There are a number of commercially available options available when it comes to snagless drift fishing weights like the Switch-It Slip Sinker, and Lindy No-Snagg Slip Sinkers but these are typically not very cost effective, especially when you are rigging multiple rods for drift fishing or fishing lakes or rivers that are notorious for losing tackle.
Drift fishing can be very tough on tackle with hang ups and snags, I remember one day on Lake Lewisville when I was drift fishing and I broke off 39 rigs on one day. If I hadn’t been fishing some very productive water I would probably have moved my clients elsewhere but we were catching some nice trophy blue catfish, so I stuck with it and waited it out.
I started making these drift fishing weights a number of years ago and have had good success with them. Slinky weights are another good option for drift fishing weights. I will show you how to make slinky weights for drift fishing in another article. I prefer these homemade snagless drift fishing weights over slinky weights because they are much easier and faster to make, and don’t require the tedious process of stuffing sinkers or shot down inside parachute cord or shoestrings, which can be frustrating to say the least.
Unlike slinky weights these are easy to make and can be made quickly, and can also be made “on the fly” while you are catfishing if needed.
There is no such thing as a truly “snagless” weight but there are options to help reduce your risk of snags when drift fishing for catfish, and this homemade option is just one of several options for catfish tackle that we will show you.
- Monofilament line like - Offshore Angler Tight Line – 1/4 lb. Spools
- 1/8 or 1/4 Ounce – Egg Sinkers
- Barrel Swivel
- Fishing Line Scissors
- You can find links to all tackle suggestions also on the catfish tackle page
You can tailor the weight of these snagless sinkers by modifying the number of weights that you add to them when rigging, for instance if you only want to have a one ounce weight you could use 8 one eight ounce egg sinkers and so on. The amount of weight that you use obviously depends on a number of factors like depth, drift speed, etc.
I typically use my leader line to make these weights which is 40 lb Offshore Angler Tight Line but have experimented some in the past with using a lighter weight line like 8-10 lb test monofilament with the theory that if the sinker snags the sinker line would break and at least I would save my hook and the rest of my rig. It worked well and more often than not when the sinker snagged the sinker line broke and I did manage to save my hook and the rest of the rigs. This may not be a major issue for you and may not justify the expense if you are using inexpensive hooks like a kahle hook but if you get into more costly hooks like the Daiichi Circle Chunk Light Hooks the cost of lost hooks can add up quickly.
Building The Weights
Take your monofilament line and feed it through the first egg sinker and loop it back around to the line again and tie a slip knot to the mainline and pull it tight, so you have one small egg sinker tied to the end of your line, which will look like this when complete.
No cut the line from your spool and leave plenty of spare line to work with, and feed additional egg sinkers on the line until you reach your desired weight.
Once complete tie the swivel onto the fishing line leaving it loose and work it down towards the last egg sinker, getting it as close to this one as possible. It’s OK to have some slack in the line and won’t effect the functionality at all.
You can use these on any rig you plan to catfish with, like the slip sinker, santee, three way or modified three way rigs. If using a santee or slip sinker rig just feed the main line through the top hole of the barrel swivel and it will function in place of an egg or no roll sinker.
If you really want to get fancy you can dip the bottom of these sinkers into plastikote. There are commercially manufactured models being sold this way. I have experimented some with doing this and haven’t noticed any added functionality by doing so, and it is just an added expense.
To get in depth information on how to drift fish for catfish check on the Drift Fishing For Catfish program. Drift Fishing For Catfish covers everything you need to know to be successful drift fishing for catfish in a simple easy to follow format.
Instead of adding step by step photos of these and how to build them I have added a step by step video.