As one of the most popular lures for bass fishing, plastic worms enjoy a reputation for succeeding where many other lures fail. Designed to entice even the laziest bass, these plastic worms will make sure you do not return home empty-handed.
With so many different kinds of plastic worms available to consumers, many fishermen have trouble deciding on the right worm for bass fishing. Some anglers end up selecting their plastic worms at random. To dispel any confusion, the following guide explains what to look for when purchasing plastic worms and lists some of the best plastic worms for bass on the market.
Before we get into the best choices, let’s look at some of the things you need to know before buying plastic worms for bass fishing.
What Is a Soft Plastic Worm?
Sometimes also referred to as rubber worms, soft plastic worms refer to fishing lures made of synthetic polymers shaped like earthworms.
The term ‘soft’ applies because of the squishy, flexible nature of the material used. Since their entry into the tackle market in 1950, soft plastic worms exploded in popularity due to their versatility.
Available in various colors, shapes, and sizes, some plastic worms even emit artificial scents to goad fish into striking. You can rig plastic worms to your fishing in many different ways.
Plastic Worm Styles
Plastic worms remain available in a seemingly endless array of different styles, each with its advantages. To simplify things, we classify them into two categories: straight and curly. Below, you can learn about the main distinctions between the straight tail and curly tail worms.
Straight Tail Worms
Straight tail worms represent the most commonly used type of plastic worms. Versatile and practical, you can make straight tail worms dart about as though they’re feeding off the bottom, like minnows. This style of lure works best in areas that provide little cover for the bass.
Combining 6-inch straight tail worms with the Carolina rigging technique can even help you extend your reach to depths of about 30 feet. Trick worms, stick baits, and finesse worms serve as some of the most popular straight tail worms.
Curly Tail Worms
A widely used lure among bass fishermen, curly tail worms prove effective in shallow and deep water. Curly tail worms produce more movement than straight tail worms, tricking the bass into believing it represents live prey.
You can tease curly tail worms into performing several maneuvers, aided by various rigging techniques. For example, some fishermen hop a curly tail worm along the bottom or flip and pitch it around places that the bass use for cover. You can also induce a strike from an aggressive bass by causing a curly tail worm to swim or spin.
When to Use a Plastic Worm
Nick Creme first invented plastic worms in 1949, and they immediately demonstrated their effectiveness at catching all kinds of fish, especially bass. Some anglers claim plastic worms work better than live bait, although this remains a contentious debate. Knowing when to use plastic worms can help you land your next keeper. So, when should you rig a plastic worm?
Bass tend to feed more during warm seasons. Warm water increases a bass’s appetite, making spring to early fall the best time to catch them with plastic worms. Knowledge regarding the different functions of plastic worms will help you decide the right time to use them.
If you find yourself fishing for bass in clear, open water, plastic worms of about three or four inches will work well. If your fishing spot provides plenty of cover for the bass, choose a plastic worm that measures five inches or more. Finally, based on the feeding habits of bass, the color of the lure may dictate when you should use a specific plastic worm.
Why Choose a Plastic Worm?
Plastic worms mimic live bait with their movement and texture, tricking the bass into believing it has a natural morsel in its mouth. Plastic worms that smell similar to live bait also improve your chances of success. Some of the other advantages to using plastic worms include:
- Durability – Can last a lifetime; will not decompose
- Affordability – Easy to stock up on plastic worms
- Versatility – Usable under most conditions
- Cleanliness – Makes less of a mess than live worms
- Ease of Use – Will not wriggle out of an angler’s grasp
Types of Rigs for Plastic Worms
You can rig a plastic worm in several ways to meet changing fishing conditions. The Texas, Carolina, and Drop Shot setups represent some of the most popular worm rigging techniques for bass fishing. Each type of rig functions differently and offers its own unique advantages. Learn about some of the most common rigs below.
Preferred by many modern bass anglers, the Texas rig works well with all types of plastic worms. Texas rigs involve a bullet-shaped weight threaded onto the fishing line followed by a plastic or glass bead. You can slide the weight freely or peg it to the line to keep it snug with the head of the worm. An offset worm hook then secures the line.
A rigging technique in use for decades, the Texas rig remains a favorite among anglers. A Texas rig also makes plastic worms weedless, a significant advantage. When it comes to fishing for bass, this technique works in conjunction with the dragging, lift and drop, and twitching weightless techniques.
A Carolina rig resembles a Texas rig in how you rig the worm. However, it differs from the Texas rig because of its leader, which places the sinker much further from the lure. A bullet weight and glass bead placed before the leader threads to the mainline, where it ties to a swivel. The other end of the swivel houses a 12-to-18-inch-long leader, at the end of which you can attach the worm rigged in the Texas-style.
The worm floats above the sinker freely as you drag the weight along the bottom. This feature gives the worm a natural look that offers bass an open invitation to bite. Carolina rigs enjoy significant use because they prevent bass from feeling the sinker’s weight, allowing for a prolonged strike.
