The Texas Rig: A Beginner’s Guide to One of the Most Effective Bass Fishing Rigs
The Texas rig is a popular and effective technique for targeting bass, and it’s a great starting point for beginners. The Texas Rig is easy to setup, to fish, and will produce more bites than almost any other technique. Keep in mind that even though this is an easy rig to learn, its a go-to technique for professional bass fisherman as well. If you’re serious about Bass fishing, then you want to master the Texas Rig.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover all the basics of the Texas rig, including its components, benefits, and how to set it up and fish with it. We’ll also provide tips on choosing the right size hook and weight, how to set up the rig, how to fish the rig, as well as suggest some baits that work well. By the end of this article, you’ll have a solid understanding of what the Texas rig is and how to use it to catch more bass. So let’s get started.
What is a Texas Rig?
A Texas rig is a specific setup for fishing with soft plastics that utilizes a sliding bullet weight on the main line. Texas rigging also requires that the hook be threaded through the head of the plastic bait. Texas rigged setups are primarily used for bass fishing but are effective with many different types of fish species.
Components of the Texas Rig
The Texas Rig consists of a worm hook, a bullet weight, and a soft plastic such as a worm (Senko), craw, lizard, or just about any other type of soft plastic bait. The hook is inserted through the head of the bait then out and back in to the body to hide the tip of the hook so that it is a “weedless bait”. The bullet weight is positioned above the hook so that it can freely slide up and down the main line.
When fishing Texas rigs we recommend using braided line as your main line and have a fluorocarbon line as your leader. There are a couple of great ways to tie your fluorocarbon leader to your braided line. We typically use the uni to unit knot.
Weightless Texas Rig
A weightless Texas rig has the same components of a normal Texas rig except that, a weightless Texas rig doesn’t have any weight added to the main line. It is simply just the hook and the bait. Many anglers like fishing a weightless Texas rig so that the bait falls slowly making it a more finesse presentation. This is a great option if you’re fishing in shallow cover and aren’t concerned about casting a far distance.
Benefits of the Texas Rig
Texas Rigs are known for their “weedless” design, which allows the bait to be fished around cover and structure without getting the hook snagged. In addition, the bullet weight which freely slides up and down the main line prevents the bass from feeling the weight in its mouth when taking a bite, thus reducing spit outs.
3 Easy Steps to Setting Up the Perfect Basic Texas Rig
1. Choose your hook – Select a worm hook that is appropriate for the size and type of bait you will be using. For most presentations hook sizes ranging between 2/0 – 4/0 are recommended. However, hooks come in different sizes and styles, such as a wide gap hook, offset hook, or straight shank hook, so choose one that best fits your needs. The two hooks we recommend are the offset hook and the wide gap hook. Here is a brief explanation of both:
- Offset worm hook – a type of worm hook that has a bend or curve in the shank, which causes the hook point to be offset from the body of the worm. This design can help the hook stay in place more securely in the fish’s mouth, reducing the chances of the fish shaking the hook loose. Offset hooks are often used in Texas rig setups because they look more natural. The design of the offset hook allows a plastic bait to be rigged straight without any bend in the bait making it appear more natural.
- Wide gap hook – A wide gap hook is a type of worm hook that has a larger gap between the shank and the hook point. This design allows the hook to have enough gap to accommodate larger baits and provides more space for the hook point to penetrate the fish’s mouth. Wide gap hooks can provide a more secure hookup in heavy cover or structure and are less likely to get snagged. They are also popular for flipping and pitching techniques, where a wider gap can help the hook stay in place more effectively.
2. Add a sliding bullet weight on the main line above the hook eye. This will help you to control the depth and speed of the presentation while also providing a unique action to the soft plastic lure so that it entices the fish’s predatory response.
3. Thread the bait onto the hookk. Slide the hook through the head of the bait. Next, take the tip of the hook and thread it back in to the body so that the point of the hook is unable to snag on structure. When the bait is threaded, it should appear straight without any unnatural bends.
Tailor your setup for specific weather conditions
The weather conditions can have a big impact on your Texas rig setup, so it’s important to tailor your setup to the specific conditions you’ll be facing.
If the water is clear, you’ll want to use a smaller hook size and lighter bullet weight so that the bait appears more subtle and natural. If the water is murky or stained, you should consider using a larger hook and weight so that the bait provides more vibrations in the water so that the fish can hone in on the bait more easily.
