The Texas rig is one of the most versatile and practical rigs out there. It can be used in various situations, including shallow water, deep water, and fresh or saltwater. It is a straightforward yet deadly fishing technique!
A Texas Rig, or "T-rig" for short, is a fishing rig that consists of a weight and hook system set up in such a way as to allow the bait to be presented just below the surface with minimal movement.
Texas fishing rigs are one of the most straightforward soft plastic rigging methods to set up. Texas rigging is widely used for bass fishing because it's so good at catching bass. Because of how easy it is to set up, it is perfect for beginners.
This article will provide information on how to set up the Texas rig for fishing and how the rig can be used in different situations and types of water conditions with varying depths.
How to Setup a Texas Rig
One of the best things about the rig is how versatile it is. You can use it all year round and in many different situations. Once you learn how to set up a Texas fishing rig, you will be able to rig one up and be good to go in minutes.
To Create a Texas Rig, You will Need:
Your Fishing Line Setup on a Rod and Reel
Use a bullet weight of your choice with a hole in the center. The hole is so it can flow freely on the line. The size and weight of the sinker we will discuss later on in the guide.
Texas Rig Hook
You will need a hook with an offset shank to help with the presentation and keep your lure in place. You can use straight shank hooks, but I would recommend against it unless you can find an offset worm or plastic that you can use with it. Any offset worm hook will work, but I recommend using the biggest hook possible without affecting the way the bait moves.
Soft Plastic Worm or Creature Bait
The type of lure you pick total depends on your preference. My favorite is a finesse worm for Texas rigging. Most plastic worms or creature baits will work, so choose your favorite.
How to Tie a Texas Rig
The video below shows you how to set up and tie a Texas rig. I have broken each step down under the video to help you with your setup.
Video source: Ultimate Fishing Site
1. Pass the Line Through the Weight.
First, you want to grab your fishing line in one hand and your sinker in your other. Then you want to run the line into the hole of the sinker. Now your sinker weight is on the line, keep hold of the line and just let the weight slide on the line on its own.
2. Tie Your Line to Your Hook
Next, you want to take your hook and tie it to the end of your line using a Palomar knot. If you don't know how to tie a Palomar knot, check this video below:
3. Snip the Excess Line
Once the Palomar knot is tied, you can trim the excess line using a pair of pliers or line cutters.
4. Get You Bait and Hook Ready
Grab your plastic worm. Here a seven and a half inch curly tail worm was used. But any worm or plastic creature baits will do. So use your favorite.
Now with your hook in your hand (hook upright, point facing the floor). Take the worm in your other hand bottom side up (whatever you think the bottom of the worm is, usually this is the flat end).
Before you put the worm on the hook, you want to face the bottom direction of the worm towards the curve part of the hook. This is so once you feed the worm onto the hook, the bottom of the worm will face the correct way and looks as natural as possible.
5. Attach Your Bait Onto the Hook
With the lure and hook in your hand, run the point of the hook into the bait.
You need to push the hook point in about an inch, or even an inch and a half.
Then you want to have the hook point come out of the bait, just like the picture below.
6. Slide Your Bait Onto the Hook
With the bait attached to the hook, push the bait around the curve and onto the hook. Until you get to the part below:
When your bait has reached the curved shank in the hook, slide it over the curved part, making sure to have the worm higher than the eye of the hook. Having the bait slightly higher than the hook will prevent the bullet weight from damaging your knot.
Rotate the worm so it's now relaxed to the front of the hook (the pointed side). It's going to sit just like this:
7. Pull the Bait Straight to Find Where to Put the Point of the Hook
You shouldn't have hooked the front part of the worm yet. But you are pretty close to being done here.
Pull your worm straight. This will help you figure out where to put the hook into the worm.
With the worm straightened out, you will see where the curved part of the hook (pointed side) meets up with the center of the worm.
8. Make the Texas Rig Weedless
As you can see, the worm will be sitting nicely on the hook. Now, if you push the piece of plastic down between the hook's point and the eye, you can see that there's a little bit of space between the point of the hook and the worm. So this worm isn't rigged weedless yet.
Take the middle top part of the worm that's slightly in front of the worm. Push it up over the point of that hook.
