Master the Three Way Rig Catfish Tactic for Ultimate Angling Success

  • By: fishlovers
  • Date: September 21, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Are you a catfishing enthusiast looking for a more effective way to catch larger fish? Look no further than the three way rig catfish technique. This versatile rig allows you to present your bait in a natural and enticing way, attracting even the most stubborn catfish.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of setting up and using the three way rig for catfish, so you can experience the thrill of angling success.

Key Takeaways

  • The three way rig catfish technique is an effective way to catch larger catfish.
  • This technique allows for a natural and enticing presentation of bait.
  • Proper setup and execution of the three way rig is crucial for success.

The Three Way Rig Catfish Technique

If you want to become a successful catfish angler, mastering the three way rig catfish technique is a must. This time-tested rig is a versatile and effective tool for landing big catfish. In this section, we’ll discuss the components of a three way rig and how to set it up for optimal catfishing results.

The Three Way Fishing Rig Components

The three way rig catfish technique consists of three main components: the main line, the dropper line, and the sinker line. The main line is the thickest and longest line and serves as the anchor line for the entire rig.

The dropper line is a shorter line, typically around 6-12 inches, that is attached to the main line with a swivel. The sinker line is the smallest and shortest line, around 2-4 inches long, that connects the sinker to the dropper line with a second swivel.

The purpose of the three way fishing rig is to keep the bait off the bottom of the water while also keeping the sinker close to the bottom. This makes it an ideal rig for fishing in areas with submerged structures and rocky bottoms where catfish like to hang out.

Catfish Rig Setup Tips

When setting up your three way rig, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a main line that is strong enough to handle the weight of the fish you’re targeting. Many catfish anglers prefer braided line for its strength and durability.
  • Use a heavy sinker to keep the rig in place and close to the bottom. The size of the sinker will vary depending on the depth of the water and current conditions.
  • Select a dropper line that is long enough to keep the bait off the bottom, but not so long that it gets tangled in submerged structures.
  • Choose a bait that is attractive to catfish, such as cut bait, shad, or worms.
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Once you have your components selected, it’s time to assemble the rig. Tie the main line to the swivel at the end of the dropper line and then attach the sinker line to the other end of the swivel. Next, tie your bait onto the hook and attach it to the dropper line. Make sure everything is secure and tight.

Now that you know how to set up your three way rig, it’s time to take it out on the water and start catching those catfish. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to master the three way rig catfish technique for ultimate angling success.

Setting Up Your Three Way Rig for Catfish

To get started with the three way rig catfish technique, you’ll need to set up your rig properly for optimal results. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Attach the main line: Begin by attaching your main line to your fishing rod. Tie a solid knot to secure it in place.
  2. Add the dropper line: Tie a dropper line to the main line, using a knot that will allow it to hang perpendicular to the main line. This dropper line should be around 12 to 18 inches long.
  3. Attach the sinker line: Tie a sinker line to the bottom of the dropper line, using a weight that is appropriate for the fishing conditions and the size of the catfish you’re hoping to catch. For river fishing, a sinker weight of 2 to 4 ounces is ideal.
  4. Add your bait: Attach your bait to the hook at the end of the dropper line. For catfish, popular bait options include chicken livers, worms, and cut bait.
  5. Cast your line: Cast your line into the river or lake, and make sure the sinker touches the bottom before you begin retrieving. Additionally, make sure to keep your line tight to feel for any bites or nibbles from catfish.
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By following these steps, you can set up your three way rig catfish fishing setup for optimal success regardless of whether you’re fishing in a river or lake.

Mastering the Three Way Rig Catfish Technique

Now that you understand the components and setup of the three way rig catfish tactic, it’s time to master it. The key to success lies in the presentation and attention to catfish behavior.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to cast your rig in areas where catfish are likely to be present. Look for underwater structures, such as drop-offs, channels, and debris piles. Also pay attention to the water temperature and clarity, as catfish behavior can vary based on these factors.

Once your rig is in the water, it’s important to maintain a steady retrieve. This can be achieved by slowly reeling in the line while occasionally lifting the rod to create a natural movement of the bait. You can also experiment with different retrieval speeds and patterns to see what works best for the catfish in your particular location.

Another important aspect of mastering the three way rig is adjusting it based on catfish behavior. If you’re not getting any bites, try changing the weight or type of bait. You can also try adjusting the distance between the dropper line and the sinker line to vary the presentation of the bait.

Finally, it’s important to remember that catfish can be finicky and sometimes require a bit of patience. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t catch anything right away. Keep trying different techniques and locations until you find success.

By following these tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the three way rig catfish technique and increasing your catfish catch rate. Experiment with different rigs and baits to find what works best for you and enjoy the thrill of a successful catfishing experience.

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Maximizing Your Catfish Catch Rate

While the three way rig technique can increase your chances of catching catfish, there are additional strategies you can use to maximize your success.

  • Patience and persistence: Catfishing requires patience and persistence. It may take some time to find the right spot and to entice the catfish to bite. Keep trying different strategies and locations until you find what works best for you.
  • Bait selection: Choose your bait carefully. Catfish tend to prefer live or fresh bait, such as worms, minnows, and cut bait. Experiment with different types of bait to see what works best for the catfish in your area.
  • Scent application: Applying scent to your bait can make it more attractive to catfish. There are many commercial scent products available, or you can make your own using natural ingredients like garlic, anise, or shrimp.
  • Angling tactics: Vary your casting and retrieving techniques to make your bait appear more natural and enticing. Try different depths and speeds until you find what works best for the catfish in your area.

“When it comes to catfishing, sometimes the smallest adjustments can make the biggest difference.”

By utilizing these additional strategies, along with the three way rig technique, you can increase your chances of catching more catfish and having a successful angling experience.


The three way rig catfish tactic is an effective and versatile technique for catching catfish. By mastering this tactic, anglers can significantly improve their chances of success on the water.

Throughout this article, we’ve discussed the components of a three way rig, how to set it up for catfish, and expert tips for using it to its full potential.

Remember, patience, persistence, and observation are key ingredients to successful catfishing. By selecting the right bait, adjusting the rig based on catfish behavior, and practicing catch and release for conservation, anglers can enjoy many successful catfishing trips.

So grab your fishing rod, set up your three way rig, and put these tips into practice for a thrilling and fruitful catfishing experience. Happy fishing!

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