How To Use Powerbait With A Float

How to use Powerbait with a float

If you haven’t noticed I am a big fan of Powerbait.  Here is another method for using Powerbait.  The most common and popular technique is to use a sliding sinker so that the bait floats above the bottom at some height above the sinker.  With this method the Powerbait hangs below a float on the surface of the water.  Here are the components used in this rig:

  • Float
  • Bead
  • Swivel
  • Leader
  • Hook
  • Powerbait


The float or bobber has two functions in this rig.  First it adds weight to the rig so that it can be cast.  Second it floats and supports the bait below it.  Most bobbers will work for this application.  It only needs to be heavy enough to cast.  Foam floats with the weight built in are a good choice.  My preference is a float that can be filled with water which provides any weight I require.  The good old round red and white bobber will do but they lack sensitivity.  Try to use a float that will respond to the tiniest nibble and still be castable.  The photo to the right is a float called A-Just-A-Bubble made buy Rainbow Plastics. It can be used as a stationary float or use it as a slip float to obtain the exact depth needed. Just add the proper amount of water to increase weight. Interior surgical tubing holds it securely in place on the line but allows easy adjustment of leader length.


The bead has no function for this fishing method but I always use the bead.  Adding the bead allows me to switch back and forth between the Float and Powerbait and Fly and Bubble fishing techniques (I’ll post an article about Fly and Bubble soon).  You don’t need to use the bead but if you do try to find a clear glass bead.  I used to use a red bead and I changed to a clear one because sometimes bluegills will be more interested in the bead than the fly.


Here is another component that you don’t need to use.  Using a swivel makes it easy to connect the main line to a leader.  Also the swivel is used as a bobber stop for Fly and Bubble method.  A snap swivel can be useful if you have made up snelled hooks with different leader lengths with a loop in the end.


The main line (line on the reel) should be 4 to 6lb test.  Choose a leader that is 2lb lower than the main line.  The length can be 12 to 36 inches.  I buy my leader in the fly fishing section of a sporting goods store.  The leader (fly fishermen call it tippet) comes on a small spool with a band or keeper around the spool.  Pull off about 10 inches more than you need.  The leader needs to be straitened.  Use a small peace of rubber or leather between the thumb and fingers and pull the length of leader through.  Heat is what makes this work.  Continue until the leader is strait.


The size of hook should be a #6, like Eagle Claw Bait Holder Hooks at the right.  I mash the barb down on my hooks.  Doing so makes it easier to remove the hook.  Also I release most fish and only keep what I can eat that evening.


The last and most important element to this the Powerbait.  This bait normally floats but for this fishing rig the it needs to slowly sink.  Make a ball of the dough bait about 1/2 inch in diameter mold the bait to the shank of the hook so that the point is exposed.  Then test by dropping in the water. If the hook floats then remove a small amount of bait.  Keep making adjustments to the bait size until the hook slowly sinks.  Powerbait eggs can also be used.  Only put one egg on the hook leaving the point exposed.  If the hook floats find a hook made with heaver wire.  I prefer the Powerbait Eggs over the dough but the eggs aren’t available in all colors and flavors.

Here is a video I found that shows the whole rig.

YouTube Preview Image


If you have trouble finding the tackle used for this method, here is a link for Cabela’s they have everything starting with the float I like. (Click Here)

If you want to try the sliding sinker method of fishing off the bottom with Powerbait Click Here.

That’s it for now.  Please make a comment.


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