10 Best Catfish Rigs 2021

If you have ever gone catfishing, you know how important a dependable rig is for fishing success. When it comes to catfish rigs, simple really is better. The simpler the design, the less parts that can malfunction or break, but not everyone always has time to make their own catfish rig, especially when you are already out on the water. Time spent tying a rig could be time spent fishing. So here is our handy guide to premade catfish rigs. These things are ready to go right out of the package. Use this reference to stock your tackle box and you’ll always have the best catfish rig on the end of your line.

Keep This in Mind Before You Choose a Rig

Some rigs may be packaged and marketed for a specific species of fish, but fish don’t know how to read. Don’t be afraid to try fishing for catfish with a rig that is marketed for a different variety of fish.

  • Simple. Remember that when it comes to catfishing, simple is better. Always choose the simplest, cleanest that can get your bait to the fish and keep it there until they bite.
  • Water Depth. You should take into consideration the depth of the water and the strength of the water’s current when deciding which rig will work best in that situation. Catfish are bottom feeders, so a general rule is to get your bait close to the bottom where catfish feed.

Top 10 Catfish Rigs Ultimate Table

PictureNamePackage QuantityPriceRating (1-5)
Package Quantity
Rating (1-5)
1. Eagle Claw 6/0 Catfish Rig - Dual Hooks 1 rig$$5.0
2. Mudville Slip Float Rig 1 rig$$5.0
3. Eagle Claw Crappie Rig packages of 4 or 6 rigs$$4.7
4. Eagle Claw 02170-005 Bottom Bouncer - 1 1/2 oz. 2 rigs$4.6
5. South Bend Sporting Good Wwcr6 Crappie Leader Rigs Sz 6 packages of 2, 4, or 8 rigs$4.6
6. Gamakatsu Catfish Rig Circle Hook 1 rig$4.4
7. Boone Egg Rigs, 1-Ounce 2 rigs $$$4.4
8. South Bend Catfish and Bullhead Rig 1 rig$4.1
9. Bullet Weights Bottom Bouncers 6 rigs$$$$4.1
10. South Bend Sporting Good Wwcr6 Crappie Leader Rigs Sz 6 2 rigs$3.9

The Most Common Catfish Rig Designs

Here are some basic descriptions of the most popular catfish rig designs.

  • Hook and Bait. This is the simplest fishing rig of all, consisting of just a simple hook attached to the end of a line.
  • Drift Rig. Usually there your bait won’t have enough weight to sink to an effective depth. Most fishing situations call for at least some added weight. The added weight also helps with casting.

Pinching a few lead slipshot to your line about 6 to 12 inches above your hook will help your bait sink and reach fish in deeper water.

  • Slipfloat. Slipfloats are cigar shaped bobbers that allow catfish to swim with the bait without feeling much resistance. Without the feel of resistance, catfish will hold the bait longer without dropping it, giving you more time to set the hook.

The slipfloat rig will also allow your bait to drift along with the current, which covers more fishing territory and makes your bait look more appealing to fish.

  • Slip Rig. The slip rig takes your bait to the bottom and keeps it there. The rig consists of an egg-shaped sinker held on the main line by a slip shot. The object is that the sinker will let some line slip through when the catfish pick up the bait, allowing them to swim away a bit before feeling the resistance of the sinker.
  • Polyball Rig. Polyball rigs work well to keep live bait anchored in place. Yet suspended just above the bottom; this is effective because bait that floats just above the bottom debris of a lake or river is easier for catfish to locate.

A polyball is a 1 to 2 inch Styrofoam ball that attaches to your line at an adjustable distance above your bait hook.

  • Three-Way Rig. A three-way rig consists of dropline anchored by a bell sinker. This type of rig is particularly effective at keeping the bait in place in fishing locations with a strong current.
  • Paternoster Rig. In a paternoster rig, a swivel is used between your leader line and your regular fishing line; this keeps a second swivel sliding on a weighted line. This keeps the line from twisting and tangling but keeps the bait a fixed distance off the bottom.

Top 3 Best Catfish Rig Reviews

1. Eagle Claw 6/0 Catfish Rig – Dual Hooks

Eagle Claw has long been a trusted choice of anglers for premade rigs, and they really deliver with their dual hook catfish rig. These rigs are versatile and can be used with both live and cut bait or a soft plastic artificial lure.

The rig is made of a durable hook, and the leader line is tested to hold up to 50 pounds. You can catch big catfish with these rigs, but they aren’t so big and bulky that they scare away the smaller ones. The strong swivels help bait natural in the water current. Just tie the swivel onto your line, cast, and get ready to catch catfish.

2. Mudville Slip Float Rig

This rig works particularly well for flatheads and other catfish that like to feed just off the bottom. With the addition of a no-roll sinker, anglers can adjust the depth at which their bait will float. These rigs are strong and durable, with a leader tested to endure 20 pounds and dependable nickel hooks that won’t easily bend even when faced with large catfish.

Use the Mudville Slip Float Rig with live bait such as nightcrawler, crawfish or shad, cut bait, or packaged bait chunks. These rigs are especially convenient for use at night when it can be difficult to tie a rig in low light conditions. However, they are just as effective for catching daytime cats, too.

3. Eagle Claw Crappie Rig

Eagle claw may market these rigs for crappie fishing, but they are great for catching catfish, too. The swiveling arms help keep your hooks from tangling with the main line and your bait floating free where catfish can easily snatch it up.

These rigs also keep your bait up off the bottom away from scavenging bait thieves such as crawfish. The hooks on these rigs run a little small, but they are perfect for smaller, pan-sized catfish. These rigs are also great for catching other panfish, making them a versatile addition to your tackle box.