David Magness on The Perfect Catfish Bumping Rig

David Magness on The Perfect Catfish Bumping Rig

October 12, 2018

David Magness on The Perfect Catfish Bumping Rig

Phillip Gentry

Unlike the perfect Country and Western song, the perfect catfish bumping rig has nothing to do with trains, mama, or prison. The perfect catfish bumping rig, at least according to B’n’M catfish pro-staffer David Magness of Hernando, Mississippi, has a lot to do with better feel of the bottom, tinsel strength, and hook setting power.

Magness certainly has a systematic approach to creating his version of the catfish bumping rig, and while others may differ in their approach, the catfish guide is more organized in the selection of his components than most.

The major components of Magness’ bumping rig are organized and well thought out.

Here’s a look at the perfect catfish bumping rig, piece by piece:

  1. Hawaiian Swivel – this unusual component is used to tie the 65 pound main braided line to the rig. It’s 125 pound breaking strength and serves as a quick change release when changing rigs.
  2. Interlocked Barrel Swivel – Magness orders these interlocked swivels from Moorlink. The combo is a 3/0 swivel interlocked with a 2/0 barrel swivel and is preferred over a 3 way swivel because it provides the main fishing line with direct inline contact with the weight. Magness stated the most important aspect in bumping is feeling the bottom. The tag end of the smaller swivel goes to the hook.
  3. Snaplock swivel – Also known as a coast lock, Magness uses the snap swivel to attach to the weight line. The length of the weight line varies from 18 inches to 2 feet. A shorter weight line is used for falling water levels and a longer weight line is used for rising water.
  4. Cannonball Weight – Magness prefers a round cannonball over any other type of weight because there is more surface area on the ball. When it makes contact with the bottom, there is only one bump. He offers that a pyramid or bank sinker sees a lot of use in catfishing circles but because the weight falls over when it hits the bottom, there can be a false “double tap” in using an oblong weight. The weight rule of thumb is more weight for faster current and/or slower boat speed and less weight for slower current or faster speed.
  5. Hook – Magness said the only hook he uses is a Team Catfish Double Action 8/0 circle hook. He said this is the exact same hook as a Daiichi 7/0 circle hook. He snells the hook with Hi-Seas Quatro line in 50-pound test and crimps the tag end with a metal crimp to the barrel swivel. He starts with a 36 inch section of Hi-Seas leader and after the snell and the crimp the hook leader ends up about 33 inches long. After the snell, he does not glue the line to the hook but does melt the very end with a lighter to make a bead that won’t pull through the hook eye.
  6. Organizer – Magness stores the leader, attached to the remainder of the rig, in a Rig-Rap organizer container. The only detachable component is the weight line which he ties to the coast lock snap swivel. This allows him to quick change weights and lengths of the weight line based on current fishing conditions.
  7. Final note – One last piece to the rig is a rubber bead, which he stores in the Rig-Rap and inserts on his main line above the Hawaiian swivel. Along with knot protection, the rubber bead catches trash that catches on the line and keeps it from sliding down the rig to the hook and swivel, keeping the rig clean.

Combining his bumping rig and the B’n’M Bumping rod gives Magness great sensitivity for feeling the bottom as well as the muscle to land big catfish.


    While the article is devoted to the bumping rig, Magness is quick to point out that the B’n’M Catfish Bumping rod is an integral part to making the whole system work. The sensitivity and backbone of B’n’M’s Bumping rod allow for easy bite detection and enough horsepower to land even the biggest river monsters.

    B’n’M’s Bumping rod brings the whole plan together.

    For a full line up of all of B’n’M’s top notch catfishing rods, rigs, and tackle, check out our website at

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