Drop Shot Rig
A Drop Shot rig represents a plastic worm fishing technique that requires finesse. It consists of a weight fastened to the working end or ‘tag end’ of the fishing line. The hook sits several inches above the end of the line. This distance allows you to keep the plastic worm off the bottom and produces movements that make the lure appear weightless.
Twitching the rod when the sinker hits bottom will shake the lure to entice the fish. Use this technique to present a slow, free-floating target that may cause a cautious, non-aggressive bass to strike. The drop-shot rig works well when fishing in both muddy and clear water bodies.
Best Plastic Worms for Bass Fishing
Plastic worms remain a staple in many anglers’ tackle boxes, replacing live bait in some cases. These lures owe their popularity to their versatility and ease of use. Their reusability also makes them an economical choice. Take a look at some of our favorite plastic worms for bass fishing, including their advantages and disadvantages.
The Yamamoto Senko remains one of the oldest fishing lures still in production. This soft, plastic bait works effectively regardless of the time of year, weather conditions, or the attitude of the bass. The Yamamoto Senko also functions well with different rigging techniques, like the Light Texas rig, Weightless Texas rig, Carolina rig, and the Wacky rig.
The Yamamoto Senko produces a compelling action underwater because its tail wiggles back and forth as it falls when the line goes slack, making it irresistible for bass. However, they do tear or shred more easily than similar products.
- Unique underwater action
- Wide selection of available colors
- Weighted for finesse applications
- Value for money
- Tears easily
- Overly soft when rigging
Tailored Tackle Wacky Worm
Available in bulk bags containing 25 five-inch, soft, plastic worms, Tailored Tackle Wacky Worm helps you reel in those big largemouth bass. Tailored Tackle started producing the Wacky Worm over a decade ago. An inexpensive alternative to the popular Senko, you can use the Wacky Worm on a Carolina rig, Texas rig, or Wacky rig.
The Tailored Tackle Wacky Worm represents a freshwater fishing lure and comes in several colors. Infused with the classic anise scent, this worm attracts both largemouth and smallmouth bass varieties. Its soft, flexible plastic increases its durability.
- Different colors available
- High-quality plastic
- Works well in low-light conditions
- Stiff design
- Leaches a plastic smell
Zoom Straight Tail Trick Worm
Preferred by anglers due to their ability to entice bites from bass in shallow water, Zoom Straight Tail Trick Worms prove effective on Carolina rigs or with a shaky head setup. These segmented, straight tail worms produce a natural slithering action designed to attract largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Zoom Straight Tail Trick Worms contain salt to disguise the chemical smell of plastic and mask human odors. The salt also ensures the plastic worms sink more slowly without reducing their weight. Zoom Straight Tail Trick Worms measure 6.5 inches long, perfect for large bass.
- Available in bulk
- Floats well
- Wide range of colors available
- Salt renders some rigs ineffective
- Less durable than some competitors
Berkley PowerBait Power Worms
Berkley PowerBait Power Worms represent the culmination of over 25 years of design improvements. These plastic worms look natural and emulate the wriggling movement of live bait on the fall when twitched. Their soft, firm texture, coupled with Berkley’s flavor and scent formula, make them difficult for bass to ignore.
Berkley PowerBait Power Worms come in sizes ranging from small, 1-inch worms to large, 8.5-inch ones. The quantity of worms per package varies according to their size. They remain available in a wide range of colors but cost slightly more than most other plastic worm options.
- Enticing scent and flavor
- Over 70 color options
- Wide range of sizes available
- Natural movement
- Slightly expensive
- Stiff plastic design
Roboworm Straight Tail Worm Bait
Roboworm Straight Tail Worm Baits use modern robotic technology to create unique color combinations similar to hand-poured worms. These worms perform subtle, tempting actions designed to attract bites from a bass. They also possess a Salt Release System that provides a burst of salt when fish bite. This feature causes bass to hold on longer, making it easier to detect bites.
One of the most popular finesse worms on the market, you can use the 4.5-inch and 6-inch Straight Tail Worms with a drop shot rig and most finesse techniques. You can also try Texas-rigging the long, 7-inch worms. The flimsy packaging may cause durability issues.
- Excellent for drop shot rigs
- Range of color choices
- Excellent action
- Flimsy packaging reduces durability
The Best Plastic Worms for Bass Fishing
If you feel the urge to update your tackle box before your next bass fishing trip, the products listed above represent some of the best plastic worms for bass on the market. Any decision regarding the plastic worms you should select depends entirely on your experience and skill level. We recommend paying mind to the water depth and clarity before settling on a specific type.
You may need to try different lures depending on the weather conditions and seasonal habits of bass. Everybody recounts different experiences with plastic worms, so cast a few types of plastic worms and see which one works best for you.