How to use a Lindy Fishing Rig

How to use a Lindy Fishing Rig
The Lindy Rig revolutionized walleye fishing when the technique was first pioneered in the 1960s. It enables a fisherman to naturally present live bait on the lake bottom using a special walking slip sinker. This sliding sinker, combined with a 3-foot leader that is attached to a barrel swivel, lets cautious fish pull on the line without feeling any resistance, reducing your chances of spooking them. The directions below will teach you how make and use your own Lindy Rig to start catching more fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • 8-lb test monofilament leader
  • Hook
  • Walking slip sinker
  • Barrel swivel
Step 1
Thread the walking slip sinker onto your fishing line. Sinkers weighing between 1/8 and 1 ounce should be adequate for most fishing situations. Whatever size sinker you choose, it must be heavy enough to keep it in contact with the bottom.
Step 2
Tie a barrel swivel to your line below the sinker and attach a 2- to 4-foot 8-lb test monofilament leader to the other end of the swivel. Tie a number 6 or number 8 hook to the end of the leader.
Step 3
Use nightcrawlers, leeches or minnows with a Lindy Rig. Hook minnows just behind both lips. This will keep them alive and allow them to swim freely. If using nightcrawlers, hook them once through one end. Leeches should be hooked through the round "sucker."
Step 4
Fish a Lindy Rig by trolling. For walleye, focus on trolling over drop-offs, reefs, humps, the edges of flats and weed lines, When you are ready to fish, lower the baited Lindy Rig to the bottom. Once the rig is on the bottom close the bale on your reel and place your index finger over the line to feel for strikes.
Step 5
When you feel a strike open your bale and remove your index finger from the line, allowing the fish to swim with the bait. Count to 10, then close your bale and set the hook. A bite can come as a delicate tap or a hard hit that immediately bends your rod tip.

Tips & Warnings

Use different length leaders depending on the water conditions. In darker water fish are usually closer to the bottom so a shorter leader works best. The opposite tends to be true in clear water.
Increase the size of your sinker when fishing in deeper water or windy conditions to keep your bait down on the bottom.
In addition to trolling, you can cast, still fish, or drift with a Lindy Rig.

Article Written By Richard Hansen

Richard Hansen grew up and currently resides in Minnesota. He graduated from Dartmouth College and has traveled extensively in Africa and South America, including the Amazon jungle. He has worked as a wilderness guide in Yellowstone and northern Minnesota, and written for Fur-Fish-Game, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and

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