Wacky Rigging
Wacky Rigging

Wacky Rigging: The Ultimate Finesse Worm Technique Unpacked

Strange Rigging

Largemouth bass fishermen have many options when it comes to catching worms.

Although the exact reasons why a long plasticworm triggers strikes are not well understood, it is a fact that everyone who throws them–from weekend anglers to tournament professionals–knows that they do.

There are many ways to get a soft plastic worm going, but perhaps the most effective is the wild rig.

Let’s dive into the details, and discuss your options.

Basics of a Wacky Rig

This is the wacky rig. Simply attach a hook to the center of a worm and add an O-ring to give it dramatic action.

A wacky-rigged Worm will vibrate through the water in a gentle jigging motion. This is when it wriggles from a gentle jigging motion. Largemouth Basses love that kind of crazy action.


We aren’t sure. It is a well-known fact that bass are attracted to wacky-rigged Worms.

Here are four crazy options for underwater fun:

Different types of weird rigs

The wacky rig is versatile even if you don’t have any soft plastics or hooks.

You can rig it with an O-ring to leave a naked hook. You can run it weedless. You can hook it with a jighead. You can suspend it from a dropshot.

It can…

Let’s take a look at some of these options so you can get a better idea of which one might work best for you when you are hunting trophy bass.

The Classic Wacky Rig

This classic, wacky rig can be as deadly as it is simple. You connect the worm to the hook using an O-ring or two. This allows the soft plastic to do its job while you pop it and lift it.

This method has the advantage that there is no hook in the worm, which gives it maximum freedom of movement. The O-ring is placed at the center of the O-ring.

This leaves the entire soft plastic unaffected by wobble or flutter and allows both ends to move through the water.

The naked hook is waiting for a bass to strike, and there’s nothing that can stop it from hitting a big largemouth’s jaw.

This is its biggest weakness though. The bare hook will catch everything.

A rubber band is just as effective as an O-ring. However, this special item can be purchased from Wacky Rings. Although they are not as affordable as rubber bands, you can’t accuse them of breaking the bank.

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Wacky Rings - O-Rings Wacky Rigging Senko Worms (100 orings 4&5' Senkos - Wacky Rig Bass Fishing)

These steps will help you to rig a classic wacky bug.

  1. Place your O-ring on the worm and find the center point (roughly).
  2. Slip your hook through O-ring

It’s so easy!

Pro tip: Use two O-rings to make an X and then run your hook parallel to the worm. This will increase hookset and lockup.

The Weedless Wacky

Because big bass prefer to eat nasty covers, A bare hook in marsh grass, floating Lililies, or brush piles is enough to cause headaches.

It’s possible to operate a wild rig weedlessly.

  1. Pass the hook through the middle of the worm.
  2. Bring the hook to the eye. I prefer a gap of 1/0.
  3. Rotate the point and turn the hook to bury it. This is exactly how you would do with a Texas rig. You want to leave the point at the edge of the outer layer of the worm, so it is ready to strike but not exposed.

The Nail Weight Wacky and the Neko Rig

To alter the action of the Neko rig, an offset weight such as the VMC Neko Weight is placed at one end of each worm. This creates a lot more wiggle on the undocked side.

VMC, Neko Weights, 1/16 oz, Natural, Package of 10

It’s unquestionably effective and easy to put together.

  1. Push a nail or weight into your worm’s head-end, making sure the top is as flush as possible.
  2. Slide an O-ring orTwo) Over the Worm, Finding the Rough Center
  3. Slip the hook through O-ring

An ideal Neko weight is this one from VMC, but even a simple nail from your local hardware store will do.

The Jig Head Wacky

You can make it easier to get deep into the water or resist strong currents by adding weight to your wacky boat.

A jighead designed for wacky fishing is my favorite, but you can use any jighead in your tackle box. Reaction Tackle’s Tungsten line is a great choice for a wacky jighead. It comes in sizes 1/8, 1/16, and 3/16 ounces, as well as with or sans a weed protector.

Reaction Tackle Wacky Jig Heads- 1/16 - GP

Reaction Tackle Wacky Jig Heads- 1/16 - GP-wdless

It’s easy to rig. Just follow these steps.

  1. Find the rough middle of your worm.
  2. The point of your hook should be passed through the worm to expose the business’ end.

Drop Shot Wacky

Drop shot rigs are one of my favourite ways to rig a weird worm. It is an essential part of finesse techniques for bass.

Drop shot rigs are typically rigged with a pencilweight to decrease the chance of a snag. They allow you to work at a precise distance from bottom.

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It is very simple to tie and rig. These steps will help you rig and tie your knot.

