The Texas rig is one of the most effective ways to rig any soft plastic. When done properly, it lets you throw soft plastic bodies into thick vegetation without hanging up. For anybody who is not yet aware, many huge catches often lurk just beneath the thick stuff. This is, “the best place” to fish.
Fishing lures with exposed treble hooks like crankbaits, jerkbaits, and poppers will get snagged easily and you may never get your lure back.
This is why you should learn how to Texas rig lures. This method will allow you to catch fish in the nastiest grass, roots, trees, rock pilings, and other snaggy areas without getting hung up in all the mess. The way the hook is positioned will make it incredibly hard to snag in anything if you do it right. The process is fairly straightforward and can be learned in a weekend if you are diligent in practicing it.
One of the most basic of all bass fishing rigs, it has a few simple steps that you need to take for you to get the result you want. Try it on many soft plastic bodies to see what works best for you. It will work with many common fishing lures and it is up to you to experiment to see what the local fish prefer.
Get The Right Texas Rigging Tackle For The Job
The very first thing you need to do before you try to rig anything is to get all of the tackle it needs. The basic rig consists of a soft plastic lure body of your choice, a worm hook, and a bullet sinker. The soft plastic lure body is going to be the one you want to fish with.
Select a lure body that will give you a good chance of attracting the fish in your area. Great ones to try out are plastic worms, crayfish, and tubes. You can even use soft jerkbaits, lizards, and paddle tail swimbaits. The next thing you need to get is a worm hook. A worm hook looks like a regular hook but it has a bend near the hook eye. The best Texas rig hooks have extra-wide gaps.
They are made specifically for this purpose. It can be a straight shank or an offset hook. The size you want to choose is purely dependent on the size of the bait body. The thickness of the wire, as well as hook sizes, are for the angler to decide on. The hook should pair well with the plastic.
The last component to complete everything is a bullet sinker. The bullet sinker will be resting on the nose of the lure at the knot. The weight of the sinker will help the rig get to the bottom very quickly as well as provide a nice action to the soft plastic. This step is completely optional and you do not need it to fish the rigs. You can fish it without any weight. This is called a weightless Texas rig.
Alternatively, you can just get worm hooks that have lead or tungsten sinkers already attached to the hook instead and bypass this step completely. It will work regardless if you choose to use a lead bullet weight, a tungsten one, a tin one, a steel one, or even just forget it altogether. You are in control.
In any case of using a bullet weight should you decide to, you must put the bullet weight on the fishing line before you tie on the hook. If you forget to do this, you will have to cut the line and put it on or just forget it and fish it weightless. The bullet must go on first if you plan on using one. Take a minute after to make sure you tied the knot after that too. It becomes hard to tie on once rigged.
How To Insert The Hook Properly
The very first step you want to take is to pierce the nose of the soft plastic with the hook. Insert it directly through the very center of the nose and push in until the nose of the lure touches the bend of the hook. Stick the point of the hook barb inside the nose of the bait and push down forcefully through the plastic. It needs to be the nose end too. Do not insert the hook through the tail end.
If you insert it through the tail end, it will make your rig misbehave and it will not swim properly. To identify which end is indeed the nose, it is usually easy to tell. On most ribbon tail worms, the head is going to be the opposite side of the ribbon tail. That is pretty obvious. On creature baits or plastic craws, it is the same. To put it simply, the head is not the action end.
The problem comes when you venture into fishing with stick worms and other similar styles that look similar on both ends. For stick worms, the head is the fatter side.
Don’t Forget To Expose And Rotate The Hook Around
Once that is done, you want to puncture the hook through the side of the bait and expose it. You should turn the hook counterclockwise until the point comes out. It should exactly 90 degrees. Once it does, pull the hook all the way through until the head of the lure is sitting right below the bend near the eye. Once this happens, next is the tricky part. This part is so tricky to the new angler because it takes some getting used to.
I will be honest. When I first started doing this, I wrecked and ripped so many soft plastics because of this step. You should twist the hook with your index finger and thumb as you pull down on it gently. Spin it around as you work the bend to the outside. Once it presents itself, it should just pop into place. If you did it right, you should now the head of the bait body resting on the bend of the worm hook.
The hook eye should be in the center of the head and the bend should be resting comfortably outside of the body. Now you should have the hook going into the head, out through the side, and it should be centered. You may not do it right the first time. It’s fine. It happens. Try again. Once you feel you have mastered it, feel free to move onto the next step.
Bring It Back Through The Plastic Again
Once you have that hard part figured out, the next steps are easy. I like to set the hook on the side of the fishing lure to see exactly where it should come out. I like to put my thumb just below the hook to mark it. After that, you pierce the bait in the same area and the hook point should come out of the top. Bend the body so you can insert the worm hook in the area where your finger is.
Bend the body and bring it back towards the hook point until it pierces through. Once it does, make sure that the entire hook point is exposed. You want the entirety of the bend to be on the outside. Now, all you have to do is make sure the hook rests on the very top of the body. Take care to ensure that the hook point is outside and resting on top. The straight bend of the hook should fit perfectly.
Cover The Hook Point With The Plastic
Now you should have a perfectly rigged lure, Texas-style. The only issue with it is that the hook point is exposed. If you were to cast it this way, the point of the hook would grab, catch, and snag on absolutely everything. Many fish love to hide and take shelter under the thickest brush and vegetation. If you want to get to them without hanging up, you should not throw it as it is. You want to make it weedless first.
To help fix this, you need to just barely cover the hook point with the plastic. Just barely tip it. Grab the bait with your fingers, pull it barely away from the hook enough to make it expand, raise the plastic slightly and bring it back at the hook. If it was done right, there should be a very small amount of the bait covering the hook point. You can test how weedless it is by running your finger over it.
If your finger does not catch at all on the hook point, nothing else will either. Feel free to throw it in the thickest of nasty stuff. When a fish comes and bites down on it, the hook point is revealed and you can hook the catch.
When you figure out how to Texas rig lures correctly, you can move into that higher level of fishing. The same fishing that has caught many huge spawning females out of the nastiest submerged vegetation. If you can master this, you can get so much more versatility out of your baits. It will let you throw pretty much everywhere you could not otherwise get to without snagging. Try this rig out. It really works!
How do you like to use this setup? Tell us which baits you like to throw on it and why! You can help us all out!
David Moore is the CEO and founder of Moore & Co. He has experience in tackle-making, fishing, boating, and wildlife conservation. Now an established name in the industry, David calls Ohio home. You can reach him at www.onestoptackleshop.com.