If you are fishing in a river or stream with a strong current, it’s recommended you use a heavier weight so that the wait is blown around. If the current is weaker or non-existent, you can use a lighter weight to allow the bait to move more naturally.
The temperature of the water can affect the behavior of the fish, and in turn, your bait selection and rig setup. In colder water, the fish may be less active, so you might want to use a slower retrieve and a more natural-looking bait. In warmer water, the fish may be more active, so you can use a faster retrieve and a more vibrant or “life-like” bait.
Texas Rig Fishing Tips
Where to look for the fish
The Texas rig is a very versatile rig that can be fished in a variety of scenarios which is one of the reasons the Texas rig has become so popular among bass anglers.
Rocks, logs, stumps, or brush piles, can provide cover and habitat for bass and can be good places to fish with a Texas rig. You can cast the rig to the edges of the structure and let it sink to the bottom, then slowly hop or drag it back to the boat.
Weeds, grass, lily pads, or docks, can also be good places to fish with a Texas rig. The weedless design of the rig allows you to fish through the cover without getting snagged.
Locations, such as humps, points, or drop-offs, can also be productive for Texas rig fishing. A heavier weight will allow you to fish deeper and slower, while a lighter weight will allow you to fish shallower and faster. Experiment with different retrieves and bait sizes to find what works best.
By fishing the Texas rig in these types of locations, you’ll be able to cover a wide range of water and increase your chances of success.
When fishing with a Texas rig, the way you present the bait to the fish can make a big difference in your success.
A slow retrieve is a good technique to use when the fish are less active, such as in colder water or when fishing in heavy cover. You can slowly hop the bait by lifting your rod tip or dragging the bait along the bottom, allowing it to sink and rise naturally as you reel in the slack line.
A fast retrieve is a good technique to use when the fish are more active, such as in warmer water or when fishing in open water. You can quickly hop or swim the bait along the surface, imitating the movement of a fleeing baitfish.
Flipping and pitching
Flipping and pitching are techniques that involve accurately casting the Texas rig to a specific target, such as a brush pile or a dock. You can use a heavy weight to help the rig sink quickly and a slower retrieve to allow the bait to sink and rise naturally by lifting your rod tip slowly and then reeling in the slack and the bait fall.
Dragging is a technique that involves slowly dragging the Texas rig along the bottom, imitating the movement of a crawfish or other prey. You can use a heavy weight to help the rig sink and a slower retrieve to allow the bait to crawl along the bottom.
By experimenting with different presentation techniques and adjusting your retrieve speed you will get to your desired depth in the water column as well as find what works best for the fishing conditions and the preferences of the fish.
Picking the correct creature baits to use
The Texas rig is a versatile rig that can be fished with a wide range of plastic baits so choosing the right bait can make a big difference in your success on the water. Here are a few suggestions for different types of soft plastic baits to use with a Texas rig:
Plastic Worms (Senkos)
These are a classic choice for Texas rig fishing, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can use a straight tail worm, a curly tail worm, or a ribbed worm, depending on the conditions and the preferences of the fish.
Another popular choice for Texas rig fishing which can mimic the movement of a crawfish or other crustacean. You can use a full body craw, a craw with a trailer, or a craw paddle tail, depending on the size and action you want.
A good choice for Texas rig fishing in grass or weeds along the shoreline where lizards are more likely to be found. Lizard are a good option for targeting big bass.
In addition to worms, craws, and lizards, there are many other creature baits that can be effective with a Texas rig, such as frogs, beavers, brush hogs, swimbaits, and more. Experiment with different baits to find what works best for the fishing conditions and the preferences of the fish in your local ponds and lakes.
We recommend using a variety of soft plastic baits with your Texas rig. These other options can be great baits that allow you to cover a wide range of conditions and entice more fish to bite. It is also a great way to find what type of baits you enjoy fishing with the most.
If you’re an avid angler looking to boost your success on the water, the Texas rig is a setup that you should definitely give a try. It is a lure that can be fished year round from shore or from a boat. This versatile rig is a favorite among bass anglers and is known for its weedless design and natural presentation.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pro, the Texas rig is a rig that you can use with confidence. So why not give it a try and see what it can do for you? Experiment with different techniques and baits, and see what works best for the fishing conditions and the preferences of the fish in your local waters. You might be surprised at how effective and fun Texas rig fishing can be.