  1. Use a Palomar knot to attach your hook to your monofilament or fluorocarbon leader, creating a long tag end.
    Start at 1:24 if you aren’t sure how to tie the knot.
  2. You’ll have a tag end running back along your mainline when you’ve finished your Palomar. Here, I have tied a #1 Gamakatsu circular hook with 6-pound Trilene.
  3. Run that long tag end back through the eye of the hook to redirect it.Drop Shot Wacky 2As you pull the tag-end through the eye, you’ll end up with something like this:
  4. As you can see the tag end is running past the hook and just waiting for a weight cylinder!
  5. Attach your weight to the tag end. Adjust the length to fit your needs.

Follow the steps above to complete the bizarre rig.

  1. Place your O-ring on the worm and find the center point (roughly).
  2. Slip your hook through O-ring

Get in on the Wacky Rigging

Finesse tackle is a long spinning rod with medium to high power. Some anglers prefer a fast tip to detect strikes. Others prefer a slower rod.

A spinning reel of 2500-size will give you enough line, drag, power, and speed to tie into any largemouth.

St. Croix’s Avid series is a great choice if you want a faster rod. The 6’8″ medium power rod has a fast tip and is great for creating crazy rigs. Its quality is evident in every detail, from the cork handle that is well-contoured to the Fuji Concept guides.

This rod has enough backbone to allow for excellent hooksets and good control during fights.

You can’t go wrong if you pair it with a Shimano, Pflueger or Cadence reel of the right size.

Hooks for Crazy Rigging

For wacky rigging, wide gap and circle hooks (or octopus), are the best choices. Sizes 1/0 to 2/0 and 3/0 are most popular. Some anglers will even go up to a 4-0.

Gamakatsu’s Finesse Wide Gap Hooks and their Inline Circle Hooks are three of the most sought-after options. Owner’s 5172 is a weedless wide gaps hook.

Owner 5172-116 1/0 Bass Hook, 4-Pack, Weedless Wacky Camouflage Green

Line for Wacky Rigging

Braid is a great choice for finesse techniques because it offers greater sensitivity than other options. Sufix 832 or PowerPro are my favorite braids. You won’t be disappointed with either of these options.

Sufix 832 Braid 20 lb Low-Vis Green 300 yards

Power Pro 21100650100E Spectra Braided Fishing Line 65lb 100yd

I usually run 10 to 15 pound braid. A spinning reel handles this line well due to its ultra-low diameter. Braid is difficult to dye and not available in clear colors.

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As such, I use either a mono or fluorocarbon leader. We’ve already discussed the topic: Best Fishing Line: Mono, Braid, Fluoro.

Stren Original mono is as tough as expensive fluorocarbon and invisible underwater. It’s also just as abrasion-resistant as high-end fluorocarbons. A mono leader about an arm length, attached with a Double Uni and braided mainline, will not disappoint!

Stren Original Clear, 330 Yd, Pound Test 6

Good mono is my preferred choice for leaders.

Worm Options for Unorthodox Rigging

Yamamoto Senko

Yamamoto 9-10-301 Senko, 5-Inch, 10-Pack, Green PUM-Packin W/Lg Green & Pur


Gary Yamamamoto’s Senkos, which are a popular choice for weird rigging techniques, is undoubtedly the best.

These are the ones I use and am always amazed at how easy they work.

These tiny ridges trap air bubbles which cause a slight erratic movement on the way down. The stiff “arms”, of a bizarrely rigged Senko, flutter enticingly up the lift.

Zoom Magnum Finesse Worm

Zoom Magnum Finesse Worm-Pack of 10 (Watermelon Red, 5-Inch)


Zoom’s Finesse Worms can also be a great choice, but they have a completely different action to the senkos.

My experience is that they wobble more on the fall or lift. This can be good when visibility is poor and largemouth bass rely on vibration to find prey.

Color Choice

Walker Smith is a pro who recommends keeping it simple. Walker Smith only uses three colors of worms to make his bizarre rigs.

  • When fishing clear water or lightly stained waters under sunny skies, I use watermelon rouge. Sunfish have a bit of red in them and the flake adds some flash when the sun is out.
  • When fishing clear water or lightly stained waters under cloudy skies, I prefer to use green pumpkin. It gives the bass a better look and a more visible silhouette.
  • When I fish in dirty water, I use junebug and other types of black/blue. When it’s sunny, I might choose a little flake.

How to Fish a Strange Rig

While wacky rigs can be fun, it’s not the best way to work your worm.

Instead, let the worm settle at the bottom of the casting, then pause for a moment or two and give it some lift. Give your line some slack and let it fall.

No matter what you do, don’t overload your crazy rig.By design, the worm is free to wriggle on its own and you don’t have to dance with it to catch a bass’s attention.

This lift–fall-settle–lift cadence can be varied, but I find slower is almost always best.

Bass will often strike as soon as the worm flutters. Be ready!

One tip that I can recommend is to keep my finger on the line. You won’t always feel a hit on your rod’s tip, but you will feel the bump in your line.

Lewis Mark is a vastly experienced fly fisher. His encyclopedic knowledge of fly tying has led to start blog on fishing. He also review Fishing equipment based on his knowledge and experience.