Fishing weedless rigs with Oklahoma's Worst Angler

Texas Rig | The Best Weedless Rig?


Oklahoma's Worst Angler breaks down the Texas Rig and why he thinks it's the best weedless presentation out there when fishing heavy cover. However, for new bass  anglers, this weedless wonder can present challenges setting the hook if not rigged properly. But there's a quick and easy hack that will increase your hook set ratio and get you pulling in big bass in no time!

Video transcript:

Alex Epperson:
That's how it started off right there. That's how it started off right there.

Alex Epperson:
That's what I'm talking about.

Alex Epperson:
That is how you start off an old flipping hook, an old Flippin' Delight. Thanks, mama. There she goes.

Alex Epperson:
What is up MONSTERBASS family, it is Oklahoma's Worst Angler, I'm Alex Epperson, back on the MONSTERBASS channel. Now, I'm going to show you guys what I truly believe is the best weedless rig that's out there. All right, let's get into this.

Alex Epperson:
And it has got to be the crawler. I'm just kidding. No, I mean, it is a good weedless bait because it is top water, but let's talk about this for seriousness, okay? In my opinion, the best weedless rig that you can do is a Texas rig, except I've changed things up. I'm no longer using an EWG. And I'm going to break that down in this video and explain to you guys when I'm out there on the water, why I'm now using a flipping hook. Okay? Just a simple flipping hook. Now what you're going to need is a flipping hook.

Alex Epperson:
Good old MONSTERBASS tungsten right there, and then some kind of flipping creature-style bait like right here, I've got a Strike King Rage Bug. I've got a NetBait B Bug as well, but any kind of flipping bait, whether it be a beaver-style bait, a creature-style, bait, something with some kind of action, some kind of appendages with a wider, flatter body. Now I'm going to break down for you guys on the water, how I like to rig these up, but just for demonstration purposes, I am going to rig up this Rage Bug right here.

Alex Epperson:
So with the flipping hook, this is where I know I used to struggle a lot with how do I rig a flipping hook, and how do I still get that hook in there with the kind of profile that I want to make sure that that hook is coming through, and that bait is still sitting naturally? So you've got your bait keeper right here at the top of that flipping hook, okay?

Alex Epperson:
Now this is a metal-style keeper. There are plastic-style keepers. There's a bunch of different ones out there for flipping hooks. This is what I prefer right here. So I'm going to thread that through, and then what I'm going to do is I'm going to push this bait all the way down to where that bait keeper is coming out the back of that bait. Now you can see, you can't even see that line tie. So, obviously your line's going to be on there, you are going to have that hook tied on there, and your weight is going to be above that. And then I do prefer to peg the weight. So I will show you guys, like I said, in the water on the breakdown, but it's going to look like that right there.

Alex Epperson:
Very weedless. Now, here's the trick. How do I get that hook in there and still make sure that I'm getting the right penetration into that hook, into that fish's mouth? So I'm going to push this bait down just a little bit right here, and all I'm going to do, all I'm going to worry about, is just getting that hook point in the barb past the body. Now it doesn't seem very weedless, I know, but I'm going to show you guys, this will come through grass better than an EWG style because with an EWG style, I'm going to grab one of these Sabretooth hooks here and compare it to the flipping hook. With the EWG style hook that you got right here, the bend in that offset shank right there. When you're putting that through the bait, we'll go and put this on this NetBait B bug here.

Alex Epperson:
When you're putting that through that bait, what you're doing is you're getting that hook to line up better with the body of the bait itself, to where it can sit a little more flat, just like that right there. However, that little bit of a difference in the shank of the hook, that little bend, what you're going to run into right here is this bend. That right there. I keep talking about the bend, I keep talking about the offset part of the hook right here, this right here, depending on the bait, a lot of the time you'll get grass caught on this and you're going to bring grass back almost every time. Now, this is a little more slender profile. You've got that hook point, just Tex-posed. Didn't have it quite Tex-posed there. Those Sabretooth hooks are sharp. Now on that flipping hook, what we're going to have, that hook point is not going to be exposed at all. All we're going to have is the barb pushed into the body.