They call that skin hooking a worm.
And that's it. You have created your first Texas rig.
You have your slip sinker/weight and your texas rig. Rigged and ready to be fished.
Best Baits for a Texas Rig
The Texas rig is an excellent fishing technique with many applications. It is most often used when trying to catch bass, but it can be effective for catching other fish species.
The best bait lure to use is a soft plastic lure. Honestly, it's the only type of lure you will ever need.
My favorite choice of lure to use for bass is a plastic worm, but plenty of other soft plastics can be used when texas rigging.
Creature Bait for Texas Rig
Creature baits are great if you want something bigger and bulkier than the other plastic baits. Creature baits have tons of limbs attached to them that cause a lot of movement in the water.
Baits that create a lot of movement in the water are fantastic when you are bass fishing.
A bass's primary sense is noise, so a lure that creates many vibrations and noise is excellent at certain times of the year.
Creature baits have a ton of action. It's brilliant in warming water post-spawn summertime. That's when you want a bait like this. That's when you want more action.
Senko for Texas Rig
I have had a lot of success with Senko's. Texas rig the Senko the same way as you would for a worm. Ensuring that the underside of the Senko is in the same position as the underside of the worm would be.
You can make a Senko weedless by nipping the top of the lure with the hook point and hiding it inside the bait.
I believe weightless is the most effective way to fish the Senko. I have lots of success in the past, fishing them weightless on the top with a side-to-side spook action.
The heavy density of the Senko makes it sink, unlike most other baits in its class. It wiggles and moves naturally like a baitfish when it falls. So it's a great bait when the bass are spawning.
Deadstick with a slow wiggle through the water column is another way to fish a Texas-rigged Senko.
For slow bottom fishing, you can weigh it using a sinker set-up. You can also throw a Senko rig in open water or the heaviest cover.
Lots of techniques for Texas rigging a Senko.
Texas rig worm
The texas rigged worm is my favorite bait to use with the Texas rig. It is the goto plastic bait to use for many fishermen, and it's the first bait most people will possibly think about when they think of the Texas rig.
The finesse worm is very popular among anglers catching more bass than any other bait when you rig texas style.
The worm is usually between 4.5-10.5 inches in size, and the best size weight to use is 1/16 to a quarter ounce. However, you may want to try a lighter weight like a 1/32 if the situation presents itself.
The worm is a soft bait and quite flexible. It will produce some action on its own. That's why worms do well. They are very similar to what bass hunt and eat already. When presented up to the bass, and they look very natural. They look very much like minnows and other live baits that bass love to feast on.
Like all the other plastic lures, worms are likely to snag if you are fishing water that's full of weeds. To prevent this, make sure you make your rig is weedless like shown in the guide above.
Best Weights For Texas Rigging
The bullet weight is the most common and usually the only weight you will ever use with a texas rig.
When it comes to estimating how much weight will be needed, several factors come into play:
- What is the depth of the water?
- How much weight does the lure you are using already have on it?
- The size and weight of your texas rig.
- How much cover is on the bottom of the water?
If you're fishing in either deeper or shallower waters, then you will want to adjust accordingly. As well as alter the bullet weight depending on the size of the lure.
Should you Peg a Texas Rig?
If there are not too many weeds or not much cover, you can also peg the weight. While personally, I prefer my weight to move freely and naturally through the water. There may be instances when you want the lure to sit lower in the water if the bass are on the bottom.
Just make sure that there are no heavy weeds or grass on the bottom as you will not catch anything. The fish will not see your bait.
Most of the time, you will want your lure to suspend in the water, which looks a lot more natural, so you will not need pegging 99% of the time.
But use whatever works for you. If pegging is getting you more bites, then stick with it.
That's the great thing about fishing. We can change things up and see if they work.
Best Texas Rig Hooks
Like any fishing rig, having the proper hook for the texas rig is crucial. You want a sharp, durable hook, and strong enough to cut through weed and grass without bending or breaking.
Types of Hooks
The 3 main categories of hooks are:
Straight Shank Hooks
Straight shank hooks are made for a wide range of bait types. They are the best hook if you are fishing in heavy weeds or grass as they don't snag or get caught up as much.
