How to Set Up a Trout Rig: A Beginners Guide.

If you have never fished before, researching different fishing techniques online can make the hobby seem complicated. Sure there are plenty of more advanced fishing techniques, but a beginner can learn how to fish for trout easily. At the root of the hobby, all fishing really is, is tricking a fish into biting a hook in one way or another.

In my area, Brook Trout (or brookies) are the most common species of fish targeted, and a good starting point for any aspiring beginner angler. I currently fly fish for brook trout the majority of the time, but I began my fishing journey with a spinning rod and some worms. This post will teach you how to catch trout using a bobber and worm set up.

How to rig a floating rig for brook trout fishing or rainbow trout fishing. Using berkley soft plastic trout worm.

Equipment needed for for this rig:

  • Fishing rod and reel: You can find a cheap fishing rod combo at Wal Mart, and it will work great for you first time out.
  • Fishing line: Most rod and reel combos come with line already spooled. If it doesn’t, buy a spool of 5lb – 10lb test fishing line and spool it onto the reel (Look up “arbor knot” for attaching the fishing line to the reel). Don’t bother with flouro or braided line until you have more experience.
  • Hooks: Use either circle or “J” hooks. Make you you pinch the barb! For bait fishing for trout, size 4 to size 12 hooks are a good choice.
  • Bobbers: A basic white and red bobber is good enough for now. The bobber should be large enough to support the weight of the split shot, hook, and bait without sinking. The bobber in the picture is a good size.
  • Sinkers: You want to get a small bag of split shot weights. The weights should be small enough that they don’t sink the bobber. Try to get non-lead weights if possible
  • Bait: Worms work well with this method. Other options are crickets or Berkely trout worms. I personally think Berkely trout worms are some of the best brook trout bait you can choose when bait fishing.

Setting up the Rig

How to put a bobber on fishing line trout fishing

Green thread used for visibility purposes.

Start by tying the hook to the end of the line using a Improved Clinch knot or Palomar knot. The Improved Clinch knot is a classic fishing knot and provides a good mix of knot strength ans ease of tying. The Palomar knot is a bit more difficult to tie, but provides superior knot strength.

Then pinch a split shot onto the line about 10cm – 15cm above the hook. You can remove the split shot by squeezing the little tags on the end of it.

You will then attach a bobber or float to the fishing line by threading the line through both the top and bottom metal hooks. The line should run around the bobber, and be anchored in place by both hooks.

That’s it! you have successfully set up one of the most effective brook trout rigs for float fishing. The only thing left to do is decide on bait you are going to use, and then actually do some fishing.

Bait Selection

Three good fishing baits for beginners to try are:

  • Worms: Few fish can resist such an calorie packed meal as a worm. Especially effective if it’s raining outside, or in fast water conditions such as in the spring.
  • Berkley Trout Worms: These work just as well as worms. Main difference is that the Berkeley worms last much longer since it’s harder for trout to rip them off of the hook. They are also more expensive than real worms.
  • Crickets: If you don’t have a bait shop nearby, just go to you local pet store and buy some crickets intended for feeding reptiles. Fish live crickets on sunny days in mid to late summer, when other crickets or grasshoppers are around.

Other choices for bait include shrimp, mealworms, corn, and salmon eggs. When using this fishing rig you are not limited to just bait, you could tie micro-jigs, lures, or flies to the end of the line as well.

When you are actually out on the river fishing this rig, the most effective technique for trout fishing will be to float the bait about six inches to a foot above the bottom of the riverbed, as this is the most common trout strike zone. The most effective way to fish this rig is to cast is up stream, and let it float back by you. Make sure you keep the line somewhat taught, you can’t set the hook with a slack line!

Good luck fishing!

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