The Best Walleye Rigs for Three-Season Fishing: Our Favorites Explained

Walleye anglers who have worked with live bait know how effective they can be.

Walleye rigs are more than slip sinkers and hooks. To get the best out of your time on the water, think outside the box.

We are here to help. Here are some of our top walleye fishing rigs.

You’ll be able to catch the walleye you want with step-by-step instructions.

Keep reading.

Walleye Rigs: Step-by-Step Instructions

Slip-Float Rig

Walleye anglers know the importance of live bait to get a bite. For rigging a minnow, a Slip Float Rig is simply the best.

Slip floats are a simple design that can have profound effects. It’s simple to adjust the depth of your minnow and hook to make shallow fall walleye fishing easier. Casting is easy because the float travels up the rod until it reaches the split shot.

This allows you to cast and stand still, without disturbing the fish.

No other rig gives the minnows or leeches the freedom to do their thing, tangle-free.

These steps will help you assemble a SlipFloat.

  1. A silicon float stop can be attached to your line.
  2. Your slip float can be clipped onto your line.
  3. Use a bare hook to tie it. For a quick and secure lock-up, I recommend the #2 Gamakatsu circular hook.
  4. Slide the float stop to adjust the depth of the terminal tackle.
  5. You can adjust the weight of your terminal tackle with a split shot if needed, but don’t over-weight your floating.

The Loten Rig, a modified slip sinker rig

The Loten is a fishing rig unlike any other. It relies on unconventional techniques and is a staple for walleye fishing.

The Loten Rig is a Slip Sinker Rig, but it adds a jighead, stinger hook, and an inflated worm to make a buoyant live bait walleye love. This rig can be used to troll and work on really bad bottoms, without any worries about snags, if it is properly assembled.

These are the steps to assemble your Loten Rig.

  1. Slip a slip sinker on your mainline. The Lindy No-Snagg is my favorite, but you can use any slip sinker.
  2. To act as a sinker stop, crimp a large split shot on your line. Between this stop and your hook, you’ll need to have three to four feet of length.
  3. Use a Palomar knot to tackle a 1/4-ounce jighead. You can wet the knot and tighten it. Trim the tag end.
  4. Attack a pre-tied stinger hook.
  5. Use a syringe to inject the nightcrawler of air using a needle.
  6. Place the head on the jig and secure it to the head.
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A #2 circle hook is better than a jighead if you are looking for a standard Slip Sinker Rig.

Drop-Shot Rig

Drop Shot Rig is a multi-species favorite. We use it for everything, from bass to catfish, crappie, and walleye.

Drop Shot lets you work at the bottom at a predetermined depth. It also avoids snags and offers incredible options for soft and live bait such as nightcrawlers, leeches, and minnows.

It’s easy to tie and fast to assemble.

These steps will help you assemble a Drop Shot Rig.

  1. Attach a #2 Gamakatsu circle hook to a Palomar Knot.
  2. The tag should be approximately 18 to 3 feet long. This will determine the depth of your presentation.
  3. Tighten your knot by soaking it.
  4. The tag end should be run back through your hook’s eye. This will result in a long dropper beneath the hook.
  5. Use another Palomar Knot to attach a Lindy No-Snagg at the bottom.
  6. Wet your second knot, tighten it, and trim the remaining tag end.

The Carolina Float Rig

The Carolina Rig is a well-known bass fishing tool. However, by adding a floating to the mix you can make it a walleye-catching machine!

Three reasons that make the Carolina Float Rig so deadly are: A combination of a bullet weight with a bead creates an attractive vibration that attracts hungry fish. It’s also easy to cast making it possible to make long, precise pitches and work the shallows in search of fall walleye. The float buoys your bait and keeps it where hunting fish can see.

This is a combination that’s almost impossible to beat for leeches and worms.

These steps will help you assemble a Carolina Float Rig.

  1. Add a bullet weight to your mainline.
  2. It can be followed by a bead.
  3. Attach a barrel swivel to a Uni Knot.
  4. You can wet the knot and tighten it. Then trim the end of your tag.
  5. You can cut 18-24 inches of line. Your presentation’s depth will depend on how long the leader is.
  6. Attach a stopper to the float. This stop will affect the position of your bait and hook by determining where the foam float is placed on the leader.
  7. Attach a foam float to your leader
  8. Attach a #2 Gamakatsu circle hook to a Palomar Knot.
  9. You can wet the knot and tighten it. Trim the end of the tag.
  10. Attach the leader’s other end to the barrel swivel using a Uni Knot
  11. You can wet the knot and tighten it. Trim the end of the tag.
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The Bottom-Bouncer Rig

Walleye can be very deep in summer so trolling is the best way to catch one.

The best option is a true Bottom Bouncer Rig. It’s hard to snag and still presents your live bait close to the bottom.

These rigs can be made from different parts. However, it is not recommended.4 times as expensiveEagle Claw will also put them together. Attach a foot of mono leader, tie on the #2 circle hook and run a worm.

It’s as easy as that.

