Some more interesting info on the Bottom Bouncer Rig:
Actually, Bottom Bouncers Don't Bounce, But They Do Catch Fish
By: Frank Ross
"Bottom bouncing isn't the most glamorous and exciting way to catch fish, but under certain conditions, it can be one of the most productive. While a steel wire and a glob of lead aren't that complicated, there are subtle techniques for every tactic.
Bottom bouncers would be more accurately described as bottom ticklers, because they are suspended in a vertical orientation and tick along the bottom rather than bounce like a ball, but that's probably splitting hairs. Bottom line is, bounce or tick, they put fish in the boat under certain conditions. While walleye don't spend their entire life on the bottom, when they are relating to sand, gravel or mud you've got to get your bait in their face, and bottom bouncers do that quite well.
The purpose of bottom bouncers is to present live bait just above the surface of the bottom and keep the bait from becoming snagged as it is dragged in an elevated position. Although many anglers complain that dragging bottom bouncers is boring, (myself included), none will argue about their effectiveness, and when the fish are biting no one objects to using the technique. One of the most popular and deadly combinations is a bottom bouncer and a spinner rig for presenting live bait such as minnows, crawlers or leeches.
Bottom bouncers consist of a thin, stiff wire with a glob of heavy metal (usually lead) that will hold the bait at the desired depth while drifting or trolling. To fish bottom bouncers, you'll need a fairly stiff rod with a heavy line of at least 10- to 15-pound test to attach to the bouncer. The line to the bouncer should be heavy enough to avoid breaking when the bouncer becomes snagged. From the bouncer you use a snap-swivel and a long snell of lighter line to present the bait.
Snell Options Snells are simply a long length of monofilament line, from three to 12 feet in length, with a hook on one end and a loop on the other. Spinners are a popular option to a bare snell. The combination of movement and bright colors can make a big difference in attracting fish and triggering a bite.
With bouncers, shorter snells, around three feet are more effective, unless you're experiencing a very finicky bite. Longer snells tend to allow the bait to sink too low and become tangled in limbs or rocks. Whatever length of snell you decide to use, just make sure it is a lighter line than the one you're using on your reel. When you become snagged you'll only lose your snell and not the entire bouncer, and can quickly retool and be back in business much faster.
Pre-tied snells or spinner rigs are handy for quick replacement when a hook snags a piece of structure and is broken off and often you'll get most of the snell back and just have to tie on a new hook for plain snells. With spinner rigs it's much easier and quicker to replace the entire rig. The length of the snell will depend on water conditions and how pressured the fish are. Clear water and highly pressured fish call for longer snells.
A good option to consider for fishing long snells is the addition of a live bait floater. These small floats will keep your bait suspended off the bottom and reduce the number of snags. The trick is to select a size that will hold your bait in the strike zone and not too far from the bottom.
Size Selection You should always have a wide selection of bottom bouncers on hand for any situation that might come up during the day, and enough to make sure you don't run out in the middle of a good bite. Choosing the right weight is simple if you remember the one-ounce per 10-foot rule. For fishing in 10 feet of water, use a one-ounce bottom bouncer; 20 feet of water, use a two-ounce bouncer and anything beyond that go with a three-ounce bouncer. If the bite is light and finicky, scale down and slow down by using a 3/4-ounce bouncer, lighter, longer snells and reducing your boat speed.
Arm Options Another decision you'll have to make will be twist bend, sliding or tangle-free wire configurations. Sliding bouncer wires give you the advantage of feeding line immediately upon detecting a bite, in the same manner as when using a walking sinker. When a finicky bite is on, this is a decided advantage. Most anglers use the basic twist bend, which has a loop to tie your main line. It's simple, easy to use and comes in various arm lengths. Some anglers prefer the tangle free design, which can help avoid lost fishing time. Each type has its own set of advantages and devotees, so you'll have to use each to see which features you prefer.
Angle of Line During Use One of the most common questions for first-time bottom bouncer users is how much line to pay out. A good rule to go by is, never allow the angle of your line to exceed 45 degrees. If you let out too much line the increased distance from the boat reduces the angle of the bottom bouncer in relation to the bottom and increases the chance that it will become snagged.
A bottom bouncer presentation is a slow, methodical approach and a sure-fire way to get your bait into the strike zone, when walleye are holding at or near the bottom. The main thing is to pick a style of bouncer, or several of each one and get with the program. Bottom bouncers aren't the most exciting way to fish in terms of fast-paced action, until you get into a bunch of fish and then you'll wonder why you haven't tried them before."
NRA & NWTF Member