Striped Bass Rig

Fishing for Striped Bass: What’s the Ultimate Rig?

Catching striped bass is one of the fishing treats for fishing enthusiasts all across the globe. There are numerous rigs you can use to allure a striped bass. However, not all of them are designed in the same manner or have the same characteristics.

In this article, you’ll learn about the must-have key characteristics of a striped bass rig. Moreover, you’ll get an insight into the different types and how to choose the best rig for striped bass!

Let’s throw the bait and get started!

What Is a Striped Bass Rig?

Firstly, let’s define what kind of fish is the striped bass. Simply put, it’s an anadromous perciform fish species that can be found mainly along the Atlantic coast of North America. This species is famous for its streamlined shape and silvery body. It has dark stripes which run longitudinally from behind the gills to the start of the tail.

Fishing the striped bass has become a popular outdoor adventure in the last few decades. That’s why the striped bass has been introduced to waterways outside its natural environment. Nonetheless, the characteristics of the rig remain the same. 

Some of the features of the striped bass setup which a rig should have are:

  • The fish finder rig: one of the most recommended rigs for catching this fish!
  • A hook: a circle hook, preferably!
  • A sinker: egg or sliding sinker – your choice!
  • A bait: almost anything is on the menu!

The Different Rigs for Striped Bass

You may ask yourself: what is the best rig for striped bass? There are multiple answers to your question: 

  • an in-line drifter sink rig; 
  • the three-way swivel rig; 
  • a fish finder rig;
  • a mojo rig, and more. 

However, most experts assert that the fish finder rig is most compatible with catching striped bass. Each has specific characteristics, and you can use them in various circumstances. 

Let’s elaborate on the different rigs for striped bass.

The In-line Drifter Sink Rig

The in-line drifter sink rig is one of the angler’s favorites. It usually consists of a rubber-core sinker, a barrel swivel, a 3-foot leader, and a hook and bait.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer or experienced – the in-line drifter is very easy to use! All you have to do is tie it and snell the hook to the leader. Then, you’ll have to swivel it to the main line of your rig. In the end, attach an in-line wrap around the sinker up to the line above the rig’s swivel. 

There are also other ways to put together the in-line drifter sink rig. Nonetheless, you can attach almost any bait type to the hook. You can choose between eels, worms, cut bunkers, bloodworms, sandworms, and so on. The in-line drifter sink rig is usually most effective in coastal areas and with clam baits.

The Three-Way Swivel Rig

The three-way swivel rig is one of the standard striped bass fishing rigs which you can use in deeper channels of bays and tidal rivers. The three-way swivel rig is famous for holding the bait at the bottom while being mobile and allowing plenty of movements while drifting.

It consists of a mainline, a three-way swivel, or an adjustable length dropper. It can also have leader lines with bobber stops or a split shot and a set of beads. Additionally, the three-way swivel rig has a dropper line that ends in a lead weight but can also end in a jig or crankbait.

The leader line usually ends with a spoon, a stick bait, a spinner, or a hook. You can use the rig to catch the striped bass in shallow waters or deep down to over 70 feet. 

The Fish Finder Rig

The fish finder rig is one of the most popular and effective fishing rigs for catching bottom-dwelling species. It usually has a pyramid sinker attached to the sinker slider, a bead, a swivel, and a leader line which ends in a snell knot and a hook.

You can use the fish finder rig for bigger fish because it gives them time to chew on the bait. When fishing for striped bass, you’d want to adjust the size of the hook to the size of the fish. Even though the rig is ideal for larger baits, you can attach juicy bait – like eels or blood worms – for the striped bass.

You can get the most out of the fish finder rig if you use it along the shoreline. More precisely, it’s most effective in areas without waves, but you can notice breaking surf and whiter wave crests. 

Choosing the Best Rig for Striped Bass

When choosing your rigging for striped bass, you’ll have to pay attention to a few simple things. Firstly, you’ll have to determine whether you’re fishing in shallow or deep waters. If you’re after the striped bass in shallow waters, you’ll choose the three-way swivel or a similar rig.

