Here is another catfish rig, which uses a sliding ledger lead system. It is an ideal fishing rig method for catching the bigger cats on the big rivers. It has a sliding ledger action, so the catfish can take line easily after taking the bait. It uses a weak link to attach the lead weight, so it's probably best to use this rig by boating it out rather than casting it.
This is a basic catfish rig using a free running rig system. It has accounted for big catfish captures for many years.
It is designed with a weak link system on the ledger weight. This is so the lead weight can break free from the line if it becomes snagged during a fight with a huge catfish. The link that attaches the plastic run ring to the lead is about ten pound breaking strain. It is then covered over with silicon tubing to protect the link. The ledger weight can be up to 6 ounces, or more if required!
In the diagram of the catfish rig above, there are two polyball, or foam balls placed over some rig tube. The rig tubing is about 5 inches long and slightly covers the eye of the hook. They help form a stiff boom which makes it easier to take out the hook from a catfish's mouth.
The last 3 or 4 feet of this catfish rig is made from a shockleader such as nylon or braid. This is so it's strong enough and wont break too easily if it catches on the sharp teeth of the upper and lower jaws. You'll often find that many banked catfish will probably have the hook hold in the side of the mouth where the hooklink misses the teeth.
It can be a good idea to land a catfish as soon as possible. Playing them too long increases the chance of losing them as the line may grate along the teeth several times during the fight.
Some of the content was taken from the VHS video “Big Cats of the Saone”