Estimated reading time:2 minutes, 54 seconds
By Rick Hines
Over the years, I have trapped hundreds of muskrats. Those hundreds of rats were trapped using pocket sets and primitive rat floats that were heavy, cumbersome, and a real pain in the backside. Every float I tried, was just not boat friendly. I wanted something I could just set right out of the boat and move on to the next area.
After countless seasons of rat trapping and a lot of trial and error, I came up with the idea of STACK-A-RAT. These are stackable muskrat floats. The dimensions of the float are 9” X 20” and they are made with 1/8” plywood, painted with quality barn paint so they literally last for years. Between each piece of 1/8” plywood, I put a 1” piece of closed cell insulation for maximum buoyancy. I then cut out the shape for a 1-1/2 coil spring trap. In my opinion, this is the ultimate rat trap as it catches the rat high preventing it from breaking the rat’s leg and getting a chew off or wring out. This trap is also heavy enough to hold the rat down and drown them quickly.
The unique thing about the STACK-A-RAT float is that you can preset two traps on each float and stack another float preset with two more traps right on top of it. I like to preset all my floats ahead of time. I’ve found that bundling any more than five floats with two traps on each, can get a little heavy for lifting. Each float contains two traps, so if you have five floats bundled together, you’ll be toting ten traps.
In the center of each float, I have a hole drilled for use with any type stake you might be using. A lot of guys use fiberglass rods to stake their floats. These can be picked up at an economical price at your local hardware store. The designs I tried over the years, always featured an eye hook on one end or the other, and it seemed like if you didn’t have the traps perfectly balanced, your traps would always fall off, or the float would sit tipped in the water. Many times, when you had a rat board the float, he would get caught, jump into the water, and the float would shift enough to dump the other trap thus eliminating your chances of a double. After all, the goal is to trap as many rats as you can in a short period of time. With the stake in the center, the float is never able to tip any more than the amount of clearance you have around the hole and fiberglass rod.
My favorite bait to use on these floats are hash round potatoes or carrots. You can even put a little long dry grass in the center of the float to simulate a feed bed if you like. On each end of the float there is an eye loop for fastening your trap to. Not only do these floats transport well in your boat, they are easy to store in the off season also. Anyone who traps rats whether it’s in the fall or in the spring season, these floats are a must have. The number of rats you’ll catch will far outweigh the cost of the floats themselves.
STACK-A-RAT floats can be ordered from Rick Hines at (218)-838-9772 or from Dale at (218)-838-2800.
The cost of STACK-A-RAT is $20.00 per float or 6 for $100.00