How To Fish A Trout Magnet | Plus 8 Ways To Set It Up

  • Author: Ted Jones
  • Date: May 2, 2023

How To Fish A Trout Magnet

The Trout Magnet is a great little lure that is ideal for catching panfish and trout. It is also a versatile lure in the ways you can fish it. So in this article we will cover 8 ways on how to fish a Trout Magnet.

Firstly, what exactly is a Trout Magnet? It is a small 1 ¼ inch soft plastic lure, which looks like a grub with a split tail. It goes on a small size #8 hook with a 1/64 ounce jig head.

Trout Magnets can be drifted down a river, or even fished in a lake, with some slight movement.  You can use it with a float or by itself.

Trout Magnet Kit

The lures come in a very handy kit, in assorted colours with jig heads. Trout Magnets are made in the USA.


How To Set Up A Trout Magnet

Before we get into how to fish the Trout Magnet, we will first cover the different ways you can set it up and fish with it.

Here are 8 options:

  1. Float, Swivel And Leader
  2. Float And Leader
  3. Swivel And Leader
  4. Just Leader
  5. Just Main Line
  6. Paternoster Rig
  7. Using Two Lures
  8. Float On Main Line


All these above methods have advantages and disadvantages.

The way you fish the lure will depend on the depth of the water, water clarity, fish size, fish species, current or still water and if the fish are cautious.

You can also rig it more ways by using split shot with the various set ups.

Time, extra steps and knots that might fail are disadvantages of having too many components.


  1. Float, Swivel And Leader

How To Set Up A Trout Magnet #1

A float is good if you want to keep it up high in the water column, or at a certain depth. Or you don’t want it to get snagged on the bottom in weeds, or rocks, etc.

For more ways to rig a fishing float, visit – How To Set Up A Fishing Rod With A Float

Float Fishing Tips

The positives is you can adjust the float rig for different depths.

(Trout Magnet sells some great floats, called E-Z Trout Floats. You slot the line in and use a stopper to prevent the float from slipping up or down on the line.)

Another benefit for the float is it can add extra weight, to help cast further.

A barrel swivel helps keep the line from twisting when you have a fish on. (And helps prevent some lures from spinning and twisting the line.) A swivel can give extra weight to the rig.

By using a leader, you can change the poundage of the line, to suit the conditions. As an example, use a thin 2 lb or 4 lb fluorocarbon leader for small streams and ponds, small fish and spooky fish.

If you know there are bigger fish, you might go for a 5 lb fluorocarbon leader or heavier.

The negatives is for very shallow water and timid fish, the float can scare the fish. Also this set up isn’t ideal for deep water where the fish are feeding on the bottom.


  1. Float And Leader

How To Set Up A Trout Magnet #2

In this set up you tie the leader on the main line and use a float. (With no barrel swivel between the two.)

The negatives is you have slightly less weight for casting or getting the lure down quicker, or in currents.

The positives is you may not want the slight extra weight of the swivel, or don’t need it. Also you are using less components.

For very spooky trout, the swivel is another unnatural thing the fish might see and also another component that may fail. (In fairness though, a light 4 lb line would probably break before the correct size swivel.)



  1. Swivel And Leader

Set Up A Trout Magnet #3

With this basic set up, you use a swivel and can tie different lengths and poundage leaders to suit the fish and conditions.

The barrel swivel can add a slight weight for casting or for getting the lure down deeper quicker.

By not using a float, you can get down on the bottom to where the fish might be holding or feeding.

The disadvantages is if you have a rocky, or weedy bottom, you can get snagged easier. For details on avoiding snags, visit – How To Avoid Getting Snagged When Fishing


 4. Just Leader

Set up a Trout Magnet #4

With this rig you just have a leader tied straight on to the main line. This rig is designed to be fished along the bottom.

A blood knot or surgeons knot can be used to tie the leader to the main line.

The main line might be either mono, fluorocarbon or braid fishing line.

