Fishing works best when you find what works for you. Regardless of the setup or style of fishing you work on, you will need to develop a system that you can rely on.
Standard fishing techniques and stock setups will work for most beginners, but creating a Texas rig can be challenging and takes time to master but pays dividends.
The Texas rig has been one of the most effective ways to display short plastic bait for decades. While it can be difficult to set up, you’ll have realistic bait that will attract more and better fish. And in this guide, we’ll show you how to set it up like a professional angler.
When Should I Use a Texas Rig?
Texas rigs are great for shallow cover. Using a Texas rig is good for when bass are found in skinny water during the spring. Alternatively, they can be used in the fall when bass move up the channels to eat before the winter.
Another important factor in deciding to use a Texas rig is if the bass is finicky and highly pressured. Rigging the bait without any weight will create a finesse presentation to make the bass fish bite. The slower fall of a weightless bait is used to imitate dying forage bass that bass fish see in their environment.
The best baits for Texas rigs are worms, flukes, and stick style baits. If you use them on an offset worm hook, and you’re ready to start catching fish.
Learn all about the different worms you can use for bass fishing here.
Understanding Hook Style
Fishing hooks are broken down into two main wire gauge strengths: heavy wire and light wire. For the sake of this guide, we’ll focus on larger gauges and hook sizes.
Fiding the right gauge and hook for a Texas rig is important to ensure that the hook barb penetrates inside a fish’s mouth. The size of the fishing hook will depend on the plastic size you’re rigging.
For instance, ribbontail worms or worms 10-inches in size should use a 5/0 hook. If you’re using smaller worms, stick with hooks that are 2/0, 3/0, and 4/0. For worms that are under 10 inches, you should go for the smallest hook size possible, provided that you’re not sacrificing the hook’s effectiveness.
When choosing the gauge of a hook, focus on how much you plan to cover, the rod action, and the fishing line. If you’re using a 20 pound fishing line, with a medium-heavy or heavy action rod, a light wire hook will start to bend over time. Meanwhile, a heavier wire hook will maintain its strength and pull fish from the rocks.
However, heavier wires aren’t always the answer. If you’re using a light rod with a small diameter-line, heavy wire hooks might not penetrate through the fish’s mouth the same way as a light-wire hook. This is because it doesn’t have the same backbone as a heavy action rod.
Light tackle works good in areas without cover, clear-water reservoirs, and will provide more support for difficult fish who are unwilling to bite. Finding the right hook size and gauge will improve the appearance and function of your Texas Rig tremendously.
In your Texas Rig set up, you have to begin with a nose weight or bullet-shape sinker in front of the hook and the line. Texas Rigs tend to weigh around 1/32 to 2 ounces.
Getting the correct weight for a Texas Rig requires four different components: wind, vegetation (cover density), depth of fish, and rate of fall.
Rate of Fall
Let’s say for example you’re using a stickbait. It will glide across the water and sink to the bottom. It will slowly entice the bass fish to strike once the bait descends. If you use heavy fishing weight, the bait will sink down faster. This is where a 1/32 to ⅛ ounce sinker comes in. In other scenarios, it might be better to go with a heavier size based on conditions.
With bigger worms, heavy weights ranging from 3/2 to a ½ ounce is needed to give them constant contact with the bottom. But, this isn’t the main reason to use heavier weight with large worms.
One technique is to stroke the worm from the ocean’s bottom. This is done by quickly lifting the rod tip and letting the fish bait fall of its slack. Usually, this method is good for fishing on hard bottoms, which triggers strikes as bait falls. In this presentation, a ½ to ¾ weight line will suffice.
These are examples of how the rate of fall will affect the Texas Rig’s weight. There are times when the fish will prefer a slower or faster rate of fall, due to the overnight changes temperature or your fish getting accustomed to the area. You should test the different fall rates, keep to the standard guidelines, but don’t be afraid to use different weights.
Wind will determine your conditions when you’re out fishing. When there are strong wind levels, you’ll need a heavier weight for your Texas rig than normal. The wind resistance will affect your ability to detect bites, castability, and the bait’s fall.
We suggest checking the wind before you starting fishing. This will allow you to find the right weight for your fishing rod and what bait to bring with you.
Penetration is important in regards to vegetation and cover. A 1 to 2-ounce weight will work in moss, matted, grass, or other vegetation. For shallow bushes, reeds, or sparse pad, a ½ weight is a good option. Make sure the decisions are based on the cover density. If the fish can’t see the lure, they won’t find and bite on the bait.
The more shallow the water is in-depth, the less weight you’ll need for the fish to fish to strike. A ⅛ ounce weight is great for creating a lure in skinny water. If you’re fishing in depths up to 20 feet, use a ¼, 5/16, or ⅜ ounce option.
