Skip to main content

Try This Simple No-Leader Cat Rig

Try This Simple No-Leader Cat Rig

So far this spring, at least two catfish trips come to mind where an adjustment in rigging made all the difference in catching more fish, and in one case at least some fish. We've written about this rig before, but it still tends to get overlooked, I think partly because of its simplicity.

In the instances I'm writing about here, which were both tailrace situations, we started the day using standard sliprigs, constructed by sliding a slipsinker on the mainline, tying the mainline to a barrel swivel. A leader (about 10 inches) was tied to the other end of the barrel swivel, and a hook (circle hook) was tied to the end of the leader. Hooks were baited with cutbait. Standard stuff.

This rig was successful in getting baits to cats, but success in getting catfish to commit and hook up was low. It could have been that the fish were tentative, but it just as well could have been that the fish didn't prefer a bait that was likely dangling and fluttering in the current on the leader, or a combination of factors. Too much bait movement perhaps?

Having trouble hooking up, the adjustment we made was eliminating the leader, letting the No-Roll sinker slide right to the hook (with a bead added to cushion the sinker on the knot at the hook eye). The result was that strikes were more committed, and hookup rates increased substantially.


The success of the no-leader sliprig must have been due to keeping the bait stationary with the leader eliminated, reducing the bait's ability to flutter in current, and staying pinned more to bottom. I wonder if current pulling on the bait creates some distance between the hook and sinker, pulling line through the sinker. But more realistically, current forces act on the line, which causes the line to bow downstream, which actually pulls the bait into the sinker keeping it tight to the sinker.


//www.in-fisherman.com/files/2012/06/IMG_2295.jpg

Some might wonder if cats might shy from a sinker being too close to the bait, or whether they feel the sinker and drop the bait. I don't think the presence of a sinker is going to deter a catfish from picking up a bait—it doesn't know the difference between a sinker, a rock, or a spark plug. As for the "feeling" of dragging a sinker? Can't be much different than a standard sliprig. A hungry cat is a willing cat is a committed cat.

A few weeks ago, Red River of the North catfish guide Brad Durick and I turned a good day into a great day, filming a segment on channel cats for In-Fisherman TV, by eliminating the leader on the sliprig. You might consider this rig for flatheads, too, especially around wood, and also for blue cats. Sometimes simple is better.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Swimmer Magic for Largemouths

Swimmer Magic for Largemouths

The In-Fisherman staff shows how to get going when the going gets tough, as they apply a touch of magic for largemouth bass.

Rapala OG Slim 6

Rapala OG Slim 6

The 2019 Bassmaster Classic champ Ott Defoe sits down with In-Fisherman Associate Publisher Todd Ceisner, to talk about Rapala's new OG Slim 6 crankbait. The OG Slim 6 will feature a flat-sided, balsa body, and will dive around 6 feet. Featuring a circuit board lip, the OG Slim 6 deflects off of cover better than traditional plastic lips. Offered in 14 colors and available in tackle stores Fall 2020. MSRP $10.99.

In-Fisherman New & Notable 2020 – Mossy Oak Fishing

In-Fisherman New & Notable 2020 – Mossy Oak Fishing

Jake Meyer from Mossy Oak goes over some of the fishing clothing that Mossy Oak has rolled out with In-Fisherman associate publisher Todd Ceisner.

Engel

Engel's High Viz Drybox Coolers

Versatile boxes available in four sizes; ICAST Fishing Gear Guide.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural baits and commercial options.10 Best Carp Baits Available Today Carp

10 Best Carp Baits Available Today

Dan Johnson

To guide your carp quest, we've lined up the best carp baits that are easy-to-fish natural...

One angler's forgotten, overlooked, underutilized musky lure is another fisherman's all-time favorite.Forgotten (Or Temporarily Overlooked) Muskie Lures Pike & Muskie

Forgotten (Or Temporarily Overlooked) Muskie Lures

Cory Schmidt - August 25, 2020

One angler's forgotten, overlooked, underutilized musky lure is another fisherman's all-time...

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors.The Effects of Solunar Forces on Bass Fishing Bass

The Effects of Solunar Forces on Bass Fishing

Steve Quinn - June 22, 2020

Lunar followers often check moon phases as well as timing of minors and majors.

This walleye recipe is a colorful and delicious way to serve your most recent catch.Walleye Baked with Sweet Peppers & Onions Recipe Fish Recipes

Walleye Baked with Sweet Peppers & Onions Recipe

Tom Kavanaugh

This walleye recipe is a colorful and delicious way to serve your most recent catch.

See More Trending Articles

More Catfish

One thing a 40-pound freshwater fish cannot do is hide.Scanning Shallow for Blue Catfish Catfish

Scanning Shallow for Blue Catfish

David Harrison - April 29, 2020

One thing a 40-pound freshwater fish cannot do is hide.

Channel cats flourish in reservoirs.Channel Catfish in Reservoirs Catfish

Channel Catfish in Reservoirs

Dan Anderson

Channel cats flourish in reservoirs.

In every environment they're found, flathead catfish are an apex predator.Back East: State of Flathead Nation Catfish

Back East: State of Flathead Nation

Jim Gronaw

In every environment they're found, flathead catfish are an apex predator.

For its relatively small size, the Red River of the North has legions of enormous channel catfish.Channel Cat Feeding Factors: Timing Peak Bites Catfish

Channel Cat Feeding Factors: Timing Peak Bites

Cory Schmidt

For its relatively small size, the Red River of the North has legions of enormous channel...

See More Catfish

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the In-Fisherman App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All In-Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now