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The Texas Rig: A Complete Guide to Rigging and Techniques

Written by: John B
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The Texas Rig has come to dominate bass fishing for a reason: it works.

Whether you’re pitching big tubes or creature baits, working the bottom of a hard-bottomed channel, or running a worm through grass and brush, a Texas Rig won’t let you down.

This versatile rig makes the most of virtually any soft plastic, and it’s as easy to fish as it is to assemble.

This Senko is Texas Rigged and pegged. Do you know why?

Do you want to know more about the Texas Rig?

Keep reading!

Texas Rig Basics

I doubt you can find a bass angler who doesn’t use--and love--a Texas-rigged soft plastic.

Versatile, easy to assemble, and effective, the Texas Rig is easily the most popular choice for worm fishing, having proven its mettle on countless lakes and ponds across America.

A simple idea in theory--an offset hook, a worm, and a bullet weight--the Texas Rig offers compounding benefits. Essentially weedless, it’s an ideal rig for working heavy cover while providing amazing action to your plastic of choice.

That weedless running makes it fantastic for flipping and pitching, and there’s probably no better option out there for luring big bass from nasty cover. And even in open water, a Texas Rig offers your soft plastics the chance to really shine.

How to Set Up a Texas Rig

Among the many virtues of the Texas Rig is simplicity.

Easy to rig, with a little practice, you can have one put together in seconds.

To set up a Texas Rig, follow these steps:

  1. Slide a bullet sinker, tip first, onto your main line.
  2. Using a Palomar Knot, attach an offset shank hook. Wet your knot, tighten it, and trim the tag end.
  3. Pass the point of an offset hook through the tip of the worm’s head. You want to run the hook about an inch into the worm.
  4. Push the worm up and over the eye of your hook. You want to get the worm to lay straight, using that offset to your advantage.
  5. Rotate the point back toward the worm. Stretch the worm out along the hook.
  6. Measure the bottom of the curve of the hook on the worm’s body. That’s where you want to bury the point in the next step.
  7. Push the point back into the worm’s body, bringing the tip through to the opposite side. 
  8. Push just a bit of your worm onto the hook, creating a weedless rig.

To Peg or Not to Peg: The Great Debate

In heavy vegetation, and especially brush piles and downed trees, your Texas Rig can run into a problem.

While running over a branch, the worm and weight can separate, leading to snags.

To prevent this, you can peg the weight in place, creating a single unit of your rig. It’s best not to do this with a toothpick, as you can damage your line and create issues as the wood swells with water.

Instead, use a silicon float stop to hold your bullet weight tight to your worm.

That’s a simple solution to a big problem, so what’s the debate?

Pegged Texas Rigs don’t produce as many fish. There’s something about that free weight that triggers strikes, and locking it in place will affect your odds. 

On the other hand, getting hung up is no good.

Pros like Shaw Grigsby recommend that you only resort to pegging your weight when you absolutely must to get it through the thick stuff.

How to Fish a Texas Rig: Techniques

By now, you understand why you want to use a Texas Rig, and you should know how to assemble one.

But the big question remains: which techniques are best with a Texas Rig?

Work the Fall

My favorite technique for fishing a Texas Rig is to lift it off the bottom by raising my rod tip and retrieving as it falls.

The idea is to swim the bait in short hops across the bottom. Vary the length of your hops from time to time, and see what’s triggering hits that day on your lake.

The key is the fall, as it allows the soft plastic to wriggle, imparting irresistible action and triggering strikes.

The Slow Drag

If I feel that the bottom is hard where I’m working my Texas Rig, I’ll try slow dragging.

The idea is to keep my rig on the bottom, using sweeping motions with my rod to drag the worm a few feet at a time.

This is great for creature baits like craws, especially if you’ve rigged them with a bead to add a tiny click.

Lose the Weight

In shallow water, or when the bite is slow, lose the weight and rig your soft plastic alone.

This will slow your fall considerably, allowing the bass more time to make a move on your swimming soft plastic.

This is one of my favorite techniques around lily pads.

I like to rig a big, dark-colored worm weightless. I’ll pitch it onto the pads and then drag it off the side and into the water. 

As it drifts to the bottom, hungry bass just can’t resist!

Tackle for Texas Rigging

Rods

While a Texas Rig can be fished with a light or medium-light rod, hooksets can be iffy as a result. Most bass anglers choose dedicated worm rods for this technique.

If you’re unfamiliar with bass rods, we’ve got you covered, and you should check out these articles:

One Rod To Rule Them All? Best Bass Fishing Rods Reviewed

My favorite rod for worm fishing is the Dobyns Rods Fury Series FR 703C. This medium-heavy power, fast action bass slayer is a dream to cast and fish, and it offers the sensitivity to detect the subtle suck of a bass inhaling your worm. But unlike a lighter rod, this Dobyns has the backbone to set the hook from across the lake, turn a big, bad female, and wrangle mean bass from tight cover.

Another great option is the St. Croix Mojo Bass. The 7’, medium-heavy rod sports a moderately fast tip that’s great for detecting strikes. And as you’d expect from St. Croix, from the cork on the split grip to the guides on the excellent blank, you’ll find quality, through and through.

Reels

You’ll want a reel with plenty of capacity and a smooth, strong drag. You’ll also want enough speed to keep up with a fast run toward your boat.

Check out all of our favorite bass reels

Among my favorites is the awesome Shimano Curado K. I own this reel, and it’s simply excellent. If you want the full run-down, check out our review.