Hildebrandt Hammer Time Walleye Spinner Rig

This “worm harness”, as it is known, is as well-known as it gets. It’s best to buy the original than try to rig your own.

A long nightcrawler runs starting from the leading hook will yield hard hits from hungry fish. The Hammer Time can get the job done, whether you are casting to the shallows or working a submerged Hump.

It’s time to find the gear that you need. Check out these walleye tips once you are done.

Gear up for Walleye Rigging with this List of Essentials

You may already have some of these items in your tackle box. But others might surprise you.

Galaxy Jig Heads

For walleye rigs that require a lot of fish, a good jighead sweetened with worms or leech works well. Walleye anglers have used colorful jigheads for years to catch big fish.

For most walleyes, 1/4 ounce is the best size. However, it’s possible to use slightly smaller or larger depending on what size fish you want.

MERLAXY Fishing Lures Jig Heads with Double Eye Ball Head, Sharp Fishing Hooks for Bass Trout Freshwater,Saltwater Multi Pack (Assorted, 1/32 50Pcs)

Gamakatsu Circle Hooks

A self-hooking circle hook is the best choice when I rig live bait hooks. A circle hook is great for rigs where I am likely to react slowly, such as trolling.

I usually use a #2 Gamakatsu for walleye.

These hooks are strong, sharp, and utterly reliable.

Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hooks Offset-Point (25-Pack), Black, Size 2

Northland Lethal Sting’s Hook

A proven method to catch more walleye is to use a stinger hook behind the bait. While you can tie your stingers yourself with a #10 or #2 treble and a few inches (10-12 pound mono), it is easier to purchase them pre-tied.

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Northland has you covered. These stingers are available in two lengths: 2′ and 3′.

Northland Tackle Sting' R Hooks Fishing Equipment , Red, 2 INCH

Slip Floats by the fish

Slip floats are the best way to show a large leech or live minnow to hungry walleyes. The fish makes excellent balsa floatings that are both easy to use, and easy to see.

thkfish Slip Bobbers Fishing Floats and Bobbers Balsa Wooden Fishing Slip Bobbers for Crappie Panfish Walleyes Bass Trout Pike 1/2oz 5pcs Green

Eagle Claw 8 mm beads

For a variety of walleye rigs, beads are crucial.

Eagle Claw A8BEAD20R Plastic Beads, 8 mm, Red, 20 Piece

Mimilure Soft Silicone Silicone Float Stops

Soft silicone float stoppers are useful for a variety of rigs.

Mimilure 100 Pcs Rubber Fishing Bobber Stopper,6 in 1 Float Sinker Stops,Black Orange Oval Cylinder Float Stop Available (Black & Oval, M)

Retail Barrel Swivels

Barrel swivels, another essential rigging tool, are also required for monster walleye.

Riptail Barrel Fishing Swivels - Steel with Corrosion-Resistant Finish, Size #8 (45lb) - 100 Pack

Lindy No-Snagg Slip Sinker

A simple lead sinker is fine for trolling or dragging a rod across the bottom. However, walleye anglers who have been there will tell you that snags can ruin your fishing and cause serious damage to your rigs.

The Lindy No-Snagg is a clever solution.

These walleye sinkers are almost impossible to hang up and they come in a range of weights.

Lindy No-Snagg Slip Sinker Banana-Shaped Fishing Sinker - Enables Anglers to Fish Unfishable Areas , 3/8 oz

Brean 3ml Syringe

Although it may seem odd to add this item to the walleye rigging checklist, savvy anglers will be able to see why!

Injecting air into large worms creates a natural floating effect, lifting your bait from the bottom. A commercial “worm blower” is a large plastic bottle with a tip that has a large syringe tip.

This is a mistake.

The tip of the worm blower’s tip is too large, and it creates a hole that is also too large. This allows air to escape from the worm blower, which is a bad thing.

A diabetic syringe would be a better choice. They can hold plenty of air and have small, sharp needles that work great.

BSTEAN 25 Pack 3ml Disposable Sterile Syringe with 23Ga 1.0 Inch Needle, Individual Package

Dr. Fish Oval Foam Floats

These oval floats are ideal for giving live bait some lift from the bottom. They won’t stop minnows or nightcrawlers’ frantic actions.

Dr.Fish 30 Pack Oval Foam Floats Trout Floats Fishing Rig Floats Pompano Walleye Catfish Crawler Harness Bead Stopper Sinker Stops Red 0.45X0.78

Reaction Tackle Bullet/Worm Weighs

These are not common in the walleye world. You’ll need a few to tie your Carolina Float Rigs.

Reaction Tackle Worm Weights 3/16 Silver

Last Thoughts

Our favorite walleye rigs, from the classic Hammer Time to the more unusual Carolina Floater offer a range of presentation options to suit the conditions of open-water walleye action.

These rigging tips will help you catch more fish, and make your time on the water more enjoyable. We’d love to know if they have helped you or if there’s a favorite rig that we missed.

Leave a comment below

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.