Shaky Head Rig: Setup and Fishing Techniques

shaky head hookAre You Searching For Finesse Fishing Techniques That Will Increase Bass Caught? Consider The Shaky Head Rig as One Solution If so, the Shaky Head rig could be your ticket! As one of many finesse fishing techniques available to us today, its applications range widely; and particularly effective when bite is slow. In this article we’ll go through how to set up and fish with it effectively – plus tips!

What Is a Shaky Head Rig? A Shaky Head rig is an attractive fishing technique using a jig head with soft plastic bait attached. Typically used with spinning gear and light line for fishing with slow, dragging retrieves.

Setting Up a Shaky Head Rig

To build your Shaky Head Rig, a few key components will be necessary:

Jig heads: To maximize success when fishing for bass in deeper and moving waters, use jig heads that reach bottom quickly while not sinking too quickly or dragging. A good rule of thumb would be choosing something heavier enough so as to reach bottom quickly without too quickly sinking or dragging on bottom.

Soft Plastic Bait: When fishing the Shaky Head rig, many different kinds of soft plastic bait can be used including finesse worms, creature baits and crawfish imitations. Some popular soft plastic brands for use include Yum, Yamamoto, Zoom, Roboworm Strike King Z-Man.

Hook: Shaky Head rigs utilize two basic hook types; barb and screw lock hooks are typically utilized. Dirty Jigs, Strike King, Gamakatsu and Z-Man brand hooks are popular choices when fishing using this style rig.

As soon as you have all of the components necessary, assembling your Shaky Head rig can begin. First, thread your soft plastic bait onto a hook; for barb hooks this means threading all of it up until its barb; otherwise use screw lock hooks which require screwing into the bait itself for secure attachment. Next tie off your line onto the eye of a jig head rig to begin fishing!

Fishing a Shaky Head Rig

One key to successfully fishing with a Shaky Head rig is employing a slow, dragging retrieve. Start by casting out and letting your rig reach bottom before gradually pulling it along it slowly with rod tip pointing down, until feeling its weight moving across bottom as your drag your rod tip along it. As it hits bottom again and again as your drag it along, this should cause its weight jig head bouncing along bottom surface.

At times, stop your retrieve and give the rod tip a small twitch; this will cause your soft plastic bait to bounce around more naturally, mimicking wounded baitfish or crustacean movements and often prompts bass strikes nearby.

As you use a Shaky Head rig, it is crucial to stay aware of your line. Not only should you feel the weight of the jig head bouncing along the bottom but you should be able to sense any subtle bites or changes in tension on your line – once a bite occurs reel in all slack and set the hook immediately with an upward flick of your rod!

Barbed Lock Hooks Vs Screw Lock Hooks

As previously discussed, two common hook types used with Shaky Head rigs: barbed and screw lock hooks have their own benefits and drawbacks that should be carefully evaluated prior to selecting any particular option for fishing with.

When selecting the hook used in a shaky head rig, there are two common choices for hook types – barb hooks or screw lock hooks. Barb hooks use small barbs to secure plastic bait to their barb, while screw lock hooks screw directly into its head of plastic baits – this means your hookup rate should increase due to larger gaps. Screw locks prevent bait tears more effectively as their screw lock secures against that happening frequently enough.

Soft Plastics

There are various soft plastic bait options on the market which work effectively when fishing this method; popular brands include Yum, Yamamoto, Zoom, Roboworm Strike King Z-Man.

One of the most popular soft plastic baits used with shaky head rig is the finesse worm; its slim form makes it perfect for this technique and typically ranges in size between four to six inches long, offering many colors options to select. Other soft plastic options for fishing with this technique are curly-tail grubs, creature baits and stick baits – these all perform admirably as soft bait options!

Now that you understand the fundamentals of setting up a shaky head rig setup, let’s discuss some tips and techniques which may help increase your fish catches using this finesse technique.

Shaky Rig Fishing Techniques

When fishing shaky head rigs, it’s crucial that you use a spinning reel with light line. A medium power spinning rod with fast action may also prove helpful; light line will allow you to feel and detect even minor bites while giving greater control of presentation through spinning reel.

Cast out and allow it to sink slowly before slowly dragging it along the bottom. Keep your rod tip low, tight line, and rod tip lowered when fishing the shaky head rig – any occasional hops or twitches of the rod may make the bait appear more natural!

As when fishing with any type of rig, shaky head rig fishing requires paying careful attention to your environment and surroundings. Pay particular attention when looking for structure like rocks, logs or weeds as these offer prime hiding places for bass. Your electronics may help locate drop-offs or variations in bottom structure as well.

Experiment with different soft plastic bait colors and sizes when fishing shaky head rigs; different hues might work better depending on the day or conditions, so having multiple choices available to you is key for successful results.


Shaky head rigs offer great finesse fishing solutions on slow days. Their simple setup can easily be tailored to meet any fishing style or preference; light line, spinning reel, slow bait-dragging along bottom with occasional hops are key elements to making this technique successful and will result in increased catch rates with bass or other species using this style of fishing rigs.

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