Lindy Rig for The Dummies

Lindy rig for Walleye

The Lindy rig developed in the 1960s and has since revolutionized live bait fishing for walleye is often mentioned whenever the topic of live bait fishing is brought up. Millions of anglers utilize the Lindy rig each year which is also one of the most widely used walleye fishing rigs.

While reading reviews about the right rigs for walleye fishing, Lindy rig pops up and piques your interest. If you are about to catch the next trophy walleye, don’t skip this article and read on to understand the reason behind the popularity of this type of rig.

Lindy rig history 


Ron Lindner was a professional fisherman. He always enjoyed trying new things and thought the finest experiment would be to drop lures all the way to the lake’s bottom. In one of his tests, in order for the fish to not feel the resistance and ultimately hold on to the bait long enough to be hooked, Ron used a sliding sinker. After this experience, Lindy walking slip sinker was devised. 

In the world of angling, he is revered as a legend for developing the idea in 1968. When it comes to bottom fishing, especially when targeting walleye, it’s commonly regarded as one of the most effective setups.

It is estimated that more than 70 million pre-tied rigs had been sold before his passing, and this doesn’t even take into account all the people who tie their own Lindy rigs.

The Lindy rig has gone through numerous iterations since it was first introduced in the 1960s. A sliding float, which permits the bait to float without hitting the bottom of the body of water’s floor, is one of the most popular variations.

Surprisingly, many anglers try creating their own variation of the Lindy rig. And once you learn how to put up the most basic version of the rig, nothing can hold you back from creating your own version.


Ron Lindner (1934 Chicago, IL – 2020 Baxter, MN) was a sportsman and a pioneer in the fishing industry. He created a number of fishing lures and rigs with his younger brother Al Lindner, including the Lindy Rig, which has been used to catch walleye by tens of millions of anglers since it was introduced in 1968. According to Lindner, more than 70 million Lindy Rigs have been sold, along with “its many imitators,” as he described it.

Along with Al and his sons James, Daniel, and Bill, Lindner is a co-owner of the Baxter, Minnesota-based Lindner Media Productions, which produces DVDs, videos, national TV commercials, product sales videos, point-of-purchase videos, and educational fishing programs (like “Angling Edge” and “Fishing Edge”) in addition to offering underwater photography to the sport fishing industry. After all, what makes Ron Lindner’s name is the Lindy Rig. But what is so special about it?

What is a Lindy rig?

Lindy rig for Walleye

The Lindy rig is a bottom fishing set-up that includes a leader with a snelled hook, a sliding sinker, and a snap swivel.

A lengthy leader line is linked to the lindy hook before the sinker is added. When a fish takes the bait, the sinker lowers the lure into the water, where the fish is then hooked by the Lindy hook.

It is most frequently used to catch walleye, but it can also be used to catch trout, catfish, bass, and other fish that can be found by the bottom of shallow bodies of water. The setup for catching the fish is also quite simple. 

Lindy rig setup?

The only step you could have trouble with is accurately tying the knots. 

Building a basic Lindy rig is a rather straightforward procedure. But it’s worthwhile to learn these knots because they’ll probably enhance your overall fishing abilities.


  • Main line: 10 to 15 lb test braid or monofilament
  • Leader: 4 to 6 lb test fluorocarbon
  • Weight: 1/8 to 1 oz sliding sinker
  • Swivel: size 4 to 6 snap swivel
  • Hook: size 2 to 6 octopus hook

How to set it up

Your main line should first be inserted through the sliding sinker before being tied to the snap swivel.

The next step is to snell a size 4 to 6 hook onto the leader line, measure out 2 to 5 feet of leader, and then knot a loop at the end.

Finally, all that’s left to do is to quickly clip the leader’s loop onto the snap swivel and you’re ready to go.

It’s usually preferable to use a Lindy rig with a 6 to 7 foot long spinning rod, with fast action and light to medium weight. 2000 to 3000 is the ideal range for spinning reel size.

Lindy rig weights?

You need to use the right weights with the Lindy rig to get the most out of it. The walking sinker is a component of the standard Lindy rig. This object is lead, flat, long, and curved. It is quite simple to thread the line through the sinker’s eye because it is large enough.

Try a no-snagg sinker if you’re searching for an advanced iteration. This sinker is more curved than a typical one, and it also has a wire extension at the bottom, making it less prone to tangle with aquatic life.

Any sliding weight will work with the rig, but since you’ll be bottom fishing, a no-snagg sinker is probably the best option because it keeps the weight from being tangled.

Lindy rig variants 

There are substantial variations of the Lindy rig, and we are unable to list them all here.

But three most common ones that have greatly enhanced the rig’s functionality and increased the capacity to catch fish in particular circumstances shouldn’t be skipped.

