The Sunken Float Rig (Effective And Simple Setup)


The sunken float rig is a widely-used pike fishing setup with dead and live baits. It is particularly effective in moving water and functions as a bottom rig, allowing the temptation to be slightly higher.

This rig utilizes a submerged float to keep the baitfish just off the bottom, maintaining it at a specific depth. During fishing, the float remains submerged and out of sight, while the wire trace allows for the free movement of live bait.

The depth of the baitfish can be easily adjusted by manipulating the mainline tension. The necessary tackle for this rig includes a predator float, swivels, uptrace, wire trace, lead line, and lead.

Visual bite indication can be achieved through a drop-off indicator or bite alarm, and the appropriate hook size depends on the bait size being used.

The sunken float rig is versatile, suitable for both live and dead baits, and is particularly well-suited for slow to medium-flowing rivers when using dead baits. Live baits can be utilized in both still and moving waters.

Key Takeaways

  • The Sunken Float Rig is an effective pike fishing setup with dead and live bait.
  • It works best in moving water and allows for slightly higher fishing baits.
  • The rig consists of a submerged float, uptrace with a helicopter setup, wire trace, lead line, and lead.
  • The depth of the baitfish can be adjusted by tightening or slackening the mainline.

What is it?

The sunken float rig is a fishing setup that utilizes a submerged float to keep the baitfish off the bottom, allowing for effective pike fishing with dead and live baits. This innovative rig offers several advantages for anglers.

Firstly, it allows for precise depth control, as the float elevates and holds the baitfish at a specific depth. This is especially useful when targeting specific species or fishing in different water conditions.

The sunken float rig adds extra movement and attraction to dead baits, increasing their effectiveness.

However, there are some common mistakes that anglers should be aware of when using this rig. One such error is not adjusting the mainline properly, which can result in the baitfish being too high or too low in the water column.

Another mistake is not using a drop-off indicator or bite alarm to indicate a visual bite.

By avoiding these mistakes and utilizing the advantages of the sunken float rig, anglers can increase their chances of success in pike fishing.

Components and Mechanism

Utilizing a submerged buoyancy device, the components of this angling technique work in tandem to create an effective mechanism for bait presentation and attraction.

The sunken float rig offers several benefits for anglers. Firstly, it allows for fishing with dead and live bait, making it versatile in various fishing scenarios. The rig is also particularly effective in moving water, where the float’s buoyancy helps keep the baitfish off the bottom.

This setup also provides the advantage of adjusting the baitfish’s depth by tightening or slackening the mainline. To effectively fish with a sunken float rig, anglers can use techniques such as drawing the line to lower the bait and loosening it to move it further up. This technique adds extra movement and attraction for dead bait and requires a drop-off indicator or bite alarm for visual bite indication.

The sunken float rig offers anglers a simple yet effective setup for successful bait presentation and attracting fish.

How to Set It Up

By following a step-by-step process, anglers can easily assemble the components of the sunken float rig to create an efficient and practical fishing setup. Rig maintenance is essential to ensure the rig’s longevity and effectiveness. Regularly checking and replacing worn-out or damaged components, such as the wire trace and lead line, will prevent potential failures while fishing. Additionally, anglers can explore alternative bait options to maximize their chances of success. While the sunken float rig is commonly used with dead and live baits, experimenting with different types of baitfish or even artificial lures can provide a fresh approach and potentially attract other fish species. Adapting and innovating with bait choices can lead to new and exciting fishing experiences.

Tips for Using the Rig

When using the sunken float rig, anglers can enhance their fishing experience by implementing a few key tips.

  1. Experiment with different fishing techniques: While the sunken float rig is effective, it’s always worth trying alternative rigs and methods to see what works best. Other situations may require different approaches, so don’t be afraid to switch things up and try something new.
  2. Pay attention to bait presentation: How you present your bait can make a big difference in attracting fish. Make sure your trick is lively and enticing, and consider using scent attractants or adding movement to increase its appeal.
  3. Adjust your depth: The sunken float rig allows you to easily adjust the depth at which your bait is presented. Experiment with different depths to find the sweet spot where the fish are biting.
  4. Stay observant: Watch for any signs of fish activity or changes in the water conditions. Being alert and adaptable will help you make the most of your time on the water and increase your chances of success.

By following these tips, anglers can maximize their success with the sunken float rig and have a more enjoyable fishing experience.

Choosing the Right Tackle

Selecting appropriate tackle is crucial for fishing with the sunken float rig to ensure optimal performance. When choosing the right float for this rig, the baitfish being used should determine the size. A larger float may be needed for larger baitfish to provide enough buoyancy. On the other hand, a smaller float can be used for smaller baitfish. Selecting a float that will allow the baitfish to be held at the desired depth is important.

