7 Ways to Rig Stickbaits

Sometimes the best things in life are simple. Stickbaits are a great example of this. They don’t have a propeller, diving lips, or a flat face. There is nothing fancy about stickbait lures, but they are still effective.

Keep reading to find out seven ways to rig stickbaits that will keep the fish biting.

What is a Stickbait?

Stickbaits are slender lures that look like small torpedos. They can be either hard or soft and can float, suspend, or dive. The size of the stickbait you need depends on the size of the baitfish in the area and the size of the fish you are trying to catch.

Similar to fly fishing, stickbaits are effective because they mimic the real thing. The action of your rod is an essential part of causing the lure to imitate the baitfish.

Ways to Rig Stickbaits

Here are different types of stickbaits and how to rig them correctly.

Texas Rig

The Texas Rig is one of the most popular ways to rig a stickbait. This rig is great for catching bass and is known for its ability to stay “weedless.” You can retrieve it through all kinds of cover without getting hung up.

How It’s Rigged

Once you have selected your bait, thread the hook point ½ inch into the top of the bait. Push the hook out through the side of the bait. Finally, thread the hook back into the lower part of the bait. The bait should cover the hook point.

You can fish this rig without a weight, but it usually has a cone-shaped weight on the main fishing line right above the hook. The key to success with a texas rig is to select the right kind of bait.

How to Fish it

Texas Rigs can be used year-round to catch bass, pike, and pickerel. They can be appealing to other fish as well.

There are two ways you can fish a Texas Rig.

If you are dragging the worm along the bottom, let the worm sink to the bottom after casting. Then slowly start reeling in the lure. Every few feet, let the lure sit at the bottom for a few seconds.

Alternatively, you can bounce the lure. Let the worm sink and sit at the bottom for a few seconds after casting. Lift your rod up and won a few times and reel in the slack before letting the worm sink back to the bottom again.

You should avoid using a Texas Rig when fishing vertically or in deeper water.

Carolina Rig

The Carolina Rig is another tried and true rig. When all of your other lures are failing to produce results, it might be time to try the Carolina Rig.

How It’s Rigged

A Carolina Rig has a weight, bead, and swivel attached above the leader. The length of the leader is determined by the preference of the angler and the situation.

You should really use soft plastic lures instead of living bait on a Carolina Rig. The weight above the swivel will cause the bait to spin in a circular motion.

How to Fish it

The Carolina Rig is a versatile lure. However, it performs best in the winter months when bass stay towards the bottom.

After casting your Carolina Rig, keep your rod parallel to the water. Move your rod back and forth from 12 o’clock to 2 o’clock as slow as possible. This motion causes the bait to spin in a circular motion that attracts the fish.

You want the lure to dance on the bottom.

You should avoid using a Carolina Rig in shallower water.

Drop Shot Rig

The Drop Shot Rig is one of the most effective rigs in bass fishing. This versatile rig can fish deep water, shallow water, and anything in between.

How It’s Rigged

A Drop Shot Rig has a ⅜ to 3-ounce drop weight at the end of the fishing line. The hook and bait are above the weight.

Your hook should be a split shot or drop shot hook.

You can use a specialized drop shot weight that has a crimped swivel. Alternatively, you can use a basic weight that ties to the bottom of the line. Use a round weight if you are fishing vertically.

You can use a variety of baits on a drop shot. You can hook the nose of the bait, or you can use a Wacky Rig or a Texas Rig.

How to Fish it

The Drop Shot Rig provides a unique presentation. The key to fishing with a drop shot rig is to keep your line tight. You don’t want your bait to be on the bottom.

You can drag or shake your drop shot. You can also use it if you are fishing vertically.

This rig can be used year-round, but you should avoid using it in murky and shallow water.

Wacky Rig

It may be a little weird, but the wacky rig does the trick for shallow bass.

How It’s Rigged

This relatively simple rig is a hook inserted into the center of a soft plastic lure.

One of the problems with this rig is that your bait may have a short lifespan, especially if you are catching multiple fish. To improve the lifespan of your bait, use an o-ring or rubber band to prevent the bait from tearing.

How to Fish it

As this rig falls, each end of the plastic bait has movement. This action works well in dirty water.

Avoid using a Wacky Rig when you are fishing in cover. You are likely to lose your lure when it gets hooked on some cover.

Shaky Head Rig

The Shaky Head Rig’s name gives it away. You fish this rig by “shaking” it.

How It’s Rigged

A Shaky Head Rig consists of a jighead-style hook and a straight-tailed worm. It is a simple yet effective rig.

You want a light shaky jig head; anything more than ¼ oz. is too heavy. The hook should have a screw, barb, or spike that you can attach the worm to. This is an essential part of a Shaky Head Rig.

For the worm, you want something around four inches. A worm that floats will give this rig extra action when fishing with it.

When you are attaching the worm to the hook, make sure you screw it on. Some fishermen like to glue the worm to the hook for extra durability.

How to Fish it

This rig imitates a baitfish looking for food. This rig works best for fishing on the bottom. You can use your rod to make it hop up and down.

You can use a Shaky Head Rig in deep or shallow water. If it’s a rocky bottom, be prepared to lose a few rigs.

Shaky Heads are good all-around baits as long as you are fishing on the bottom. This rig can’t cover a lot of water, so only use a Shaky Head if you know where the fish are.

Ned Rig

It can be easy to overthink bass fishing. Anglers are always looking for a new technique to give them an edge.

However, sometimes the tried and true methods are the most effective. The Ned Rig is an example of this.

Sometimes called a “midwest finesse” rig, Ned Rigs are simple lures that catch big fish.

How It’s Rigged

This rig is as simple as it gets. It has a mushroom head jighead that weighs between 1/15 and ⅛ of an ounce.

The worm should be between 2 ½ and 3 inches long.

That’s the whole rig!

Since this rig is so light, you want to use a four to six-pound test line. You want to feel the action of the lure.

How to Fish it

Fishing this rig is simple. Let the lure fall to the bottom and retrieve or bump it along the floor.

The tail end of your rig will float, so the lure resembles a minnow or other bait fish feeding on the bottom.

Since the hooks are small, you have to be careful when setting a ned rig. You can either start reeling in the lure and let the fish hook itself or use a sideways motion to set your hook.

Also, don’t fight the fish too hard. It can be easier to lose the hook or break your line using this lightweight rig on a big fish.

The Ned Rig is versatile and can be used in deep or shallow water. It is also a popular lure to use in tough conditions, like cold water when bass are less active. Avoid using the Ned Rig in murky water.

Neko Rig

The Neko Rig is becoming one of the most popular ways of rigging a stick bait. The advantage of the Neko Rig is that it can get down into deeper water.

How It’s Rigged

It’s basically a wack rig with a nail weight in the head.

Some fishermen like to use pricey tungsten weights that are designed specifically for this type of rig. However, lead weights or even nails and screws will work.

How to Fish it

The weight allows the bait to go down deeper, faster, while the rig still gets a lot of action from the tail floating. The weight causes the bait to drop down vertically while the angler uses their rod to get the Neko to “hop” along the bottom.

You should avoid using a Neko Rig in shallow water.

Try out one of these seven ways to rig stickbaits on your next fishing excursion.