Best Catfish Rig 2024/2024 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Catfish Rigs

When it comes to choosing a catfish rig to capture catfish, you have a lot of options. The most relevant thing to remember is that, as vital as rigs are, bait is crucial for getting the best catfish. The catfish lures you use are always more essential than the rig, but the correct mix of the two may elevate your catfish fishing to new heights.

Catfish rigs make a difference as there are a variety of options based on the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Consider the type of catfish you’re fishing and where you’ll be catching them. To enhance your potential to catch catfish, you must be conversant with a variety of setups.

1. Our Top Pick: Slip Sinker Rig 
2. Best OverallSantee Rig
3. Best Value: Three-Way Rig

If you’re having difficulties deciding which catfish rigs are ideal for you, here are some of the greatest rigs for a variety of catfish and areas that you should be aware of. But, before learning about the best catfish rigs, it is important that you learn what you need to know about them:

Table of Contents

Best Catfish Rig and Bait

Naturally, you should select catfish setups with which you are familiar. That is, those that you can simply fix or replace on the fly, as well as those with which you’ve had a good experience in the past. Catfish baits, on the other hand, are always necessary for capturing the catfish. Fortunately, there is a large range of excellent catfish fishing bait.

The bait you use must be customized to the catfish rigs you’re utilizing. If you’re using a brush hook with a release clip, live bait is preferable to punch bait. However, if you wish, cut bait would also be fine.

As you can see, there are a lot of different catfish rigs available, many of them are improved versions of other rigs. Select your catfish rigs according to your degree of expertise and comfort.

Developing the ideal combination of catfish rigs takes a lot of testing and experimenting. When it comes to capturing catfish, the same applies to the bait. You can always turn to your favorite pro angler for help.

Catfish Rigs Components

Some catfish rigs are very elaborate and have several components. A sinker, a swivel, a leader, beads, poly balls, stop knots, floats, and other items are all included. The catfish rig becomes increasingly sophisticated as additional components are added. This is true whether you’re using a slip rig, a drift rig, or any other type of catfish equipment.

More elaborate catfish rigs will become more difficult to repair or replace. They could also make fishing more difficult by tying up your string rather than making it easier to throw.

When trying to fish catfish, a basic, clean catfish rig will always be the best option. To get the task done, you simply need the fundamental components plus good bait. You risk getting hooked if you use too many elements in your catfish rigs.


Catfish have exceptional hearing and will hunt based on what they hear. You may acquire a variety of rattles to attach to a line that performs well. You can use them for anything, be it a slip sink, a slip rig, or even a three-way catfish rig. Many anglers have had great success with these accessories to their line. They are small and cheap, yet they produce excellent results on the water.

Slip Sinker Rig

The slip sinker rig is the ideal rig for catching any type of catfish. It’s almost identical to a Carolina rig which is used for bass fishing. A no-roll or any type of fish sliding sinker, a sinker on your line, and a barrel swivel feeding into your monofilament leader line make up this easy setup. As far as rigs go, this one is simple, beautiful, and really effective.

In catfish fishing, the term “Carolina rig” is rarely used. Because it’s technically created for bass fishing, a real Carolina rig will employ a different gear. It is possible that most fishermen know what you mean if you mention Carolina rig when talking about a slip sinker setup.

However, it’s probable that you’ll mix up somebody who fishes for catfish somebody who only fishes for bass. To keep things simple, use the term “slip sinker rig” and avoid the name “Carolina rig”.

You may fish flathead catfish, channel catfish, blue catfish, and any other species with a slip sinker setup. It’s the most adaptable rig, and as you know, it’s also the simplest and quickest to assemble on the water. This is the one to use if you really wish to fish catfish.


  • Excellent bounce to avoid snagging on river weeds and rock crevices.
  • The inner slip sinker weight and outside EVA foam shell are balanced, allowing you to throw farther and with more precision and control.
  • It features a function that allows it to swiftly rise from the water in order to prevent weeds and other obstructions.
  • Controlled float enables you to spend more time in the striking zone.


  • It may not be effective for other types of fishing.

Santee Rig

It’s a modest variation on the classic Carolina rig for bass fishing. You’ll use a foam floater with this one, but rather than being just above the sinker, it’ll be above the hook and below the sinker and swivel on the lead line.

This keeps the hook slightly above the water’s surface, attracting the attention of the catfish you’re fishing. This is a flexible rig that can be used to capture any type of catfish, but you’ll discover that it works particularly well with blue catfish.

The Santee rig is excellent for water fishing, and it may be used in low currents. It, as well as higher current waters, must be avoided. It’s also one of the greatest catfish rigs for any kind of catfish while fishing from the bank.


  • You may rig this float straight or at an angle because it has three separate connection points.
  • It is of the greatest possible quality. You do not have to worry about them falling apart, the paint fading, or the fish falling out.
  • It can bear the strain of big catfish on the line.


  • Its price may seem expensive to some anglers.

Three-Way Rig

A three-way rig, often known as the Wolf River rig, consists of a bell sinker on a drop line with enough loads to maintain it near the bottom. You’ll also have a longer leader line attached to the rig. The three-way rig’s concept is that the weight will keep it in position while the bait and leader drift, attracting catfish such as flathead catfish, channel catfish, and blue catfish.

Three-way setups are among the most popular catfishing lures. Some fishermen refuse to use anything else than a three-way rig. A three-way setup is used in old-school gear, which necessitates lots of extra knots that not all anglers are comfortable with. That is the usual approach to set up a three-way rig, although there have undoubtedly been some hardware advancements over the years that have rendered this unnecessary.

