Punch shot rigging for bass is an elegant and highly efficient method for penetrating heavy matted cover and presenting a freely moving plastic. Mike Iaconelli fished and gained confidence with the rig in Japan, then partnered with VMC on the development of the VMC Tokyo Rig; this is one of the most innovative tackle advances of 2018/2019 and just starting to make a splash.
The Tokyo Rig combines aspects of the drop shot but with the power of traditional flipping and pitching setups thanks to welded o-ring construction, steel swivels, and a heavy-duty wide gap hook and dropper wire. Although originally developed for flipping, pitching and punching applications, its utility extends far beyond. Anglers are having great success fishing the Tokyo Rig as a substitute for swinging jigs, with the huge added benefit of being able to quickly change dropper weights without retying. A heavy dropper weight in the 3/4 to 1-1/2 ounce range glues plastics to the bottom better (and in deeper water) than traditional swinging jigs while also providing a more natural movement to the plastics. Take a look at the underwater video and you’re sure to get some ideas of your own.
This is a hot new tactic across much of the U.S. bass scene and is sure to spawn innovative adaptations as anglers start fishing it. See our break down of the Tokyo Rig here.