Build Your Steelhead Rags

Tutorial by "zonker"
With winter coming some will be thinking bigger and heavier. Steelhead rags are a good substitute for corkies and other drift bobbers. They are typically fished with bait like roe or sand shrimp.

Start by gathering the ingredients:

The white and black foam cylinder material is called "backer rod." It is available in some tackle shops. It is used for sealing windows and sealing gaps in log cabins.

Cut 3/8" backer rod into 1/2" to 5/8" lengths. Poke hole through center with bodkin:

Slide foam pieces onto stir straw:

Glue foam pieces to straw with plumber's goop. Any waterproof, fast drying glue will do. I normally use Zap-a-Gap but was out of it for this session.

Pre-cut contrasting yarn pieces. (Note bent piece of spinner making wire in picture. This will be used to thread yarn through foam.

Push bent wire through foam, hook yarn in gapped wire, pull it back through.

Trim yarn to desired length.

Tie egg looped leader. Thread bead on to cushion rag from hitting hook eye. Thread rag onto leader. It may be necessary to peg it with a toothpick if it rides up too much while fishing.

Package for handy access and use.

Go find a big steelhead. Put on eggs, sand shrimp, or just scent. Fish like you would a corkie and yarn. The foam floats better than cork or plastic, so these float very high and are very visible in high, dark water. They would scare the daylights out of summer steelhead, but work quite well for winter fish.