Alex Epperson:
And just like that. However, like I said, this profile right here, there is nothing to catch that grass at all. Nothing to catch the grass, nothing to catch the weeds. And then with this being raised up a little bit more, when that is sitting in that, on that grass or on the bottom, that is going to help this bait have a more natural presentation and postured up, say like a crayfish. If you're throwing a craw style bait or anything like that, this is going to give a more defensive posture in that look. So let's head out to the water right now and I'm going to show you guys how I fish it and why I think it is the best.

Alex Epperson:
Oh, jeez.

Alex Epperson:
He's about to get away from me.

Alex Epperson:
He took it and ran. Get him up here.

Alex Epperson:
Man, oh man. I busted him. Busted him with that flipping hook. Sorry, buddy. Now, why did I get away from an EWG and move to a flipping hook, especially for just lightweight Texas rigs? The grass, the grass is why. And with a flipping hook, you just get a lot better, weedless presentation with a flipping hook over the EWG. It's got that bend in the hook that's usually right about here. And whether you're creeping through grass or trying to swim the creature bait through the grass, it will catch it every time. And then you lose that really compact profile, kind of natural profile. And then for the grass, I'm obviously pegging it, but I'm going old school, OWA. One-eighth-ounce tungsten. Now this is definitely not a flipping setup. There's only 12-pound test on a medium power rod. But I'm going to fire that out there, I'm going to pull up, just help that thing sink straight down.

Alex Epperson:
Watch my line, make sure it settles. I'm going to reel it up, and I'm just going to lift. I'm going to do a couple of pops, couple of lifts just to get it up out of the grass, get top-up out, and do the same thing. Sometimes I'll drag it. If I've got a clear bottom, I'll drag it more. I'll drag it, then give it a couple of hops. But if you guys can see, there's plenty of grass in here, and it is thick, thick grass. So I want to hop it up out of there. And I want to get that fish's attention, whether they're in the grass, belly in it looking up, or they're suspended and looking down. Now, why have I always gone, lightweight with a one-eighth ounce? Why not heavier? Why not try to get deep down in that grass? Because it's not really a punching set up. I'm not trying to punch the grass.

Alex Epperson:
What I want to do is I want to either, if I'm going to get in that grass, I want to fall slowly and not get all the way down. I want to stay where those fish are. And again, if they're belly in the grass and looking up, that lighter weight and that bigger flatter profile, that creature baiter, that beaver-style bait, is going to help it just kind of sit right on top of it, okay? When it's falling straight in there, it's going to go straight down. It's going to slide in that grass, no doubt. But when I'm hopping it and giving these little twitches here, it's going to help it just kind of stay right on top of it and just kind of creep right on top of the grass.

Alex Epperson:
Because I feel like that's always given me a better presentation for these fish that are looking up or looking down. It's not perfectly hidden from them, but it's going to make them think the bait feels it's hidden. And then when I'm dragging it, again, it just is a much smaller profile, much less of a chance to get grass coming back. I'll even just kind of lift and drag this slow just to show you guys what it looks like when I bring it back through grass, not moss, but grass. I mean you can't beat the algae. You can't beat the algae. You can't beat the moss. But when it comes to grass, you can almost beat it.

Alex Epperson:
So I'm just going to keep kind of dragging this up nice and slow-like. I want to do this with no cuts just so you guys can see. I can see it coming through the grass right now. So bring it up here. Nothing, except a little bit of moss. That is, in my opinion, the best weedless grass setup. Another question I get a lot of the time is bait choice. Does it have to be a specific kind of bait? No. I mean, I like a more compact, flipping-style bait, okay? Right now, I'm going to be trying out the X Zone Adrenaline Craw. Earlier, I was throwing the Beast Coast Flippin' Delight. I've done it with Rage Bugs as well. Strike King Rage Bugs, not near as slim of a profile, they've got the appendages on the side of the body. I've done the same thing. I actually just did that down in Texas.

Alex Epperson:
Do you need something with action? Ah, personal preference, okay? I like more action because I'm going to mix it up. I'm not always going to be hopping it, I'm not always going to be dragging it, sometimes I'm going to swim it too, okay?