Today, you could get pre-tied 3-way rigs for a very low price at any bait store. While it is an excellent rig and, owing to pre-tied versions available for purchase, it is probably not as effective as a slip sinker rig.

For more difficult conditions, many fishermen swear by the three-way rig, which they consider to be one of the greatest catfish rigs for fishing rocky bottoms.


  • Even when the water currents are strong, it may reduce twists and tangles in the line.
  • It is built of high-strength stainless steel and has a large pound test.
  • It allows you to fish two baits on one line or drop a sinker and let your bait float free.
  • It’s highly tough and can withstand both freshwater and saltwater.


  • It is not good for saltwater.

Slip Bobber Rig

For capturing channel catfish, the slip bobber setup is great. If you’re serious about catching them in large numbers, it’s definitely one you must have in your arsenal. These ultra-sensitive slip-stick floats can be adjusted up and down along the line based on the depth you’re going for while casting.

These perform well with any type of prepared lures, such as punch bait, and they don’t get in the way of your throwing. When you’re fishing with a slip bobber, as long as it’s light and has a reasonably streamlined form, it should work well for you.

When you start utilizing slip bobber rigs, you’ll realize that they’re a lot more sensitive than typical bobbers and floats. For that reason, they are so successful for catfishing, and it’s something you will learn to rely on, particularly if you’re targeting channel catfish.


  • They are simple to set up and operate.
  • They work well as visibility bobbers.
  • They’re made of top-notch materials.
  • They are sensitive and light.


  • While bobbers are fantastic for determining depth in shallow waters, they don’t function as well in deeper zones since the length of your line and pole is limited.
  • Trying to attach a bobber to your line could sometimes cause damage.
  • By attaching your bobber to your line, you restrict the length of line you can throw out and can usually only cast a limited distance.

Circle Hook Rig

They’re made so that when fish take the hook (with bait) into their mouth and move away, the hook glides to the mouth’s edge and becomes firmly caught. Anglers do not need to strike while utilizing circular hooks; they simply require reeling in and letting the hooks do their job.

This rig is similar to a regular two-hook flapping rig, except instead of standard J-shaped hooks, it uses size 2/0 circular hooks. This is an excellent size for general sea fishing since it is tiny enough to capture fish under 1 pound but large enough to manage any larger species that may appear. Larger circular hook rigs, on the other hand, are great for catfish fishing.


  • The striking time isn’t as important for catching fish.
  • Smooth Fishing Swivel.
  • Many species’ hook-up and landing rates are better than other rigs.
  • It’s safer to use.
  • Because the line is normally away from abrasive mouth surfaces, lighter leaders/traces can be employed.


  • They’re not good for fast baits or artificial lures.
  • They’re ineffective against fast-moving surface fish.
  • Larger bait makes it more difficult to set up.

Double Hook Rig

As the name implies, the double hook rig is a basic setup in which a second hook is attached to the lead. This increases your odds of catching a bigger fish. The objective of the double hook is to allow you to add more bait or just connect larger baitfish to the line in the hopes of attracting a bigger catfish.

A double hook rig is essentially a variation of an existing rig rather than its own distinct form. As a result, you can make a double hook rig out of almost any other gear. Everything, be it a slip rig, a poly ball rig, or any other catfish setup, falls into this category. The only condition is that the additional hook is included.


  • It is good for catching large catfish as it is capable of holding larger baits.
  • It is made of 420 Stainless.
  • It is excellent for heavy work.


  • It has more difficulty releasing a fish safely than a single hook rig.

Drop Shot Rig

It’s a classic rig for catching bass and other types of fish. Although the drop shot rig is a popular way of fishing for many creatures, it is not often discussed in the catfishing community.

The drop-shot rig isn’t one of those “all-around catfish rigs” that you’ll use on a regular basis like the ones we have mentioned, but it has certain unique uses that make it a highly successful method to set up when catching catfish.

It’s a wonderful catfish rig to master and have in your arsenal for when the appropriate opportunity arises. If you’re fishing a vertical presentation or targeting catfish in and around heavy cover, it’s could be a good choice for catfish.


  • It is made of high-quality components.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is a very versatile rig.
  • You can choose among multiple sizes.


  • Better for catching bass than catfish.

Best Catfish Rigs FAQ

What is the best catfish rig?

One of the best and most popular catfish rigs is the slip sinker rig also known as the Carolina rig. It provides greater precision and control when handling it. In addition, it is very elegant in appearance as well as being effective which is something considerably positive when it comes to catching catfish.

What is a catfish rig made of?

A catfish rig is a set of tackle attached to a piece of fishing line to offer catfish baits. A hook, rattle, float, bead, sinker, lure, swivel, snap, and leader might be included in this combination.

What size hooks for catfish?

The size of your hook should correspond to the size of the lure you’re using or the catfish you’re attempting to capture. For exceptionally huge catfish, a number 2 hook is a decent size and the largest you should use. A number 6 hook is a common and dependable size. If you’re catching smaller catfish, try the number 8.

Are there other catfish rigs apart from the ones we mentioned above?

Of course! There are a wide variety of catfish rigs that anglers can choose from depending on their tastes and needs. Some of them are:

  • Balloon Rig.
  • Paternoster Rig.
  • Poly Ball Rig.
  • Slip Floater Rig.