EricM's Drift Rig

Discussion in 'Catfishing Library' started by EricM, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. EricM

    EricM Active Member

    Harrison TN
    Eric Maurer
    I have had quite a number of requests asking me how I rig for controlled drift fishing.
    Let me first explain that the waters I usually fish are open waters on a large impoundment of the Tennessee River, so heavy logjams, etc., are not much of a factor. There is a fair current in the area, but because of the presence of an underwater hump there is a large eddy and 2 or 3 ounces of weight will usually be enough to stay in contact with the bottom.

    I like to use a leader and “step down” line sizes so that when I hang up and break off, just the weakest part of my rig will have to be replaced. I pre-tie my leaders, sinker droppers, and snelled hooks so that they are ready to change in a moment. I use snap swivels for the same reason. There are no knots to tie on the water
    My main line is usually 30 pound test or better. . Because I use a leader, I tie a size 5 snap swivel to the end of the main line. The leader is a 2 to 4 foot length of 25 pound test with a surgeon’s loop (double overhand knot) tied on the end. It is then threaded through a snap swivel and a bead (for cushioning). The end is then tied to another snap swivel to attach the snelled hook. The sliding snap is to attach the sinker and dropper. This leader assembly is coiled into about a 3 inch coil and 2 small pieces of scotch tape are wrapped around opposite sides of the coil to keep it from unraveling until you need it. The tape pops right off when you pull the coiled line straight. Remember, the leader should be 5 to 10 pound test lighter than the main line so that it breaks if wrapped around a stump.

    The sinker dropper is another 5 to 10 pound test lighter than the leader, again so that it fails first when it hangs up. I tie these in 12 inch lengths with a loop on each end. One end connects to the snap swivel and the other end passes through the eye of the sinker, then drop the sinker through the loop on that end. No knots! These droppers I just put into a zip-lock bag. If you trim the ends of the line close to the knot when you tie them, they won’t tangle in the bag badly.

    All hooks are snelled in advance with about an 8 inch snell with a surgeon’s loop on the end. Again, I like this line to be 5 pound test lighter than the leader so if I hang up I don’t lose the whole rig. I personally like 8/0 circle hooks for big cats, but tie a number of different sizes and types of hooks for different situations. For live bait, I prefer a kahle hook and size it according to the bait.

    This is a relatively tangle-free rig, and holds the bait slightly off of the bottom. By adjusting weight/hook size, I can use this rig for almost all of my live or dead bait fishing, from deep blue cats to suspended white bass, and for using live shad or minnows for bass or even worms for bluegill. The fact that the sinker/dropper slides along the line lets even light-biting fish take the bait without feeling the weight.

    I hope this helps improve your fishing! Good Luck!!!