This section is from the book "American Game Fishes", by W. A. Perry. Also available from Amazon: American Game Fishes: Their Habits, Habitat, and Peculiarities; How, When, and Where to Angle for Them.
Still-fishing is bait-fishing with minnow, crawfish, helgra-inite, frog, etc., from a boat or from the bank of a stream.
Almost any kind of rod or reel will answer for still-fishing, as there is, usually, no attempt at long casts. The rig varies from a cane pole or sapling without a reel, to the finest rods and reels made. The same is true of lines, for all kinds are used, twisted and braided, and of all sizes. And the array of hooks, sinkers and fioats is also subject to the same variation.
The best outfit, however, for still-fishing, should be a light rod, say eight ounces, of reasonable length, a multipyling reel, a "G" or "H" braided line, a six-foot leader, and a Sproat hook, No. i or 2, on gut-snell. If the bottom is weedy or mossy, or if crawfish or helgramite or worms are used for bait, a small float should be employed to keep the bait from the bottom; otherwise a float is not necessary.
The angler, after casting his bait, if it is a minnow, should leave it to its own devices and allow it to swim about undisturbed, and should keep himself as "still" as possible for a few minutes, when he may move his bait to a new position or withdraw it for a new cast; but the less the minnow is pulled about, the longer it will live, and the better will be the still-fisher's chances for a bite-he can exercise his virtue of patience to the fullest extent in this mode of angling.