The 4 Best Types of Catfish Rigs


Catching catfish is actually simpler than most people realize. Making a successful catch really comes down to choosing the right location at the right time and while using the right equipment, including bait, line, and of course the catfish rigs.

The best catfish rigs are durable and simple, using the fewest number of necessary components.

Below, we came up with the four best basic types of catfish fishing rigs:

Drift Rig

If you want your catfish fishing rig to be heavier and capable of dropping a weight faster to the bottom, then the best choice of catfish rig will be a drift rig. To use a drift rig, you simply need to cast it along a snag in a relatively moderate current, and then wait for the bait to move slowly to the bottom.  This makes the drift rig a good choice to use in shallow ponds or creeks.

Slip Rig

One of the most popular types of catfish fishing rigs for getting bait to the bottom is the slip rig, and specifically the egg sinker slip rig. The ‘egg sinker’ portion of the rig is designed to the slide on the main line down to the bottom. The idea is that a catfish at the bottom of the body of water will find the bait and then swim off with it with very little tension.

The issue here is, since the catfish can already swim off with the bait in their mouths, you may be giving them too much momentum before you are able to detect their bite to reel them in.  The best bet for being able to reel your fish in is if you hook them on the corner of the mouth, as well as to keep strong tension on your line.  When you feel the vibrations of the fish grabbing the bait, you’ll want to follow it for two feet or so, and then set your line by engaging the bait clicker.

One more thing worth of note is that egg sinkers work best when pitched from an anchored boat, and specifically in an area of water with a current.  When you cast them across a current, however, it can cause the sinker to roll across the bottom and get snagged, so be careful.

Slipfloat Rig

Slipfloat rigs are designed to keep the bait moving along the bottom of the lake at a current pace, while having less potential for snagging than a slip rig.  Many slip floats are shaped like cigars in order to make the more sensitive than a normal round bobber.

To use a slipfloat rig possibly, you need to tie a 5-turn Uni-knot around your main line while using a heavier line. You then slide the stop knot up the line to allow the bait to run deeper.  Then, proceed to slip on a 5mm bead followed by another slipfloat.

Three Way Rig

The three way catfish fishing rig is also commonly referred to as the Wolf River rig.  It’s one of the most practical catfish rigs when all things ate considered, being suitable for both strong currents and for static waters.

The three way rig consists of a dropline that can measure anywhere from half a foot to two feet, and is anchored by a bell sinker to keep the bait as close to the bottom as possible.  The bell sinker will need to be anywhere from three to eight ounces.  You’ll then need a leader that should be at least three feet long, or at least around twice as long as the dropper line.

A twenty pound test mainline will also be a preferable choice should you encounter a big fish, which can often break a lighter line.

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