The wacky rig is a very popular rubber worm rig in which the hook is fully exposed and centered on the body of the worm, causing the bait to sag equally on both sides. At first impression most anglers think this rig is silly looking, which is true but much to their surprise it’s one of the most effective bass fishing techniques out there. This is especially true when there’s a tough bite.
There are pretty much two main ways to setup this rig. One way is to pierce the hook through the body of the worm and the other way is to have the hook held to the worm using an o-ring. The o-ring slips over the worm so the hook can hook to that instead of piercing the worm. Either way, the appearance of the bait will be the same, the o-ring is just helps make the worm last longer by keeping it from tearing.
If you’re looking to start wacky rigging then check out this Wacky Worm Kit. It’s a complete kit that includes everything you need to wacky rig worms.
The most commonly known worm used for a wacky rig is the Senko worm made by Gary Yamamoto. These baits come in sizes ranging from three to seven inches. With that said, the most popular sizes are the four and five inch Senkos.
This bait became so popular that after it came out, pretty much all rubber worm companies made their own versions of it. For example YUM Bait Company and their YUM Dinger. Some anglers will use other style worms but the one thing they will all have in common is they are straight-tail worms.
Over the years the wacky rig became such a commonly used rig that most hook companies now offer a full line of wacky rig hooks. They are usually shaped like circle hooks, and may or may not have a weedguard on them. One of the most popular models is the Wicked Wacky Hook made by Gamakatsu.
The majority of anglers throw the wacky rig with a weightless hook because it lets the bait sink very naturally and it’s very attractive to bass. But some prefer to rig it with a weighted hook like the Wacky Head Jig Hook also made by Gamakatsu. You can also add weight to the rig by using a wacky weight, which attached to the bottom of the hook so its under the center of the worm.
How To Fish A Wacky Rig
In most scenarios, when you’re fishing a wacky rig you’re fishing it as a finesse tactic, and finesse fishing is best done with spinning gear and light line. This isn’t to say you couldn’t rig a seven inch wacky worm on a baitcaster and catch fish, but in most cases this rig is used for finesse fishing.
First you have to rig the worm, and like we mentioned at the beginning there are two ways to do it. If you’re going to be doing a lot of wacky worm fishing then it’s recommended you use the o-rings so you get longer life our of your worms. There’s actually a pretty cool trick for rigging a wacky worm with these o-rings. Instead of using one ring, slip two on there and then cross them over eachother. Then let the hook slip under the cross. This makes the hook perpendicular to the worm while also giving it better support and protecting the worm from damaging quickly.
Best Wacky Worm Rod
A seven foot spinning rod with medium power and fast action is perfect for fishing a wacky worm. St Croix Mojo rods are excellent sticks for fishing wacky rigs and most other worm rigs. Just about any good spinning reel will do, and it should be spooled with monofilament or fluorocarbon line. A lot of anglers swear by fluorocarbon when fishing wacky rigs because it sinks but mono will work fine.
Wacky Worm Fishing Techniques
Fishing a wacky worm is pretty simple, you basically want to cast the bait out and let it sink to the bottom. Really let it sink to the bottom, the majority of your bites on a wacky rig are going to come on the initial cast while its sinking. After the bait his hit the bottom and you have not gotten a bite, pick your rod tip up to bring the bait up in the water column and let it sink back down. You can also add in a couple jerks as your raising the rod up to give it some erratic action.
Ninety nine percent of bites are going to come as the bait is sinking and you are not going to feel that bite if there is too much slack in the line. Thats why as the bait is sinking down its imperative that you reel in the slack line as you lower the rod tip. This will keep some tension on the line so you can detect a bite. Not so much tension that the bait is not sinking at a natural rate of fall, just enough so you can feel a hit. This amount of line tension is sometimes referred to as a “semi-slack line”
You also want to keep a close eye on the line. Sometimes you’l be able to see the line move and not feel a thing. Whether you feel a bite or see the line moving, it’s important to give a solid hookset immediately. One of the biggest downsides of these rigs is a lot of anglers won’t feel the bite until a bass has already worked the bait in to its throat. This can make it very difficult to unhook and even worse can be fatal to the bass.
Now if you are fishing the worm weightless it will have a slow, natural rate of fall. This action is deadly most of the time in bass fishing, but there are going to be scenarios where add some weight is required. The obvious scenarios are when you’re fishing deeper water or in windy conditions, but it’s also worth trying if a weightless rig just isn’t getting bites. A quick sinking wacky worm could trigger a reaction strike. A weighted wacky worm has a lot more action because sinking faster causes the two ends of the worm to flutter more erratically.
The wacky rig is a great way to get bites when bass just don’t seem to be biting anything else. Like we discussed in the beginning, this is mostly used for finesse fishing, so you really want to make sure you fish it slowly.