How to Fish a Texas Rig

April 10, 2020

The Ultimate Guide on How to Fish With a Texas Rig

Ever wondered how to fish a Texas Rig for bass? Have you ever heard of a Texas Rig? If you’re a seasoned bass fisherman you’ve probably seen one. It’s also great for northern pike and snakehead. In this article, we’ll cover what a Texas Rig is, which lures are the most effective for Texas Rigging, and (of course) how to fish a Texas Rig. It’s almost bass season, and you’ll want to add a Texas Rig to your bass fishing setup if you haven’t already! 

What is a Texas Rig?

There are many different interpretations of the Texas Rig, but the traditional setup is a soft plastic lure threaded with an offset hook and bullet-shaped slip sinker. It’s the simpler cousin to the Carolina Rig. What’s so special about the Texas Rig? It’s designed to not catch on weeds or rocks which allows the fisherman to display the lure to fish that may be hiding in underwater structure. Since bass love hiding in weeds or around rocks, this is essential to getting your lure close to them. If you used a traditional spinner or open hook bait, you’d quickly get frustrated losing lure after lure. 

Many types of plastic lures will work. Bass love worms, crawfish, lizards, and any other sort of small animal you could imagine a bass eating. Some fishermen even swear by using a mouse-shaped plastic lure!

How to Make a Texas Rig

There’s a specific order you need to follow in order to make a proper Texas Rig. Lucky for you, we’ve outlined the exact methodology below.

  1. First, thread a slip sinker onto your line. Bullet-shaped weights are ideal as they have the least chance of snagging on weeds. Insert your line through the pointed end so this will lead when dragging your bait through cover (where the bass like to hang out). The bullet weight should weigh just enough to sink the lure and give you decent action when you jig it. On windier days you may need a heavier weight to enable accurate casting. If the underwater cover is heavy, you should also use a heavier weight to get your lure to break through the weeds. You can use either lead or tungsten weights. Tungsten (although more expensive) is usually the better option as it has a smaller profile.
  2. Next, you’ll need to add your offset hook to the line. As we mentioned earlier, the 3/0 size works great for most plastic lures. The offset style hook works well because it holds the lure and allows the end of the hook to not catch on weeds.
  3. Now it’s time to add your plastic lure. No matter the type of creature you choose, the rigging motion is the same. To Texas Rig your lure, stick the hook into the center of the tip of the lure and push the point of the hook out of the side of the lure about a quarter-inch down. Continuing pushing the hook through the lure until it’s almost entirely through. Then flip the hook so the point is facing the lure again, and drive it back through so the shaft of the hook forms a loop on one of the sides of the lure. Make sure the tip is still buried inside the lure, but almost reaching the surface of the other side. Then straighten the body out so the lure looks natural.
  4. You’ve done it! The Texas Rig is especially effective because when you drag it against weeds or other underwater structure it doesn’t catch. But when a fish bites it the tension in the line will pull the hook tip out of the lure and hook the fish. Pretty nifty, right?

Rod and Reel Needed for Texas Rig Fishing

The type of rod and reel needed for Texas Rig fishing depends on the type of fish you’re going for. If you’re going for bass you’ll need a different setup than if you’re going for pike or other fish. For bass, we’ve put together a comprehensive buying guide for reels that takes into consideration durability, price, and much more.

As far as rods go, just make sure it can withstand 8 to 10 lb line and up to 17 lbs of drag. Most anglers enjoy using a medium to heavier action rod for the extra strength they provide when muscling a bass out of the water. Any of the crankbait rods in our crankbait rod buying guide would be an excellent choice. The last thing you want to do is let the bass tangle your line around grass or underwater logs.

The rods tip speed should also be considered – if the tip is too fast you won’t be able to cast as far, but if it’s too slow you won’t be as accurate. We recommend leaning towards the faster side for the extra leverage and strength needed to corral a hooked bass.

Types of Fishing Line

For types of fishing line to use, we recommend using monofilament in clearer water with less vegetation, and braided for fishing in weeds/underwater structures. Braided lines are more resistant to scratches from rocks and other debris. Braided line also has zero stretch, which means you’ll easily be able to feel a bass bite your Texas Rig. It also means you can set the hook with much less pressure on the line. The only drawback of the braided line is that if the water is too clear the fish can see it. This might deter them from biting your Texas Rig.

How to Fish a Texas Rig

Now that you’ve got your Texas Rig locked and loaded on your line, it’s time to learn how to effectively present eh Texas Rig to a fish. There are several different ways to fish the Texas Rig. We’ll cover them all below!

The Lift and Drop

The Lift and Drop method works best for areas without cover, as the action on the Texas Rig is more prone to catch on underwater structure (like logs).

  1. Cast your lure toward where you think the fish are hiding.
  2. Let the Texas Rig settle to the bottom.
  3. Keep your rod tip pointed toward the Texas Rig, and reel in any slack in the line.
  4. Once you feel the Texas Rig hit the bottom, softly jerk your rod tip up 6 inches to a foot so the lure jumps off the bottom.
  5. Allow the Texas Rig to settle back on the bottom for a second and repeat
  6. Just like the Crawl and Drag method, you can try doing the motion at different speeds to see what the fish like.
  7. If you feel a tap on your line, give it a quick jerk. If it’s a bass you’ll know!

The Crawl and Drag

The Crawl and Drag method works well for all water conditions – including heavy underwater cover.

  1. Cast your lure toward where you think the fish are hiding (weeds, rocks, underwater log, etc.).
  2. Let the Texas Rig settle to the bottom.
  3. Keep your rod tip pointed toward the Texas Rig, and reel in any slack in the line.
  4. Slowly lift your rod to make the Texas Rig ‘crawl’ along the bottom.
  5. Once you’ve lifted the rod 6 inches to one foot, lower it back down and reel in the slack in the line.
  6. Allow the Texas Rig to settle back on the bottom for a second and repeat
  7. You can try doing the motion at different speeds to see what the fish like.
  8. If you feel a tap on your line, give it a quick jerk. If it’s a bass you’ll know!

The Swimming Method

The Swimming method is best used in the springtime when the bass are actively hunting for food.

  1. Cast your lure past where you think the fish are hiding.
  2. Before the Texas Rig reaches the bottom, begin reeling the lure in
  3. Vary the speed at which you reel in to make the lure swim just above the bottom and at various speeds.
  4. Once you start feeling bites, keep reeling in at the speed with the same action.
  5. If you feel a tap on your line, give it a quick jerk. If it’s a bass you’ll know!

Final Thoughts

The Texas Rig is a time testing fishing technique. It’s the go-to for bass fishing and works great for other underwater predators like musky and walleye. If effectively implemented, you’ll not only be able to present your lure to fish that other lures can’t reach, but you’ll also be able to use many types of creatures as bait. If you can’t find any bass, look for bubbles coming up from underwater cover.

If you end up catching a massive bass, you might want to consider eating it. Check out our article on how to cook and clean freshwater bass. Have a crazy Texas Rig fishing story to share? Hit us up in the comments below.

Happy Hunting!

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