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Basic Worm Rig for Bass – Texas Rig

The biggest game changer in bass fishing was the development of the plastic worm. The original worms were a stiff vinyl compound and sold five for a dollar. The “slip sinker rig” became popular in the mid 1960’s and bass that were previously almost unreachable were being caught in great numbers. Developments in fishing line, sinkers and specific hooks all evolved to make a deadly system for casting and catching bass on plastic worms. That name is now commonly been referred to now as the Texas Rig.

Basic Worm Rig for Bass | Texas Rig
BIG Bass Bite

With bass fishing pressure at an all-time high the plastic worm position you to catch trophy fish on soft plastics. For decades the basic bass bait was the plastic worm. There were straight tail worms, eventually a curly tail worm, ripple tails with dozens of sizes and colors available. Topwater lures are seasonal, spinners are versatile but loaded with a mechanical action, crankbaits with their multiple treble hooks are difficult to work in the heavy cover bass love BUT the worm can be rigged weedless, fished in open water or the heaviest of cover. Other giant pluses for pitching the plastic wigglers are factors like easily swallowed shapes, natural swimming motions, silence and at the top of the list random action. All of these attributes add up to bunches of big bass.

The Essential Set Up

I’ve found helpful to carry a small accessory box of Texas Rig components in my Jackson kayak. Lead slip sinkers in the trays run from ¼ ounce to a ½ ounce. The lighter slip sinkers give a slower fall but also make it a little more difficult to keep the all-important constant contact with the bait. In heavy wind, heavy cover or deep water the ½ ounce weight (or heavier) facilitates the cast, contact and the faster fall. As a matter of personal preference, I slide a bead on the line below the slip sinker. The bead, which is red adds the trigger color red, adds a clicking sound to the silent set up when the sinker hits the bead and the plastic bead also protects your knot from the rub of the lead to line action. * (SEE PHOTO) Next depending on the size of the worm comes a size choice as well as worm hook style. The worm hooks can be described as wide gap, off set or in other ways. For years I preferred the Daiichi Copperhead hook for it’s built in ability to secure the plastic worm (with a “hitchhiker” and supply a straight hang. Worm hooks typically run in sizes varying in 1/0 to 6/0 dependent on the size, thickness of the worm or other soft plastic bait.

Basic Worm Rig for Bass | Texas Rig

Variable Worming Ways

Besides the Texas rig there are many other ways to present straight shaped soft worm. One technique we employ in open water is the exposed hook leadhead. Not recommended for working around cover on the plus side your hook set to catch ratio is great. A modification that excels during the summer months is the floating worm rig, a variation of the Texas rig. No slip sinker, no bead you use a 10-inch shock leader constructed of a swivel, 10 inches of line and the worm hook. This is best presented on spinning gear and its effectiveness is based of being weedless and weightless. The floating worm (or soft plastic tube) will dart, dive and sink slowly and inherently provides random action. Carolina rigs, Shakey heads and Wacky rigs are all popular with some the fans of soft plastic presentations for bass. Other shape considerations are basic straight tail worms, ripple tails that add visibility and vibration. Another choice is length. From four-inch finesse models to a full foot of giant plastic used when looking for a true giant.

Basic Worm Rig for Bass | Texas Rig

Keeping It Real About Rods (and Reels)

I consider the kayak for casting space, rod staging presentation of any bait as well as technique. I gravitate towards rods that are from six feet to 7 ½ feet long. For Texas rig worm duty my preference is a Lew’s 7 ½ foot medium heavy action rod coupled with a Lew’s baitcasting reel geared at 6.3:1 retrieve ratio. A smooth accurate cast is important for my casting, pitching or flipping presentation. The drag system must be dependable as to not lose a big bass or break the line. The role of the rod is to be sensitive, provide a solid hook set and allow me to effectively play fish of any size. I spool with straight braid, no leader, generally 20 -30-pound test braid as to not lose any fish because of the strength of my line. NOTE: I attach my Texas rig with first a Palomar knot and back that up with an improved clinch knot to prevent the possibility of the knot slipping. (A common occurrence with braided line)

Basic Worm Rig for Bass | Texas Rig

Three Point Contact

Typically bass anglers speak of sensing the “strike, pick up or hit” by the signal sent from the rod tip to the rod handle. I add a third possibility of feeling the bait being picked up by running the line over the back of my thumb of my left hand. This is a sensitive area and helps to recognize the slightest change in line tension indicating a fish having taken your lure. As soon as I feel anything different I lower the rod tip slightly leaving a small section of slack in my line and set the hook..HARD. The strikes range from subtle to the feeling that the rod’s about to be yanked out of your hand. If you are using a ½ ounce slip sinker and your bait feels like it weighs and ounce..SET THE HOOK. Hook sets are free! After several fish check the point of your hook and if necessary, touch it up with a diamond file hook sharpener. Don’t fooled by the term diamond, they’re relatively inexpensive and a pocket size model will cost less than $15.

They say, “Everything is BIGGER in Texas” so are the bass you catch on Texas rigged soft plastics.