Slow Death Rig For Walleye – How To Set It Up In 3 Steps?

slow death rig for walleye

Are you looking for a new technique to catch walleye? The slow death rig for walleye setup will be an excellent choice to add excitement to your next fishing adventure. 

With its subtle movement, this tried-and-true rig can attract fish to bite. However, not all anglers succeed with this method because they have to tie the rig correctly.

Don’t worry! You have what you need here. We will show you the method to set up the slow death rig properly. So let’s read on, grab your gear, and catch some walleye!

What Is A Slow Death Rig?

As we know, a slow death rig is known as a type of trolling rig. When it first appeared a few years ago, anglers were crazy about it for its simplicity and effectiveness when navigating the water at slow speeds. Hence, it’s one of the most popular rig setups for trolling walleye and trout. 

These days, anglers have experimented with many methods. However, slow death is always one of their choices when it comes to walleye fishing.  

A slow death rig consists of these components:

  • A leader 
  • A weight
  • A slow death hook

And the hook for this rig setup has a shank that you can bend into the triangular shape. Then, it can spin slowly in water. 

The best bait for this rig is a leech or a nightcrawler. And to maximize its performance, you can attach a bouncer weight at the bottom.

Another noticeable component of this rig is the Aberdeen crawler hook. It has almost everything you need for catching walleye, such as the squared round bend and light wire. These features help avoid excessive puncturing and keep your bait alive longer. 

Besides, an extra width between the shank and the point makes the hook ideal for baiting. 

Slow Death Rig For Walleye Setup

Before setting up your slow death rig, ensure you don’t miss anything in the checklist below:

  • Main line: From 10 to 15-pound test braid 
  • Leader: From 6 to 12-pound test fluorocarbon 
  • Hook: Slow death hook (size 1-4)
  • Weight: From 1 to 3-ounce bottom bouncer 

After gathering all the tools above, let’s take these three steps to set up your slow death rig. 

Step 1: Tie the line to the weight 

Tie the main line to your weight. A braided line is the best option here because you will get more sensitivity from it. Hence, you can easily feel when the weight hits the bottom. 

Besides, a braided fishing line is often thinner than a monofilament line of the same length. Hence, there will be less drag pulling the line up while it’s trying to come down through the water. 

Step 2: Attach the hook to the leader

Snell the slow death hook onto the leader line. And Fluorocarbon leaders are ideal in this setup because they become invisible in water. Hence, your leader won’t startle cautious walleye. 

After attaching the hook, it’s time to measure about two to seven feet of the leader. Then, tie one loop at the end. The leader’s length relies on how cautious your prey is. For example, the leader should be longer if the walleye you try to fish are more finicky. 

Step 3: Tie the leader to the weight 

Attach the loop you have just tied on the leader to the weight’s snap swivel. Then, check to ensure you tighten all the components firmly.  

The steps above help you set up the most straightforward slow death rig. Besides, you can try attaching a spinner rig or a sliding float. These additions will create more vibrations and signals, encouraging walleye to bite your bait. 

How To Thread A Worm On A Slow Death Hook?

The slow death rig can work with big nightcrawlers. This combination is great for catching walleye because these worms are big, juicy, and have a natural scent that walleye find attractive. 

It’s essential to rig the nightcrawler correctly to lure bites. The instructions for rigging the worm on the slow death hook are as follows:  

  • Grab the slow death hook with one hand and use the other to hold the nightcrawler. 
  • Then, poke the hook into the worm until it’s entirely inside the bait. 
  • Push the hook tip out of the worm on the other side so it protrudes. 
  • Cut your worm about one inch behind your hook. Do not use the whole nightcrawler here because it results in short strikes. 

When entering the water, the nightcrawler may slide off the hook. To avoid this mishap, thread the worm past the end of the knot on your hook.

The slow death hook may have one barb at least on the shank to secure the worm. However, the snell knot does a better job of protecting the worm against the current. 

How To Use A Slow Death Rig To Fish Walleye?

Now your rig must be so eager to get into the water. However, preparing the rig is enough for a successful fishing trip. To catch walleye with your slow death rig, please consider these tips. 

Choose the right time and location

During the springtime, walleye aren’t too picky about food. Thus, they will be excited with most bait you drop in water. 

On the other hand, the summer months are more burdensome for them. However, these fish can remain aggressive for food. 

Anglers claim they have the highest success rate when fishing in May and June. During this time, walleye like to swim in shallow areas near shore, making them easy to catch. 

The best time of the day to fish for these fish is near dusk and dawn when they hunt for food. You can look forward to the sunset. 

How about the location? It depends on the time of the year. For example, in the spring, they often live near the shore so they can feed on minnows. Yet, they tend to move to deeper water when the weather gets hotter. 

Troll the rig 

Setting your slow death rig is only halfway to success. You should also learn how to troll your rig correctly to yield the best results. The following tricks will help. 

Control your speed

Trolling at slow speeds, from 0.7 to 1 mph, would be best. Although you can raise the speed in some cases, maintaining a constant speed will raise the chance of success. 

Walleye fish are shy. Before biting the bait, they need time to follow the bait, check its movements, and grab it when everything seems fine. As a result, trolling the rig slowly allows your prey enough time to examine it. 

Let the weight touch the bottom

Your weight should contact the bottom constantly. But how can you do that? The three methods below will assist you:

  • Checking on the fish finder
  • Releasing more line when the water is getting deeper
  • Reeling the line in if the water becomes shallower 
  • Choosing a heavier weight so your rig can drop to the bottom quickly once the water depth is changing

Consider other weights 

If your prey doesn’t bite your bait, consider switching from the bottom bouncer to the sliding weight instead of nipping at the bait. 

The sliding weight helps you give your fish slackline. Also, the new weight increases the hook-up ratio because the walleye can eat the bait even before you set your hook. 

On the other hand, if you see the walleye swimming above the river bottom slightly, attach a tiny sliding float on your leader, right above the slow death hook. The new setup can lift your bait presentation higher at the walleye level. 

Adjust the leader

The last method for setting your bait according to the water depth is to adjust your leader. Besides, be patient and experiment with different leader lengths until you find what works best for your fishing conditions. 


The slow death rig is one of the best ways to catch walleye. You can nail it with the right tools and skills. 

By following the steps we’ve outlined above, you can master the art of the slow death rig setup. Then, be ready to get more walleye than ever before.  

If you have any questions about this technique, please feel free to ask. And if you know any extra tips, don’t hesitate to share them with us. 

Thank you for following this post!

Rate this post
Related Post
The Most Comprehensive Guide for Walleye Rigs

Rigs are among the most powerful fishing setups available to catch walleye throughout the open-water season. They can be used Read more

Bottom Bouncing Rig For Walleye
Bottom Bouncing Rig For Walleye (A Complete Guide For Anglers)

If you happen to live near Lake Erie, Bay of Quinte, or Upper Mississippi River, you must be familiar with Read more

Lindy rig for Walleye
Lindy Rig for The Dummies

The Lindy rig developed in the 1960s and has since revolutionized live bait fishing for walleye is often mentioned whenever Read more

Key Differences Between Rigging Types For Bass

Learning how to rig a fishing line and lure is crucial for a host of reasons. Each rig serves a Read more

Slip Bobber Rig
How To Rig A Slip Bobber Rig Effectively (Best Guide For Fishing Beginners)

Do you know that using a slip bobber rig is extremely helpful when fishing? Indeed, it affects the casting depths Read more