A leader might be fluorocarbon or mono line.

The advantage is you can change leader size to suit the conditions and you don’t need any extra gear.

You can use split shot for extra weight.


  1. Just Main Line. (No Float, Leader or swivel.)

Trout Magnet
The beauty of this rig is the simplicity. You just tie the Trout Magnet on your main fishing line.

Just cast it out like a normal soft plastic lure. Retrieve it slowly or do little twitches and wind and work it close to the bottom.

You might have monofilament fishing line or fluorocarbon as your whole line.

Also you save time by not tying on other components and there are less parts to fail with this rig.

The negatives if you have your whole reel with 6lb fluorocarbon line and you visit a very small stream, your line might spook the fish. A thinner poundage leader might be better.

This rig is best suited with local knowledge about the waters and fish in the area.




  1. Paternoster Rig

Paternoster Rig #6

For stronger currents, or you want the soft plastic lure to get down quicker, use a Paternoster rig. You have the sinker weight on the end of the line and your Trout Magnet coming of a short leader. You can attach the short leader straight off the barrel swivel.

The good thing about a Paternoster rig is the weight helps with casting and gets the bait close to the bottom. But because your leader is a bit higher, the lure is kept above the weeds.

With this set up you only want a very light sinker weight. You could use it like a drop shot set up.

The Trout Magnet is best fished with minimal weight for its lure action. A disadvantage is a too heavy lead weight / sinker can make the lure plummet down to the depths. And the lure has no action or doesn’t stay in the strike zone long and the fish don’t see it.

For snaggy lake or river bottoms a heavy sinker will get caught and the lure might hide in the weeds.

This article might also be helpful on setting up rigs – How To Fish For Trout With PowerBait: A Beginner’s Guide

  1. Using Two Lures

How To Fish A Trout Magnet #7
The combinations of this rig are endless. You can use a float and swivel and use use other soft plastics, hard bodied lures, or even bait with the Trout Magnet.

You can put the Trout Magnet up high on the line and the other lure / bait on the end of the line.

Or put the Trout Magnet on the point, and the other lure up higher on the fishing line.

You can use a bigger lure to entice or attract the fish up, when they come up, they then spot the smaller lure.

Another benefit is you can fish different depths and covering the area to see what depth the fish are. As an example you might have two Trout Magnets on under a float, set apart. The bottom one might be constantly catching fish, as the fish are lower in the water column.

Why I don’t think lure color is that important all the time, you could have two different color lures on and see if any are more productive on the day.

One of the biggest advantages is you have two hooks and effectively doubling you chances for catching a fish.

For bait, worms, mudeyes (dragonfly larvae), corn, bread, Powerbait could all be used in conjunction with a Trout Magnet.

The cons of this rig is that you have two lures that may tangle easier and need more mindfulness of where the two lures are in relation to each other. Casting can also be a nightmare with tangles, especially on windy days with two lures.


  1. Float On Main Line

By just using a float on this rig, you save time not tying on leaders, etc. But just like other simple set ups, the negative points are you leader size / strength might not be suitable for your fishing conditions.

(With some floats, bubble floats or foam floats, you have to insert the line through it, so a leader, or leader and swivel might have more advantages anyway.)

A bit of cork can also be used for a float.

You can also use a berley float instead of a normal float. Fill it up with bread or bread and squashed corn and it can dispense scent / particles of bait close to your lure.


Optional – Adding Split Shot

With all these rigs, split shot can be added for extra weight. This can be put on a few inches above the Trout Magnet or in a few spot on the leader around a foot from the lure. This can help with some slight extra weight for casting as well.

Tip – You can squeeze the split shot on the line, but don’t over-tighten it or it can damage the fishing line.


Fishing The Trout Magnet

Trout Magnet and panfish

As mentioned, all the above set ups have their pros and cons. What is right for one angler, experience, equipment, conditions, or waterway may not suit the other.

