Make a Steelhead Slinky in Six Easy Steps

A creative twist on an old fishing method

Great lakes steelhead anglers invented slinkies in order to drift eggs or flies off the bottom without snagging. The split shot encased in parachute cord usually slides over obstructions. Make a variety of lengths and weights and store them in your vest for the next time you need a deep drift over a rough bottom.

diy craft steelhead slinky
Perfect for deep drifting over a rough bottom. Pete Sucheski


1. Cut a piece of parachute cord to suit the length of your rig and hold enough split shot for your water conditions. Allow 1⁄2 inch for crimping.

2. Remove the filler cord.

3. Singe one end with a lighter. As the nylon melts, spread it with a wooden coffee stirrer; use pliers to seal the end.

4. Cut a plastic drinking straw on a 45-degree angle so it will slide into the open end of the cord. Drop split shot into the straw, letting it run down into the cord. Fill with enough weight to suit your fishing situation.

5. Repeat Step 3 at the open end to close the slinky.

6. Insert the snap end of a snap-swivel into the slinky and attach to your line.

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