Texas Rig 101: Everything You Need To Know

Texas Rig 101: Everything You Need To Know

best bass bait for fishing

Bass anglers have been relying on the Texas Rig since the dawn of bass fishing, and for good reason, it’s one the best techniques around for wrestling big bass out of cover. It’s weedless, extremely customizable, versatile, and flat-out catches fish. Not to mention, it doesn’t cost a fortune to get started, which means you can get to fillin’ your tackle box with everything you need to catch those monster bass!. 

Texas Rig Basics

The Texas Rig consists of a free sliding bullet weight on the line, usually made of lead or tungsten, tied to either a worm hook or flipping hook. 

The rig is then fitted with a soft plastic bait of many different varieties, including lizards, tubes, creature baits, and worms. The hook is threaded through the tip of the bait and then turned, and the point of the hook is buried back into the body of the soft plastic, making it virtually impossible to snag. 

The Texas Rig is usually fished on heavier baitcasting equipment to have the power to pull fish out of trees, weeds, and rocks. We like to use at least a 7-foot Medium-Heavy rod with a fast action tip to drive the hook home on the hook set but, depending on the type of cover you’re fishing, you may even want to upsize to a 7’6” heavy action rod. 

We pair the rod with a high speed 7:1 gear ratio or faster reel to help pick up slack quickly after the bite and get the fish moving up toward the boat fast, keeping them from getting themselves and your line tangled in the cover below. 

We try to match our line size to the water’s clarity and cover that we are fishing. We typically like to use a low-stretch fluorocarbon line in 8 to 25-pound test when fishing in clearer water. This line is less visible to the fish and extremely abrasion resistant, which prevents your line from getting nicked up and frayed around the structure. 

In hefty cover, you should use a braided line. Braided line has no stretch and allows for great penetration on the hook set at a low line diameter. Due to the small diameter of braided line, you can get away with a much heavier pound test, generally in the 30 to 65-pound range, but it is easier for the fish to see in clear water. This line works great for pulling big bass out of thick weeds. 

Texas Rigs Are Super Customizable

Texas Rigs are infinitely customizable due to the immense amount of soft plastic baits on the market today. Just about every tackle company has an extensive catalog of baits that mimic everything from crawfish to frogs to baitfish. Let’s go over a few of the baits we like to use most.

Plastic Worm

The number one lure that’s used on a Texas Rig is the plastic worm. While it’s unclear what bass think they are, they’re a proven fish-catching machine.These baits come in various styles and sizes, and there is one for just about every situation. 

A few of the more common worms are ribbontail worms, ringworms, and soft plastic stickbait style worms. Each has its time and place, and all will get fish to bite at some time or another.

In the cold-water season, a soft plastic stickbait style rigged with a light 1/4-ounce weight is subtle enough to trigger bites, and this bait also excels on spawning beds. 

When the water is warmer, we switch over to ribbontails and ringworms. Ribbontails and ringworms come in sizes ranging from five inches all the way up to 12 inches long, allowing you to match your bait to the size fish you’re targeting. It’s hard to find a more tantalizing bait for a giant bass than a 12-inch ribbontail when fishing deep in the summertime. 

Plastic Crawfish

Another great soft plastic to Texas rig is the soft plastic crawfish or creature bait. These baits realistically mimic the size and profile of one of the bass’ favorite foods—the crawfish. Almost every single soft plastics and tackle company have some version of this bait, and they come in a bunch of different proven bass-catching colors. There are a variety of different sizes of each bait to match the hatch on your local lake. 

The soft plastic craw and creature bait can be fished on almost any size weight, ranging from 1/8-ounce bullet weights for a slow fall in cooler temperatures to a big 2-ounce weight for punching into thick matted vegetation. Some of our favorite colors include watermelon, green pumpkin, and black and blue, but feel free to experiment with other colors to see what works on your lake. 

Plastic Flipping Tube

Finally, we’ll take a look at the soft plastic flipping tube. This is another bait that has stood the test of time in seasoned bass angler’s tackle boxes. This bait has a unique flutter as it falls, often doing wide circles that closely resemble a dying baitfish or swimming crawfish's movements. 

The baits come in all of the same colors that any other soft plastic would come in, giving you the ability to match your bait to the conditions and body of water that you’re fishing. We like to fish tubes around rip rap and wood, and the slim profile comes through these heavier covers with relative ease. Tubes work best when paired with light weights in the 1/8-ounce to 3/8-ounce range. 

Texas Rigs Presentation Techniques

Texas Rigs are best fished slowly on the bottom. You can pick away at structure with them, leaving no stone unturned in your search for a monster bass. It’s the perfect tactic for fishing for lethargic and inactive bass and offers them an easy-to-eat meal because the bait is often dropped right into their face. There are several different presentations that you can employ to trigger more bass to bite, and we’ll go over them here. 

Dragging Retrieve

The first presentation we will look at is the dragging retrieve. This technique involves throwing your Texas Rig out and letting it sink to the bottom on a slackline. The lure is then slowly drug across the bottom, maintaining contact with the base for the entire time with a slow upward pull with the rod tip. You will want to drag it about 2 to 3 feet at a time, reel up the slack, and repeat. 

You should be able to feel the vibration of the bait dragging across the content of the bottom through your rod. When a fish picks it up, you’ll either feel the weight of the fish on the bait or you’ll see your line begin to swim away. This presentation is perfect for fishing gravel points, rock bars, and steep banks when the fish are in a negative mood and feeding on crawfish on the bottom.

Flip and Pitch

Next, you’ll want to learn how to flip and pitch a Texas Rig around cover. This presentation is one of the most common ways to fish the rig and can put some absolute giants in your bag. Flipping and pitching is done in tight quarters around trees, bushes, docks, and weed cover and involves a short underhand cast where you hold the bait in one hand and swing the Texas Rig in a pendulum toward the target

Once you get the hang of it, it’s highly accurate and effective at picking apart thick cover and puts the bait right in front of unsuspecting bass. Once you make the cast, you’ll want to hop the bait through the cover to coax them into biting. This method is highly effective at all times of the year as bass naturally gravitate toward shallow cover to stay hidden from their prey. 

Simple Swim

Last, you can swim a Texas Rig when targeting bass that are actively feeding. This method works well in weed flats and around large pieces of hard structure. 

It’s the simplest fishing method and only involves casting the bait out and winding it back in at various speeds. You can employ some rod tip movement to make the bait run a little more erratically, which can often trigger strikes. You’ll want to use baits like soft plastic swimbaits, grubs, and worms that have built-in swimming action to create a more lifelike appearance that resembles that of a scurrying baitfish. 

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Bill Dance Texas rigging | Bassmaster



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