The decision should be made due to the fish location and the precise depth of the water column. If you’re fishing below 20 feet, then use a ½ weight to capture fish-holding onto the bottom. Also, make sure you bring enough fishing line for the depth of water you want to fish in.
Utilize fish depth to ensure you’re getting the right fish attracted to your bait during the next fishing excursion.
How to Set Up A Texas Rig?
Start by inserting the fish hook’s tip through the bait’s nose, having at least a quarter-inch penetration. While a ¼ inch penetration is recommended, it’s ideal to match the distance from the hook’s eyelet to where the fish will bend on the bait.
Next, the hook point should be 90° and exit from the worm’s side. The side that you chose to expose will be on the opposite side the hook point that’s exposed once the rig is finally completed.
For simple round body worms, this won’t matter. For worms that aren’t round, you’ll want your hook to be shown on a side; you’ll have to take notice of where the exit is.
After the hook tip is fully out, you have to slide the worm’s head up the shank until its eyelet touches the hook. It’s important that you place the worm in the right position so that it appears natural and straight.
To give it a natural appear, hold the fishing hook from an upright position (located on the shank’s middle part). The worm needs to hang freely from the hook’s bottom end. Wherever the distance between the worm’s body and the bottom hook lines is, is where you should place the head of the worm.
Use your finger and thumb to pinch the worm, letting your thumb mark the worm’s optimal distance so you’ll know when to enter.
Make sure the worm isn’t fully twisted when you re-enter. Plastic worms have straight lines extending from their heads to tails. So you can use that as a reference to ensure that the worm stays straight.
Once you’ve found the right location to place the worm, push the worm’s point through the body. After the point exits, keep the worm in a straight position out so the hook’s tip will stay in a straight line with the worm’s body.
After this step, you’re ready to fish with the hook. If you want a more weedless texas rig, bury the hook’s tip under the plastic surface. To master the technique, take some time and repeat creating Texas rig baits until you’ve achieved a satisfactory result. By doing so, you’ll be able to make fishing bait that will increase the likelihood of fish biting it.
Before we discuss the color section, knowing your water clarity is a key component of Texas rigging.
To measure water clarity, use a white colored – swimbait or fluke, and drop the plastic in the water. Stop the bait when it is unable to be seen, and then find the number of lines that are submerged in the water. Here is a list that displays the water clarity categories:
Each color that is available serves a good purpose. Does this dismiss the fact that you experience more success catching fish with a blue, orange, purple, red, and black fluke worm. That’s confidence. But if you narrow your color choice down to two groups – dark and natural colors – for the water clarity
For all of the water, clarities will increase the chances of getting fish to bite it, without paying for soft or rainbow plastics.
When you’re fishing in stained, muddy, or murky water, using soft dark-tinted plastics will work. Popular variations include: black, junebug, and black and blue. The dark-colored bait’s opaqueness helps bass see the lure in low visibility situations. For example, green pumpkin is versatile in color collection; black is a good dark plastic color in most water clarities.
If the waters on the clear side, natural colors are the way to go.
What makes up a natural color? This color group refers to the fishing plastic colors that resemble a similar color to foliage that fish eat. Natural colors include, but are not limited to variants of whites, translucent browns, watermelons, green pumpkins and grays soft plastics.
Of its natural colors, green pumpkin is viewed as the most effective and flexible in most weather clarities. Match your hatch if you’re planning to use natural colors and pay attention to the type of bait your desired fish are eating.
There is a myriad of colors to choose from, but knowing the two different color families and their correlations will maximize how many bites you’ll receive on your Texas rig.
Should I Use Beads For the Weight?
Using beads between the eye of the hook and the weight is a commonly used technique user for low-light and cover scenarios. Think of a bead or glass attached to a metal bead which allows the fish to find any view able source of forage. The bead creates a cackling noise that a prey might make when eating.
In situations where the fish would prefer a quieter meal, you can remove the bead and not affect the quality of the bait. In all fishing situations, you need to let the fish tell you their needs and make adaptations accordingly.
Pegs or Stoppers
Another benefit of Texas rigging is placing pegs on front of the hook. This helps when fishing grass or cover – which prevents the weight from reaching up the line – letting the bait penetrate the covered surface.
The market has bobber stoppers that can be placed on the line before adding beads and weight. Alternatively, you can use a tooth pick to help keep the weight in place.
Now that you’ve created a Texas Rig, you’ll be more efficient when catching fish. Start by deciding what school of fish you want to catch and pick a bait that it’s most attracted to. With this method, your bait will stay on the fishing hook and help you leave with a boat full of fish by the end of the day.