Soft plastics are one of my favorite fishing lures because they can be used in pretty much every situation. There are a bunch of different ways to rig them up and in this post, I’m going to be showing you the 4 best ways to rig up your soft plastic lures.
Here are my favorite ways to rig soft plastics:
- Texas rig.
- Shaky head.
- Wacky rig.
- Drop shot.
The rig you go with will depend on the water you’re fishing in, what type of fish you’re after, and a few other factors. Continue reading or watch the video below to see how to rig each of them up and when to use them.
This is one of my favorite ways to rig a soft bait and is going to be a great option if you’re fishing in a spot where snags are going to happen. It could be in the weeds, around a fallen tree, in shallow water, or around a dock.
If you’ve ever fished in a weeded area you probably know all too well that snags are going to happen. I get sick of taking weeds off my hooks every cast and the solution to that is using a Texas rig.
The hook is actually inside the bait so there’s nothing to snag on. It’s super easy to get set up and it’ll stay on the hook much better than using a live worm or something else like it.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A soft plastic.
- Bullet weight.
- Offset hook.
The first thing you’ll want to do is put the bullet weight on your line (I use a braided line with a fluorocarbon leader). This is going to add some weight so you can cast it better and it’ll help the bait sink. After that, you’ll want to attach the hook using your favorite knot.
Once the weight and hook are attached, the next thing you’ll want to do is add the stick bait. Stick the hook in the top of the bait (about a quarter-inch deep) and poke it back out again. The worm should be attached to the hook.
You’ll then want to slide the bait to the top of the hook and then spin the hook around so you can put the hook back into the bait. Your bait should be in a straight line and your hook should be buried.
How do you fish the Texas rig?
There are a number of ways you can use it but it’ll depend a lot on the time of year and what the conditions are like. As a general rule, you’ll want to cast the bait and let it sink to the bottom. You can drag it along the bottom or lift it up a few feet and let it sink back down.
The shaky head rig is pretty similar to the Texas rig but the main difference is that it’ll allow the tail of the bait to stick straight up in the air. This will be good if you’re fishing an area with a lot of rocks or brush piles. This is what I use a lot of the time when I’m fishing from shore.
The hook will be inside the bait again so you won’t have to worry about snagging. That’s why I use this rig a lot as well. It’ll work best if you’re using a slimmer bait. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- A soft plastic.
- Shaky head jig.
The first thing you’ll want to do is attach your shaky head to your line. You don’t need to put a bullet weight on because the jig should be heavy enough (you still can if you want). Any old knot will do the job.
Next, stick the hook through the top of the bait (if you have a jig with a corkscrew-like attachment then you can just screw it into the nose of the bait). Slide the bait to the top of the shaky head, rotate the hook, and put the hook back in the worm (same as the Texas rig).
How do you fish a shaky head?
My favorite way to fish a shaky head is by dragging it along the bottom. This seems to work best for me but you can also hop it, shake it, or swim it. If the fish are really active then swimming it works pretty well. All you have to do is cast it out there, keep your rod tip low, and drag it along the bottom.
This is a rig that has a completely different presentation compared to the previous ones. It’s easy to use because all you need is a worm style plastic and a hook/jig (I like using a weighted hook). I prefer a hook that has some sort of weed guard but any will do.
Using this is probably best in deeper water because it’ll allow the worm to slowly fall to the bottom. The previous two rigs will sink pretty quick but this one takes its time.
All you have to do is attach your hook or jig to your line and hook the worm in the middle. Go through the bottom and out the top so the hook is sticking standing the right way up.
How to fish a wacky rig?
Cast out and let the bait float to the bottom. Lift up the rod so the bait comes off the bottom. Lower your rod back down and reel in the slack. Repeat this until it comes back to the boat and cast it back out.
The drop-shot rig is the most complex and that’s why I don’t use it a whole lot but it does have its time and place. It’s best used in clearer water where you have finicky fish and don’t want the bait sitting on the bottom. Here’s how to rig it up:
Sometimes the fish will prefer going after a baitfish compared to something crawling on the floor and that’s when the drop shot rig comes into play. The weight will sink to the bottom and the bait will float a foot or so above.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your bait.
- Drop shot weight.
The first thing you’ll want to do is slide your hook on the line and tie a knot. You’ll need to leave a long tag end (8-12 inches) though because you’ll be attaching the drop shot weight below the hook.
Take the extra line and bring it back through the eye of the hook from the hook side. This will allow the worm to stand upright when it’s floating in the water. You can then attach your weight to the extra line. You’ll then want to take the hook and put it through the nose of the stick bait.
How to fish a drop shot?
Cast the line out and let the weight sink to the bottom. You want to keep the weight on the bottom the entire time so all you have to do is give the rod a few twitches. Doing that will cause the worm to move. You don’t need to go crazy with it because it’ll have its own action but a few twitches here and there won’t hurt.
Until next time, happy fishing. If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.
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