Catfishing Rigs – All About Hooks, Swivels, Baits, Lines and Much More
Most Southerners use a Palomar Knot – and slider weights for setting up their catfish rigs. Here’s the lowdown on how you could set up a rig for yourself. There are plenty of other techniques too; you just need to experiment with them until you find the one that suits you the most.
Setting up catfish rig involves a little research and a trip to your local fishing equipment store. Pick up some medium to large hooks from the hooks on display. Sizes 2/0 and above will be good to start with. You can buy Kahle hooks or treble hooks. Circle hooks are good if you are planning to catch and release your monsters. The catfish rig line ought to be able to stand high tension and support big weights, because catfish can grow to enormous sizes and can put up quite a fight.
You will also need a swivel. It helps to keep the line snag free. You should also attach slider weights to your line just above the swivel. These weights cause the line to sink to the depths where all the catfish hide.
If you need to tie a catfish rig line, you need to learn how to tie a Palomar or Dropper loop Knot, or any other kind of Knot that will securely tie your hook to the line. The idea is to make the Knot so strong that the line would break before it comes loose.
Another excellent idea is to attach two hooks to your leader line. That will be twice as nice. Attach two lines to the swivel or two hooks on the same line. See what works hook&loop best for you.
The leader ought to be 12 to 18 inches long. Put your line through slider weights like no-roll weights or roll weights so that it can free roll if the drag is set to lose and you get a bite or even a nibble of interest.
The catfish rig line can either be a monofilament nylon line or a fluorine bonded fluorocarbon line. I prefer a fluorocarbon line because it is practically invisible underwater. Make sure that your line can carry loads over 20 pounds. Catfish can grow up to be really big. Trust me you do not want to come home shaking your head in disbelief because you couldn’t bring in the biggest one because the line snapped and the monster swam away with the hook and the bait.
Some people set up live bait rigs for catfish fishing. You will need smaller fish like bluegill, shad, or goldfish to set up a live bait rig for catfishing. You need to use a 7/0 or bigger hook to hook the bait fish. The bait needs to be hooked just below the dorsal fin; when you hook them just below the dorsal fin, they struggle more and send out more distress signals. These signals are then picked up by the cats, which swallow them with the hooks. You can get similar attention from catfish with chicken liver bait if you find working with live bait too yucky or cruel.