Finding the Best Fishing Rigs for Bass: The Ultimate Guide
Trophy bass fish is one of the most intelligent water opponents you can ever go after. Biologists affirm that the bigger they are, the sharper their survival reflexes become. They are ambush predators, fast learners, and super aggressive when caught on a hook.
Their profile appeals to every angler because it takes skills to outsmart these fish. However, despite patience, theory, and a few fishing lessons, every angler must have the appropriate equipment and use the right techniques to land a big bass.
In this article, we’re reviewing the best fishing rigs for bass, anglers’ favorite bass fishing rigs set up, and a few practical tips that every angler, regardless of their level, must know before setting off their next bass game.
What Are Bass Fishing Rigs?
Fishing rigs or bass fishing rigs are combinations of several fishing components that help anglers land bass fish. Take them as a specific fishing technique.
All fish differ in terms of their temperament, habitat, or diets, including the bass family. Largemouth bass differs from their relative stripers in the way they respond to triggers or prey. Therefore, different fishing rigs apply to different fish profiles we will review shortly.
Nonetheless, despite the combinations, some of the following components are found in all fishing rigs:
- Main line
- Leader line
By mixing these components, anglers came up with matching techniques or fishing rigs for specific basses. Before we jump into the best bass fishing rigs, let’s elaborate more on the components that will help you understand the rigs better.
Main Line vs. Lead Line
The main line connects the rod and ends at the swivel, whereas the lead line begins at the swivel and ends at the hook. Namely, fishing with a single line typically reduces the chances of landing a fish, especially when it comes to bass. They are aggressive, and having an angry trophy bass on a single line may become difficult to handle.
To make it easier, anglers use swivels (small connectors of the lines we’ll discuss in detail below) that separate the main line and the lead line to give you more control of the situation.
However, a few types of fishing lines are suitable for diverse situations. Hence, the different rigs for bass fishing.
Types of Fishing Lines
A common mistake among beginner-level anglers is using the same type of line for all bass types. There are different lines suitable for bass as follows:
- Monofilament line: This line is soft and 25% stretchable when stressed, and it comes in various colors (for low visibility), including clear, blue, and green. Many anglers go for this line because of these features. However, mind that monofilament lines absorb water which affects their durability. Anglers might have to change the line every 6 months.
- Fluorocarbon line: This line is less stretchable than the mono (10%–25% when stressed), but it is enhanced in terms of durability and abrasion resistance which means it won’t break when used in vegetative areas. Additionally, because of its transparent color, it integrates well in clear waters.
- Braid lines: These lines are thinly braided and stretchable, which adds more strength. Anglers fishing in dense vegetative areas in the lake depths use these lines. Because of the braiding, these lines are most visible, therefore, recommended for muddy waters and topwater fishing.
Sinkers are small weights (mostly made of lead) attached to the line to get your bait or lure to the desired place. Depending on the technique you use, the sinkers could be:
- Fixed: Applied directly on the line, in a fixed position, which doesn’t allow the weight to move;
- Sliding: Applied on the line, but not in a fixed position, which enables them to move or “slide” up and down the line.
Note: Some places in North America prohibit selling or using lead weights of particular sizes and materials like steel, brass, tin, or tungsten.
There are 3 types of main hooks for bass fishing: single, double, and triple. All of these hooks come in different sizes. However, the most recommended bass fishing hooks are the following:
- Texas rig hook
- Drop shot hook
- Flipping hook
Swivels are a crucial component when it comes to bass fishing. They connect the main line and the lead line, allowing the fish to move or jump freely and preventing movement of the main line which gives you more control.
The swivels come in different shapes and sizes, as enlisted below:
Anglers add beads to certain rigs (we’ll get to them later) as knot protectors, but they can also be used to attract bass’s attention in the dark. As mentioned, the bass is an ambush predator who waits in bushy areas completely camouflaged. One of the ways to gain their attention is through color.
