Four Must-Know Soft-Bait Rigs

Rig soft plastics like a pro

Some soft baits come already rigged. Most of the rest use some version of these following methods.

1. Wacky Rig

Wacky Rig
Wacky Rig.Bryon Thompson

A killer setup for bass, it just means hooking any slim ­soft-plastic bait through the middle. Both ends are left free to wiggle, and in most cases no weight is added. It’s especially effective with Senkos.

2. Carolina Rig

Carolina Rig
Carolina Rig.Bryon Thompson

This rig is a common choice for bottom dredging. To begin, Texas-rig (see below) a worm or lizard but leave the hook eye exposed. Tie about 18 inches of clear leader between the rigged hook and a small barrel swivel. On your main line, thread first a brass Carolina weight (or a lead sinker), followed by a small, red glass bead. Then tie your main line to the other side of the swivel. The brass weight will click against the glass bead as you fish to help attract bass.

3. Texas Rig

Texas Rig
Texas Rig.Bryon Thompson

It’s used most often with plastic worms and lizards but is also adaptable to other baits, like jerkbaits. Put a conical worm weight on the line first, then attach the hook. Thread the hook point about 1⁄4 inch into the worm’s head and then through the worm’s underside. Slide the worm up the hook shank so it just covers the hook eye. Rotate the hook until it faces upward toward the worm’s body. Grab the worm right behind the hook bend, push its body slightly forward, then bring it back down on the hook point until the point is almost but not quite all the way through the plastic. The bait should now lie straight. I use a 3/0 Gamakatsu ­offset-shank worm hook for a typical 6- or 7-inch worm, but any similar style is fine.

4. Tube Rig

Tube Rig
Tube Rig.Bryon Thompson

There are several good ways to rig tubes such as the Gitzit. Most often I go with a small internal jighead. For a 3 1⁄2-inch tube, use a 2/0 1⁄8-ounce, insider-style jighead. Insert the hook in the tube’s head and rotate the hook so it passes down inside the body without exiting. Continue by forcing the head of the jig into the tube, leaving only the hook eye exposed. Then work the hook point out and through the tube at the rear so the tube lies straight.