The following list of bass fishing rig setups is in no way an exhaustive list. Read the tips below to ensure that your bass fishing rod setup utilizes the correct bass fishing rigs and knots for best results. There are bass fishing rigs for lakes and bass fishing rigs for saltwater. Study both lists to be ready for your next fishing adventure.
Carolina Rigs are Sliding Sinker Rigs created specifically as bass fishing rigs with a weedless hook and a soft plastic worm. A Carolina rig works with egg sinkers up to 3 or 4 ounces. Lighter sinkers help the rig pass through weeds or grass.
Bass fishing tips: For a heavier weight, replace the egg sinker with a fishfinder slide (a hollow tube with an attachment point for heavier sinkers) and clip on a heavier weight. To keep the sinker or fishfinder from snagging on the swivel, place a small plastic bead on the mainline between the sinker and the swivel. The advantage of using this bass fishing rig setup is that it allows the fish to pick up the bait without detecting the weight of the sinker.
How to thread a plastic worm on to the hooks of bass fishing rigs:
- To rig a soft plastic worm to work as a weedless lure, you’ll want to start with an offset shank worm hook (although other hooks will work as well).
- To start, push the point of the hook into the center of the top of the worm so the tip penetrates just a quarter inch or so into the worm, and then push the tip through the side of the worm. Slide the hook through the head of the worm to the offset, twisting the point of the hook 180 degrees so it points back towards the worm.
- Hold the worm by the head and allow it to hang straight down against the hook. Grab the worm between two fingers where the point of the hook rests against the body of the worm. Lift the worm just slightly and angle it so you can push the point of the hook completely through the body of the worm.
- Pinch the worm at the point of the hook and slip the point just below the skin of the worm to make it weedless.
- You might have to finesse the worm at the top of the hook to make the whole thing lie flat. If the worm is humped up, or curved, try again. The body of the worm should lie in a straight line for it to be effective.
The Texas Rig is one of the most popular bass fishing rigs. It is a way to fish a soft plastic worm close to or in cover such as weeds. This rig requires a special cone-shaped weight and a “worm hook” which is designed to be threaded through the worm so that the point of the hook is not exposed. This allows these rigs to worked through weeds or heavy cover without getting snagged.
- Slide a cone-shaped weight through your main line with the bottom of the cone facing the end of the line
- Tie on a weedless worm hook.
- Add a soft plastic worm to the hook through the nose of the worm. Push the tip of the hook in ¼ of an inch and then poke it out of the side of the worm at a 90-degree angle. Run the whole hook out the side until you get to the eyelet.
- Once you get to the eyelet, rotate the hook so the hook point is pointed back towards the body of the worm.
- Next, lay the hook to the side of the worm keeping the worm straight. Keep track of where the bend of the hook intersects the bottom of the worm. That’s where you want to insert the hook point and then thread it into the body of the worm.
Bass fishing tips: Some anglers like to jam the weight in place with a small bit of toothpick.
DROP SHOT RIG
Drop shot rigs are also popular bass fishing rigs as they allow you to present a soft plastic lure above the bottom to bass that are suspended just above the bottom. But they also are great fishing rigs for catfish and a variety of other species. It consists of a weight and a hook tied inline such that it hangs with the shank parallel to the bottom. The Palomar knot is a great way to use with this bass rig setup. The hook should face upwards which will help keep it from snagging.
- Double your line and pass it through the eye of the hook. Make sure to leave enough of a tag end to tie your weight on later. Tie an overhand knot but do not pull it tight, allowing the hook to dangle freely.
- Pull the loop from your overhead knot over the hook and tighten by pulling both parts of the line. (you have essentially tied a Palomar knot on your hook).
- Take your tag line and run it through the eye of your hook again. The goal is to get the hook to stick out at a 90-degree angle from the main line so that the shank of the hook is parallel to the bottom.
- Then tie your weight to the tag end of your line.
- Add your lure or plastic worm to your hook.
Some avid anglers have developed advanced or personal bass rigs to fool this famous game fish.
Learn more about other types of fishing knots and rigs in our next section.