Soft Baits

7 Proven Ways to Rig Straight-Tail Worms for Bass

A straight-tail worm is one of the most versatile and effective soft plastic bass fishing lures thanks to its finesse profile and subtle action. Wired2Fish intern and college bass angler, Nick Dumke, got his bass fishing start by Texas rigging worms and has since expanded his lineup to include several well-known and lesser utilized rigging methods. He shares 7 straight tail worm rigging methods that allow you to cover the water column and generate bites everywhere bass swim. *See tackle list at the bottom.

  1. Texas rig. The weightless and weighted Texas rigs are classic ways to fish straight-tail worms. The weighted variety allows you to fish the worm in deeper water while the weightless worm slides through shallow cover effortlessly (think floating worm). Either way, if you had just two ways to rig a straight-tail worm, these two are at the top.
  2. Wacky rigging (weightless). A slender and supple body make straight-tail worms an excellent tool for wacky rigging. Both ends bend with ease on the upswing and gently undulate on the fall. Weightless wacky rigging can be ideal when you don't want the bait to bury in cover, such as heavy grass. It's also excellent when shad or bluegill are feeding near the surface.
  3. Wacky Jig Head. Much like Texas rigging, the weighted wacky jig head lets you fish the irresistible wacky action in deeper water, such as outer grasslines or hard bottom humps or extensions.
  4. Shaky Head. Ideal for deeper rock, grass beds or anytime bass are feeding on the bottom. Try jig worming (rigged exposed hook) around mid-depth grass beds when bass are suspended in the cover.
  5. Neko rig. This rigging method has become a dominant way to fish straight-tail worms. The elevated and independent pull point creates a unique action that bass are less accustomed to, yet find irresistible. The Neko rig also fishes reasonably clean through grass and around wood so long as you're using a weedless hook.
  6. Tokyo Rig. One of the hottest new rigs for making immediate bottom contact and giving a bait maximum freedom of movement, the Tokyo Rig can be quickly changed out depending on depth. It's also an excellent tool for telegraphing bottom information directly to your hand.
  7. Drop shot. Whether threaded straight on a hook or wacky rigged, a drop shot is an effective way to get a straight-tail worm to depth and keep them in the strike zone. 

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