water first and then cast progressively farther out. This may require you to go from a lighter weight to a heavier weight as you go from shallower, slower water to deeper, swifter water.

When drift fishing with a Lil’ Corky, Spin-N-Glo, Wobble Glo or Winners in rivers for salmon or steelhead it is extremely important that you use the right amount of weight. The proper weight makes it possible to cast where you need to and it is vital in keeping your rig down near the bottom where the fish are holding.

Here are a variety of different kinds of weights that are available to use but the most popular has to be pencil lead. Pencil lead comes in both solid and hollow core. Both are fairly inexpensive and they are easy to use.

Solid pencil lead is best rigged with a piece of latex surgical tubing (see drift fishing rigs on the back) which can be attached to the line in several different ways.

Hollow core lead can be crimped directly to a dropper line, also shown on the back.

Both methods allow the lead weights to pull off easily if they get hung up on the bottom while drifting, allowing you to save your leader, hook, bobber and bait. And, both the lead weights can be cut to various lengths giving you just the right amount of weight for different water conditions.

Another popular drifting weight is a piece of parachute cord with BB-shot inside. These “Slinky” drift weights, as they are known, can be purchased, ready-to-fish from the tackle shops or they can be made at home. They can be made or purchased in various lengths and weights to match the fishing conditions.

Many fishermen have found that these parachute cord weights get hung up less and they give a better feel of the bottom making it easier to detect a bite.

No matter what type of weight you prefer it is important to use the right amount. It is extremely important to keep a straight line from the rod tip to the water and weight so that even the lightest bites can be detected. The proper weight will help do this.

Too much weight and you constantly will be hanging up on the bottom of the river. Too little weight and your outfit will be floating over the fish. The right amount of weight will give you a good drift with a continual tap, tap, tap of the bottom as the weight, drift bobber and bait moves along.

One thing that every guide and experienced fisherman will tell you is the secret to success is to have a sharp hook. Especially when drift fishing, a hook rubs against rocks, snags and other bottom debris and can become dull in just a matter of minutes. To get a good, deep hook set, a hook should be checked for sharpness and touched up with a hook file or sharpening stone every few minutes.

Worden’s drift bobbers can also be used for walleye, trout and other fish that feed on bait.

Lil’ Corkies and Winners add color and floatation to night crawlers, leaches, minnows and grubs when used for walleye.

And the smallest sized Lil’ Corky (Size 14) in egg fluorescent or rocket red colors match almost exactly an individual red or orange salmon egg that bait fishermen like to use for trout. When used in tandem with a salmon egg or two the small Lil’ Corky helps float the eggs up off the bottom of the lake making it easy for trout to see and pick up.

The smallest Lil’ Corkies (size 12 and 14) also make an excellent strike indicator for panfish fishermen and fly fishermen. Strung on the leader ahead of a small piece of bait or fly, the bright, small Lil’ Corkies are easy to see as they float on the water and they offer little resistance when being pulled under by a fish. To secure the Lil’ Corky into position, slide it up the leader to the desired fishing depth then stick the tip of a toothpick into the hole that the leader is running through. The tip of the toothpick will act as a wedge and keep the Lil’ Corky in place. Break the toothpick off with enough of the pick remaining so that it can be pulled out when the Corky needs to be moved or removed.

For crappie, bream, kokanee and perch, the larger sized Lil’ Corky makes a great slip bobber. To rig the Lil’ Corky for this kind of fishing put a 4 mm bead on the line ahead of a size 6 or 4 Lil’ Corky. Tie a rubber band bobber stop at the depth you want to fish and add weight between the Corky and hook and bait. Normally a small split shot is all that is needed to pull the line through the Lil’ Corky to the stop. When trolled alone or ahead of bait, Worden’s Spin-N-Glo and Wobble Glo make excellent lures for trout, kokanee, walleye and even bass. And bass fishermen are now using the Spin-N-Glo ahead of a plastic worm as a very effective top water lure. The Spin-N-Glo’s wings turning up the water as it moves across the surface really attracts attention. Rigged Texas style the lure is virtually weedless too!


10, 12, 14
12, 14
10, 12, 14
6, 8, 10
8, 10
6, 8
6, 8, 10
2, 4, 6
4, 6
4, 6
2, 4, 6

Spin-n-Glo enticed this beautiful fish