Anybody who is interested in catfishing will be interested in catfish rigs. There are a tremendous number of them out there, so instead of me trying to tell you about each and every one of them, instead I am going to show you a couple of basic rigs, and the knots used to tie them with.
The Deep Catfish Rig
You can get real fancy with some of the rigs out there, but I have found that using a good sturdy weight, and attaching it to the end of the line, instead of the hook on the end of the line, works out much better as far as avoiding snags goes. So take a good one ounce or so weight, tie it on to the end of the line with a palomar knot, and the tie on your hook about 12-18 inches up from the end of the line.
At this height, tie a dropper loop into the line to hold your hook and leader line. You can use a wired leader to keep the line attaching to your hook from getting wrapped around the line that attaches to your weight if you wish.
If you are fishing with shad or perch catfish bait and are looking for big catfish, use an 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook. You’ll find that the hook setting is a lot better and the fish will be less likely to straighten or otherwise escape you once it has been hooked.
If you are using chicken livers, worms, or dip baits and going after smaller channels or other catfish, then you can use a smaller hook, a number 2 all the way up to a 2/0 would be sufficient for this case.
The Shallow Catfish Rig
If you are looking to fish shallow, get some good catfish bobbers, put a bobber stop 2 to 3 feet from the hook (or however deep you are wanting to fish), just above the bobber itself, and then add a split shot or two between the bobber and hook, and follow the same guidelines as above for which hook to use depending on the bait and desired catfish types and sizes you are wanting to catch.
The Palomar Knot
In my opinion, this is the best knot available for attaching a hook, weight, etc. to the end of the line. It is simple to tie, and seldom ever has a problem with being pulled loose. Generally speaking, you’ll snap the line before this knots unravels.
Here’s a video to show you exactly how to tie the palomar knot.
The Dropper Loop
When you are looking to tie on a hook or weight above the end of the line, you’ll need some kind of loop in the line to attach to. The dropper loop is a great way to create this loop to tie to. Here’s a video to show you exactly how to tie it.
So that’s it. Again, you really don’t need complicated catfish rigs to get the job done. Just a simple weight and/or bobber with a sturdy hook and the right catfish bait, and you are good to go. So go out there and catch fish!