The Curado K isn’t going to disappear into your hand as easily as some reels do, and it’s a bit heavier than comparable reels by Lews or Daiwa, weighing in at 7.6 ounces. But it’s built to last with legendary Shimano durability, and if you’re looking for an ultra-smooth drag, search no further.

This reel’s line capacity is great, and its gearing picks up 31-inches of line with each crank--more than enough for big bass.

And of course, Shimano’s breaking system and spool design result in effortless casting.

Another fantastic choice is the Daiwa Tatula CT Type-R.

The Type-R weighs-in at a svelte 7.2 ounces, with comfortable curves and a palmable size that promises less fatigue when you’re casting all day. But yes, it’s a solid ounce heavier than the LFS and a beefier reel overall.

Casting performance is awesome, and the Type-R is smooth, smooth, smooth, enabling some very long throws. Their propriety “T-wing” design really works to reduce friction, and with Daiwa’s magnetic braking system, overrun is minimized, as is its attending backlash. That gives me a bit more confidence with long casts, and I’d rate its performance as top-notch. 

Daiwa builds a great carbon fiber drag system into this reel, delivering smooth performance down low and a max drag of 13.2 pounds. “Flawless” is the best word to describe its performance. For most anglers, most of the time, that’s more than enough drag to win a tough fight or muscle a monster.

Either of these reels will put a smile on your face with every cast.

Line

For hard hooksets and the sensitivity worm fishing demands, nothing beats premium braid like Power Pro or Sufix 832.

Neither allows more than a tiny bit of stretch, meaning that the power you impart to your rod is translated directly to the hook. And they’re ridiculously sensitive, allowing you to feel every wriggle of your worm and detect the subtlest strikes.

The primary weaknesses of braid are low shock strength, poor knot integrity, and low abrasion resistance, though each can be mitigated by stepping up to heavier tests.

Where visibility is an issue, run a three-foot mono leader and never look back.

Hooks

Sharp, strong offset hooks are the name of the game for Texas rigging, and you simply can’t do better than Gamakatsu.

Their extra-wide gap (EWG) hooks are ideal for worms, creature baits, and fat tubes, and they're the first choice of legions of tournament pros. And their round-bend offset hooks are murder with worms and lizards.

Hook Sizing

Hook sizing is important. Go too big, and you’ll run bass off before they take your worm. Go too small, and you might miss the bass that hits your line.

Always match your hook to the size and shape of the plastic you’re rigging.

A 3/0 is ideal for 6-inch worms and lizards and works well with Senkos, too. I step up to a 4/0 or 5/0 if I’m running a larger soft plastic. EWG hooks work well with worms, but they’re essential once you grab a fat tube of stubby creature bait.

See our full guide on hook size for bass

Soft Plastics

Pretty much any soft plastic can be rigged Texas-style, but I have some favorites that have delivered time and again.

Strike King Rage Tail Craw

In the spring, when pre-spawn females are feeding almost exclusively on crawfish, nothing beats a Rage Tail Craw.

These 4-inch soft plastics are simply fantastic. To add a bit of rattle, I like to run an 8mm bead between the bullet sinker and the craw. That tiny click mimics live crawfish, and I think it helps to attract more bites.

Strike King Rage Craw/Falcon Lake Craw, Multicolor, 4-Inch (RGCRW-135)

Amazon 

Culprit Original Worms

Culprit’s Original is 7.5 inches of bass attracting action. That long, curly tail moves for all it’s worth on the fall, and it’ll get wriggling with every twitch of your rod tip.

Culprit C720-48 Original Worm, 7-1/2-Inch, June Bug, 18-Pack

Amazon 

Zoom Magnum II Worm

Zoom’s 9-inch Magnum worm is great for when I want a big bait to entice a big bass, and I like to rig a black option around lily pads. 

Zoom Magnum II Worm-Pack of 20 (Black, 9-Inch)

Amazon 

Zoom Bait Brush Hog

The Brush Hog is a 6-inch long tournament-winning creature bait.

Zoom Bait Brush Hog Bait-Pack of 8 (Watermelon Red, 6-Inch)

Amazon 

Yamamoto Fat Ika

Fat Ikas are the tube to beat when you’re pitching and flipping. These fat, 4-inch wonders need an EWG hook to do their thing.

Yamamoto Gary Custom Baits 4' Fat Ika (297 NF/LG GRN PURP 92F-10-301)

Amazon 

Zoom Bait Magnum Lizard

If you haven’t fished a big lizard, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Zoom Bait Magnum Lizard Fishing Bait, Green Pumpkin Magic, 8'

Amazon 

Bullet Weights

The lighter the vegetation and the slower you want your fall, the lighter your bullet weight.

I don’t go with less than a ¼ ounce weight, but to punch heavy vegetation or get me to the bottom fast, I’ll go as heavy as 1 ½ ounces.

Bright Starl offers a 50-pack of assorted weights that have you covered for most situations.

50Pcs Fishing Sinkers Weights Kit Worm Fishing Sinker Weight Bullet Lead Sinkers Fishing Set

Amazon 

Final Thoughts

Texas Rigging is essential for bass fishing success, and wherever you fish, whatever the season, this rig catches big fish.

We hope this article has taught you something new, and if it has, we’d love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment below.

About The Author
John B
If it has fins, John has probably tried to catch it from a kayak. A native of Louisiana, he now lives in Sarajevo, where he's adjusting to life in the mountains. From the rivers of Bosnia to the coast of Croatia, you can find him fishing when he's not camping, hiking, or hunting.
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A. Rob
A. Rob
3 months ago

didactic for texas rig lovers indeed!

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