How To Fish Beads For Salmon And Trout

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Using beads to fish for salmon and trout is a great thing to do if you don’t want to worry about replacing your bait often. The entire setup is pretty straightforward and in this post, I’m going to be talking about how to catch trout and salmon with beads.

The technique you’ll use to fish this setup is probably what you’re already expecting. There are a few things that’ll make your life a lot easier though. We’re going to be talking about what fishing rod to use, what fishing line works best, the proper hook size, and how to set everything up. Continue reading or watch the video below for the full details.

Fishing Rod & Reel

Having a specific rod and reel isn’t going to make or break your day. You can catch fish with pretty much anything out there but I would recommend something specific if you want to land the most fish and have the least amount of problems.

Obviously, you’re going to need to cast so you’ll want to use a spinning or baitcasting rod. A baitcaster is going to be a bit more versatile but they’re quite a bit harder to use and a lot more can go wrong. For most people, I’d recommend starting with a spinning rod because they’re so easy to use.

When it comes to the length and power of your rod, you have a few different options to pick from. If you don’t have much money to spend and you already have a 6.5-foot medium-heavy spinning rod, just use that. If you want to land the most fish possible I’d recommend something between 7.5 and 9.5 feet long that’s super sensitive.

A slightly longer rod will give you more control and you’ll be able to drift your line farther. A sensitive rod will help you feel rocks and trees in the water that you might snag on. You’ll also be able to feel the bite as soon as it happens so you can get a good quick hookset in.

I’ve used a bunch of solid rods over the years but if you’re looking for one that’s not too expensive, there’s the Okuma Celilo 8’6″ rod in a medium-action and the Okuma Ceymar C-40 reel. It’s not the smoothest or most sensitive setup but it’s probably the best option in this price range. See all the gear we’d recommend here.

Fishing Line

For pretty much all my rods, I’ll use a braided line as my main fishing line. I’m going to recommend you do the same because braid is easier to cast, is going to last a lot longer, it floats, and is more sensitive than mono or fluoro. I like it because I can toss it on a cheaper rod and it’ll still have really decent sensitivity, like a more expensive rod.

For this type of fishing, I normally use a 30 lb braided line. You could also use a 20 or 40 lb line if you want. One thing I always like to do before I put braid on is to put a few wraps of monofilament or fluorocarbon on my spool. Braid tends to slip on the spool so doing this will give it something to bite into (you could also just put some electrical tape). Here’s the knot I use:

What I’ll then do is attach some 12 lb fluorocarbon directly to the end of the braid. I’ll put somewhere between 10 and 15 feet of line and then I’ll attach a 3-way swivel. If the water is pretty shallow I’ll use 10 feet and if the water is pretty deep I’ll use 15 feet of the fluorocarbon. Here’s how I tie the fluoro to the braid:

On the side of the swivel, you’ll want to attach some sort of weight. I like using a pencil weight but pretty much anything will work. The amount you use will depend on the water speed, but normally, you don’t need too much (just enough to reach the bottom). The final step is to attach some 12 lb fluoro to the third hole in your swivel and put 3 feet of line.

Setting Everything Up

The first thing you’re going to need is 2x #4 hooks and 2x beads. You could just use one hook (which I normally do) but I prefer using two hooks for this technique. More hooks equal more potential fish (so I’ve been told).

At the end of your fishing line, you’ll want to slide your first bead on and then tie on your hook. You can then attach another 3 feet or fluorocarbon to the first hook and put another bead and hook at the end of it. You should have two different hooks with a bead on the top.

The final thing you’ll need is some sort of float. The type you use doesn’t really matter but you’ll want to make sure you can see it in the water. All you have to do is place is above your swivel and adjust the length based on the water depth.

The Technique

If you’ve ever done any sort of drift fishing, the technique is pretty much the same. All you really have to do is cast your line out, let it float down the river, reel in, and repeat. There’s a bit more that goes into it but that’s the general concept.

The first thing you’ll want to do is estimate the water depth. You’ll want to adjust your float so your line is sitting near the bottom of the water channel. When you’re ready to start fishing, you’ll want to remember the rule of 45.

The second step is to cast your line 45 degrees upstream. I’ll start off by casting fairly close to where I am and then work my way farther out. You’ll then want to reel in the slack so there’s some (but not too much) tension in your line. An important thing to do is always follow your line with your rod tip. Don’t keep your body still because it’ll be really tough to feel bites and snags.

While your line is floating down the river you’ll want to keep your rod at a 45-degree angle (to the water). This makes sure you don’t have too much line sitting in the water, which can slow down your drift. You’ll want to let your line drift 45 degrees downstream and then you can reel in and start over. I’ll cast a bit farther this time and then a bit farther the next.

Additional Tips

Instead of letting my line drift farther down the river, I’ll simply move to a different spot and try that if I’m not getting any bites. I’ll spend 15-20 minutes at the first spot and then move to the next if nothing is biting.

Don’t cast too aggressively. Since you have two hooks, you’ll want to do a slow arching cast to keep your line horizontal to the water so it doesn’t get tangled.

Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Jon Webber

I'm by no means an outdoors or fishing expert, but it's something I've been interested in for over 20 years. This site is where I test out different gear and techniques to see what actually works.

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