How to fish it: Cast the Trout Magnet out and let it drift with the current. Or you can cast it out and slowly retrieve it, or give little jerks with the rod tip to create some movement.

If you fish close around structure, at the correct depth where the fish are, with some action on the lure, the Trout Magnet will catch fish.

As general advice, for the beginner fisherman and fisher ladies, perhaps use a float rig (with a fluorocarbon leader) for medium depth water or shallow water with the Trout Magnet.

If you aren’t getting any takes, adjust the float, so you are fishing deeper.

If you are still not getting any bites, take the float off and see if the fish are deeper down.

For fishing deep waters or heavy currents, some split shot or a small sinker weight can get the lure down.

Once you get more experience, don’t be afraid to try different set ups, experiment and try different fishing tactics.



What Poundage Line Do You Fish It With?

It is recommended you use a 2 lb or 4 lb fluorocarbon leader when fishing the Trout Magnet by Leland’s Lures. (Maker of the Trout Magnet.) This recommendation is great for small streams and ponds, with very small fish.

But if you are fishing in places of bigger fish, you might need to go for a heavier poundage leader.

The negatives of too heavy poundage line is (and makes it harder to cast) that the line is thicker and can affect the action of the lure. Timid fish can see the thicker line easier.

For clear waters, spooky fish and small fish, go for the 2 lb, or 4 lb line.

For bigger fish, use a 5lb or 6lb leader.

It isn’t recommended, but I have even used 8 lb fluorocarbon line with it and still caught fish. However too thick of a line will affect the movement of the lure and is easier spotted by fish in clear waters.

Overall it is a trade-off between strength and line diameter. Use your local fishing knowledge of what the size of fish species you are targeting and water clarity.


Can You Buy It At Walmart?

Yes, you can buy the Trout Magnet from Walmart.

The Trout Magnet also comes in a mini Trout Magnet version and also a Crappie kit.


What Are The Negatives Of The Trout Magnet?

One con is because of the small size, it hasn’t got much weight too it and makes it hard to cast any appreciable distance. This is fine for rivers where you can float it by, and small waters where you don’t need to cast it far. But for bigger lakes it is limited for distance.

You can add some split shot too it and use light thin line to help it cast further, but it still is limited for casting distance.


Can You Fish Braid With The Trout Magnet?

As braid can be seen easier by fish, I wouldn’t tie the braid directly to the lure. It is recommended you have a fluorocarbon leader tied to the Trout Magnet. But you can use braid for the main fishing line and tie a leader on that.


What Are Some Alternative Lures To The Trout Magnet?

Z-man has recently brought out their Micro Finesse soft plastics.

Check out the article on the – Z-Man Micro Finesse LarvaZ Review

Strike Tiger also has micro soft plastics and check out their micro spoons as well, they look great.


What Else Does Trout Magnet Sell?

Leland Lures also sells:

  • Trout Magnet Spin
  • Fishing Shirts
  • E-Z Trout Floats
  • Rods
  • SOS Fishing Line
  • Phantom Fluorocarbon Leader
  • Reels
  • Fishing Hats
  • Mini Magnet Kits
  • Crappie Magnet
  • Fin Commander Fin Spin


Do You Use A Snap With The Trout Magnet?

It is recommended that you tie the leader directly on to the Trout Magnet and not use clips or snaps with it.

I have used a Mustad UltraPoint Fastach Clip with it and still caught fish. But because of the small size just tie the Trout Magnet directly to the leader.

For more information about the Fastach Clip and the pros and cons of it, click on – How To Use The Mustad Fastach Clip



Rainbow trout caught with Trout Magnet

The Trout Magnet is an effective and versatile fishing lure that has gained popularity among anglers for its ability to catch a variety of panfish and trout species. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler, the Trout Magnet is a great lure. Give it a try and see the results for yourself!


Other articles you might be interested in: Tips and Tricks to Fishing Soft Plastics: Proven Techniques

How To Store Your Soft Plastics & Carry Them