Otherwise, the beads could be made of plastic, brass, or glass, and they may be:
All the Different Rigs for Bass Fishing
Bass fishing is a duel between two predators. Therefore, each angler has their way of winning the battle. However, we picked the top types of bass fishing rigs appropriate for all fishing levels.
When it comes to bass fishing, one of the riggings that all experienced anglers fosters is the Texas Rig. This technique involves a 4 – 10 inch long plastic worm, a worm hook, and a bullet weight.
Anglers advise that bass fish are ambush predators that wait on their prey at the bottom of the lake or in a bushy area. Bass fish leave their fortresses only when they are curious or provoked. Texas rigging involves using worms as the main distraction for the bass, but the hooking technique is essential for a successful hunt.
Start by hooking the head of the worm, but the hook must remain open so you can attach the worm’s body. Next, you need to roll up the worm and hide the hook with its head. Later you attach the worm’s body to the hook horizontally and entirely camouflaged.
With the hook ready, it’s time to rig the Texas rig!
How Do You Rig a Texas Rig?
Rigging the Texas Rig is the same as when you use worm rigging. First, you should attach the bullet weight to the line with the pointier side first.
Tying the Texas Rig is super versatile, and there are many ways you can do the knot, but there are two other knots that are even more versatile.
- Palomar Knot
- Improved Clinch Knot
Take the hook and push through the tip of the lure by making a 90° turn, and your hook should exit the other side of the lure while thoroughly covering the head of the hook. Followed by attaching the worm’s body. Know that you must cover the rest of the hook. Therefore, take the worm above the middle part of the body, hook it, and spread it out to ensure the hook is not visible and the bait is firmly attached.
The Carolina Rig is another popular bass fishing rig that consistently delivers the best results and a high-quality game during the summertime to catch bass. Namely, what differentiates the Carolina Rig from the other rigs is the sinker or the bullet weight on the line that is separated from the bait.
This technique imitates the natural movements of common bass prey like worms or smaller fish. By pulling the line with the bullet weight, you generate movements to the lead length that creates the movement of a small fish.
How to Rig the Carolina Rig?
To rig a Carolina Rig, you will need to use a heavier sinker, maybe around ¾ egg sinker, and a small swivel blocking the sinker from sinking to the bait. The other part of the line is the lead, where the bait will be attached.
Lastly, the hook should consist of 2-3 odd large hooks (depending on the size you want to catch) similar to the one you use for worms or live bait. With the Carolina Rig, you have multiple bait options you can use.
The Carolina Rig is suitable for shore fishing because the weight you add to the line allows you the stability to lure the ambush predators waiting for their prey. The weightless bait, like an insect, worm, or small fish, leaves room for an adventure.
Drop Shot Fishing Rig
The Drop Shot Rig is an advanced technique that may require prior experience, but there’s always a first time for everyone. This rig is ultra-versatile, allowing anglers to fish in various lake areas, including shallow and deep water. Also, you can use the drop shot to fish no matter the weather.
Otherwise, you need a rod and a reel to use this technique. Some anglers use heavier drop shots because the technique alone allows you to fish with baitcasting equipment. Still, most anglers rely on medium to medium light spinning rods for fishing bass.
Additionally, if you are interested in this technique, you should consider using the following:
- Low visibility line
- Dropshot hook
- Dropshot weight
How to Set the Drop Shot
To set up the drop shot, you begin with a regular Palomar knot to the drop shot hook. If you are up to fishing in the deeper waters, you should leave a tagline of about 4 inches on the end of the knot.
Trim the excess line to fit your ideal length and for a neater presentation. Otherwise, depth and longer leaders go in pairs. That allows the bait to go deeper in the lake near the bottom, which is super helpful when it comes to dense vegetation in the bottom structures of the lake. Fishers in shallow water need to use a shorter leader.
The Alabama Rig is a new fishing sports trend that was introduced around 2011 by an Alabama angler called Andy Poss. It is similar to the umbrella rig; only Andy Poss reduced the number of the umbrella rig to 5 flexible wires that give the impression of a shad head.