Secondly, you’d have to determine if you’re fishing in waters with faster and alternating currents. In this case, you’d have to attach a heavier sinker to your rig. Deep water and fast currents can get the rig leader twisted or sometimes even tangled. For example, the in-line drifter sink rig is better for calm waters, while the three-way drifter is better for faster currents.

On the other hand, you can choose your striped bass rig depending on the type of fishing. For instance, if you intend to do bank fishing, you can choose a simple Carolina rig. A circle hook, a sinker, and bait are all you need. You can also use the Carolina rig for pier fishing or when you target rocky holes along bridges or similar surroundings.

However, if you troll a striped bass, an umbrella rig will help you reach the desired depth and lure multiple fish in such places as they do on Lake Quachita

Last but not least, fish for striped bass in April and May – their prime time. During these months of the year, the water temperature ranges between 60 and 80 degrees, and the spawning time is near.

Rigging for Striped Bass: The Final Take

There’s no “best rig” for catching striped bass. Depending on the weather conditions, the spawning season, and the depth of the water, you can choose the most compatible one and swing the leader.

You can choose between a simple Carolina rig, a three-way swivel rig, or the classic Fish Finder Rig. Analyze your surroundings, learn more about the striped bass, and educate yourself on the different rigs – and you won’t have a problem catching the fish!


What is the best rig for striped bass?

There’re many effective and easy-to-use rigs for catching striped bass. The best ones are the in-line drifter sink rig, the three-way swivel rig, the fish finder rig, and the Carolina rig.

How do you rig a striped bass rod?

Firstly, you slide the line through the eyelid of the rod down to the reel. Then, you flip the bail while tying an overhand loop which you attach over the spool and tighten it again. Next, the line goes through the sinker and the bead. You tie a knot on the leader and see that the hook is tightly attached at the other end. In the end, you attach the bait.

Do I need a leader for striped bass?

Yes, you need a leader for striped bass. Even though some anglers argue for lighter and heavier leaders, the best one for alluring a striped bass is a lowly visible wire leader. 

People Also Ask

What lures to use for striped bass?

Striped bass isn’t a picky fish. You can use all kinds of baits – from eels, bloodworms, clams, and sandworms to herring, bunker, and frozen fish chunks.

What color attracts striped bass?

Yellow is the color that attracts striped bass. However, experienced anglers know that chartreuse (yellowish-green or yellow-green) is also effective in luring the striped bass. If you like this article, you may also like this one on the Best bait for largemouth bass.


  1. Anthony Mendoza

    Here in Sacramento CA. On the sacramento and American River I did very very well this year with 1/2 and 3/8 Oz white or green buck jig or hair razor whatever you like to call them from the bank tied straight on to mainline and had a life changing season I will never bait fish again !


      Anthony that is so great to hear. The single jig is undoubtedly a producer, even life-changing at times!

  2. Sal

    Why not show a photograph of the rig I have no idea what you are describing.


      Hi Sal, thanks for posting. We are limited to how many things we can post. The header image it a good drawing of the three way rig. The other are covered in the videos, which most people seem to like better than images. Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Jeffrey L Kitchen

    Best lakes to fish for Stripers in the United States


      There are certainly more, but here’s a great list to start with!
      Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
      Lake Texoma, Texas/Oklahoma
      Lake Lanier, Georgia
      Lake Ouachita, Arkansas
      Lake Murray, South Carolina
      Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona
      Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
      Lake striper & Ray Hubbard, Texas
      Lake Norfork, Arkansas
      Lake striper, California

  4. Jeff

    Can strippers be caught in inland lakes if so what are some of the best places to fish for them, TIA


      Hi Jeff, yes, there are many inland lakes loaded with Stripers. From the east coast to the west! Here’s a great list to start with…
      Lake Cumberland, Kentucky
      Lake Texoma, Texas/Oklahoma
      Lake Lanier, Georgia
      Lake Ouachita, Arkansas
      Lake Murray, South Carolina
      Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona
      Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia
      Lake striper & Ray Hubbard, Texas
      Lake Norfork, Arkansas
      Lake striper, California

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