How to Set Up a Big Catfish Rig With Straws

How to Set Up a Big Catfish Rig With Straws
Catching big "cats" is the name of the game for many catfish anglers. Rivers, streams, ponds and lakes are often prime areas for presenting bait along the bottom to feeding catfish. Through the years, various rigs have been developed to target big cats scavenging along the bottom. However, rigging for catfish can be done quite simply using some common and easy-to-obtain items and tackle. An ordinary drinking straw, for example, can come into play for big catfish rigs.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Pool noodle
  • Knife
  • White vinyl or duct tape
  • Drinking straw
  • 50-lb. test monofilament fishing line
  • 20-lb. test monofilament fishing line
  • Sliding egg weight
  • Circle octopus hook
Step 1
Place a pool noodle on a sturdy work surface where it can be cut. Cut a 1-foot length with a knife. The 1-foot length of pool noodle will serve as a jug for the jug rig.
Step 2
Wrap the pool noodle with white duct or vinyl tape. Covering the noodle with tape helps to reinforce the easily torn noodle material and also brings the noodle-jug into compliance. Some state fish and game agencies require catfish jugs to be white in color. Most pool noodles are bright fluorescent colors and do not comply.
Step 3
Locate a point about 1 to 2 inches from one end of the noodle jug. Cut a narrow slit through the noodle from one side to the other with a knife.
Step 4
Hold a common drinking straw across the noodle and mark the width of the noodle on the straw. Cut the straw to length with a knife. Insert the straw through the slit in the jug. Repeat the process by cutting a second slit through the jug on the opposite end, cutting a straw to length and inserting through the jug.
Step 5
Cut a length of 50-lb. test monofilament fishing line from the filler spool. The length of the line will depend on the depth of the water you are fishing. Cut enough line so that the hook with bait can easily reach the bottom of the body of water you will be fishing with 2 to 3 feet of line to spare. Feed one free end of the line through one of the straws in the jug. Secure the free end of the line to the main line.
Step 6
Place a sliding egg weight on the main line and attach a barrel swivel with a uni-knot. Tie the uni-knot by feeding several inches of the free end of the main line through the eye of the swivel. Bring the line up alongside the main line forming a double line. Turn the free end back toward the swivel forming a loop beside the double line. Wrap the free end around the double line and through the loop three times. Pull the knot tight and trim excess line with scissors.
Step 7
Attach a 2- to 3-foot leader length of 20-lb. test monofilament to the other end of the barrel swivel with a uni-knot.
Step 8
Tie a circle octopus hook to the free end of the leader with a Palomar knot. The Palomar is tied by feeding several inches of line through the eye of the hook. Turn the free end back through the eye resulting in a loop on one side and a double line on the other. Tie an overhand knot with the loop and double line, pull the loop down around the point and bend of the hook, moisten and pull tight.
Step 9
Feed the free end of a small diameter rope or cord through the straw in the opposite end of the jug. Tie the free end to the main line securely. The rope or cord will be used to secure the catfish jug rig to an overhanging limb or rock, tree or root along the bank.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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