Fishing the wacky rig is one of the best finesse fishing techniques for bass anglers. Although wacky rig fishing is prevalent among finesse anglers, unfortunately, it can be fished incorrectly. In this article, we will go over how to fish a wacky rig efficiently so you can put more fish in the boat. If you have questions or would like to learn more about fishing techniques, please reach out or watch our helpful fishing videos.
How to Rig a Wacky Hook
You can select from various hooks to use when fishing the wacky rig. But something you want to keep in mind is allowing enough hook spacing between the bait and the fish’s mouth. The reason is that it will allow proper hook-setting for a much better success rate.
We recommend using an EWG (extra wide gap) hook in a 1/0 size for a 5” stick bait. Again, this will allow enough space for you to get the best hook set possible.
Traditionally you’ll run the hook through the middle area of your stick bait. Many anglers use an o-ring to help preserve the stick bait and make it last longer. With an o-ring, slide it onto the stick bait towards the middle with the use of a wacky tool. Next, run the hook under the o-ring without penetrating the bait itself. When the hook pierces directly through the soft-plastic stick bait, it increases the opportunity of losing your lure by ripping and tearing. We recommend using a proper size o-ring to make your fishing bait last longer while using the wacky rig.
Do You Add Weight to a Wacky Rig?
Adding weight depends on the conditions you are fishing and how quickly you need your wacky rig to sink. In normal conditions, the wacky rig is best fished without weight, as most stick baits have a mild sinking rate to allow the stick bait to give a natural presentation. Please note that each brand’s version of a stick bait will have its own rate of fall and presentation.
When fishing deeper water, in windy conditions, or when bass are suspended deeper than usual, you can add a little bit of weight to get your wacky rig to fall quicker where you need it to be. Achieve this by pushing a nail weight into the thicker end of the stick bait. We recommend starting with a 1/32-ounce weight and adjusting from there. Another option is to add a split-shot weight directly above the hook.
If you’re fishing deep water that is clear, choose to run your wacky rig on a drop shot to get your wacky rig down to the bass at a much quicker rate.
What Kind of Line When Wacky Rigging
The wacky rig is a finesse technique, which results in a lighter fishing line. Many bass anglers will use 6 – 10 lbs of test fishing lines. Since there are a variety of situations that play a factor in the line strength you’ll use, we recommend starting with an 8-pound test.
A smaller line diameter will cause your bait to have a slightly faster sinking rate. A thicker fishing line diameter will cause a slower sinking rate. It’s essential to keep this in mind when you’re trying to dial in how quickly you want your wacky rig to fall once you make a cast.
When it comes to the types of lines to use, that is a personal preference. Some anglers like to use fluorocarbon due to its strength and resistance to abrasions. Others opt to use mono fishing line because it provides more stretch and is cost-efficient. Again, you decide what is your personal preference when it comes to fishing line for a wacky rig.
How to Work a Wacky Rig
One of the biggest benefits when fishing the wacky rig with a stick bait is that the stick bait does half of the work for you. After you cast, allow the bait to fall on its own all the way to the bottom. You can add twitches, shakes, and little pops of the rod here and there to get the attention of stubborn bass.
We are going to list three crucial factors to keep in mind after you cast:
Leave slack in your line. A wacky rig works best when you have slacked line because it helps the stick bait perform how it should.
Since your line will have slack, be sure to keep an eye on your line since it’s difficult to feel when you have a fish bite. Watch for bumps in your line, and it starts to move to indicate you have a fish on.
When setting the hook with a wacky rig, slowly raise the tip of your rod, and slowly reel in to get the slack out. Once the line is tighter, set your hook with a subtle jerk.
By following these steps, you’ll have a much better success rate for landing your fish rather than missing with a bad hook set. Remember, this is a finesse technique, and it takes patience and awareness to optimize your wacky rig fishing skills.
Selecting a Reliable Stick Bait For Your Wacky Rig
There are many manufacturers who make stick baits. A big complaint is the durability of some larger brands. Find a stick bait that will last more than one fish at a time. The Wiggle Stick by Red Angle Fishing is one of the best values for a stick bait that offers an awesome presentation while holding up longer than the competitors.
Coming in at 5.25” in length and a little thicker than traditional stick baits, the Wiggle Stick is designed to have the perfect rate of fall, fish catching action, and it last longer than others in its category. Choose from more than 33 colors (as of April 4, 2023).
Additionally, the Wiggle Stick is priced cheaper than the big-name brands on the market to provide anglers with baits they will trust without breaking the bank.