Bass Fishing Rigs

Technique Focused Fishing Rigs Are Combinations Of Hook, Bait, Lure, Line, Leader, Sinker, Swivel and Beads

Many will tell you there are three bass fishing rigs you must know. They are the Texas, Carolina and the Floating Worm rigs. True, but there are several others that will also help you have a successful day bass fishing.

All fishing rigs have one thing in common. They are assembled with different combination's of various components. These components include:

  1. Main Line,
  2. Leader Line,
  3. Hook,
  4. Bait or Lure,
  5. Sinker/Weight,
  6. Swivel and Beads


Fishing Line is the "tell" between your hands, rod and what's happening on the end of the line. Some anglers use the same type line for all their techniques. This is likely a mistake that undoubtedly denies them success in detecting a bite, hooking the fish and ultimately landing it.

There is no "one" line suitable for every technique and condition.

There is no "one" line suitable for every technique and condition.

All lines, be they monofilament, co-polymer, braid or fluorocarbon, have different properties relative to diameter, abrasion resistance, sensitivity, limpness, memory, stretch, color and break strength. Smart anglers will educate themselves to these differences and how each can best serve their efforts or thwart them instead.


Sinkers, or are they weights, are all the same. right? Not so. Sinkers are some of the most important pieces of tackle in your tackle bag. For you purists, sinkers are usually associated with live bait and weights with artificial lures. Seriously though, weight=sinker=weight. It's like saying beer or brew. In the final analysis the effect is the same. With sinkers it's to get your lure or bait down where the bass are. With beer, well we know what it's purpose is.

Most fishing sinkers today are made from molded lead. Alternatives have come into the market as an awareness of the environmental impact of lead on our fisheries becomes more clear. There are now sinkers made from brass, titanium, tungsten and even rocks with holes drilled in them!


Fishing Hooks are the business end of fishing rigs. There are many considerations in choosing the right hook for your technique including whether you're using live or artificial bait, the length and thickness of plastic lures you're using, desired lure action, nature of the structure or cover in which you are fishing and the desire to "catch and release" the bass you catch, just to mention a few.

Treble hook styles and sizes on crankbaits, jerkbaits and other lures can have a profound impact on hooking bass that strike at the lure. Many of us routinely change out the factory hooks for those more suitable for our personal style and techniques.


Fishing Swivels serve an important purpose in bass fishing rigs. Yes, some of us swear by them while others swear at them as the reason for lost fish. Swivels are the tie point between our main line and leader. They function "theoretically" to eliminate main line twist while allowing all below the swivel to turn and spin.

They are manufactured in barrel, crane, ball bearing and snap configurations. Without question, ball bearing swivels are the best and if you choose to use a swivel this is the style you should use, though they are the most expensive.


Beads are quite simplistic but serve useful purposes such as knot protection in Texas and Carolina rigs, bobber stops when float fishing and as noise makers when made of glass or brass. They are also important components of spinner baits. They are manufactured in plastic, brass or glass in five sizes and in many colors. They are found solid, hollow, round, faceted and even in "glow in the dark" colors.



Three Fishing Rigs to Know and Love

The Carolina Rig is composed of numerous components as shown at right. It is fished shallow and deep and can be configured many different ways, with many different lures and for many different conditions.

Baitcasting or heavy spinning gear will accommodate Carolina rigs.


The Texas Rig is more simple than the Carolina Rig but is no less effective when used in the right conditions. It's simply a hook and sinker, though some anglers add a bead between the sinker and hook eye. This helps protect the knot from the banging of the sliding sinker.

Texas rigs are fished on both baitcasting and spinning gear depending on the structure and cover being fished and the size weight and bait being used.


The Floating Worm is simpler still, a bass fishing rig requiring but a worm and hook. This is a deadly effective rig in spring around grass and brush when the water is 60° or warmer. An offset 4/0 worm hook and a 6" Zoom Trick Worm in pink or white can't be beat. Some anglers add a swivel to minimize line twist.

Spinning tackle is best suited for this light weight rig.



Check Out These Other Bass Catching Rigs

A Drop-shot rig reverses the "traditional" order of hook and sinker. In this rig the hook comes before the weight, anywhere from 6" to 4´ feet up the line from the sinker which is at the very bottom of your line.

This fishing rig was originally developed as a vertical presentation for deep water using light gear and small baits. This finesse approach has now evolved into one that can be applied shallow as well as deep. It can also utilize both light and heavy gear and large baits. It is good for offshore structure in deeper water and for "walking" a bait at eyeball level to the bass in shallow water. This is rig that offers the angler presentation options unmatched by other rigs.


A Wacky Rig is an extremely simple but effective Bass fishing rig. It consists of a worm, often a Senko, and a hook that impales the worm through its middle.

It is best in clear water and when presented during spawn and pre-spawn, though it can be productive to varying degrees most of the year. Excellent around grass, docks, bluffs and when the bass have moved shallow.

Due to the nature by which the worm is placed on the hook the rig creates more resistance when moved through the water. This disturbance increases the likelihood of attracting bass and instigating a strike.

Though originally viewed as a shallow water lure it is now used for deep water presentation through the use of wacky jigheads and other weighted hooks.




What About Live Bait Rigs?

The Carolina Rig - Rigging Variations

How is Carolina Rig fishing done?

Anatomy Of The Bass Catching Texas Rig

How Do You Rig A Drop-Shot Rig? Many Ways!

What The #&+!?% Is A Wacky Rig?

Bass Fishing Techniques

What Is A "Floating Worm" And How Do you Rig and Fish It?

The Simple Shaky Head Opens Locked Jaws!

Bass Fishing Lures

Alabama Rig. Gearing Up and Fishing the Rig Some Consider a Blessing and Others a Curse


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