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Pro Tips: Bottom Bouncing Basics for Walleye

Pro Tips: Bottom Bouncing Basics for Walleye

By Nick Harrington

Bottom bouncers have become a staple of the walleye fishing industry.

The reason they are so popular is because they are easy to run, versatile, and just downright catch fish. This setup is so simple, yet can have so many alterations and difference styles of fishing. In this month’s issue of the Mack Attack Magazine
I’m going to discuss the different types of systems we like to run when bottom bouncing.


  • I like to use a stouter rod when bouncing. This is because I like to run bigger bouncers and have a firm backbone when I set the hook. I favor a 6’6-7’0 medium-heavy rod with a fast or moderate action. The reason I favor these setups is because I still have a feel for what is happening with my line, but I have a firm backbone for setting the hook se it has no-stretch properties. This allows me to feel every pebble that the bouncer ticks across and also even the slightest bites. It also is strong for reeliand fighting a fish.
  • For reels, I favor a larger spool baitcasting reel. Line counters are not critical for bottom bouncing, but if you are fishing with someone that has not bottom bounced much, it helps to make sure that the lines are set at the right depth.
  • As far as line, I favor 8-12 lb. Berkley Fireline. This is becaug in larger fish, especially with the heavy bottom bouncer. I like the crystal color because it is easy to see so you always can tell the angle that your bait is running.

How to Video: Bottom Bouncing Set Up 

One of the most important parts of bottom bouncing is making sure your rig is at the perfect angle. In this video, Mack’s Lure Pro Staff Nick Harrington highlights how to make sure you’re running as snagless as possible and going to have the highest hooking percentage.

Mack’s Lure Pro Staff Mason Propst runs a slightly different system.

  • He favors the heavier rods as well, but he prefers to have an 8 ft. rod and a 6 ft. rod.
  • He also runs large spool baitcasting reels and Fireline for a mainline.
  • He favors the brighter neon green color because it allows him to see the line easy — much like the crystal.

Chris Seylar likes to run the 6’0-7’0 rods, although he favors a little more sensitivity and prefers a medium-fast setup. He runs both braid and mono for a mainline and sees the pros and cons to each.

“Mono is less visible for when I am fishing clear water,” Seylar says. “Also, if I am fishing around a lot of snags, when I do get snagged up, it breaks easily. This allows me to spend less time fighting a snag and get re-rigged and back on the fish.” The braid also has it’s own benefits because, Seylar says, “it is much stronger and has better sensitivity, but it is more visible and I feel that when fish are finicky, it can deter bites.”


All three of us like to run heavy bottom bouncers. When I am backtrolling, I like to run 1.5 oz. bouncers out the front and 3 oz. bouncers out the back. This allows me to have my front rods let a little more line out and the back rods stay right below the boat. This keeps my lines away from each other and avoids tangles.

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