Bass Fishing Rigs

Bass Fishing Rigs

The best bass anglers are always looking to up their game and learning new bass rigs is a sure-fire way to do that. The Texas rig is the most common bass rig because it’s versatile and you can use it in combination with a lot of other styles. I see a lot of professionals having success with drop shotting as well.

If you’re serious about bass fishing and want to catch more, you should learn as many of them as possible. With a combined 100 years of experience passed down to me, these rigs have been pummeled into my brain over my childhood and early adulthood. I’ve got some new, some old, but they’re all good. Let’s take a look!

Types of Bass Rigs

There are many reasons why it’s important to learn how to rig a fishing line and a lure. Every rig has a different purpose. Some are weedless, which means you can throw them near or in heavy cover, and you won’t pull back a ton of green.

Other bass rigs are for presentation. They create a natural appearance of the lure, which helps increase the likelihood of bass being curious about what it is. Regardless of what rig you prefer to use for bass, knowing the most popular bass rigs will give you more gas in the tank when you’re out there fishing a long day.



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.

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 Fish the Carolina Rig

The Carolina 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.


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.

How to Fish the Texas Rig

The Texas Rig might be the most popular bass fishing rig. It is used most often with plastic worms and lizards but is also adaptable to other baits, like jerkbaits. To learn how to rig a soft bait using the Texas Rig, first put a conical worm weight on the line, 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.



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.

How to Fish the Drop Shot Rig

The easiest way to use a drop shot rig is simply allowing it to sink to the bottom after casting it out. Once there, pull up on the line and make it jump along the bottom. A quick pop or jerk will bring your lure to life and hopefully attract a bite. Another technique is to cast out your rig, and slowly retrieve it once it reaches the bottom. You can change up the speed of the retrieve in depending on what the fish are doing.

4. Wacky Rig for Bass

The wacky rig is a soft plastic lure technique that gets its name from its unusual style. It is best known for its unique swimming action and considered one of the best rigs to use with finicky fish. It is a great choice for catching fish of all sizes, as bass can more easily take the bait due to its smaller size.

How to Fish the Wacky Rig

The Wacky Rig is crazy-simple, yet highly effective, setup for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Rigging the Wacky Rig just means hooking and slim, soft plastic bait through the middle of the bait. Both ends of the plastic bait are left free to wiggle, and in most cases no weight is added. The Wacky Rig is especially effective with a Senko worm.

5. Ned Rig

Ned Rig

The Ned Rig is a super popular finesse bass fishing rig that excels in tough fishing conditions. This technique has quickly become a go-to rig for many anglers and is an easy way to catch bass making it a perfect rig for any skill level.

The Ned rig consists of a light mushroom-style jig head paired with a small stick bait or senko. It’s considered an ultra-finesse technique because it’s generally fished on light line and tackle.

How to Fish a Ned Rig

Although some anglers refer to the Ned Rig as a do nothing rig. There a few techniques and retrieves that might help you catch more fish. Here is a list of some of my favorites ways to fish a Ned Rig that can be a great way to trigger some bass into biting.

Bass Fishing Setup for Beginners

First things first. Let’s talk about the basic bass fishing setups you’ll need to be able to throw these rigs effectively.

Here are the two most versatile and basic bass fishing setups that I’d recommend any angler get that is just starting out. These two combinations will allow you to throw a variety of baits and rigs and will help start catching bass.

Spinning Combo

Having a solid spinning rod and reel setup is a must have for any bass fishing angler. In my opinion the most versatile rod is a 7’ to 7’2” medium. This length is perfect for finesse fishing techniques like the Drop Shot, Wacky Rig, Ned rig and others.

As far as a reel size goes a 3000 (or 30) size reel is ideal. It holds a lot of line and it’s the perfect in-between size that works great for bass. With that being said you can fish with smaller reals just fine when starting out.

Casting Combo

Another fishing rod and reel setup that every bass fishing angler needs is a baitcasting combination. Without one you’ll be unable to fish certain baits and techniques effectively.

If you are new to bass fishing the perfect bait casting combination is a 7’ to 7’2” medium to medium heavy powered rod paired with 7:1 to 7:9 gear ratio reel. This probably one of the most versatile setups and will allow you to throw heavier baits and rigs.

Final Thoughts

Think you know everything about bass rigs now? You’re pretty darn close to it. These are the most effective and most common bass rigs out there right now. You’ll see many professional anglers use the drop shot, Texas, and Carolina rigs regularly. Use them to enhance your game and catch more bass!

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