How to Rig Your Fishing Line Kentucky Rig Style

by Keith Dooley
Use a Kentucky rig to catch catfish.

Use a Kentucky rig to catch catfish.

Move over, Carolina and Texas rigs; make way for the Kentucky rig. The Kentucky rig is a method of attaching terminal tackle including hooks, weight, swivels and leader to your main line so that two baits or lures can be presented at the same time. Although the Kentucky is useful for a variety of game fish, catfish anglers especially appreciate this durable rig for getting multiple baits down to big cats on the bottom. The rig may be overwhelming for some anglers to tie because it commonly uses two dropper loops. However, you can substitute three-way swivels, making the rig easier to set up.

1. Attach a barrel swivel to the end of the 50-pound test monofilament line with a Palomar knot. Tie the Palomar by feeding several inches of line through the eye of the swivel. Turn the free end of the line back and feed it through the eye again to form a loop. Place the free end of the line alongside the main line to form a short length of doubled line.

2. Adjust the line so that the loop is about 3 inches long and 3 to 4 inches of the free end run alongside the main line. Form an overhand knot with the loop and the doubled line and then slip the loop over the barrel swivel. Moisten the knot and tighten it securely. Trim excess line from the knot with scissors.

3. Attach the braided main line to the opposite end of the swivel with another Palomar knot. Follow the instructions in Steps 1 and 2.

4. Form a dropper loop 12 inches below the swivel. Form a large loop that is about 15 inches across and tie an overhand knot. Wrap the free end of the leader in and around the loop for eight turns. Locate the center point of the wraps in the line and make a hole with your finger.

5. Feed the loop down through the hole in the wraps and pull the loop completely through. Tighten the knot by pulling on both ends of the leader length. You should now have a double dropper line that is 12 to 15 inches long extending from the main length of leader.

6. Attach a 2/0 Kahle hook to the double dropper line. Feed the doubled line through the eye of the hook and over the bend. Pull the dropper line tight so that the loop will snug down around the eye of the hook.

7. Tie another dropper loop 12 inches or so down the leader from the first dropper. Repeat the steps as before to form a 12- to 15-inch double dropper and attach another 2/0 Kahle hook.

8. Tie a bank weight or similar lead weight with a Palomar knot. Select a weight that is between 1/4 and 1 ounce depending on the depth you will be fishing and the amount of current in the water. If you're not using a bank weight, select a type of lead weight that has a molded or attached eye for attaching to a line.

Items you will need

  • Braided fishing line (65-pound test)
  • Monofilament fishing line (50-pound test leader, 10-foot length)
  • Barrel swivel
  • Two 2/0 Kahle hooks
  • Bank weight (lead weight with eye)
  • Scissors

Tip

  • Adjust the distance between dropper loops as needed.

About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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