Lindy Rigs – Everything You Need to Know

February 23, 2009 by  

Lindy Fishing Tackle

Lindy Rigging revolutionized live bait fishing in the 1960’s and is still one of the most popular and productive methods for taking walleyes throughout the country.

Lindy Rigs can take panfish, walleyes, bass, northern pike, trout and any bottom feeding fish wherever they are–in natural lakes, man-made reservoirs, rivers and streams. With Lindy Rigs you can troll, drift, cast, still fish or “bottom fish” from bank or dock.

The Lindy rigging method embodies two important principles of live bait fishing:

NATURAL BAIT PRESENTATION – The Rig’s components and proper presentation present your minnow, leech or nightcrawler as “alive” and natural as possible.

NO SPOOKING – Lindy Rigs are designed to allow cautious fish to bite without feeling your presence.

Each Lindy Rig consists of snell (monofilament leader and hook), slip sinker, and swivel clip. Simple assembly directions are on the back of the package. Here’s a closer look at the Lindy Rig components. Watch how each contributes to the fish-catching effectiveness of the rig.

FINE-DIAMETER MONOFILAMENT LEADER — Lindy Rigs employ 8-lb. test Berkley XT line-diameter mono leader with high tensile strength and low visibility. This leader has the right amount of “limpness” so that your live bait can swim, dart or undulate in the most enticing natural way.

SMALL TOUGH HOOK — Lindy Rig hooks are designed specifically for penetrating and holding in a fish’s mouth. These hooks come in various walleye sizes- “minnow” and “leech/crawler”, crappie, bass, northern pike, and trout. Their low visibility and small size help fool the most finicky walleye.

WALKING SLIP SINKER — This unique sliding sinker permits a striking fish to pull line through it without resistance. It’s a tremendous advance over fixed clamp-on, trolling and bell-type sinkers which a biting fish must drag over the bottom. The Lindy Walking Sinker rides on a small surface area of its heel and eliminates excess bottom drag that tells a suspicious walleye to drop the bait.

Your Lindy Rig sinker casts easily and is more snag-proof than most sinkers. Since it rides on its small heel, it causes little commotion as it rides along the bottom. When a biting fish changes direction, the sinker will pivot in that direction, while continuing its slip-sinker function.

SWIVEL-CLIP — Here’s the Lindy answer to quick and easy rig assembly and snell changing–without broken fingernails, time-consuming effort, and fallen-apart snaps. Just slip the loop of the snell into the clip and you are ready to fish!

How To Fish The Lindy Rig

Select the right weight sinker:

Depending on the fishing conditions, you’ll find walleyes shallow or deep, from several feet to 50 feet or more. Your boat and motor’s abaility to troll, wind velocity and the walleye’s preferences wil find you fishing at various speeds. Sometimes, especially in shallow water, you’ll want to drag “way back” from the boat, with light 1/8 or 1/4 ounce sinkers; other times you’ll want more lead for a direct feel of a drop-off or ledge in deep water under the boat.

Conditions and sinker requirements vary. That’s why you should own a full assortment of walking sinkers. The following guide is based on slow walleye trolling speeds and should help you select the right sinker for your Lindy Rigging: 1/8oz. for 6-10 feet of water; 1/4oz. for 10-15 feet; 1/2oz. for 15-25 feet; 3/4oz. for 25-35 feet; 1oz. for 35 feet and deeper.

Hooking Minnows, Leeches and Nightcrawlers:

For trolling and drifting, hook your minnows just in back of both lips, coming up from below. This way, the minnow stays alive and pulls forward through the water, darting and swimming freely and naturally. For vertical fishing and bottom fishing from shore, some anglers prefer hooking minnows lightly in the back just below or near the dorsal fin. Make sure your minnow is fully alive and active. Hook your nightcrawler only once at the tip of the nose. In most situations walleyes prefer whole, healthy nightcrawlers. For increased success, inflate crawlers with a Lindy Worm Blower. Inflated nightcrawlers are super lively and they tantalize walleyes by floating several inches above bottom, even when your sinker is dragging.

When Lindy Rigging with leeches–whether a single jumbo leech, a single small leech, or a “gob’ of several small leeches–hook them once in the sucker end. Hooked this way, your leech will trail through the water in an undulating natural manner, provided you’re trolling or drifting slowly. When worked too fast a leech spins, twirls or simply pulls staright through the water with little fish attracting action.

Put your bait in the water immediately after hooking. Before lowering your rig to the bottom, make sure the leader is stretched out and tangle-free; that the sinker slides; and that your bait is lively. Exactly how you work your Lindy Rig will ultimately depend on your experience and knowledge. You’ll consider water and bottom conditions and the walleye’s preferences. Be willing to try different approaches.

Standard Trolling and Backtrolling:

When front trolling or backtrolling along drop-offs, shore breaks, weedlines, rock bars, or other structure, release line until your sinker hits bottom. Then adjust your line so you can feel the sinker hit bottom or see slack line develop each time you drop your rod tip toward the bait. Frequently, check your depth in this manner. In most situations, you’ll want your sinker on bottom or within inches of bottom.

Trolling and Drifting Over Shallow-Water Flats:

In water less than 10 feet deep, especially clean sand and fine gravel bottom areas, it’s often best to drag your sinker on the bottom a health distance from the boat. Simply release line until you feel the sinker hit bottom. and continue to pay out line until your bait is at the desired distance from the boat.

Controlled Drift:

When working a limited stretch of drop-off or a small area of a bar or reef. use both wind and your trolling motor to keep you on the fish-catching path. While the boat is drifting, make necessary course corrections by shifting the motor into forward or reverse to maintain productive depth. If winds are moderate, you can troll back upwind and repeat the controlled drift. Fish on the bottom, or just above bottom, as conditions dictate.

Anchoring and Casting:

Anchor upwind of the productive area and cast to the fish. Let the Rig settle to the bottom before starting your slow retrieve. Sometiems an irregular retrieve with pauses works best. To hold in one spot and stay on a school, anchor both ends of your boat. To cover a wider area, anchor the boat from the bow and regulate your “swinging area’ by paying out or retrieving anchor rope.

Still Fishing:

Double anchor the boat or allow it to gently sway over the productive area. Rig with a slip bobber just large enough to hold your sinker off bottom. Set depth so that your bait is within a foot of bottom. In rare cases when walleyes suspend, especially at night, experiment with higher settings. Lindy Rigs with 18 or 1/4 oz. sinkers team up beautifully with bobbers and leeches for still fishing, both day and night.

Article provided by Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle.


2 Comments on "Lindy Rigs – Everything You Need to Know"

  1. Gary Ziemer on Sat, 2nd Apr 2011 3:11 pm 

    If using a hook and minnow on a lindy rig,will the minnow just lay on the bottom if your not moving your bait? Can the minnow swim freely on a 2 ft. leader, and how far up will the minnow be able to swim? Thanks for the feed back

  2. admin on Sun, 3rd Apr 2011 11:16 am 

    Normally the minnow will swim to the bottom, but you can use a floater to keep the minnow elevated.

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