How to Use a Powerbait for Catching Trout

How to Use a Powerbait for Catching Trout

Trout are famous worldwide for their impeccable taste and easy to catch nature. While catching trout is one of the more accessible streams of fishing, there can be times when the trout gets tight-lipped. In this case and all others, powerbait proves its superiority as one of the most effective baits for trout. Powerbaits are a household name for anglers that are on the hunt for stocked trout. One of the most famous powerbait lines are from Berkley, which includes a lure designed for every species. 

Today we’ll be discussing the powerbaits for trout fishing and how you can use them effectively to maximize your catch rate. From the necessary equipment to the tips and tricks for trout fishing, we’ve got you covered. 

Rigs and Tackle Needed for Catching Trout with a Powerbait

Powerbaits are an easy and effective way to catch trout, however; anglers often use some methods or tackles that make the process counterproductive. While you can simply hook the powerbait and go about the process, it’s essential to have the necessary equipment that will get you the best results. 

Here is some equipment that you will need to make your trout fishing experience go seamlessly:

  • Rod and Reel: Try opting for a 6-foot rod with a reel that can cast easily. Make sure that the reel is appropriate for light fishing lines.
  • Main fishing line: Try opting for the main line with multi-purpose line weight. This can range from 4 to 6 pounds. If you have a more massive line reeled in, it’s best to make sure that your leader is light weight. 
  • Weight: Sliding sinkers work great with powerbait. You can get the weights in ¼ or ½ ounce weights. This will make the trout feel a secured weight and drop the lure before getting hooked. 
  • Swivel: A size 10 or barrel swivel works excellent with the recommended sinker and the main line. 
  • Leaders: Opt for low visibility lines with the weight of 2 to 4 pounds. Monofilaments and fluorocarbons are great options but make sure that the leader is lighter than the main line. The ideal length of the leader is around 12 to 30 inches, but you may elongate the line to 3 to 4 feet in case there is thick vegetation.
  • Hooks: Single point bait holder hooks work well in sizes 10 to 12. If you’re looking to catch the fish for a meal, 12 to 16 are suitable sizes, but they might fatally injure the fish at hand.
  • The powerbaits: Go for jars of powerbait each with different colors and odors. Floating baits are useful, but you may opt for the sinking bait if you plan to fish under a float. 

Other things you might require are:

  • Fish cleaning knives
  • Fishing licenses 
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Rags 
  • Buckets
  • Landing nets
  • Rod holder
  • Folding chairs
  • Hats and gloves
  • Tools to fix gear

Techniques for Fishing with a Powerbait

Sliding Sinker Rig

The sliding sinker rig is the best option when fishing for trout with a powerbait. The powerbait floats in the designated water column and the sinker weighs down the line until a fish tugs on it to eat it. Fishing with a powerbait paired with a slip sinker rig is incredibly simple.

You first put the sliding sinker on your fishing line and then you knot the end of the line with a tiny swivel. On the opposite end of the swivel, you attach your desired length of light weight line as the leader. Then proceed to attach a small hook at the end of the leader. 

Now, conceal the hook by applying paste in ample amounts. Then proceed to cast out the bait and wait for a lead. You can also switch out different colors and test out various locations to see which works best for you. 

Simple sliding sinker rigs can also be attached and tied up. To do that, you slide the sinker on the line and attach a small hook at the end of the line. Then go up a couple of feet from the line and attach a split shot. This makes sure that the bait floats up and doesn’t sink downwards when tugged. However, you need to be careful as the split shot could potentially weaken the line’s strength. 

Basic Drift Rigs

If you’re fishing in smaller streams, basic drift rigs can be helpful as well. All you need to do is attach a size 12 hook at the end of the line and cover it with paste just enough to hide the metal. Then attach the split shot a few feet away from the hook, and you’re done. 

In places that have the threat of multiple snags, a small slinky rig can help you to drift powerbait. Tie the main line to the leader and trim down only one end of the tag. Now tie a tiny overhand knot and attach the split shot to the tag end. In case your split shot gets stuck to the base you can still pull the rig with your hook intact. 

Powerbaits are more effective on stocked trout than wild trout and even more so on rainbow trout than on any other species of trout. However, brook trout and brown trout would always prefer natural baits over powerbaits. 

Common Mistakes when Catching Trout Using a Powerbait

1. Heavy Rigs

Often people make the mistake of going too heavy with the rigging when trying to catch trout by using a powerbait. The ideal weight for most stocked trout is 1 to 4 pound monofilament with single hooks that are in size 12 or 14. 

2. Excessive Powerbait Paste

Use just enough powerbait paste to cover the hook but do not drown the hook in globs of the paste. Sinkers should be selected of appropriate size so that they keep the bait down but do not interfere with the fishing process.

3. Wearing Colorful Clothes

Think of yourself as a ninja when you’re trout fishing. Wear colors like green, blue, yellow, so that you’re more in sync with your surroundings. Since trout has peripheral vision, it can even see you coming from behind. If you’re wearing something too colorful, it will most definitely notice that even from a mile away. Just blend in!

4. Don’t Stare at the Water for Too Long

If you’re going to the bigger rivers and you wait for your catch on the bottom of the hole, you might come back with a feeding fish or rising fish. This technique, however, will not work when you are in the smaller streams.

The trout will eventually notice you standing there for too long. They will immediately notice the bright flash or reflection under the sun of the silver or steel of your reel so they won’t even come near it. Do it in the shade.


Powerbait is an effective way to catch trout and come in a variety of scents and appearances. While some trout species will always prefer natural baits, powerbaits are still a handy piece of equipment to have when going for trout fishing. We hope that through this article, you’ve successfully learnt how to use powerbait for catching trout. Happy trout fishing!

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