The pool noodle rig is sort of a hybrid catfish rig. The best description would be a cross between a balloon rig and a slip bobber rig. The pool noodle rig is not a catfish rig that you’ll need to use on a frequent basis but can certainly be useful in some situations.
This works exactly like a slip bobber, and placing a bobber stop and bead on the fishing line allows the float to slide up and down the line. The bobber stop sets the depth of the hook when the bait is in the water. By sliding the bobber stop up or down the fishing line you can fish this rig deeper or shallower.
There are a couple of advantages the pool noodle rig has over a traditional slip bobber and both advantages are due to the size of the float.
First, if you are fishing with larger live baits or cut baits, a traditional slip bobber is not large enough to suspend these baits. The pool noodle rig will float or suspend even the largest pieces of cut bait.
Second, the surface area of the float is much larger than a traditional slip bobber. Since the float is much larger it catches more wind so you can use the wind to move baits across the water (similar to balloon fishing). Boat anglers can use this to drift baits across shallow flats or suspend baits in deeper water. Anglers fishing from the shore can easily drift baits long distances from the shore with the wind and adjust the depth of the bait as deep or as shallow as needed.
Building the Pool Noodle Fishing Float
Building the float is a simple process. You need a solid swimming noodle (one without a hole in the middle) and a coffee stir stick.
Using a hacksaw cut a length of the pool noodle for your float. There is no right or wrong length but a 6”” to 8” piece of pool noodle is more than enough to suspend larger baits.
Once the foam is cut, locate the center of the pool noodle and insert a coffee stir stick into the noodle from top to bottom. If you have difficulty shoving the stir stick through the foam you can use an ice pick to create a hole and then insert the stir stick.
Rigging the Pool Noodle Rig
There are many options to rigging and you can certainly deviate from the way rigging is show in the illustration. The process of adding the float are always the same but once the float is one the mainline you can experiment with different rigging below the float.
- The first step is to slide a bobber stop onto the fishing line and rig the bobber stop. Slide the main line through the plastic tube of the bobber stop. Slide the bobber stop off the plastic tube and pull the two ends of the bobber stop line tight, cut the tag ends off and remove the plastic tube from the line.
- Side the bobber bead onto the main line.
- Slide the main line through the coffee stir stick in the middle of your pool noodle fishing float.
- Slide an egg sinker onto the main line.
- Attach a barrel swivel below the egg sinker using a Palomar knot.
- Attach a leader line of preferred length (8 to 12 inches is a good general length) and your preferred catfish hook.
If have a need to float or suspend large pieces of cut bait, large live baits or to drift baits away from the boat either from the shore or from a boat then this is an excellent option to consider.
To get more in depth information on rigging for catfish check out the catfish rigs page for more tutorials and information.