If you are like most bass anglers, you are probably searching for new ways to ensure a great catch every trip. If that sounds like you, or if you are just looking to improve your chances overall, understanding what rigs to use and how to use them is key to developing great techniques. Although we do not often talk about it, it is common to spend a lot of extra time guessing what lures and rigs to throw, and then ending up with more options than you really need into your tackle box for the trip. The five most effective rigs that need to be available on every trip are listed here for you, so next time you won’t have to weigh yourself down with all the extra fluff.
Simplicity can be a beautiful thing, and that is certainly true with the Ned Rig. Growing in popularity over recent years, the Ned Rig was invented by Ned Kehde. Although it is beautiful in its simplicity, it can be fished in a variety of ways. You can use this rig effectively with up to 1/8-ounce jig head, or as low as 1/32, and your preferred weight will vary based on the site each time you are fishing, based on depth and other factors. Be sure to dress whichever jig head you choose with a plastic worm. In most cases, you will want to keep the lure within 3 inches for the greatest effect. Try to keep it light when you are prepping it, but once it is in the water, it will practically fish itself.
The Shakey Head is the go-to rig of choice when using a 7-foot medium action, or medium light action rod. Not the best option for all seasons, but thanks to developments in recent years, the tackle industry allows for you to completely customize your setup. An 1/8-ounce jig head will work best in most situations with this rig. How you dress it is completely up to you, either a plastic or finesse worm will be the most effective options available, but with senkos, straight tails, ribbon tails, and even more option, test things out for your preferred style.
Jig and Pig
If you are an angler who enjoys the sport year round, the jig and pig is the way to go. Whether the bass are living in a rocky bottom lake, or in the shallows near logs and other debris, there is a version of this rig that will work perfect. There are so many options and variations when it comes to weight, color, and trailer, productivity is limitless, no matter what the season. If you have never used this type of rig, you will want to consider a 3/8 version. Color options for beginners would include black/blue, green pumpkin, and a green/orange. The warmer the water, the warmer the colors you will want to use, as this will imitate the coloring of crawfish.
Many anglers claim the Texas Rig for their most productive way to catch bass. The options with this rig are certain endless, thanks to the variety of options available. Lure, hooks, weight, and presentation can all work in harmony together with the Texas Rig. Typically, anglers will use a tungsten or lead weight on the line, however, this rig can also be fished without added weight. Once an EWG hook is in place, a plastic lure can then be attached. Many anglers prefer to to allow the lure to perform on it’s own with a Texas Rig, however when there is a lot of cover added weight can be helpful in keeping your line clear.
Similar to the shaky head, the Carolina Rig is great for when the fish are “sampling” bait, and may be a bit shy to bite. Great for fish who are dwelling in the depths, this rig works perfectly with a 3/4-ounce weight and EWG 4/0 hook. Once these are in place, have some fun with the multitude of plastic lures available. There are all kinds of great lizards, crawfish, and flukes that work perfectly with the Carolina Rig. Whether you’re targeting large mouth or small mouth, the Carolina rig gets the job done.
Did we miss a rig that works better than these? Let us know in the comments below.