The problem with straight shank hooks is the plastic bait tends to move down the hook, not staying in place. I found this to be very frustrating if you have to keep moving the bait every cast. It can make your lure look unnatural and hurt how many bites you get.
Offset Worm Hook
The offset worm hook is my favorite hook for a Texas rig. The bend at the top of the hook holds the bait in place. The curve of the hook provides a great angle to penetrate the fish and hook more easily. They are the best hooks for plastic worms.
The hooks curve is perfect for hooking your lure, and the angle at which it rigs will show less of the point and the barb. It will look a lot more natural to the bass.
The only drawback with the offset worm hook is that they can snag a bit more if you are not careful.
Extra wide gap hooks are similar to offset worm hooks but provide a bigger gap between the point of the hook and the eye.
EWG hooks are very popular and are suitable for big plastic baits like creature baits that will benefit from the extra gap.
The only problem with this style of hook is it's harder to hook the fish. The angled point of the hook is parallel to the eye, meaning it is more difficult to penetrate the mouth of the bass when you get a bite.
Best Hook Size for Texas Rig
A lot of factors decide what the best hook size for a texas rig is. These include:
- The thickness of the line you're using.
- What type of bait you are using(big or small).
- What species you are targeting.
For some big plastics, like a 10-inch worm or a large creature bait, you might need a 5/0 hook.
On the other hand, Some smaller plastics might need a 2/0 size hook or even smaller.
If you are using a thick line then you will have great difficulty tying your knot into a small hook. So choose your hook to match your line.
Overall using the smallest hook possible for the situation is the best way to choose your hook. You want the bait to look as natural as possible. Choose a hook too big, and the fish will notice the hook. Using a hook too small and you may fail to penetrate the fish when you strike, or even worse, the hook might break.
What Type of Setup Do I Need for a Texas Rig?
You can also use a braided line, but also understand that this will impact the way your lure moves. Which may impact your fishing results negatively.
How to Fish a Texas Rig
Now that you have your Texas rig ready, you are going to want to fish it. The most natural way you can present the bait to the fish will be your best chance to catch and succeed. I have listed the most popular ways to do this below:
Lifting And Dropping
Lifting and dropping is one of the most common methods to fish a Texas rig.
This method is best used during a warm morning, just before or after spawn when the bass are more active.
Find cover where the bass will be and cast your lure as close as you can to it.
You want to pull your rod up with your line tight, only about 5 - 12 inches off the bottom, before dropping your lure back down again.
Repeat this slowly and wait for the bass to bite. Which generally happens when you drop the lure. Try not to lift erratically or too harsh, but you can also add a few twitches as you lift the lure.
Remember, you want the bait to look as natural as possible, so it looks enticing for the bass.
Dagging Your Lure
Dragging your lure is precisely what it means. You cast your lure to the area you want to fish, then slowly reel in your lure, trying to lure the bass to take a bite.
This method used for a texas rig is fantastic when the weather is cold and the fish are not as active as they typically would be.
You are giving the bass more chance to react and attack the bait, so don't reel your lure in too fast. Bass are spooked easily in colder temperatures, so it's vital to be as natural as possible.
Twitching the rod tip just after your cast is a great way to let the bass know that the bait is there.
Weightless Texas Rig Twitching
Another excellent method for fishing a texas rig is to twitch the lure. You can do this with the standard rig that I showed you to set up or use it with a weightless texas rig.
The weightless rig is rigged the same way as usual, just without the weight. The lure will sink but at a much slower rate.
Once the lure has dropped to the depth you desire, then you can start twitch and flicking the tip of your rod. This will make your lure twitch about in the water and attract the bass.
This is an excellent method for water that's got a heavy cover, or the water is quite murky. Bass will search and find your bait as the twitching will attract them.
The Texas rig is a versatile and practical fishing technique that can be used for many different fish.
Bass are the most common type of fish to catch with this method, but Texas rig fishing also popular among other species as well.
This rig excels in water that has lots of grass and weeds on the water bed.
It might take some time before you get the hang of bait presentation when using a Texas Rig, so don't give up too soon! Practice makes perfect!
Have a great time fishing.