Slinky weights are commonly used for drift fishing for catfish. They can be purchased through catfish tackle retailers, but can be a little difficult to find at times, and can also be expensive.
I make my own snagless weights for drift fishing, that are not slinky weights and perform just as well or better as slinky weights, so I don’t usually use slinky weights, but I did find some the other day when I was cleaning out my tackle box. You can see how to make and use my snagless drift fishing weights for catfishing here.
To me, the time and frustration involved in making slinky weights doesn’t provide enough benefit to make it a worthwhile project. My snagless drift fishing sinkers will perform just as well as one of these weights and I can make them in much less time. Trying to cram lead shot or small sinkers down into a piece of paracord or shoestring is like trying to put a Christmas tree back in the box.
- Paracord / Parachute Cordor Shoestrings
- *Shoestrings need to be hollow on the inside. You generally need to go to a sporting goods store to find these large hollow shoestrings.
- Steel Shot Or Lead Shot (or small egg sinkers)
- Cigarette Lighter
- Sewing Needle
- Needlenose Pliers
Making Slinky Weights
Determine the size drift fishing weight you would like to make and measure out the steel shot or lead shot that you will use for your weight. Line them up one by one and determine the length of parachute cord (or shoestring) you will need to slide your weights into. Luckily, you will only have to do this once for each sized sinker you make.
**Using shoestrings and small egg sinkers has always been easier to me than using the parachute cord (paracord) and shot, but it is also a bit more expensive in the long run.
Measure out your paracord (or shoestring) and cut to the correct length and allow an excess inch of cord beyond what you will need to fit your shot into.
Carefully melt one end of your parachute cord with a cigarette light or candle until it begins to melt and then take your needlenose pliers and smash the parachute cord down hard so it melts together.
**Hot melted nylon on your skin REALLY hurts, so use caution.
Feed your steel shot or lead shot into the parachute cord through the open end and push them down into the bottom of the cord on the inside until the reach the bottom where you have closed the end. Continue to add the shot until you have filled the cord and added your desired weight.
Make sure the shot is touching end to end and you have removed all void spaces inside and in between the weights. Melt the end of the cord with your lighter and again smash it with your needlenose pliers so it melts together.
Heat the end of the needle with your lighter or candle until it is hot (you might want to hold it with pliers so you don’t burn yourself) and when hot insert the needle through the melted end that you melted last and wiggle it around some to create a hole in the center of the melted area. This creates the hole to add a snap swivel or run your fishing line through.
I generally use a heavier weight for drift fishing (1.5 to 2 ounces depending on wind speed) so I have never messed around much with smaller weights. A growing trend among anglers who make their own slinky weights for catfishing is to make multiple sizes using the shoestrings as described above and to use different colors for different weights (i.e. 2 ounce = red, 1.5 ounce = green, 1 ounce = blue etc) so they can easily identify the varying weights they have made.
Now you have your very own homemade slinky weights for drift fishing for catfish!
If you are like me and find the task of stuffing egg sinkers or shot into paracord or shoestrings to be too time consuming or frustrating, you always have the option to make my other snagless drift fishing weights or you can buy your own slinky weights. These can be difficult to find at many of the major retailers like Bass Pro Shops but you can always buy them through the links below.
The slinky weight is generally used with the following catfish rigs:
In all of these instances these would be use in place of the sinkers listed in these illustrations. You can click on the links above to get full details on how to tie these catfish rigs for drift fishing. Here is also some more detailed options on sinker options for catfishing.
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.