Any type of sliding sinker will work for this rig. As a general rule you’ll need a 1/8 of an ounce for every 10 feet of depth for lake systems that have minimal of current.Start with few a 1/8 -1/4 and 1/2 ounce sinkers this will cover most lake fishing techniques. Walking sinkers are the most generally used and work the best over rocks and along mud bottoms. Use a bullet sinker when weeds are present. Bullet sinkers will slide through the weeds better as the taper head will not pick up bits of vegetation and floating debris.
Recommended Sliding Sinker Weights
- 1/8 oz. for 6-10 feet of water
- 1/4 oz. for 10-15 feet of water
- 1/2 oz. for 15-25 feet of water
- 3/4 oz. for 25-35 feet of water
- 1 oz. for 35 feet and deeper
The weight of the sinkers used on rivers is a totally dependent of the current speed and type of live bait. Egg, no roll, disc, casting, and pyramid sinkers are all used for river rigging ranging in weights from a 1/8 to 8 ounces. You’re best bet is to check with the local sport shop or a local fishing guide in finding the correct type and weight for the proper set-up.
The octopus hook is the most widely used on this rig as a single hook or pre-rigged on a crawler/minnow rig harness, all quality hook manufactures produces them in various sizes and colors. For small minnow and leeches use size #6-#8 for walleye crappie and bass. Size #4 for larger minnows and night crawlers for walleye northern pike and trout. Catfish and sturgeon sizes range from 1 to 6/0.
Other hooking options include floating jigs sized by the hook #4-#6. Crawler and minnow pre-rigged harnesses with single or double blades work extremely well in stained or murky water by producing a loud blade vibrations helping the fish locate your bait.
The swivels used should be of good quality and as small as possible. The general function of the swivel is as a stopper for the weight rather than keeping out line twist. Be sure the swivel is large enough to stop the sliding weight.
All live bait will work on this rig.
The sliding sinker bottom rig has many names, dependent on what part of the country your from and the species of fish you’re targeting. The Lindy Rig is a trade name, others include: Live Bait Rig, Slip Rig, River Rig, Catfish Rig, Walleye Rig, Walking Sinker Rig and Sturgeon Rig.
The basic rig is simple; weight/sinker – swivel/stop – leader – hook – floating jig- or crawler/minnow rigs all used for live bait. The fishing presentation allows the sinker to rest on the water bottom with the bait suspended above. This feature prevents the a fish from feeling the weight as the line passes through the sinker.
- Rod: Walleye: 6’-6″ – 7‘- 0″ Foot -Light to Medium Light Power Spinning / Fast action
- Rod: Large Catfish: 6’-6″ to 7’-0″ Foot -Medium Heavy Power Bait Casting / Fast action
- Reel: Walleye: Light spinning balanced tothe rod
- Reel: Large Line capacity Bait Casting.
- Line: Walleye 6lb-8lb test low visibility monofilament.
- Line: Large Catfish 20lb to 30lb test low stretch monofilament.
Fishing from a Boat
When casting the sliding sinker bottom rig allow the rig to sink to the bottom, reel up the line until it is tight, this brings the sinker up to the swivel/stop. Slowly retrieve the rig along the bottom, when a fish bites the live bait it usually pulls the line the opposite way of the sinker telegraphed by a small tug or twitch on your line. Open the free spool on your reel allowing the fish to swim away on a free line after grabbing the bait. Walleye and catfish are notorious for picking up bait and dropping it as soon as they feel resistance. After a few seconds engage the reel bring the line tight and set the hook.
In fishing rivers with current from a boat anchored or from a shoreline as a set line, the basic principles apply the same. Cast the rig and reel up the line until it is tight. Set the rod in a rod holder. Watch the rod tip closely as this will be the bite indicator. When the rod tip twitches, open the free spool on your reel, wait a few seconds, engage the reel and set the hook using a sweeping motion of the rod. This technique is highly successful for catfish and sturgeon on river systems.
Controlled Drifting or Trolling
When front trolling, back trolling or on a controlled drift, release or cast allowing as much line out until it is at the desired distance from your boat. Leave the reel in free spool and use your finger to stop and hold the line. As the boat moves the line will become tight once the sinker reaches the bottom. While holding your rod periodically give it a small pump keeping your finger on the line, this adds action to your bait, as the slack line becomes tight, feel for bites as many times this acts as a trigger for a following fish. If you feel a twitch or a tap release you’re finger give it a few seconds engage the reel bringing the line tight slowly and set the hook.
How to Rig
Begin with making the leader, we recommend using fluorocarbon monofilament as the leader material, it is invisible in the water and abrasion resistant and has low stretch. This can be purchased at quality sport shops as 10 to 20 yard spools.
- Cut the length of leaders at 24-to-36 inches use 6 to 8 lb test for walleye and bass – 8lb to 10lb for light catfish & pike – 20lb for medium catfish -Large catfish & sturgeon 30 to 40lb test. Note: Length of leader and size of hook will vary based on the fishing conditions.
- Tie the hook on one end using a Improved Clinch Knot. Tie the other end to the swivel using the same knot
- Thread the sinker onto your fishing line. For the walking sinker make sure the bent bottom end is facing towards the rig or away from the rod tip. Bullet sinkers face the tapered end towards the rod tip. Egg, no roll, disc, casting, and pyramid sinkers have no preference. After slipping the sinker on your line tie to the open end of the swivel on the leader using the Improved Clinch Knot. Once tied, the slip sinker should be above the swivel and move freely.