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In selecting the appropriate hook size, it is important to match the size of the hook to the size of the baitfish. Using a too-large hooke can make it difficult for the baitfish to move naturally, while using atoo small hookl may result in the baitfish being able to easily escape. By choosing the right hook size, anglers can ensure their baitfish is presented most effectively and enticingly possible.

Float Size Baitfish Size
Small 3-5 inches
Medium 5-7 inches
Large 7-10 inches
Extra Large 10+ inches

Adjusting the Bait Depth

Adjusting the depth of the baitfish in the sunken float rig is an essential aspect of optimizing the fishing technique. To achieve the desired depth, anglers can use a drop-off indicator and adjust the mainline accordingly.

By tightening the mainline, the bait is lowered, while slackening it moves the trick further up in the water column. This adjustment allows anglers to target specific depths where the fish are actively feeding.

Anglers can visually detect when a fish takes the bait using a drop-off indicator. This technique adds an extra level of excitement and anticipation to the fishing experience.

By mastering the art of adjusting the depth, anglers can effectively present their bait at the desired level, increasing their chances of attracting and hooking their target species.

Visual Bite Indication

Visual bite indication in the sunken float rig uses a drop-off indicator or bite alarm to detect when a fish takes the bait. These bite indicators are essential for anglers to know when to strike and set the hook.

Drop-off indicators are commonly used in this rig, which consists of a clip that attaches to the mainline. When a fish takes the bait, the clip releases, and the float rises, signalling a bite.

On the other hand, Bite alarms are electronic devices that emit a sound or vibration when a fish pulls on the line. This provides a visual and audible indication of a bite, allowing anglers to respond quickly.

Choosing a bite indicator that suits personal preference and fishing conditions is important.

The sunken float rig is also effective with both live and dead baits. Anglers can experiment with different bait types to attract their desired fish species.

Preventing Tangles and Improving Presentation

To enhance the effectiveness of the Sunken Float Rig and improve the overall presentation, it is crucial to prevent tangles and ensure a seamless bait presentation.

By implementing certain techniques, anglers can avoid snags and maximize their chances of attracting fish.

One way to achieve this is by using different bait species. By varying the type of bait, anglers can target a wider range of fish species and increase their chances of success.

Additionally, using anti-tangle sleeves can improve bait presentation by reducing the risk of tangling and ensuring a more natural movement in the water.

These small adjustments can make a significant difference in the success rate of the Sunken Float Rig, allowing anglers to optimize their fishing experience and increase their chances of catching their desired fish species.

Ideal Bait Size and Fishing Conditions

The ideal bait size and fishing conditions are important factors when using the Sunken Float Rig. Choosing the right bait size can greatly affect the success of your fishing expedition. Medium-sized baits of 5 to 10 inches are recommended for the Sunken Float Rig. These bait sizes are effective for attracting pike and other predator fish. Additionally, different fishing conditions require different techniques. Using dead baits with the Sunken Float Rig is ideal for slow to medium-flowing rivers. The subtle movements of the appeal in the water can entice pike to strike. On the other hand, live bait can be used in both still and moving waters. The natural movement of live bait can entice predatory fish, making it a versatile option for various fishing conditions.

Fishing Conditions Bait Size
Slow-flowing rivers 5-7 inches
Medium-flowing rivers 7-10 inches
Still waters 6-8 inches
Moving waters 8-10 inches

Related Articles

Related articles provide additional information and resources to further explore and understand pike fishing techniques and equipment. Here are some articles that can help you enhance your knowledge and skills in pike fishing:

  1. ’50 Pike Fishing Tips for Beginners: This article offers a comprehensive guide for beginners, providing valuable tips and strategies to improve your chances of success in pike fishing. It covers various topics such as bait selection, casting techniques, and locating pike hotspots.
  2. ‘Best Time of Day for Pike Fishing’: Understanding the best time to fish for pike is crucial for increasing your catch rate. This article explores the optimal times of day to target pike, considering factors such as weather conditions and feeding patterns.
  3. ‘Best Wire Traces for Pike’: Wire traces are essential for preventing pike from biting through your fishing line. This article reviews different types of wire traces available in the market, helping you choose the most suitable option for your fishing needs.
  4. ‘Best Bait Presentation Techniques and Troubleshooting Common Rig Issues’: Bait presentation is crucial in enticing pike to bite. This article delves into various bait presentation techniques, providing tips and troubleshooting advice for common rig issues that may arise during pike fishing.


In conclusion, the sunken float rig is an effective and simple setup for pike fishing with both dead and live bait. Its use in moving water allows baitfish to be elevated and held at a specific depth, increasing the chances of a successful catch.

Adjusting the mainline, the depth of the baitfish can be easily controlled. With the right tackle and visual bite indication, anglers can improve their fishing experience and prevent tangles.

Considering the ideal bait size and fishing conditions will further enhance the rig’s effectiveness.

About the author

Kimberly is an experienced angler and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for all things fishing. She has been honing her skills on the water for over 7 years, mastering various techniques and tactics for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.