How to Rig a Tube Bait: 6 Deadly Methods

There are a massive amount of different baits you can use to hook a trophy bass, but one of the best techniques to get the job done is a tube …

There are a massive amount of different baits you can use to hook a trophy bass, but one of the best techniques to get the job done is a tube bait. This simple yet highly effective bait can lure in even the most suspicious and pressured fish.

However, even with the best bait in the world, you need a good way to present it to the fish. That’s where these six methods of how to rig a tube bait come in. Whether you want to use your tube baits with a jig head, take it weedless, or use a Texas rig with exposed hook point, you’ll be hauling in massive monster sized trophies before you know it!

1. Add Your Tube To A Jig

Many anglers consider fishing tube baits with an internal jig head to be the most effective way to land trophy sized bass. You’ll find a variety of plastic tube jig heads in a variety of sizes and shapes that deliver a weighted top to give your cylindrical soft plastic lure a realistic tail-up presentation.

The weight in the plastic jig head also helps your internal tube jig to glide through the water, wiggling and shaking as it drops to the bottom or gets retrieved at your preferred speed. Target species will absolutely take notice of your bait and will be eager to strike with speed and aggression.

When rigging a tube to jig heads, be sure to push the jig head all the way through the center of the hollow tube until the head eyelet can be seen at the top. Now, push your hook point back through the tail end of the tube so the sharp point is exposed.

This rig is great for offshore fishing in open water, and is a perfect choice for a variety of techniques including dragging, popping and hopping, and more. Rigging your tube or other baits in this manner will give you good bottom contact with a decent midwater action to catch the eye of any bass nearby.

  • Extremely versatile with various techniques
  • Can be highly effective with pressured fish
  • Very easy to rig for beginners and pros

  • Snags easily on weeds and rocks
  • Tube and jig need to be similar sizes
  • Difficult to rig weedless

2. Fishing Tube Baits On A Wobble Head

Over the past few years, the wobble head has become a favorite among many anglers. The unique articulating motion it provides makes it extremely easy for most species to take notice of your tube bait in deeper water.

One of the benefits of using a wobble head with your soft plastic tube is that instead of getting snagged on every rock or underwater structure, it will end up bouncing off or dancing around it as it’s pulled through the water. This gives you the opportunity to fish in a variety of areas from open water to rocky outcroppings.

In addition, using a wobble head will also give you a higher landing percentage than you may have had previously. This is mostly due to the wobble head being more able to bounce around rocks and pier supports instead of getting snagged. That’s more active time in the water for your bait which means more chances for fish to strike.

If you’re in an area where bottom contact is important, rigging your tube on a wobble head is an excellent choice. While this is the prime use for a wobble head and tube bait, you can also use it for midwater slow retrieves, popping, and other choice bass fishing techniques.

  • Extremely versatile for midwater and bottom fishing
  • Very good for use around rocks and logs
  • Excellent choice when you want a lot of movement
  • Sinks quickly and remains mostly on the bottom
  • May require some extra effort for midwater success
  • May be better suited for experienced anglers

3. Texas Rigging a Tube

There are very few anglers that have heard of the Texas rig when bass fishing. When fishing with a tube bait, rigging it on a Texas rig is extremely common and can give you an edge when it comes to deep natural lakes and other waterways.

When fishing with Texas rigged tube baits, the natural fall and graceful movements can mimic a wide range of prey items including leeches, baitfish, and small snakes. These prey items can be a very appealing meal for a wide range of sport fish including smallmouth bass, trout, and more.

The versatility of the Texas rigging also means you can use a wide range of techniques and still get positive results. When fishing with soft plastic tube baits during the spring, some of the best colors to use are those that mimic craw shades and patterns.

As the year progresses, look into switching to darker and more natural hues including watermelon, green and black combinations, and more. This color change has a habit of tricking fish into striking your bait and fishing hook even if heavily pressured.

  • Highly versatile rig for all techniques
  • Can be used successfully year round
  • Allows very naturalistic movement of tube baits

  • May require specific colors during different seasons
  • Mostly known for bass angling
  • Very similar to multiple other rigs

4. Drop Shot Rig a Tube For Finesse

If you’re looking for the ultimate way to imitate an injured or foraging baitfish, use your tube bait with a drop shot rig. This finesse technique is outstanding for keeping your tube down at the bottom of the water, while also staying above the thick grass and other shallow vegetation it can be snagged in.

This low water column placement gives your tube bait an extremely natural look. It can stir up a bit of mud to entice target fish that are looking for crayfish, a real worm, or small bait fish such as shad and minnows (buy one here from Berkley). Even in heavily pressured areas, a drop shot can often get fish to respond when other rigs and baits cannot.

  • Great for giving a natural look to your tube bait
  • Outstanding for fishing in heavily pressured areas
  • Can be extremely easy to rig and use

  • Does not cast very well
  • Cannot be used for topwater angling
  • Midwater success will take some effort

5. Fishing A Tube Bait Weightless

Most anglers may not think to fish in this manner, but a weightless tube bait can be an outstanding way to catch large fish. Weightless tubes are highly versatile and can be fished in shallow water, slightly out from the shore, or topwater over drop offs and other deep areas. Regardless of where you choose to fish it, a weightless tube can bring large fish up from the depths.

The benefit here is that the silhouette of a large tube on the surface of the water will produce unique shimmying motions that can bring bass, pike, and other aggressive fish up for a quick and aggressive strike.

  • Extremely effective for many fish species
  • Can be very easy to pop across the surface
  • Great for extremely shallow water near the shore
  • Is not suitable for midwater column
  • Is not suitable for bottom techniques
  • May be avoided by very timid fish

6.Rigging it Weedless with the Stupid Rig

If you’re in very heavy vegetation such as weeds, grass beds, areas around roots, or in areas with a large amount of rock piles, fishing with a weedless rig is extremely important.

One of the more popular weedless rigs as of late is the stupid. While it has a strange name, this rig is a very smart choice for anglers of all skill levels when they want to rig a tube bait successfully.

When you are fishing in heavily pressured areas where fish are staying hidden in thick cover, the stupid rig can be exactly what you need to deliver your tube bait right into their faces. This will entice even the most timid fish to strike with speed and aggression.

  • Perfect for fishing in dense vegetation
  • Will not get snagged on branches or rocks
  • Excellent option for beginners and pros alike
  • May not be a common rig to use for tubes
  • Some anglers feel that other rigs are more useful
  • Can be limited in certain situations and locations

Final Thoughts on Rigging a Tube

Tube baits are a very popular and extremely versatile bait to use for a wide variety of fish species. Whether you are targeting bass, pike, trout, catfish, or any number of other sport fish, properly rigged tubes are a great choice for year-round fishing.

While it might take some trial and error, once you find the right way to rig a tube bait or technique that works best for your tubes, your overall success can quickly increase. It’s a great way for beginners and experienced anglers alike to get more fish into the boat.

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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