Floating Lindy rig

Floating Lindy rig

The original Lindy rig’s disadvantage is the position of the hook –  right on the bottom. This is a minus because many species, such as walleye and trout, prefer to eat bait that is suspended just above the bottom rather than bait that is directly at the bottom.

This issue is cleverly handled by the floating Lindy rig. It includes a sliding float that is threaded onto the leader line and raises your baited hook above the surface. 

The bait is easily adjustable  by adjusting the length of your leader as well as the length of the line between the float and the hook. To prevent the float from sliding all the way onto the hook, a plastic or glass bead is used. The bead can be secured to the leader by many lines looping through it, or a bead peg serves the same purpose. 

Lindy rig with floating jig head

Lindy rig with floating jig head

One more way to get your bait floated off the bottom is to use a floating jig head. This feature is particularly common to anglers when using a floating jig head baited with a live minnow to fish for walleye.

Just like the original rig, you follow the basic step and then attach a floating jig head size 2 to 4 to the leader rather of a hook. You can experiment with various jig head colors to enhance the appeal of your fishing, which is still another fantastic aspect of this.

Lindy rig with crawler harness

crawler harness

The Lindy rig is an excellent choice for trolling walleye because it enables you to place your bait near the bottom, which is where walleye are typically found.

The crawler harness is also one of the best bait presentations you can use with the Lindy rig when trolling walleye because nightcrawlers are one of the top baits for walleye in the summer.

You have two options for worm harnesses: you may make your own or purchase one already made at the tackle shop. After assembling your crawler rig, attach the leader’s loop to the snap swivel to complete the setup.

How to fish a lindy rig?

Lindy rig from shore

The greatest stationary fishing technique to adopt when using a Lindy rig from the shore is to toss out your bait and wait for a fish to swim by and take it.

Avoid casting and retrieving your rig frequently, especially if you’re using live bait, as doing so will typically result in the bait being ripped off the hook.

Lindy rig minnow

This is the most well-known lure for off-bottom or suspended walleyes because of its attractive colors, fish-fooling elements and slip-sinker simplicity. Lindy rig minnow is perfect for small leeches, minnows, or worms.

At the first sign of a bite, drop the rod tip, let go of some line, and the fish eat your bait. 

This also features a high-visibility leader float that can be adjusted to slide up or down the length of the snell to retain bait off the bottom, which keeps bait clear of weeds, rocks, and other bottom detritus and keeps it visible. This rig also includes three snells, two walking sinkers, and two swivel clips.

Lindy rig trolling speed

It’s important to always be in contact with the bottom when using a Lindy rig, which calls for the use of the proper size, weight and trolling speed. In general, it’s preferable to maintain your line at a 45-degree angle and check for consistent bottom contact with your sliding sinker.

The optimal Lindy rig trolling speed is between 1 and 1.5 mph, and you’ll probably want to increase the size of your sinker to 1 or 1 1/2 oz to efficiently deliver it to the bottom.

You should avoid trolling too quickly while using a nightcrawler Lindy rig to avoid ripping the worm off the harness. It also works well with a slow death arrangement for trolling, which is ideal for nightcrawlers.

Lindy rig drift fishing

Fishing using a lindy rig works best for walleye drifting because you can drag your sinker gently across the bottom while always keeping your bait in the strike zone.

This is a great way to catch walleye with live bait when fishing lakes have many underwater features like underwater hills, reefs, or saddles.

Similar to trolling, you should aim to keep your sinker consistently in contact with the bottom while utilizing a floating jig head to keep your live bait afloat.

Bottom bouncer and lindy rig for walleye, which one is the best?

The answer lies in the equipment used to get the bait located to the bottom or a specific depth. 

When bottom bouncing, a lead weight attached to a wire, letter “L” shape, is used. A weight that slides up the line but not all the way down to the hook is used in presentations like Lindy rigging, live bait rigging, Roach rigging, and even Carolina rigging.

In all presentations, the angler has the option to alter the snell length of the line (the minimum distance between the weight and the bait), or in certain circumstances, the placement of a stop on the line. Snell lengths range from slightly more than 12 inches to more than 12 feet.

In clearer water, larger snell lengths and fewer lines are typically employed. All techniques are adaptable to using artificial or live bait, spinner rigs, or stick baits like Rapalas, etc.

Final thoughts 

One of the best techniques for bottom fishing is this rig. You’re sure to start catching walleye, trout, and other shallow-water species in no time, whether you’re employing the conventional rig or mixing things up with your own modifications.

The Lindy rig can be used for trolling, drifting, and pier fishing. Depending on your level of expertise and the amount of fish you hope to catch, you can change your specific configuration. Good luck!

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