How to Set the Alabama Rig?
For the Alabama Rig, you need 5 jigheads and 5 open hooks to thread on the hook. The optimal line for the Alabama Rig is braided, but a fluorocarbon is a good option too. Otherwise, make sure you screw the lock so that the fish don’t nib only the bait.
After rigging the swimbaits on the jigheads, fasten each jighead to a clip on the wires’ end holding the Alabama rig together. To give the swimbaits space to swim independently of one another, slightly open the wires.
If you have it too tightly wrapped, the rigs will become tangled up on each other throughout the cast since they tend to collapse a little on the back cast.
The Ned Rig is a finer bass fishing technique that is perfect for smallmouth bass or spotted bass.
This rig involves a light fishing line, spinning rod, and reel. By assembling all the necessary components, the Ned Rig appears as an easy meal for bass. However, despite the effortless look, at first sight, anglers must know how to set the Ned Rig properly to have effective fishing.
Ned Rig Setup
The recommended jighead for the Ned Rig is 1/16 or ¼ ounces, and a hook is suitable for the light fishing line. You can go for the fluorocarbon line for the Ned Rig, but if you have a braided rig, you will need a heavier hook that won’t break when you pull the line. The lighter line is recommended for greater effect.
Once you pick your line and jig, you need a 2-4 inches line with colors similar to the environment you wish to throw the rod. The threading begins with a jighead, and you have to fix the jighead securely and hold on to the plastic and tie the rig to the leader line.
You can have a braid 10-pound main line and 6-pound leader line. However, fluorocarbon is also recommended for this position. The final component that completes the Ned Rig technique is the spinning rod with med or med-light power and super-fast action. Additionally, the spinning reel has to bear the light braid and leader; therefore, you may need a more robust spinning reel, too.
Once you finish with all these steps, you have the Ned Rig in your hands.
How to Choose a Bass Fishing Rig?
As mentioned, every fish suits a different fishing rig that would match its profile. However, there are several other factors to consider when choosing a bass fishing rig.
Matching Bass Fishing Rigs for Different Bass Breeds
Below is a list of the types of bass with their matching bass rigs:
- Smallmouth bass: They usually go with the Carolina rig or the Ned Rig. Anglers rely on these rigs because they are suitable for fishing around the points.
- Largemouth bass: Depending on the physical characteristics and the nature of this fish, most anglers opt for the Texas Rig.
- Striped bass: Stripers are an entirely different breed from the largemouth bass, but they have a lot in common with the smallmouth bass. Therefore, the best bass fishing rig for stripers is the Carolina Rig.
- Spotted bass: Anglers advise using the Ned Rig for spotted bass.
>The Best Rigs for Bass: Final Words
When hooked, bass fish is one of the smartest water predators and feisty defenders. Anglers find them exciting because they challenge them to think creatively and outsmart each other.
However, no exact bass fishing rig would match every bass breed. Largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and striped bass may belong to the same family, but they all have different natures.
The most recommended bass fishing rigs for popular bass fish differ. The Texas Rig is used for the largemouth bass. The Ned Rig is highly recommended for both the smallmouth bass and spotted bass, while the Carolina Rig is the best fishing rig for the striped bass and smallmouth bass.
Some rigs are more complicated than others, so beginner anglers may need a small effort to learn the basics and set them up properly. Once they learn the setup, they can enjoy the most exciting bass challenge with the best rigs for bass on display.
How should I rig my line for bass fishing?
What rig catches the most bass?
The rig that catches most bass is the Carolina Rig, the Drop Shot Rig, Texas Rid, the Ned Rig, or the Alabama Rig. These are versatile rigs you can use in any type of water or condition.
What color hook is best for bass?
According to experienced anglers, red is the preferable color for bass fishing.
People Also Ask
What is the number 1 bait for bass?
Bass are predator fish meaning smaller fish like minnows, shads, or shiners.
What do bass like to eat the most?
Planktons, small fish, or insects are considered favorite bass meals.