Tokyo Rig For Walleye (Everything You Need To Know)

The Tokyo rig was created for big bass fishing in deep cover in Japan. It has quickly gained popularity in the United States and elsewhere. However, many walleye anglers have realized that it may also be used to catch walleye. The Tokyo rig is a beautiful bottom fishing rig to work with for a range of fish species, whether you are a new angler or have been fishing for years.

In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about Tokyo Rig for Walleye.

What Is A Tokyo Rig?

A Tokyo rig comprises a substantial long shank hook, a swivel, and a 3-inch leader wire, all of which are connected by a closed metal ring. To use it, attach a sliding weight to the leader wire and bend the end of the wire with pliers to keep the weight from falling off.

Advantages Of The Tokyo Rig Over Other Rigs

The Tokyo rig borrows elements of its design from the more typical drop shot. Still, it can be customized to your preferences, giving it a wide range of applications in open water and grassy cover. The Tokyo rig is easy to assemble and alter between casts, making it ideal for beginners and inexperienced anglers.

Pitching and flipping are the most common techniques when using the Tokyo Rig, but its versatility makes it possible to use it in nearly any way you like. Both bass and walleye anglers have had success with the Tokyo rig when swinging jigs and fishing by sight.

Furthermore, because the weight is suspended and secured by a bendable loop, you can easily swap out weights on any of your Tokyo rigs without retrying anything. It is much easier to do on the boat, between casts, or by someone who is not used to building and adjusting their own rigs.

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Creating Your Own Tokyo Rig

Premade Tokyo rigs are easy to come by in your local tackle shop or online retailers. However, making your own is not difficult and is frequently a better option because you have complete control over the components. The Tokyo rig is similar to a drop shot, so if you’ve done one before, you’ll have no issue with this Tokyo rig.

The entire construction of a Tokyo Rig is highly customizable to fit your own local fishing regions, and you can swap it up in minutes between casts if you need to change the drop wire length to avoid getting hung up in thick cover.

You may easily change the weight and hook size to switch from a powerful fishing rig to a more finesse method rig. Instead of buying a new rig, simply alter your Tokyo rig to meet your current needs, and you may fish it anywhere at any time.

What You Need

  • Barrel Swivel 
  • Split Ring
  • Wide Gap Hook 
  • Stiff Bendable Wire or Paper Clip
  • ¾ to 1½ ounce Weight

How You Make It

Step 1: Make sure your split ring has enough space to slide objects onto it when opening it up. If you bend it too much, it will weaken the metal and break in the water or when being yanked on your line.

Step 2:  Make a small loop with one end of the stiff bendable wire leader, identical to the loop on the end of your hook. The wire should be thick enough to keep its shape and withstand some tugging when on the line. In a pinch, a metal paper clip is a suitable substitute!

Step 3: Slide the bendable wire loop you just formed onto the split ring. Slide on your wide gap hook and barrel swivel as well. To keep all three things in place, close the split ring tightly.

Step 4: Choose your weight and slide it onto the rigid bendable wire’s opposite end. Cut the wire to your preferred length; however, 3-4 inches is the most typical length. Bend or loop the wire at the bottom to keep the weight in place.

Tokyo Rig Setup For Walleye

While you can create your own Tokyo rig, it is more convenient to buy one. If you want to buy a Tokyo rig, I recommend the one made by VMC, which sells a Finesse Neko Tokyo Rig suitable for walleye. It includes a Neko hook with a fluorocarbon keeper that effectively keeps soft plastics on the hook.

You’ll need a size 2 to 2/0 finesse Tokyo to utilize the Tokyo rig for walleye:

  • Medium-light power spinning rod, 6 to 7 feet long
  • Spinning reels ranging in size from 2000 to 3000.
  • Main line: 10 to 20-pound braided line or 8 to 12-pound fluorocarbon line
  • Fluorocarbon leader, 6 to 12-pound test (if using braid as your main line)
  • 1/8 to 1-ounce sliding bullet sinkers
  • 3 to 5-inch soft plastic swimbaits or soft plastic worms

From my point of view, a Berkley Gulp Minnow or Paddleshad on a size 1 VMC finesse Tokyo rig is good enough to be considered. A larger size 1/0 or 2/0 may be a better choice depending on the size of your lure and the size of the walleye you want to catch. I also prefer braids as my main line because it provides more sensitivity.

Also, braided lines have no flexibility, so they could transmit each single rod shake immediately into the action of my lure. However, a fluoro leader is required when fishing with braid, as walleye might be sensitive these days (especially in crystal clear lakes infested with zebra mussels). The Tokyo rig is terrific because you can modify your weight without retrying the entire rig, saving time.

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How To Fish A Tokyo Rig For Walleye

The Tokyo rig is a versatile bottom fishing rig that can be used with a wide variety of soft plastic baits, allowing you to experiment with a wide range of colours, sizes, and forms. I usually start with a soft plastic swimbait that looks like a small minnow or shad, then go on to plastic worms, leeches, or crawfish.

Use weedless rigging by hiding the point of your hook inside the swimbait if you’re fishing in heavy cover. The Tokyo rig can be used in dense weed beds and slab boulder fields when rigged this way, which are unworkable with other fishing rigs.

The Tokyo rig is generally similar to a mini bottom bouncer rig. The primary difference is that the bottom bouncer is frequently trolled, whereas the Tokyo rig is used for casting and retrieving. So consider it a castable bottom bouncer set up for usage in regions with heavy cover.


Everything you need to know about Tokyo Rig for Walleye is shown clearly in this article. The Tokyo rig is excellent for beginners to start their fishing careers. It is simple to construct or purchase one. Also, it is pretty adaptable, allowing you to customize any of the components and the weight size.

The primary difference you have to notice is that it is highly forgiving in the water and challenging to make a mistake with your rod, plus it has more action than some other rigs on the market right now. 

Experienced anglers will be satisfied with being able to quickly pull the Tokyo rig through long grasses, bounce their rod, and move it over rocks. With a few changes in weight and bait, it can also be utilized for extreme finesse. The Tokyo rig is a good choice if you want to catch more fish today, regardless of your preferred approach and style.