Alex Epperson:
I like something with more action. Around wintertime, different story. They do say that less action is better in the winter, possibly in the summertime too. I mean we're coming up on it, today has been a hot, sunny day. I know that a lot of these fish are going to be down towards the middle because there is really no structure here except grass. They're going to be kind of sporadic, but I know that they're going to be down low. So again, I just want something that is going to have a little more action to kind of get their attention. Little bit of sparkle, a little bit of flake. I was throwing a Green Pumpkin Purple. I was throwing a... They call it the Tex, Tex special.

Alex Epperson:
Got a little bit of red in it. Little bit of tan, good blue color. And now, I'm throwing California 420. So color, personal preference. I like those colors. A little more natural, and clearer water is always better. Unfortunately, I don't have that. I know what does catch them out here, and that is the good old Screwhead with a Spark Shad. But again, I'm trying to catch those fish that want to just get their face ripped off. That's what I want to do. I want to set hooks and break jaws. I mean, not really break jaws. I want these fish to live, but there's just something about that good old flipping bite.

Alex Epperson:
But again, does the bait matter? I want a little more compact, I want a little more streamlined, rather, not compact, I want streamlined. Bigger profile, smaller profile. I've done it with the Magnum-size Rage Bugs. I've done it with the Flippin' Delight, it's kind of smaller. The X Zone Adrenaline Craw, kind of that midsize. They all work.

Alex Epperson:
Oh yeah, just like that. Just had to give it a little hop. Little hopscotch delight there. And look at that. An old Adrenaline Bug, or Adrenaline Craw.

Alex Epperson:
Thanks, buddy.

Alex Epperson:
Now, how do you re-rig it? Make sure you don't tear it up. Take that plastic, pull that hook all the way out there, okay? A lot of the time, that weight will slide up a little bit, just like that. I'll clear that grass off of there and all I'm going to do is feed that back through to where I've got that bend to that flipping hook right there on the plastic. And then I'm just going to put that hook point right back in there. And all I want to do is get the barb in the body. I don't want that hook point sticking out, I want to be weedless. So I just want the barb in the body, but enough to where when I'm flipping it, that's not going to pull out of there.

Alex Epperson:
No hook point showing, barb in the body. Slide that peg back down, slide your weight back down, and get back after it.

Alex Epperson:
Here's another tip for you guys. Flipping hooks, they can rip baits. 100 percent, they can rip baits. This is why I tend to like a bigger bait. So what I'm going to do, I know that hook point came out right there. So I'm going to bite the top section of that off.

Alex Epperson:
And then I'm just going to do the exact same thing. I'm going to feed that through to where I've got the distance from the eye of the hook to that bait keeper, pull that up, get that bend right back there. Helps hold that bait right there. And I've got plenty of bait left to work with here to still get that barb in, keep that hook point hidden, and barb in to keep that bait on there. Now is it as weedless? Is this going to catch? Most likely. So I mean, you can trim it, you can take your scissor, you can trim your bait down if you want it to be really slender and really streamlined. But that is how I will get through multiple fish on one bait before it's completely trashed. Because with the flipping hook, you're going to be setting hard, and that bigger hook is going to rip through that bait.

Alex Epperson:
So that's it guys. Anyone who has followed my channel for a long time knows I was a huge, huge advocate of the EWG, lightweight Texas rig style, but ever since throwing a flipping hook, I have not gone back to an EWG when it comes to a Texas rig or a weedless setup. I am now throwing just flipping hooks. So I'm curious. Who all does this? Who has been doing it? Who thinks that I'm an idiot for not doing it this entire time? Let us know down in the comments. Also, check out this sick new shirt from MONSTERBASS, okay? Rise n' Glide. This has got to be my favorite shirt. If you guys can't tell, I'm a big bait fan, love throwing the big baits.

Alex Epperson:
If you guys have not checked out my channel, we'll put a link down on the description over to Oklahoma's Worst Angler. Thank you for watching. If you're not subscribed to the MONSTERBASS channel already, please do so, hit that little red button, give it a thumbs up, give it a thumbs down. I really don't care, okay? You can not like this, you can like it. I just want to hear from you guys. So, thanks for watching again, I appreciate every single one of you. I'll see you next time we're on the water.

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