Catfish Basics #018 – Float Rigs – Capt. Brian Barton

Capt. Brian Barton  ( ) often fishes his home waters of Wilson Lake with a float rig. There are many variations of these rigs used by anglers, but Barton has settled on the one that has given him the most success, one that provides sound and visual attraction to his presentation. When he adds a big chunk of skipjack or a shad minnow, he adds smell and taste. His float rig is one of his personal favorites for fishing in the summer and trolling Wilson flats in the fall.

“I use a B’n’M Silver Cat Magnum rods, paired with Ambassador 6500 reels,” instructed Barton. “I begin with a three-way swivel tied to the main line. On one eye of the swivel I add an 8- to 10-inch dropper line and a pencil sinker, sized determined by conditions. On the final eye of the swivel I tie a 36- to 40-inch hook leader made from 50- to 60-pound test mono. I add a red float about 15 to 17 inches above a 7/0 Daiichi circle hook.”

Barton explained that he uses a pencil sinker because if you do encounter bottom rocks or other structure it tends to hang up less. “That weight is dragging on the soft bottom and stirring up mud and causing an audible sound for the fish. The red float is offering a visual attractant, which I firmly believe, in this clear water, makes a difference.”

The float rigs are tossed out the side and the rods are placed in 0/30-degree Driftmaster Rod Holders, with the sinker bumping along the bottom. He uses the 30-degree position for float rig fishing so the tip is elevated.

“The higher rod tip helps pull the sinker up and over objects on the bottom,” explained Barton. “The higher tip also provides the perfect angle for the Daiichi circle hook to do its job. The rod and the rod holder will perform the hook set.”

The use of the red float was something Barton developed over time. “The reason I chose a red float goes back to when I first started playing with float rigs. I had a bunch of green and green/white floats. The concept worked, they caught fish. When I ran out of those floats I purchased some three-inch red floats and I noticed my catches went up considerably. So, I am a firm believer that the red color, maybe representing blood, definitely provides a visual attraction and helps your catch more fish.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email