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The Complete Guide to Fishing with a Wacky Worm Rig

Part of the fun of fishing for bass is that everyone has their own “secret technique”. The ravenous freshwater gamefish enjoy eating many types of small animals, so many different rigs will work to catch it. Texas RigsCarolina Rigs, and many more try to mimic the movement of the underwater critter bass love to eat. But have you ever heard of the Wacky Worm Rig? 

We’ve been hearing praise for the Wacky Worm Rig more and more frequently, so we decided it was time to write a detailed article about it. We’ll cover what exactly a Wacky Worm Rig is, how to make it, fish it, and what tackle is best for using it.

After reading this article, you’ll be ready to slay your local bass fishery with your own Wacky Worm Rig!

What is a Wacky Worm Rig?

bass caught on wacky worm rig

When you first see a Wacky Worm Rig, you have to wonder if the fisherman who made it knows how to fish at all. Wacky Worm Rigs involve a traditional rubber worm (used for many other types of rigs) with a hook centered in the middle.

It almost looks like someone accidentally hooked the worm. What makes the Wacky Worm Rig so good, however, is its action and weedless capabilities.

Technically this is all you need to do to set up a Wacky Worm Rig, however more advanced fishermen tend to add reinforcement to the worm where the hook is pierced.

O-rings, rubber bands, and fishing line can all be wrapped around the middle of the worm to prevent the hook from tearing prematurely.

Author Note: You can also attach the hook without piercing the worm if you want it to run parallel to the body of the worm. We’ve found that either method works well for bass.

How to Make a Wacky Worm Rig

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

  1. First, tie a hook on to your line. The Wacky Worm rig has been around long enough that hook manufacturers have started designing hooks specifically for it. If you can’t find a hook that says it’s for Wacky Worm Rigs, look for hooks that have a circular shape and come with a weed guard. The weed guard isn’t necessary but can save you some hassle if you’re fishing a heavy-weed area.
  2. Hook your plastic lure of choice right through the middle, leaving about half an inch of the exposed hook out of the other side. As far as lures go, rubber bait like the Senko worms by Gary Yamamoto works great. You can also use worms with tails, rubber frogs, or even imitation squids or mice. Just be sure to hook them through the middle!
  3. If you want to increase the longevity of your lure, be sure to add an o-ring or small rubber band around the worm where the hook is. This will give the worm added support when jerking the worm underwater to attract fish. It’ll also prevent the worm from ripping if you hook a fish or get snagged.
  4. Depending on how you plan to fish the Rig, you can add a split shot weight on to your line close to the hook or a little ways up the line. This will help pull your rig down the bottom faster and works better for lift and drop/crawl and drag methods.

Tackle Needed for Wacky Worm Fishing

The type of rod and reel needed for Wacky Worm fishing depends on the type of fish you’re going for.

If you’re going for bass we’ve put together a great 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.

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. For bass, we recommend leaning towards the faster side for the extra leverage and strength needed to corral a strong fish.

We believe crankbait rods are the best choice – check out our crankbait rod buying guide if you’re looking to buy a new one!

Types of Fishing Line

Just like many other bass rigs, we recommend using monofilament or fluorocarbon in clearer water with less vegetation. A fluorocarbon line is better for fishing in weeds or near underwater structures.

Braided lines are also resistant to scratches from rocks and other debris, but can tear. Braided and fluorocarbon lines have minimal stretch, which means you’ll easily be able to feel a bass bite your Wacky Worm Rig.

Author Note: 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 (which might scare hopeful bass away).

How to Fish a Wacky Worm Rig

fishing the wacky worm rig

Now that you’ve got your fishing tackle set up, it’s time to learn the different ways you can fish your Wacky Worm Rig.

A lot of the same methods used for the Texas Rig and Carolina Rig also work with the Wacky Worm Rig.

The Lift and Drop

The Lift and Drop method works best for areas with less cover. The action on the Wacky Worm Rig is more prone to catch on underwater structures (like weeds and rocks).

  1. Cast your lure toward where you think the fish are hiding.
  2. Let the Wacky Worm Rig settle to the bottom.
  3. Keep your rod tip pointed toward the rig and reel in any slack in the line.
  4. Once you feel the 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 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. Oftentimes a bass will strike as the lure is fluttering back to the bottom. If you feel anything weird, give your rod a tug!

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 Wacky Worm Rig settle to the bottom.
  3. Keep your rod tip pointed toward the rig and reel in any slack in the line.
  4. Slowly lift your rod to make the Wacky Worm 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 Wacky Worm 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 spring and fall when the bass are actively hunting for food.

  1. Cast your lure past where you think the fish are hiding.
  2. Let the lure slowly sink for a few seconds. Before the Wacky Worm 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. You can also jerk the rod every once and a while to imitate a wounded animal.
  5. If you feel something weird a tap on your line, give it a quick jerk to set the hook!

Final Thoughts

As much as fishermen like to ridicule the Wacky Worm Rig, time and time again it produces results. Have you exhausted using the other types of rigs in your arsenal?

Try using the Wacky Worm to mix it up. We almost guarantee you’ll be surprised by how effective it is. You can even eat freshwater bass if you end up catching a monster! And remember, if you can’t find any bass, look for bubbles coming up from under logs or lilypads.

Love using the Wacky Worm Rig? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Happy Hunting!


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