I have had a number of questions about catfish sinkers through the ask a question page and rather than write responses to all of the different questions about catfish sinkers I thought it would be best to just lump everything into one article and answer all of the questions at once. Most of these questions revolve around what kind of catfish sinkers to purchase and what to use with different types of rigs.
If you go to the catfish rigs section and look at the different catfish rigs I have outlined what type of catfish sinkers I use in each of the different rigs on those pages so so when you view the page of a specific rig I cover the catfish sinkers to use with each rig.
You can also read the article about what’s in my tackle box and catfish tackle, the best of the best to get a detailed list of the catfish sinkers and all of the other tackle, rods and reels that I use as a fishing guide.
Bass Casting Sinkers
Bass Casting Sinkers are commonly used for three way rigs and modified three way rigs as well. I don’t use them for any applications and rather opt to use a standard slip sinker or no roll sinker so I don’t have to keep additional tackle around.
Product Link: Bass Casting Sinkers
No Roll Sinkers
The no roll sinker is one of my “go to” catfish sinkers and one that I rely heavily on because I rely so much on the slip sinker rig and santee cooper rig. I always have a couple of huge bags of no roll sinkers for catfishing including 1 ounce, 1.5 ounce and even some 2 ounce no roll sinkers. I also use these for a number of different applications instead of bass casting sinkers by just running the monofilament through the weight, pulling it through and tieing the line together. This allows me to use these sinkers in place of bass casting sinkers and eliminates the need for me to have multiple different kinds of weights in my tackle box.
The advantage of a no roll sinker is that it performs like an egg sinker but is flat so it does not move in current or when you cast your baits out on to a ledge or drop off the sinker will not roll.
Product Link: No Roll Sinkers
Egg sinkers are another staple in my tackle box. I prefer to use no roll sinkers over egg sinkers when anchored fishing but egg sinkers are much more readily available and you can get them just about anywhere. When drift fishing and using a sliding weight I prefer to use the egg sinker over the no roll sinker. I use egg sinkers in sizes from 1/4 ounce all the way up to 2 ounces. I use the smaller egg sinkers like the 1/4 and 3/8 ounce egg sinkers for making homemade snagless drift fishing weights. I use the larger 1, 1.5 and 2 ounce egg sinkers for slip sinker rigs and santee cooper rigs in the absence no rolls.
Product Link: Egg sinkers
Slinky weights are long pieces of parachute cord that have lead weight inside of them. They are traditionally used for drift fishing and their claim to fame is they are snagless. They are not snagless because I have a good many of them torn half in two over the years after they have been snagged, but they do snag much less than an egg sinker or no roll sinker will when drift fishing for catfish. These are considered by many to be ”staple” catfish sinkers.
Slinky weights can get really expensive quickly. It is not uncommon for packages of 2 to cost a couple of dollars or more. I have days where I might break off and lose 25 or 30 rigs in one day so slinky weights that can cost a dollar a piece are not an option for me.
You can make your own slinky weights by using paracord from any army surplus or sporting goods store and making your own will greatly reduce the cost of the slinky weights but I have never been one to spend my time sitting around stuffing lead shot into parachute cord.
I will be including a post soon on how to make your own slinky weights just in case that is something that you want to do.
Walking sinkers can be very effective for drift fishing for catfish and they work well. I have used walking sinkers for drift fishing off and on in the past and was very impressed with the results. I haven’t used them extensively in any other applications so I cannot really speak to their effectiveness outside of drift fishing.
Even though the walking sinkers are great for drift fishing I continue to use egg sinkers, no roll sinkers and homemade snagless drift fishing sinkers just because it eliminates the number of different sinkers I have to buy for catfishing.
Again, I don’t like having to keep up with a huge catfish tackle inventory so I have tendency to use one or two items for all applications.
Walking sinkers can also be a bit difficult to find at times so you may end up paying a premium price or having to make your own.
Product Link: Walking Sinker Mold
Split Shot Weights
Split Shot Weights are a staple in just about any tackle box but are not considered by many to be essential catfish sinkers. They come in round containers with multiple different sizes or in small bags with just one size. Outside of fishing with slip bobbers or doodlesocking for catfish I don’t use split shot weights a whole lot but I keep a bunch of them around because they are essential for fishing with slip bobber rigs, and there are certain periods of the year where I fish with slip bobbers almost exclusively.
Product Link: Split Shot Weights
Homemade Snagless Drift Fishing Sinkers.
A number of years ago I was using slinky weights for drift fishing and began experimenting with different weights. I finally found that using small egg sinkers tied onto a piece of monfilament with a barrel swivel at the top would function much like a slinky weight would and would reduce snags. I don’t this these weights as they are can be as effective as a standard slinky weight, and they are much easier to make
I experimented some with making these catfish sinkers and then dipping them in plastikote but didn’t notice any difference in their effectiveness so I just stuck with using them with no coating or covering. I generally use 1/8, 1/4 and 3/8 egg sinkers for making these homemade snagless drift fishing sinkers.
I have added a separate post that shows you how to make my homemade snagless drift fishing sinkers.