Are you interested in fishing? Well, here is your complete guide on how to fish a wacky rig; let’s dive in and explore a wacky rig in detail.
What Is A Wacky Rig?
A wacky rig is a classic Midwest finesse technique used primarily to target bass in the weeds and vegetation. However, it can also be used on structures, particularly around brushes or man-made objects that protrude from the water. A wacky rig gets its name from the hook position – your hook is placed sideways through the plastic bait rather than straight through as you would with a Texas rig or Carolina rig. This unique look takes some getting used to, but once you’ve got it down, it will likely become one of your favourite rigs for catching finicky fish.
How To Fish A Wacky Rig
The wacky rig is a reasonably simple setup and can be easily customized to suit your needs. The only materials you will need are a rod and reel, a small swivel, some monofilament line, a wacky worm or other plastic bait, split shot weights, and an extra bobber stop.
Best Wacky Rig Setup
Rod & Reel:
The best setup for fishing a wacky worm starts with a light- to a medium-power spinning rod. Rod action is really dependent on the type of worm you’re using and what depth of water you’ll be fishing. Still, generally speaking, lighter rods provide a better feel for fish that bite at the end of your worm or slightly off it. Lastly, wacky rigging tends to get your bait hung up more often than not, so make sure your reel has plenty of line capacity ready to go. For the most part, 200 yards is a good option for wacky rigging.
Here is our go-to combination for the setup of a wacky rig:
- Rod: 7’0″ Dobyn
- Reel: Lew’s Mach 2 Spinning Reel
- Line: Seaguar Red Label Fluorocarbon Line (6-10lb)
The next most important piece of your wacky rig setup is the hook. You want to use something small and sharp with a thin wire diameter when it comes to hooks. A finesse hook like the Gamakatsu EWG Worm Hook or Daiichi Bleeding Bait Hook works great for wacky rigging because they’re designed to hook up when the fish bites at the end of your worm or slightly off it. This is the key to catching finicky bass, so make sure you pick quality hooks.
The best hooks for a wacky rig on our list (besides those mentioned already) are:
- Gamakatsu Finesse Wide Gap
- Gamakatsu Split Shot/Drop Shot
- Gamakatsu Finesse Wacky Jig Head
- Owner 5172 Weedless
Best Wacky Rig Techniques
Fishing A Wacky rig takes some skill to get good at – it’s not your typical presentation, and it requires you to be able to feel subtle bites and understand what your rod tip is telling you. But when done right, the wacky worm can produce some fantastic results. The biggest keys to success with a wacky-rigged plastic bait are:
- Fishing in and around heavy cover where fish like to hide
- Keeping your line off of grass and debris
- Keeping your worm moving naturally through open pockets in vegetation
- Adding an occasional twitch of the rod tip
- Retie if one gets snagged or fouled on grass or brush.
Split Shot Wacky Rig
Start by sliding a bullet weight onto your line, followed by an optional swivel if you plan on using one. Next, tie on about 6 to 10 inches of leader line using a Palomar knot. Slide the wacky worm onto your hook, set it so that the hook point is pointing sideways through its nose, then tighten it down at the nose with your pliers – this keeps the worm’s body in place and keeps it from rotating around the hook. Place two split shot weights slightly above your worm, in front of where you tied in your leader (the leader should be equal length to the distance between the top split shot and bottom). You want these weights far enough up the line so that your worm hangs down naturally, but not so high that it becomes a struggle to get the bait into cover.
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This rig can be fished around cover in a variety of ways, but my favourite is to cast it out and let it fall to the bottom. Once it hits bottom, give it a quick jerk with your rod tip, then let it sit still for a few seconds before repeating. This imitates a wounded baitfish – one that’s been injured by a predator and is trying to escape. The weights help keep your bait in position while working it and add some extra weight so you can feel the bites better.
Wacky Rig with Float
The wacky rig is really good for fishing open pockets within a heavy cover, like rock crevices or weed beds. It can also be rigged with a float to suspend it above the bottom and allow you to fish this presentation without having to use split shot weights – perfect for fishing in areas where grass may tangle around your weights.
Start by placing two split shots (or three if you have them) directly above your worm, about 1/2 inch apart. Then tie on a bobber stop using an improved clinch knot, followed by another one-foot section of leader line tied the same as before. Slide the wacky worm onto your hook so that its nose points straight down towards the ground, then tighten it down at the nose using pliers.
Next, hook a small bobber stop to your line just above where it is tied to the swivel. Clip a small bead onto this, then tie directly to the eye of your wacky worm’s hook. Then slide on a third split shot weight so that it rests against the second split shot weight you already have. This keeps all three weights from sliding down your line – which will happen if they are too close together. If you have only two weights, slide one directly between the eye of your wacky worm’s hook and where your bobber stop is tied in place (the picture shows a three split-shot setup).
This rig can be fished around cover much like traditional Texas-rig fishing, except you’ll be using a wacky worm instead of a worm hook. Cast it out and let it sink to the bottom, then use your rod tip to make short hops and pops back towards the boat. You can also deadstick this rig for a few minutes before hopping it again. This will allow the bait to sit in one spot for a while and will often trigger strikes from inactive fish.
The wacky rig is one of the most versatile bass fishing setups out there and can be fished in a variety of ways to target different types of fish. By using different weight combinations, you can make the wacky rig work well in both deep and shallow water. Experiment with other rigs and techniques to see what works best for you, and before long, you’ll be catching bass all over the place.
Plastic Bait or Worm which is better?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as both baits can be effective in different situations. Worms are generally more effective when fishing in deep water. At the same time, plastic baits are better for shallow water or when fish are feeding on the surface. As with most things bass fishing, it’s essential to experiment with different baits and techniques to see what works best in your area.
One thing to keep in mind is that plastic baits are generally more durable than worms and can be fished multiple times before needing to be replaced. This makes them a good choice for anglers targeting hard-to-catch fish or those who want to spend more time fishing and less time rigging baits. Worms can also be used as live bait, while most plastic baits cannot.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide which bait is best for the situation for fishing. Try using both baits to see which one produces more strikes, and remember that fishing is all about experimentation. There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s all about finding what works best for you.
The best hooks for a wacky rig on our list include:
- Yamamoto Senko
- Yum Dinger
- Strike King Rage Craw
- Zoom Finesse Worm
- Zoom Trick Worm
- Zoom Super Fluke
There you have it – a complete guide on how to fish a wacky rig. You now know everything needed to catch bass using this simple yet effective technique, from the setup to the presentation. Experiment with different rigs and techniques to see what works best in your area, and you’ll be catching more fish than ever before.