The ways to rig soft plastics are endless to the modern angler. Also, the rigs even have some variations to go along with them. Choosing the way you rig a soft plastic can make a difference. The cover may influence your rigging style by going weedless or if the area receives a lot of pressure from other anglers. Whatever the reason, there is a way to rig soft plastics for the situation.
Some rigs do work better in weedy cover and others in the more open cover. You have to get the experience of where and how to use them. These are finesse baits often and use a slower jig-like presentation.
The choice of line matters with soft plastics. Fluorocarbon sinks helping the unweighted rigs sink whereas mono floats. Braid will give you plenty of strength and most tend to be neutral buoyancy. If using braid as the mainline a fluorocarbon leader will work best. Use a line that you are comfortable with and understand the line does affect lures.
Texas Rig Soft Plastics
The most well-known way of rigging soft plastics is the Texas rig. As a result, many bass anglers know how to do this rig. A worm hook placed in a soft plastic makes the rig. The mistake many anglers make is not keeping the worm on center with the hook. An off-center hook will make the worm spin and twist the line, so keep the hook centered.
The rig has variations to the weighting. Since some hooks are weighted or slip weights are placed above the hook. Since both ways are popular with the rig, try each to see what works best. The preference is bullet sinkers, to reduce grabbing on weeds. Use enough weight to keep good bottom contact, so you can feel what the bait is doing.
Tip on Rigging Soft Plastics
Use the seam of the bait to align the soft plastic. Commercially produced soft plastics have a seam, such as Senkos, worms, and other round baits. This technique does not work on creature baits however, as the seams are on the sides.
Similar to the Texas rig with one difference. You use a hook with a leader below the weight. Slip the weight on the mainline, then tie on a swivel. Then tie the leader with the hook onto the swivel. Split shot and bobber stops can be used with cylindrical or lighter weights instead of swivels. The only difference between the Texas or Carolina rig is where the weight is placed.
Wacky Rig Soft Plastics
The most popular rig used today is the wacky rig. Simple and productive anglers love the rig. Hook the soft plastic through the center. The wide gap hooks are preferable to leave room for the point of the hook. The usual presentation of wacky-rigs is weightless to produce a subtle action. You can try using a jig head or weighted hook however to increase the action.
A few anglers do use o-rings and place the hook between the o-ring and bait, although, this requires having the o-rings and a tool. Neko rigs can also use the o-rings and the tool since they are similar rigs.
Similar to the wacky rig but the worm has a nail weight or head weight added to the nose, making it dive nose-first. Anglers adjust where the hook goes through so it achieves different actions. Use caution with the hook since it needs to point in the correct direction. The point is above the shank when the nose is down.
Drop shot rigs are for vertical presentations and keep the bait off the bottom. The weight is placed below the hook on a leader. Use them around bridge supports and other vertical structures. You nose hook the soft plastic also with this rig. The weight falls to the bottom and a slight movement of the rod imparts action on the bait that is up above. Using the proper amount of weight is important also. The rig should maintain contact with the bottom.
These are 5 basic rigs and offer options to expand your techniques. You gaining experience with them will allow you to make better choices of where and how to use them. Each has its own unique action that works in many situations. If you have never used any of these rigs give them a try when other presentations are unproductive.
Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights.